Romper Stomper, Stan’s most controversial TV series is also its most watched.
People are hightailing it to the streaming service to watch the series, which follows the escalating conflict between fictitious alt-right and alt-left groups in Melbourne.
The Stan original series has become the most successful in Stan’s history, recording more viewing in its first 24 hours than any previous premiere. The critically acclaimed drama was also binged heavily with a record number of Stan customers watching all six episodes on New Year’s Day.
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In a way, the series holds up a mirror to the current state of race relations in Melbourne and the underlying racial tensions which are constantly threatening to erupt on the city’s streets.
But if you go into Romper Stomper searching for answers, or for some kind of resolution, you will be left disatisfied.
The series offers little in the way of explaining the motivations behind extremism and it stops short at offering any kind of solution to the brewing tensions.
The Stan series is a remake and serialisation of the 1992 movie of the same name and its original creator, Geoffrey Wright, picks up the story 25 years on.
The 90’s movie focused on Hando (Russell Crowe) and his gang of disenfranchised skinheads who violently targeted Melbourne’s Asian immigrants, specifically the Vietnamese community.
This group was a subculture and they existed on the fringes of society. Their motivations for attacking minority groups were clear – but not justified – they were unemployed, broke, alienated from society, and they blamed all of this on the influx of immigrants.
In the Stan series, we’re introduced to a very different Melbourne.
It’s 2017 and alt-right and alt-left groups are violently clashing on the streets. These kind of sub-cultures and extremist views are no longer hiding the shadows, they’re mainstream.
They’re the focus of current affair shows, talk back radio and Twitter feuds. They’re a part of every day life.
To its detriment, the six-part series mostly focuses on the fictional far-right nationalist group called Patriot Blue. The group is led by Blake (Lachy Hulme) a middle-aged, middle class, Anglo Australian who runs his own business and lives in a large waterfront property.