[[caption-width-right:340:[[SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou Gary Montebello is about to shoot you]].]]
''The Straits'' is a ground breaking Australian crime drama in terms of its rare setting and (specific) concept - the deadly smuggling trade between northern Australia and UsefulNotes/PapuaNewGuinea. It explores how the business of the modern, Western crime syndicates effects those around them - from the city-slickers in Cairns, to the traditional Torres Strait Islands, to the tribes people in the developing nation of PNG.
The series covers the Montebello crime family's struggle for power - both against other crime entrepreneurs, and amongst themselves. It begins with the head of the family, Harry Montebello, allowing his three sons to compete to succeed him as head of his business. It is character driven and extremely well written, and features an exceedingly rare setting worth a look for its [[SceneryPorn beauty]] as well as its novelty.
* AllBikersAreHellsAngels - The main Australian criminal franchise that supplies drugs to the Montebellos.
* AnyoneCanDie[[spoiler: - even Harry.]]
* AxeCrazy - The Papuan avenging his brother just stabs and shoots and ''does not stop'' in his quest to kill Gary.
* BlackAndGreyMorality - Criminals vs worse criminals.
* BlackHumour - Pretty much the only kind this series had, although while understated, it is certainly effective.
* ComedicSociopathy - The other kind.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory - Real life experiences of the author, as well as news stories, were the basis of the drama.
* TheDon - Harry Montebello
* EvenEvilHasStandards - Harry is AOK at drug-dealing and creative murder, but draws the line at arranged marriage for his daughter, and dealing in sex-slaves.
* EvilMatriarch - Kitty Montebello.
* FamilyValuesVillain - Again, Harry has these tendencies.
* GenericEthnicCrimeGang - Torres Strait Islander family crime syndicate (although Harry is Maltese-British-Australian, his wife and children (all adopted) are of the same ethnicity).
* HairTriggerTemper - Noel Montebello's biggest flaw.
* PetTheDog - Harry really genuinely cares about his daughter, which makes him seem less of a bastard. He also really cares about his actual little dog.
* PrecisionFStrike - Mostly delivered by Harry.
* SceneryPorn - The Torres Strait, as depicted on the show, is beautiful (if dangerous), which can be seen clearly [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=881cTdf-ll8 in the opener.]]
* SurroundedByIdiots - Harry appears to see his sons this way.
* TheTriadsAndTheTongs - the main business partner of the protagonists in only known as 'The Chinaman', and has links with a shady syndicate of drug dealing and prostitution including other Chinese-ethnicity partners (such as his Taiwanese cousin), although his underlings in Papua New Guinea are all natives.
* VillainProtagonist - Harry is a cold-blooded killer with vague similarities to a Bond Villain. He's basically the main character. [[spoiler: Until he dies.]]