Booyah for boobs, booze, brotherhood and bikies!
So the people who produced Underbelly have now unleashed Overbelly, a drama mostly about women removing their shirts and bras and bouncing their boobs about, with a trivial side plot focusing on bikies.
Bikiewars: Brothers in Arms premiered on Channel Ten last night and it was fine television, if by fine television you mean yet another drama glamourising the absolute dregs of Australian society.
It was also an excellent showcase for some talented Australian actors, if by talented Australian actors you mean women with a bra size in high alphabet letters who were willing to leave said garments at home on shooting days.
In truth, the first of six instalments of Bikiewars last night wasn’t bad. The reviewocracy today is of the opinion it was too slow, but that’s being picky. Granted, Bikiewars was a little meandering. But the lack of plot propulsion set the scene and tone for a culture unfamiliar to today’s 20- and 30-somethings, most of whom would understand bikies only as meth-fuelled lunatics in gangsta gold chains.
They weren’t always that. In the 1970s, outlaw bikie gangs were a new thing in Australia. Mostly they consisted of boozehounds and dropouts who were looking for kinship, belonging and a fridge which was always guaranteed to be stocked with cold beer. Drug riches and the really sophisticated organised crime that went with it came later.
What bikies did do lots in the ‘70s was bash each other senseless. They were as gun happy then as they are now, with the exception of the nights they had to stay home and watch Dallas. The 1984 Milperra Massacre proves that. It’s the climactic bit of Bikiewars – if you don’t include all the climaxes involving the topless ladies.
Anyway, so Bikiewars was actually pretty entertaining and well made and all that. But after sitting through an hour of it while simultaneously following the conversation on Twitter, the following occurred to me: why can’t we make more Australian dramas about people who aren’t murderous thugs? Have we really no other stories worth telling?
What next: a show that shows the sensitive, caring aside of the Ibrahim family? At least that show would have a good name. You could call it Belly Laugh.
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