Stephen Dent reviews new show animal kingdom.

When I first saw the commercials for this show a few months ago I had a feeling this was going to be something special. I have to admit, I was intrigued. I have seen Scot Speedman on the big screen so I already knew he would bring a good performance, but there is another actor who is a little lesser known than him named Shawn Hatosy. Hatosy has been on numerous TV shows like Southland and was also great in the movie Alpha Dog where he played an intense criminal (something he is doing right now for Animal Kingdom). This guy is a very underrated actor and I knew that if he brought something from that Alpha Dog character to this role that it was going to be good.

Basically the character dynamic in this show is just one big dysfunctional family, one that is run by an attractive older woman whose nickname is Smurf. Smurf controls the gang, made up of her sons. She loves her kids and certainly takes care of her boys. The group sustains themselves by stealing and running criminal jobs. When the boys try to run their own side jobs (selling drugs, stealing safes full of money) Smurf blows her cool and quickly turns lukewarm on her boys, basically kicking them out of the house.

The “gang” is controlled by Scot Speedman’s character (named Baz) who is a little big arrogant and is two timing on his girlfriend. None of the other brothers really like Baz (especially Pope who is jealous that Baz is in charge). The two closest brother of the bunch are the two middle brothers, Craig and Deran, (the only main characters with beards) who team up together in the beginning of the series. Craig even gets himself shot by an off duty Police Officer during one of their crazy heists! The two start doing their own thing as the show continues, however.

The family is thrown into slight disarray when Joshua Cody gets taken in by Smurf when his mother dies of a drug overdose. Josh comes into the group very young and innocent but quickly grows up and even starts to steal and collect back money owed to Smurf.

Shawn Hatosy finally comes into the picture when he returns from jail to find out Josh is sleeping in his room and his family sold his apartment while he was in jail. But it doesn’t stop there, he is even shunned by his family who says that he shouldn’t sleep at the house because he has a parole officer and they don’t want heat drawn to the family’s criminal enterprise. It’s no surprise then that Pope starts to do his own thing (staging his own robbery with Daren and Josh) behind Smurf’s back.

There are so many things that I could write about in this initial review but let’s just leave it at that for now. If you want plenty of sex, drugs, violence and more criminal action, this is the show for you!

If you liked this review stay tuned for more from yours truly.

-Stephen Dent