Tuesday, June 14 is the premier of TNT’s Animal Kingdom, a bold new drama starring Emmy® and Tony® winner Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love, This Boy’s Life, Ocean’s Thirteen), Scott Speedman (The Strangers, The Vow), Shawn Hatosy (Southland, Reckless), Ben Robson (Vikings, Dracula: The Dark Prince), Jake Weary (Pretty Little Liars, It Follows), Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders, An Inspector Calls), Daniella Alonso (Revolution) and Molly Gordon (Love the Coopers, Ithaca).
The series centers on 17-year-old Joshua “J” Cody (Cole), who moves in with his freewheeling relatives in their Southern California beach town after his mother dies of a heroin overdose. Heading up the family is J’s estranged grandmother, Janine “Smurf” Cody (Barkin), whom he’s been shielded from for years. She is orbited by Baz (Speedman), her relatively level-headed right-hand man whom she adopted when he was a teenager; Smurf’s eldest son, the quietly menacing, mentally disturbed Pope (Hatosy), who has just gotten out of prison; her tough, hyperactive, recreational drug-using middle son, Craig (Robson); and the troubled and suspicious Deran (Weary), the “baby” of the family. Also prominent are Nicky Belmont (Gordon), J’s steady girlfriend, and Catherine Ortiz (Alonso), Baz’s de facto wife and the mother of their 4-year-old daughter, Lena.
On Wednesday, June 8th the show’s creators threw a screening bash that was equal to the party level the characters on the show are notorious for hosting.
The screening kicked off with a red carpet photo opportunity and was immediately followed up with a celebration at the The Rose Room in Venice Beach. Finger food, beer and wine were offered as Animal Kingdom played on the televisions throughout the restaurant as well as in a large screening room with plenty of seats for everyone to enjoy. The crowd was filled with actors, producers, friends and show contributors and sponsors.
After the screening, the party moved to a beautiful outdoor venue behind the restaurant. As you entered the party, you walked threw a room set up like a jewelry store that had been robbed. Glass cases were shattered and all but a few jewelry items were missing. Leather gloves were thrown askew throughout the room, a few biker helmets were left behind, and a true sense that a heist had just taken place was evident.
On the exterior, where the party took place, the DJ was backed up by a drummer, making for a rich musical experience. The bars packed with people who seemed more like long time friends as opposed to co-workers. Photo booths, photographers, mini movie makers and other fun and playful entertainment was sprinkled throughout the party. The center piece of the event was a life sized skate park with boarders and bikers wowing the crowd with their incredible stunts.
The production level and talent on this show is unequaled, and it is sure to be an instant hit. Cast and crew have put 110% into this one, and the comradery among the co-workers is a so apparent it makes the family aspect on the show completely believable. This is a show that will be on everyone’s watch list this summer.