Remember how Baz was greasing up Nicky’s dad, Paul, in order to maybe use him as a mark for a job that involved breaking into a military base? Well this week’s episode starts with Baz and Paul gunning that beauty of a car Paul noticed in the previous episode down the open road, the two bonding over like, guy stuff or whatever. You know, engines, speed; those kinds of things. Baz is getting closer to Paul, creating a rapport and sense of trust, and it’s all because he has a big idea for a heist.
The episode also starts with a less fun trip than the one Baz and Paul are having: Smurf has to pick up Pope from prison because he got busted failing a drug test. Pope is livid, saying he didn’t do it, but that doesn’t matter to his parole officer. Smurf knows what the real deal is though. Pope was likely busted because of what she was putting into his food without him knowing.
After we learn that Alexa Anderson, J’s teacher, is roped into this whole CI business because she tried to buy five grams of heroin off an undercover cop — teachers these days! — we head back to the Cody house and see Baz unveiling his plan. Or, at least, part of his plan. He tells the family, minus J, about stealing a bunch of money from the military base and how he gets the sense that Paul only needs a little push to screw over his employer.
Deran and Craig are down with the idea because they’ll pretty much do anything, but Pope isn’t so sure. He says it’s too dangerous and complicated, and that they should stick to their simple jobs. Smurf seems to agree, but she’s also willing to let Baz continue to get close to Paul and see how things play out.
Here’s the thing with the Cody boys though: They’re fickle. So, when Baz tells Deran and Craig to hit Paul’s house that night and steal a few things, Craig throws a hissy fit and refuses to go because he’s supposed to go to a party with Ren. He tries to stand up to Smurf alongside Deran, but when Deran backs down Smurf just lets Craig off the job and slots Pope into his spot.
It isn’t much later that Craig is really wishing he had done the job. After getting super high and having sex with Ren in the back of the restaurant where they’re partying, she reveals that she’s figured out he was the one who left her for dead. She says she’s going to do the same to him, and her buddies jump him while he’s naked, tie him to the chair, and start cooking enough heroin to make him OD.
Just as they inject the solution and Craig freaks out, they laugh and let him know it’s just saline with a little tea for coloring. They want him to get $6,800 to make up for what he took from Ren, then they’ll let him live. That forces Craig to put in an embarrassing call to Smurf, who shows up to bail him out, but not without telling him that he needs to get his life together real quick.
NEXT: Family comes first (read more at the source … )
TV’s newest crime family just landed a second season. TNT has renewed Animal Kingdom, the Ellen Barkin drama about a family who surfs by day and steals by night.
The series, which airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET, is based on the Australian film that scored Jacki Weaver an Oscar nomination. In addition to Barkin, the show stars Shawn Hatosy (Southland) and Scott Speedman (Felicity).
“Animal Kingdom has signaled the new tone for TNT dramas and is moving the network in the direction we hoped it would,” Sarah Aubrey, EVP of original programming for TNT, said in a statement. “I’m confident that our strategy of working with high-caliber talent and then getting out of their way will continue to pay off.”
Also renewed by Turner are two TBS comedies, Angie Tribeca and Wrecked. Tribeca, starring Rashida Jones and produced by Steve and Nancy Carrell, returns for a third season, while the Wrecked, a parody of Lost, will be back for a second season.
“A year ago we began reinventing TBS, and thanks to the incredible talent behind these shows, we’ve come a long way in a very short amount of time,” said Brett Wietz, EVP of original programming for TBS. “Pulling the trigger on renewals early allows us to build on our success by giving fans new seasons more quickly.”
Angie Tribeca airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET and Wrecked on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
If you haven’t noticed, Smurf’s collection of “sons” consists of mostly man-babies. Sure, they have adult bodies and even pseudo-adult lives, but when it comes to standing up to their mother and asserting their independence, they’re seriously lacking. At least Deran is doing his best to separate from Smurf, holing up at his own place and refusing to come home even as she puts her boys back to work.
Their next job is to rob some shipping containers, but Pope isn’t too happy about it. He wants to go bigger and better, but he can’t convince the rest of the family. With Deran gone and Baz unable to bring him back, Pope is certainly outnumbered, more prone to the whims and control of Smurf and Baz than before.
For awhile, it doesn’t look like Deran is coming home anytime soon. He’s surfing and hanging out with Adrian — and as Smurf points out, he has a history of just taking off, even disappearing to Belize for five weeks at some point in the past. With Baz unable to get the job done and bring Deran back, Pope decides to step in. He goes to Deran’s apartment, cleans it up a bit, and waits all night for him. Alas, he never shows.
That’s because Deran is too busy being a total creep. First he teases Adrian’s friend, who’s clearly more than just a friend, and then breaks into his apartment and has sex with him to assert his dominance. Adrian tries to break things off and say they can’t keep going on like this, with Deran hating himself and hiding his sexuality, but it doesn’t look like anything is going to change. Also, that Belize trip? That’s right, Deran went there with Adrian.
Back at the Cody house, Smurf has invited Nicky’s parents over for dinner. It’s a way to make them feel comfortable with Nicky spending so much time there, but also to make sure Nicky’s father stays out of their business. The dinner is a success, but J takes off shortly after and immediately raises Smurf’s suspicions.
J’s secret plans are attending the surf-photo exhibit his teacher, Alexa Anderson, invited him to in the previous episode. The two spend the night discussing the meaning of the photos and then head back to her place for a drink. When Alexa gets close to J, putting her hand on his leg, he panics and decides it’s best he take off. Clearly, there’s something going on there beyond the typical student-teacher relationship.
Meanwhile, Baz, frustrated with how everything is going, visits his other woman, Lucy, to blow off a little steam. The two end up talking about Smurf and the hold she has on her boys, and Lucy insists Baz needs to get back to doing jobs on his own, like he used to do with her brother, Marco. Baz seems to think it’s not such a bad idea, but the question is, can he really disentangle himself from the Cody family and Smurf’s control? The odds are certainly against him.
NEXT: Momma’s boy (read more at the source … )
There ain’t no party like the Pope’s birthday party! Well, not the Pope, but rather the one who just got out of prison, has a creepy relationship with his mother, and thinks fear and intimidation are qualities to aspire to. Anyway, “Dead To Me” uses Pope’s birthday as a way to muse about just how messed up this family is — and how many secrets they may be hiding.
The boys are trying their best to make something memorable of Pope’s first birthday since getting out of the pokey. They have a day of paintball and skydiving planned, but the birthday boy doesn’t seem too interested. Baz and Deran try their best to cheer him up by grabbing the paintball guns, running around the backyard, and shooting at him, but that all comes to an end when Pope smashes a paintball gun with a sledgehammer. He’s a serious party pooper, huh?
Meanwhile, Smurf leaves the house to pick up a few things for the party, but she has a bigger plan in mind. She texts “CUTBACK” to all her boys, which is some sort of signal she’s been arrested and everyone needs to initiate an escape. They all pack their bags — Craig too, who’s spending more coked-up, sweaty naked time with Ren — and head to the safe house. Once they’re there, they wait for instructions, and Pope gets on Baz’s case about calling Catherine. Yeah, those two don’t have any bad blood brewing, right? When the boys hear a knock at the door, they cock their guns and prepare for the worst — only to hear Smurf’s voice. She walks in cool and confident, and they all realize Smurf was testing them. But why?
Well, she knows things have been financially tight lately, and the elaborate plans for Pope’s birthday would suggest the boys have been running jobs on their own despite her instructions to lay low. Nobody fesses up, so she cuts them off, taking all the money and saying there’s no new jobs on the horizon.
J and Nicky get caught smoking weed back at school, only for J to step up and take the fall for both of them. Somehow that “fall” means the teacher lights up and offers for him to go on some sort of trip for a surfing photo shoot? Anyway, what this scene really sets up is Nicky heading to Smurf’s place to thank J for taking the blame, only to spend the day hanging out with Smurf. Smurf clearly sees Nicky as someone she can control, and she’s slowly luring her into this world of drugs and too-close relationships.
J, on the other hand, is making a connection with Catherine. It turns out it’s his mother’s birthday, too, and he’s a little pissed the family hasn’t mentioned Julia. So he brings some mac and cheese to Catherine and her daughter, and the two outcasts of this family connect while acknowledging Smurf is a little much (to say the least).
NEXT: When the dead rise, Craig freaks out (read more at the source … )
EW.COM – If the first two episodes of Animal Kingdom taught us anything, it’s that the connection between the Cody boys is tenuous. They’ve got each other’s backs when it comes down to it, but there’s a whole lot going on with them that could lead to something explosive. “Stay Close, Stick Together” starts to expose some of the issues within the family, and they’re maybe more combustible than we first thought.
Things start off with a friend of Pope’s trying to get him back in the robbery game. He says he’s got an easy job lined up where they can steal a safe from a building that’s all cheap drywall. Pope says he’s not looking to get back in the game just yet, even though this “friend” says he “owes him one.” That sounds pretty ominous to me.
Meanwhile, J is sleeping over at Nicky’s and generally kind of avoiding the family. Still, he needs to check in there, and before he goes, he takes back the stolen watch he gave Nicky. On the way out he runs into her father, who gives him hell for sleeping over but also wants to know that his daughter is doing okay. Animal Kingdom is definitely setting Nicky up for something bad in the future. At the same time, it certainly doesn’t help J’s wariness around the family that when he gets home Smurf starts talking to him about sex, asking if Nicky “knows what he likes.” So gross.
Down in Mexico things are going pretty well for Bax and Craig. While Craig is recovering in the hospital Bax is living with a woman he seems to have quite the romantic relationship with. They’re having sex, cuddling, and he’s even giving her kid Xbox games as a gift. How many lives are these guys leading? I mean, Craig even almost gets roped into a job when they’re chilling with some friends on the beach post-recovery, so clearly there’s a lot we don’t know about these guys.
Back at home Smurf is doing everything she can to intimidate Catherine and make her fall into line. She’s teaching Lina how to swim by just leaving her in the pool, and then kidnapping her from the supermarket where a babysitter is supposed to be looking after her. Smurf thinks Catherine is ungrateful, but it’s all old-school crime boss intimidation. Bax knows it too when he finds out about the incident when he comes back, but he also knows Smurf means business.
Meanwhile, Smurf sends Deran on a run to collect rent from a surf shop. When he gets there he’s all meek and uncomfortable and it’s not clear why. That is until he asks a man named Adrian for the money and it turns out that Adrian is the guy Deran was fooling around with in that beach bathroom. And surprise, Adrian isn’t too happy. He’s all busted up and had to fork out cash for medical bills, so he doesn’t see how he can pay the rent. That leaves Deran in a tough spot, and that’s when Pope comes through.
NEXT: It’s in the burrito (read more at the source … )
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom  > Season 01 > Promotional & Episodic Photography > 1.03 – Stay Close, Stick Together
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom  > Season 01 > Episode Screencaptures > 1.03 – Stay Close, Stick Together
EW.COM – In the second part of the premiere, “We Don’t Hurt People,” things continue to be pretty bad for J and the rest of the Cody clan. One minute they’re “goofing around” in the pool — meaning lots of punching and near-drowning — and the next they’re learning that the cop from their robbery job is dead.
The boys find out one by one. After Baz sees the news, it’s Smurf who sends J to find Deran and bring him back to the house. J finds him at the beach, hiding away in a washroom while being “serviced” by another man. When Deran sees J walk in, he begins attacking his companion, coming up with the bald lie that the man tried to take his wallet. There’s just a bit of toxic masculinity running through this family.
Back at home, all the Codys gather for a family meeting. While some of their bases are covered, they determine they need to get rid of the watches and dismantle and bleach the car they used for the job. That means sending Craig, Deran, and J out to the yard to do the grunt work, which Deran doesn’t exactly take in stride.
See, Deran’s pissed about having to do the heavy lifting while Smurf handles the money, especially now that they have to get rid of the watches (meaning a smaller cut for everyone). He’s worried about being broke, even though it’s pretty clear Smurf has always taken care of them.
While taking the car apart, Craig struggles to do just about anything, the wound on his chest getting worse with each passing minute. Deran urges him to go to Mexico, but Craig doesn’t want to; he says he doesn’t need to cause any more problems for the family.
Back at home, J finds that Pope has completely tossed his room. He says he was looking for the watch he gave J, which J says he already gave to Nicky, but I’m not so sure that’s all Pope wants. Pope is clearly a loose cannon, and there’s more to his intrusion into J’s life than meets the eye. He’s got a very bad vibe, as he idly threatens J and seems to have some sort of weird attraction to Nicky, carrying her to bed and staring at her. None of this bodes well for J.
After all, this is the man who we later learn is also hot for Catherine, Baz’s girlfriend/wife/lover. He heads over to her place and tries to “win her back” in a sense, but it turns out Catherine isn’t into Pope just creepily showing up with presents for her daughter. Pope must have done something pretty bad in the past, because nobody seems to be excited to have him back.
NEXT: Mexico and pills (read more at the source … )
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom  > Season 01 > Promotional & Episodic Photography > 1.02 – We Don’t Hurt People
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom  > Season 01 > Episode Screencaptures > 1.02 – We Don’t Hurt People
EW.COM – If gritty crime dramas with hunky men and mommy issues are your thing, there’s a good chance you’re going to go crazy for Animal Kingdom. Loosely adapted from the 2010 Australian film of the same name — though more closely resembling a TV version of Point Break than anything else — TNT’s Animal Kingdom is steeped in California noir goodness. There’s coke, neon lights, sunny beaches, weed, robberies, violence, and Ellen Barkin. What more could you ask for?
The premiere certainly gets right down to business, with paramedics showing up at an apartment and responding to a woman dying from a heroin overdose while her son sits on the couch with a nonchalant look on his face. It’s obvious he’s been here before, though this time is different. The boy is Josh, a.k.a. “J,” and this time his mom, Julia, doesn’t recover. After she dies, J ends up calling his grandmother (Ellen Barkin), known affectionately as Smurf, for a place to stay.
Smurf comes to pick up her grandson, and smuggles away some drugs while she’s at it. As J is about to leave, he’s confronted by his mom’s dealer, who’s asking for money he’s owed. J doesn’t tell him his Mom died, but he doesn’t pay him either. It’s a small moment, but one that leads to a bigger turning point later in the episode.
When J is brought back to his grandmother’s place, we get a glimpse at the life she and her sons are living. There’s a pool, nice cars, plenty of TVs, and money lying around the house. It seems like they’re living the dream, especially compared to the relative squalor J was used to, but it’s clear that everything’s not exactly on the up-and-up. Still, J’s uncles set him up in a room, bring him a TV, and give him some money to buy new shoes.
As it turns out, J’s extended family are a bunch of criminals, mostly running robbery jobs. Smurf’s in charge and her boys do the grunt work. Smurf wants to bring J into the fold for the next operation, which is set to go down in a few days, but her boys aren’t so sure. They don’t know a thing about J and aren’t sure if they can trust him.
Still, the uncles are trying to make J feel at home, in their own twisted, criminally inclined way. They take him surfing, where they intentionally piss off other surfers before getting J to pull a gun and show that he’s manly enough, that he can hold his own with the big boys. J is clearly reluctant, but what choice does he have?
Back at home, J discovers the room he’s staying in isn’t exactly his. It belonged to Pope (Shawn Hatosy), another one of Smurf’s sons, who was sent to prison for three years for robbing a bank. He’s back home now and not entirely excited to see J in his room. The feeling seems mutual. J is wary of the man and so is Smurf, who’s fairly reserved for someone whose boy just got out of prison.
When J isn’t spending time being slightly mystified and terrified of his uncles, he’s hanging out with his girlfriend, Nicky. After some foreplay that J isn’t into (ya know, because of the whole dead-mom thing), they start talking about his mom’s death and where he’s living. As the episode progresses, it’s hinted that Nicky’s about to get roped into this criminal lifestyle alongside J, if she’s not careful.
NEXT: New, stolen…same difference (read more at the source … )
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom  > Season 01 > Promotional & Episodic Photography > 1.01 – Pilot
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom  > Season 01 > Episode Screencaptures > 1.01 – Pilot
MAXIM.COM – Not everyone can get away with playing a viking. You need to be rugged, bearded, aggressive, and an all-around BAMF. Luckily enough for Ben Robson, he fit in with all those qualities—and then some.
After blindly shipping off to New York from London with a buddy and few bags in tow, Ben found his day-to-day life transitioning from sports at college to studying scripts and performance art.
While he may not have had much recognition before traveling stateside, Robson quickly landed a big time role as Kalf on History Channel’s Vikings. Fortunately, this Aaron-Taylor Johnson lookalike found it easy to embody the greatest travelers and explorers of our time.
“It was obviously a very different time compared to how we live now,” Ben tells Maxim. “We cherish life so much and the Vikings looked forward to a great death on the battlefield so they could be recognized by the gods and be sent to Valhalla—especially Odin. They became great warriors to give themselves the best opportunity to achieve this. That insight gave me a good place to start, and then the beard came later!”
His latest role has him transitioning from life as Norse Viking to the sandy SoCal beach vibes of Oceanside, California in Animal Kingdom. TNT’s latest indie film-inspired crime drama follows 17-year old ‘J’ who finds himself living with the Cody family, a criminal clan led by Ellen Barkin. Ben takes on the character of Craig, the rambunctious middle child and most loyal who usually finds himself acting much more than thinking.
“Craig is an adrenaline junky that’s always looking for that next fix or high,” Ben said of his character. “I trained with motocross bikes in the Mojave desert in California with the stunt coordinators on the show. I would push myself to take on bigger steeper hills and do them faster and faster each time to recreate that rush which Craig lives for. To play such an uninhibited character has been really freeing for me both personally and in my work.”
Find out if Ben’s switch from swords and shields to surf swells and board shorts suits him well when Animal Kingdom premieres June 14th on TNT.
Robson spoke with Maxim about surviving a zombie apocalypse, owning a good watch, and what’s next.
What is one movie that really enjoy but your friends always make fun of you for?
It’s been a while, but I used to have Finding Nemo constantly on repeat in my room during my first year at university. If I didn’t have the movie on, my TV had an aquarium setting with Nemo and all his mates swimming around that was on all day and night.
What would be your weapon of choice in a zombie apocalypse?
Well not very long if we are going by the old Call of Duty standards. I think my friend and I managed to pass six stages. I chose the worst guns that constantly ran out of ammo while I was trying to save my buddy! I’m pretty sure that I tried every weapon in the game to survive and failed horribly. So maybe I’d choose a bomb or explosives. Or maybe I could train with Call of Duty until I felt like I was ready to try something a little smaller!
What is the one item that every guy must have in his wardrobe?
A great watch. I think it says a lot about who is wearing it. I like the history behind watches, there’s just something about holding time on your wrist that says a lot more than checking your smartphone.
You’re on a 10 hour flight—who do you want sitting next to you and why?
Winston Churchill. They don’t really breed men like that anymore. I would be fascinated to hear his outlook on life first hand over a couple of drinks. Not sure he’d appreciate a ten hour flight with no cigars though.
Your about to get into a fight – what song comes on as part of your personal soundtrack?
Probably ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ – Prodigy.
What’s one thing a guy should never do when he’s out with a woman?
Start chatting up another one!
What’re two things that you don’t know how to do that you probably should know how to do?
Skateboarding and working out percentages. Which has been a struggle when sorting the tip at the end of a bill in the states!
What’s next for you?
Hopefully work on more great material and interesting characters, and later down the line, I would like to get behind the camera at some point.