Evidence heard at the NSW ICAC's inquiry into the granting of mining exploration licences in the state has in turn been shocking, entertaining, eye-opening and disturbing.
It was certainly never boring, as members of the public who lined up daily for a seat in the inquiry attested.
On Thursday, the corruption inquiry into former Labor minister Ian Macdonald and ALP kingmaker Eddie Obeid and their involvement in the granting of NSW coal exploration licences in the Bylong Valley finally finished hearing from witnesses.
For more than three months the Independent Commission Against Corruption has probed whether Mr Macdonald rigged a 2008 tender process for a licence in the upper Hunter.
Mr Obeid and his family stood to gain as much as $100 million from the then mine minister's actions, the ICAC heard.
The inquiry has been one of the hottest tickets in town.
Each day, spectators packed ICAC's public gallery as members of the state's political and business elite, including the perennially grinning Mr Macdonald and a somewhat more crotchety Mr Obeid, were grilled on the witness stand by the commission's lead lawyer, Geoffrey Watson, SC.
So long was the queue outside the commission on some days that court officers issued dockets so spectators could visit the bathroom without losing their spot.
Some were so concerned they would miss out on a seat inside they brought their own deckchairs.
Those who did get seats rarely went home disappointed.
They heard spectacular claims that the Obeids had benefited from corruption in the Bylong Valley at a level not seen since the days of the Rum Corps.
Mr Macdonald told the inquiry it was "fantasy" to claim that he rorted a coal bid for the financial benefit of the Obeids.
Eddie Obeid, meanwhile, denied any involvement in "shonky" business dealings, insisting he had little or no knowledge of millions of dollars flowing through his family trust's loan accounts.
"I don't believe my family does anything shonky," he told the inquiry.
In exchange for their stake in Cascade Coal, the Obeids have received $30 million.
Mr Kinghorn poetically likened the Obeids to a "dead cat" that had a "smell" even after they had been removed from the deal.
For the public gallery, some of the lesser known players were the best value.
Rocco Triulcio, an Obeid family associate, denied being part of a sham purchase of a farm in the coal rich area for the Obeids, but said he'd only visited it once in four years and didn't know what it had been used for.
He did know "there was a lot of grass" on it.
"That's for sure," he told the inquiry.
His brother Rosario also didn't know much about the farm.
"You wouldn't have known whether they ran goats or rats or cows there, would you?" Mr Watson, asked him.
"I'm assuming they didn't run rats," Mr Triulcio replied, to which Commissioner David Ipp quipped, "Not four-legged ones."
Phone taps always provided explosive moments at the inquiry.
In one secretly intercepted call played at the ICAC, Greg Jones, a Cascade investor and friend of Mr Macdonald, described the Obeids as "paranoid idiots" and "off with the f***ing pixies".
In another taped call, Cascade investor Richard Poole was heard to say he'd "made some wild assumptions, but we want money fast and we don't give a f*** how we get there."
For regular ICAC attendees one of the star attractions became the commission's counsel, Mr Watson.
The ginger-haired lawyer was indefatigable, arriving hours before the day's proceedings and working through lunch with his junior counsel, Nicholas Chen, in a small alcove at the back of the court.
Mr Watson questioned witnesses doggedly, even if, in the case of Mr Macdonald, it meant keeping him on the stand for four gruelling days.
In one of his most memorable moments, Mr Watson produced a copy of an atlas that Mr Macdonald said he used to decide where the controversial Mt Penny tenement would be located.
After revealing the atlas to the room, Mr Watson labelled Mr Macdonald's claim of finding Mt Penny in it as "a load of hooey".
Another exploration licence issued by Mr Macdonald, at Doyles Creek, is due to be examined by ICAC in an inquiry codenamed Operation Acacia, to begin on March 18.
It will be run by Peter Braham, SC.
On Thursday, Mr Watson closed his thick file of notes on the inquiry for the final time.
"That's all there is, there ain't no more, commissioner," he said to Commissioner Ipp.
But with the commission set to hand down findings at the end of July, things could be far from over for some of the main players.