Underbelly -The Golden Mile, Season 3 [DVD]
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The cops were bent and the crims were cool. And together they ran the most exciting street in Australia. Strippers, gamblers, gunmen, dealers, bouncers, bagmen they all came to the Golden Mile. A smart and sexy young Kim Hollingsworth, smiling teenage Kings Cross identity Johnny Ibrahim, the Bayeh Brothers, Trevor Haken, Chook Fowler...the Golden Mile was their playground, and they played like there was no tomorrow. Then, in 1995, tomorrow came and the Wood Royal Commission cleaned out the Black Empire within the NSW Police. But it left behind a mess that took years of mayhem to bring under control.
UNDERBELLY: The Golden Mile is the story of the excesses of the empire, the collapse of the empire, the chaos that followed, and the ultimate victory of strong and honest police...seen through the eyes of some of the most sexy, charming, corrupt and deadly people of the time.
The season begins in 1988, a year after the events of the previous season A tale of Two Cities, a smart young man named John Ibrahim arrives in Kings Cross with plans and dreams of making a fortune in the Kings Cross nightclub scene.
Throughout the season the plot shows how John Ibrahim began his entrepreneurship by working for organised crime figures like Louis and Bill Bayeh, George Freeman and Lenny McPherson who were during the time known as the ultimate Kings of the Cross.
The season also shows the continuing corrupt activities of the NSW Police Officers stationed in Kings Cross particularly Trevor Haken, Jim Egan, Dennis Kelly who reprise their roles from Season 2 and Graham Chook Fowler, Eddie Parrot Gould and Neville Scully Scullion.
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Top Customer Reviews
A big drawback with The Golden Mile is its creation of fictional characters such as Eddie "the Parrot" Gould and Jim Egan - who are unspeakably bad but whose actions don't seem to have any basis in reality. Thi rather dilutes the impact of the real characters such as Haken, Fowler, the Bayehs and George Freeman.
For this viewer, the real entertainment came in the form of Kim Hollingsworth - a strange woman who saw life as a binary choice between working as a prostitute or working as a police officer. Kim is 100% real - and superbly played by Emma Booth. She brightens up the series and adds a feminine (and rather comic) dimension to something that would otherwise have been pure testosterone. I'm not quite sure how this story was ever spun out to 13 episodes, but it did have some good entertainment along the way. But it is nowhere near as arresting as the first series with the Carl Williams story.
Cons - more of the same, very fast moving narrative.
The third series of this show sees the action focused on Sydney's Golden Mile during the 1990s. Like series 2 this is only loosely connected to the first series and is perfectly watchable in its on right. As with the previous two series the violence and sex are gloriously graphic and make for some pretty intense viewing, packing quite a punch. Obviously, covering such an extended time period does mean that the show moves along at quite a pace and this can sometimes be a little confusing at times. However, the show is populated by some excellent characters, personal favourites being night club owner Johnny and bent cop Trevor. Clearly the show takes a bit of dramatic license at times to beef up the narrative but the is not necessarily a bad thing.
The highly stylised camerawork might not be to everyone's taste, with lots of handheld, slow-mo and strobing, but I feel it helps capture the sense of excess and brutality and is a nice contrast to the slick polish of its American contemparies. This is accompanied by a solid soundtrack.
Little in the way of significant extras other than the usual sound and subtitle options.
A good watch.
A lot of the Underbelly series overlap, even if the actors sometimes change, but they are all good in isolation even if you watch them out of sequence. In fact they were made out of sequence, and I watched them in the order they were released, then went back and watched them "in order". Out of them all, "Razor" and "Squizzy" are set in much older times, but the others all follow Australian organised crime from the late 60s to more or less now.
I like this series the best because (a) there is dome familiarity with characters/actors (from a Tale of 2 Cities) and (b) the casting/acting is excellent (Jonny, Hammer, DK, George & Lenny) etc.
A really good real-life crime drama. If you watch this you'll want to watch all of it. It is top stuff.
It's a great addition to the overall Underbelly series of crime dramas set in Australia.
This one captures the 80s/90s era in Sydney, specifically centred around the Kings Cross part of town.
Very gripping, very real (maybe some of the stories where adjusted slightly for legal reasons, but hey, no matter).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant series, very hard hitting enjoyed on tv and brilliant second time roundPublished 9 months ago by Douglas Williamson
Amazing Season, well acted and written. They have captured both the atmosphere and characters so well, it's a compelling watch and my favourite of all the seasons.Published 14 months ago by Goonerette
My partner is very very hard of hearing so was pretty disappointed to find it didn't come with subtitles that is my only negative, it is a great series would highly recommendPublished 15 months ago by Julliette Brooks
Series 3 is a let down after the first two. There is no real strong central character who lends gravitas to the flimsy story line. Read morePublished on 31 July 2014 by b1958