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Series / Animal Kingdom

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Bad. Is. Bred.

The 2016 Foreign Remake of the critically acclaimed 2010 Australian indie movie, the 2016 TV series Animal Kingdom, set in modern-day suburban Oceanside, California, details the life of the Cody family, a bunch of criminals plus adrenaline junkies who live near the coast of the Pacific, near the US-Mexico border and the strategically located Camp Pendleton of the United States Marine Corps, just north of the city. Following the death of his mother from a heroin overdose, Joshua Cody (J as he's called) moves to be with his grandmother (called Smurf) in the city near the beaches and its famous pier and is introduced to a life of crime by his uncles - plus their love of extreme sports. No one even among their friends would know what's next for him, his grandma, and his uncles.

Unlike the Aussie original it has a mix of old and newcoming stars with veteran movie actress Ellen Barkin in the lead role as Janine "Smurf" Cody, while incorporating elements of Oceanside's best spots and its surf scene. Aired on TNT, it is produced by Jonathan Lisco and John Wells - the same production team behind ER, The West Wing, Southland and Shameless (it was reported that the program would be aired before on Showtime alongside the latter, but it was rejected and TNT later approved it).


Given its high ratings despite mixed press reviews in the weeks before and during its June 14, 2016 premiere, TNT gave the signal for a second season of the series in July of 2016. Also airs in Canada through Bravo.

Fans of the movie upon which the series is based may be advised that the tropes featured here may be different or similar to it. The Characters page that will be created soon will have a separate section for this.


The Cody Family of Oceanside

  • Janine "Smurf" Cody (played by Ellen Barkin) is the evil but loving matriarch of the family.
  • Joshua "J" Cody (played by Finn Cole), Smurf's grandson and the Only Sane Man of the group as well as the kid (as well as the youngest at 17)
  • Barry "Baz" Blackwell (played by Scott Speedman) is The Smart Guy of the family and the only member of the family not there by blood.
  • Andrew "Pope" Cody (played by Shawn Hatosy), oldest of the family, spent time in jail before the series premiere
  • Craig Cody (played by Ben Robson) is a Handsome Lech and drug addict.
  • Deran Cody (played by Jake Weary) is an Armored Closet Gay surfer and extreme sports fanatic.

Recurring cast of the US TV adaptation

Per Season 1:
  • Renn (played by Christina Ochoa) - Craig's lover
  • Adrian (played by Spencer Treat Clark) - Deran's friend (and secret lover)
  • Nicky (played by Molly Gordon) - J's girlfriend at the start of the season, gets into a relationship with Craig by the 1st season finale
  • Alexa Alexander (played by Ellen Wroe) - J's high school teacher
  • Detective Sandra Yates (played by Nicki Micheaux) - a detective with the Oceanside PD who tried to investigate the family
  • Paul (played by C. Thomas Howell) - an active duty officer with the United States Navy stationed at Camp Pendelton and Nicky's dad.
  • Patrick (played by Dorian Missick) - Yates' partner in the Cody family case

This series contains the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Pope clearly suffers from his mental problems and wants to be better but his family doesn't help, nor has an abusive prison stay.
  • Adaptational Heroism: A very-very mild case of it as Pope is very clearly mentally ill and subject to both abuse as well as manipulation from his family. Which leads to a case of Adaptational Villainy from the rest of the family as while Pope can't help being a monster, they do it because it's fun.
  • Affably Evil: The Codys appear to be this way and look like a place J could have some serious fun. Sadly, he finds out they're very much Faux Affably Evil.
  • Alliterative Name: Alexa Alexander.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: The Codys eventually evolve into having this opinion of J after putting him through hell. By this time, The Dog Bites Back.
  • Armored Closet Gay: Deran thinks he's this but Craig knows he's gay and so does J. Smurf and Pope are likely to as well, which would mean it's more a case of Transparent Closet.
  • Best Served Cold: Smurf can hold a grudge for a long time. She tracks down the man she blames for her mother's death more than fity years earlier just so she can finally get revenge on him. She also holds a major grudge against the brother of Pope's father but makes nice with the guy for decades before finally stealing all his gold and killing him as her Last Dance.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Every Cody has secrets they're willing to kill for.
  • Brutal Honesty: Pope hooks up with Angela because he has know her most their lives and she has never lied to him. In turn she can tell him the truth about all the bad stuff she has done and he will not judge her.
  • Character Death:
    • Baz is shot at the end of season 2 and confirmed dead at the beginning of season 3
    • Smurf is killed at the end of season 4
  • Cliffhanger: Season 2 ends with Baz shot up and his fate left uncertain. He doesn't survive.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • All the Codys grew up without a father figure in their lives
    • Smurf was raised by her mother and when she was killed, Smurf went into foster care
    • Pope's father was killed a few days before his birth
    • Craig's father stole from Smurf and she told him that if he ever came near her or Craig she would kill him. Since she already crippled him by shooting out his knee cap, he chose not to test her resolve.
    • Deran's father is a drug addict and petty crook who did not participate much in his son's life and when he supposedly tried to make amends, he stole money from Deran instead.
    • J does not know who his father is
    • Averted by Craig who insists on raising Renn's baby with her even though he might not be its father.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After numerous cases of having his life threatened by his uncles as well as his girlfriend manipulated as well as seduced (right after he broke up with her to protect him), J decides to turn state's evidence. Subverted through a Engineered Public Confession making J start to have Magnificent Bastard traits.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Subverted, surprisingly, in what is the point of the series. The Codys present a face of a loving family but their selfishness and sociopathic tendencies make them enemies to each other as much as family.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The Cody Clan versus the FBI as it turns out the latter are every bit as crooked as the former.
  • Faux Affably Evil: J's uncles are all murderous scumbags of one sort or another. Smurf is arguably the worst of them all.
  • Fan Disservice: J having sex with his very hot crying teacher.
  • Honey Pot: The FBI turn Alexa Anderson a.k.a Jay's teacher into one of these against her will. She ends up having sex with him to stay out of jail despite it being Statuotory rape.
    • Catherine tries this with Pope after Smurf sends him after her. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: The Cody brothers all think of J as a potential threat and risk to their family's criminal activities. This despite the fact J is clearly traumatized by recent events and just wants a family to appreciate him. Ironically, they start to trust him only after they've effectively burned any bridges he has with them.
  • Hot for Teacher: Not initially but Jay eventually slips into this. Alexa is forced to comply by the FBI.
  • Kick the Dog: Mostly done to Jay by every single member of the family.
    • Deran tries to drown J to scare him away to protect the secret of his homosexuality.
    • Craig has sex with J's teenage girlfriend to distract her. Subverted, ironically, by the fact he's so sexist as to not realize this would be an issue as he believes J has moved on to his teacher.
      • Played straight when he leaves his OD girlfriend/dealer to die and robs her.
    • Baz does this by rejecting J's attempt to bond with him and praising him only as a criminal.
    • Pope does this about once an episode.
    • J does this to Angela and by extension Pope when he takes Angela to a restaurant where her old dealer works as a cook. He expected her to go Off the Wagon and thus break Pope's heart.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe:
    • J is definitely a Cody. Whether he's Baz's son or not is anyone's guess.
    • Craig might be the father of Renn's baby. She initially tells him that he is not but he still steps up to help her with her pregnancy and is willing to treat the baby as his. She later admits that the baby is probably his.
  • Meatgrinder Surgery: When Jay slices his leg during the church robbery, Baz "fixes" it by sticking him together with a staple gun.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The show's popularity among fans can be partly traced because of shirtless scenes featuring the Cody boys (plus some nudity) loved by almost everyone from the series premiere onward.
    • Baz only has one in the pilot.
    • Craig and Deran often have such scenes in the 1st season
    • J only has few such scenes
    • Pope's poolside scene in Episode 2 has him naked
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: J's uncles abuse him out of fear he'll turn on them. Guess what happens as a result.
  • Silver Vixen: Smurf is very sexually active and played by the attractive Ellen Barkin. She's also the mother of four kids with a fifth adopted one, two of which had kids of their own.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: J and Pope dislike each other from day one. However, by the end of season 4 they realize that neither can lead the family on their own. Pope is a seasoned criminal that is respected by other criminals but he lacks the smarts for the behind-the-scenes stuff Smurf took care of. J knows how to launder their money and who to pay off to get protection but he has little street cred and other criminals do not trust him. If they work together, they can show the criminal underworld that the Codys are a group to be reckoned with even without Smurf.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: J wants this from Baz. What he gets is pretty much the exact opposite.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Baz has a mistress in Mexico who has a son which may well be his. This despite having a beautiful wife and daughter in California.


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