Inspired in part by Melbourne's 1988 Walsh Street murders, Animal Kingdom is a story about the battle between Melbourne's underworld and the police. The story tracks seventeen-year-old Joshua 'J' Cody, a troubled teenager perilously caught between his own criminal family and Detective Leckie, a compromised cop who thinks that he can save 'J'. 'J' comes to realise that in order to survive, he must determine how the game is played. This involves not only writing his own rule book but also choosing his place in the cunning and brutal animal kingdom in which his family lives.
'The story follows 17-year-old Joshua "J" Cody, who moves in with his wild, freewheeling relatives. As he is pulled into their life of indulgence and excess, he discovers it is being funded by criminal activities.'
Source: 'Ellen Barkin & Scott Speedman to Star in TNT’s "Animal Kingdom"', Variety, 29 July 2015.
'When you're basing 10 episodes or more of television on a stand-alone two-hour movie, it might be best to heed the lesson of Fargo: Throw out the whole story and start over.'
'Animal Kingdom, the new TNT series based on the 2010 Australian movie about a Melbourne crime family, goes the opposite route. ...'