In the US: Tuesdays, 9/8c, TNT. Starts June 14
In the UK: Not yet acquired
Sometimes, you watch enough global TV and it starts to become confusing as to what's copying what. Take Animal Kingdom, TNT's latest drama, this one featuring Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love, Switch, The Big Easy) as the California grandmother who takes in her teenage grandson (Finn Cole from Peaky Blinders) when his mother (her daughter) fatally overdoses on heroin. Except she's actually the head of a literal crime family, with her sons (Scott Speedman from The Last Resort, Shawn Hatosy from Southland, Ben Robson and Jake Weary) a highly efficient bunch of robbers with varying degrees of conscience.
So it immediately it looks a bit to me like New Zealand's Outrageous Fortune, except not only is Animal Kingdom a lot darker and a lot less humorous, it's already been remade as Scoundrels.
But then, as I watch it, I start to get a completely different vibe. With its highly efficient criminals, tense male-relationships and Heat-style direction, it's beginning to look a lot like Smith, NBC's old Heat knock-off with Ray Liotta. That was exec-produced by John Wells (ER), as is Animal Kingdom. There's even a rather similar scene involving surfers, designed to show off how the family doesn't care for the rules of society, to one in Smith involving Simon Baker.
So Smith meets Outrageous Fortune? No.
Turns out it's actually a TV version of a 2010 Australian movie, Animal Kingdom, starring some of the great and the good of Australian acting: Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Joel Edgerton (The Secret Life of Us, Exodus: Gods and Kings), Guy Pearce (like you need to ask), Jacki Weaver (Secret City), and Sullivan Stapleton (Strike Back, Blindspot):
Just to be even more confusing, that was based on a real-life Melbourne crime family. Turns out the only original ideas are in real-life.
So does Australian real-life crime story Animal Kingdom work when relocated to the Californian coast? It depends. Do you think a crime show should really be about crimes or should it be about fit young men taking their tops off a lot?
If the latter, Animal Kingdom is your boy.