Americans adapting Aussie stories into uncharted waters


Until now Wilfred is arguably the only Australian show that has had a longer run as a US adaptation (USA: 4 seasons, Australia: 2 seasons).

But that’s about to change.

Season 2 of Secrets and Lies will outlast the original Australian production, whilst Animal Kingdom is also due this year (based on the 2010 film of the same name).

Secrets and Lies, based on the Hoodlum series which screened on TEN, retains Juliette Lewis as Det. Andrea Cornell on a new case. That’s actually the same device the Australian series was to employ had it proceeded to a a second season with Anthony Hayes.

The plot centres on an African-American man (Michael Ealy) suspected of murdering his wife (Jordana Brewster). Also starring are Terry Quinn and AnnaLynne McCord .

It’s already igniting some discussion because the story won’t tackle the address the recent tensions between African-Americans and police officers, a focus of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Executive producer Barbie Kligman said, “I don’t think that this show has to be about that. In this particular case, this is a man. He may be a black man, but he’s a man and his wife is dead and he’s the prime suspect because, most of the time, the husband did it.

“I suppose if we had done 20 episodes, I suppose if it was a different show, I might have made it more about one thing or another, but the story I wanted to tell was mystery-thriller and it’s just about people.”

In season two, the show also splits point of view as early as episode four as the pressure mounts on Detective Cornell to solve the case.


Meanwhile Animal Kingdom depicts a family crime drama set in a surf community of Oceanside, California, and star Ellen Barkin will not seek to replicate Jacki Weaver’s role as matriarch, Smurf.

The movie “only scratched the surface on how far down we can drill down on these characters, and Smurf is a great example,” said showrunner Jonathan Lisco. “You learn that she’s capable of great menace, some emotional cruelty, but also capable of great love … but it never really answers the question whether or not her capacity of cruelty or her capacity for love is the scarier component of her character, and I know that’s something we want to explore in the course of the series. I think that’s a rather bottomless pit when you have an actress like Ellen Barkin.

“We’re going to make it a more nuanced portrayal of a mother who both loves her sons but also vandalizes them and has emotionally warped them while at the same time coddled them.”

“We wanted to be very careful that we not try and replicate performances from the film.”

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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