Like a kid who's antics have turned from cute to obnoxiously annoying, or a washed up crooner who just can't accept his time has past, Channel 9 is serving up yet another dose of Underbelly, even though the show's used by date has well and truly expired. Originality and fresh ideas are certainly dead and buried when it comes to Aussie drama. We've already had Bikie Wars (aka Underbelly: Bikie Wars) this year, which was basically seven dragged-out episodes of slow motion scenes and clichés leading up to a shootout of bad acting and wispy student beards in the final episode. So here we go again with the same thing, but different channel.
The main character that Underbelly Badness revolves around was apparently unknown to the police and the public, which basically means that the Underbelly writers can write what ever fiction they like into the 'true story' plot, and no one will know the difference. Add to that the fact that half the real stories won't be able to be shown due to court proceedings, and we're left with eight drawn-out episodes of not much at all. This instalment is said to share the same "underbelly DNA" as all the other series, so expect the usual underbelly trademarks of awkward boob shots, untimely swearing and deadpan voice overs explaining what was just shown.
And the fiction begins with the name – The main character's real life nickname was not Badness, it was Rooster! Underbelly: Rooster hasn't got much of a ring to it, but Badness isn't much better, and it makes the name choice even more bizarre. But even better than that, Rooster's brother's nickname was Undies! How Channel 9 missed the obvious name of Undies-Belly: Rooster is a mystery.
Naturally, this badness will bring the same old faces of those Aussie actors nobody remembers - a who's-who of ex Home & Away, McLeod's Daughters, and Water Rats 'stars'. One character is played by a Bikie Wars alumni, who was asked to help out with the production budget by smuggling across some prop guns and costumes from the set of Bikie Wars; and there is also a returning Underbelly star, as it is assumed that no none will notice that his character has miraculously raised from the underbelly dead.
Plans are already on course for Underbelly 2013. This one will be called Underbelly: Worstest, and will focus on the story of a Brisbane family man who received a speeding fine for doing 65 in a 60 zone.