There’s a moment in S01E05 where three of Cleaver Greene’s past conquests (his ex-wife & now therapist; his mates’s wife in the midst of marital discourse; & his former prostitute who’s now engaged to the lawyer chasing him for his unpaid taxes) are all asleep in his bed in his nasty little Kings Cross flat and all he can do is sit and stare and what sort of mess he’s gotten his life in. It’s a simple shot, but marvellously telling in the life of Richard Roxburgh’s Greene.
I’ve had to play catch up with Rake, because I missed the first ep. I was cynical – you know, he’s not a good lawyer because he’s a bad boy (he likes gambling, sex & drugs a lot), but he’s a really good lawyer underneath his bad boy facade – and yet Rake has suprised me with it’s intelligent scripts, great acting & the occasional set of boobs.
Rake suffers from wonderful casting – Roxburgh as Greene (seen earlier this year as Bob Hawke in Ch10’s telemovie Hawke); Matt Day as “Harry, sorry, David” Potter (the good guy foil to Greene’s outlandishness); Adrienne Pickering as Missy (the former prostitute); Russell Dykstra as Barney Meagher (Greene’s best mate – or was until Cleaver slept with his wife); & Danielle Cormack as Scarlett Meagher (the best mate’s wife undergoing her own moments of crisis). The depth of back story that’s revealed or been revealed as a part of the ‘B’ plot is very good, and ultimately draws you in to love/support/hate these very real & flawed human characters.
The guest cast is impressive too – Sam Neill, Lisa McCune, Noah Taylor, Hugo Weaving, etc. Greene’s grasp of the law well placed to help each of them out of their specific predicament. Mostly.
Everything folds well together to offer some classy new drama at a time when everyone else is is on a break. 6 episodes down, 2 more to go in this season so you’ve still got time to jump onto iView and watch the earlier eps to catch up. It’s heavy on the drama of relationship and not especially heavy on the drama of law (but woven in nicely) – Rake is a series that restores hope in Australian TV’s ability to produce a drama series worthy of our attention.
Well done to the ABC on continually producing cracker tv like this when we least expect it and most need it.
Rake – Thursdays 8:30pm, ABC1
Image/Video sources – ABC.