Rake

richard-roxburgh-adrienne-pickering-rake
Cleaver Green, hearing specialist.

Egocentric Sydney defence barrister Cleaver Greene (Richard Roxburgh), the eponymous garden tool (as he’d probably call himself), has a dog-eared charm, a way with words and a lust for life – where “life” means sex, cocaine, gambling etc etc. He keeps his head above water – or at least the sludge at the bottom of the New South Wales legal barrel – by keeping thugs, cannibals, bestialists and ideally himself out of prison.

But he occasionally lets his conscience get the better of him and manoeuvres truly nasty clients into a custodial sentence. He also enjoys sticking hypocrisy up the clacker of state politicians of every stripe and outsmarting the rich and powerful, which means he’s usually being beaten up or sued. So yes: classic antihero, and a custom-made vehicle for the weather-worn Roxburgh.

This is arguably the best and certainly the wittiest TV drama to come out of Australia, thanks to brilliant scripts by creator-producer-writers Andrew Knight and Peter Duncan. It’s also a particular joy for anyone’s who’s lived in Sydney, both for location-spotting and its skewering of the city’s sense of self-importance. 10/10

Four seasons available on Netflix.

 

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