Underbelly is product of art imitating life.. and death, 28 deaths that inspired this incredible mini-series. Made in Melbourne, Australia with an all-star Aussie cast, Underbelly will shock, horrify, amaze and have you shaking your head in disbelief!
Underbelly starts out almost larger than life. 2 men walk into a house party, one instatly hooks up with a girl and finds a room, the other shoots a man in the chest over a debt of $5000. Thats just the warm up. Cover ups, stand over tactics, and killing off the opposition drug dealers all follow. Watching on as the new guy on the block sets about becoming the most powerful and feared drug kings in Melbournes' history. Meanwhile the Homocide squad snapping at their heels trying to prove murders only to fail because of dodgy cops, dissapearing witnesses, or the accused dying before the trial. This set against a backdrop of the lives the wives and girlfriends led and their seeming oblivious nature to what was going on right beneath their noses.
Not since American civil war Mini series North and South has a Mini series based on real life events been so compelling that viewers are left waiting after every episode wondering what could possibly happen next. 10 out of 10
First of all, this show worth watching. Can't stress that enough. A blend of good writing accompanied by committed actors and directors really set this show apart from any other Australian drama I have seen.
All the people I know look down and frown upon Australian television series since they are under the assumption that these TV series are not up to the same calibre as American shows. However, you must completely disregard that attitude and actually watch this show, you will be just as amazed and genuiunely surprised as I was. This is no rip off of "The Sopranos" or anything like that. It is an Australian crime drama that has it's own story; full of violence, corruption, backstabbing, sex, drugs, sleek cars and women. What more can a crime drama offer?
It is scarey to know this is based on real events! even though a lot of the facts are now being disputed by people actually involved.
I think because some people are aware of it being in the news also makes you want to watch and get a more details view of what happened, even if some of it is fiction.
This show has a brilliant Australian cast which is a huge draw card to start watching.
It is a very graphic plot with violence, sex and drugs and makes fantastic viewing. (but not for young kids)
I can't wait to see what happens each week.
This is entertaining but if you are expecting the Australian Sopranos then you'll be disappointed. This show in what seems to be the Ozzie style, is far lighter in tone than it's American counterparts. For each episode it also seems to have a check-list which consists of something like major betrayal, check, explicit sex scene, check, major character murder, check and so on and so on. Well that final one is actually more like every other episode.
The Carlton crew is part of the gangland and with each major character death others rise up the ranks. Carl Williams who seems dumb at first in fact becomes one of the cleverer characters and in all honesty (along with his partner Roberta) is the best character. Jason Moran is also a great if angrier character. Everyone else has their point in the spotlight but it all comes down to those 2 and they are what make this show entertaining.
As the show is based on real events you may consider it a very shocking prospect to watch and some of the deaths are brutal. However the tone stops it from going too dark. The scene in episode 10 when the police are closing in and bugged everywhere they even make jokes on the characters and the show it self. For example, everyone who's bugged seems to be shagging and the police chief says 'is this all these people do?', that made me laugh considering the shows check-list. There is also one out and out comedy episode as well involving a thick character who kidnaps another character, think it's episode four.
An enjoyable watch but not the most intelligent show either.
When it comes to the second series of Underbelly, one question eclipses all others; is it better than the first?
This series chronicles the booming drug trade of the 70's and 80's through the meeting and partnership between drug kings Aussie Bob Trimbole and Kiwi Terry Clark. The series also covers the affairs of crime boss and glitterati George Freeman, Terry Clark's attractive girlfriend Allison, the hyped up hitman Chris Flannery and the mini war between the Chuck and Kane gangs that had upsetting results. On the other side of the law, there are the few honourable cops around in Australia at this time who fight to acheive justice against the demoralized NSW police and very elusive criminals. Amidst all of the gratuitous sex, drugs, violence and swearing; the solid acting, writing and directing is really what made this series great.
Good performances are prevelent in this show; special mention goes to Matthew Newton (bad accent aside he really did nail the charming yet unstable Terry), Dustin Clare (i've never seen recklessness and hot - headedness portrayed as convincingly as Clare does as Chris which makes him the Australian version of Tommy DeVito from Goodfeallas) and Peter O'Brien with his understated George Freeman being great. However there are two actors who simply must be singled out; the first is Roy Billing as Bob, despite being cuddly and sassy on the outside, inside there is a ruthless and dangerous criminal who is stopped only by his ailing health, Billing flawlessly portrays all this and never misses a beat. If only one actor on the show wins an award, it will be him. The second is Damien De Montemas; at first audiences thought he was going to coast on a lazy portrayal of a typical smug lawyer but his powerhouse performance as Brian Alexander's world begins to come crashing down is excellent and he'll be a confident bet to receive some awards credit. The women on this show are either depicted as powerless damsels in distress or sultry pieces of meat that are constantly ripping their clothes off but Asher Keddie who stars as the caring and hard-working Detective Cruickshank offers a brilliant and realistic performance that will ensure that sexism is one of the only criticisms that will not be aimed at the show. This series adopts a different style to the first one; for one thing the glossy and bustling feel and appearence is replaced with a slower and more fuzzier tone consistent with most 70's shows. The second series is not afraid to filter what we see; the violence is grittier, the sex scenes don't just depict the female form and drugs are portrayed in a much less glamourous way.
The direction of this show captures the rapidly changing mood very effectively but too often you see them take close-ups on random things like hands, feet and eyes for no real "arty" purpose except weird for the sake of weird. The first series was riddled with the cheesy inevitability that the good guys will always beat the bad guys but this is totally absent here; corruptuon is widespread and very intense with the good cops being vastly outnumbered by the bad ones who are joined with a legion of other crooked personnal in various institutions. We are never sure if justice will ultimately be served until the very last scene of the last episode; the battle ends with the series but the war only just begins. All of this brings us back to the opening question; is this series better than the first one? The answer is yes. While it contains all of the masterful elements of the first series it succeeds in painting a more realistic picture and really showing the ins and outs of the gangland war. Whether or not it's accepted as a historical piece, it will always be remembered as a masterpiece.
underbelly is one of the best pieces of television i have ever seen! now on season 5 this excellent drama is the best! the first one was brilliant about the gangland war in melbourne, great storytelling! season 2 was even better! 3 was ok about police corruption and stuff, razor was ok season 5 badness was back on top form!!
Can someone please tell me what Bottom of the Harbour Services do and if possible which episodes they are in? A friend has told me to watch that one, I have no idea why it's suppose to be a surprise. I would like to watch it.
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