Underbelly, true crime and the cultural economy of infamy

Melissa Gregg, Jason Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


By putting the vocabulary of aspiration in the mouths of criminals, and by situating them in the suburbs, Underbelly suggests that ruthless, murderous competition may not be incompatible with the Australian Dream. Exposing a generation's denial of the criminal elements behind ecstasy's fetishized status, it problematizes celebratory accounts of club culture, and suggests dark externalities for the ‘night-time economy’ of our inner cities. As well as connecting country, suburb and city in repressed criminality, by virtue of its casting choices at the very least, the series blurs the lines between ordinariness, celebrity and infamy. It is in these unresolved tensions that Underbelly constitutes a televisual history of Australia's present that countervails the official pieties of the ordinary that characterized the Howard years
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-427
Number of pages17
JournalContinuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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