In the last week Kevin and I have finished "Underbelly" (the 13 part series about the Melbourne gangland murders of the 1990's and early 2000's) and "Chopper" (a movie about another Australian bad guy, Mark "Chopper" Reed.) We enjoyed both: "Underbelly" was both an excursion into Australian television (which, despite having lived here for over 2 years (over 3 for Kevin) we've never watched) and an OK story. "Chopper" was an excellent movie about a very unusual and disturbingly amusing character. You know. The kind of amusement you only feel when you are very far removed from the actual events and people.
So, Australian TV. I'm not sure I can put my finger on the exact difference(s), but (on the basis of watching a single progam series, mind you) there is a palpably obvious dinstiction between American and Australian TV. You can definately turn off the audio and still recognize that this is not a product of NBC or HBO. People are doing Australian things- like eating and DRINKING outdoors- around the barbie, hanging clothes out to dry and driving on the left side of the street. There is, also, something different about the editing - particularly scenes involving cars and car chases. And, in "Underbelly", at least, it takes lots and lots of bullets to kill a person. This may be historically accurate or it may be an artistic decision- or both. Maybe Australians are just really poor shots.