Animal KingdomDVR This Thursday, July 7th, 2016
Animal Kingdom is loosely based on the Oscar-nominated 2010 Australian film of the same name; it keeps the basic premise, a family of career criminals headed by a steely mom, and ramps up the sex and sociopathology. Instead of Jacki Weaver as the mother nicknamed Smurf, we have professional femme fatale Ellen Barkin, whose Smurf is only rivaled by Taraji P. Henson’s Cookie as TV’s most delightful scenery chewing mom. Her boys, some biologically and some de facto related, are played by, among others, hunky and good Scott Speedman, creepy and unstable Shawn Hatosy, and naïve Finn Cole, Smurf’s teenage grandson who she takes in after his mother dies of a heroin overdose. His arrival and discovery of his family’s criminality sets up the series. In the U.S. version, which is set in Oceanside, all of the boys surf and barely ever wear shirts. The eye candy is great, but the action and family drama are just as satisfying.
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