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Rake (Australia)

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So I watched the US adaptation with Greg Kinnear while it was very briefly on Fox.  But I recall people who had seen the Aussie version saying the original was better.

On RottenTomatoes it gets rave reviews, though I'm not sure it's been reviewed very widely outside of Australia and maybe some UK papers.

I found that Acorn TV has all 5 season available for streaming.  My public library has an arrangement with RBDigital which can give out 7-day access to Acorn TV.  I used it to watch season 5 of Line of Duty (seasons 1-4 are on Hulu).

So I did a 7-day checkout.

This show is brilliant, particularly Cleaver Green, the main character played by Richard Roxburgh.  He's definitely more suited to this role than Kinnear, as a guy who can effortlessly troll and mock.

For instance in S01E02, he has to defend a woman who seduced a juror who convicted her daughter in a murder case.  The defendant wants to go to jail, to become a martyr and bring a lot of adverse publicity against the state.  The prosecution doesn't want to imprison her so they fix the trial to have a single mother be the judge and a jury of all women.

Green goes on and starts mocking women's roles and talks about how his defendant had her daughter as the result of a one-night stand in New Zealand and he does an hilarious Kiwi accent.  The goal is to offend both the judge and the jury to convict by offending them.

As book and street smart as Green is, his life is a mess, heavily in debt to loan sharks and his main relationship since being divorced is the heart of gold hooker whom he had been seeing regularly.  Missy then tries to go legit, going back to law school and then also starting a relationship with one of his legal peers.

Green also starts sleeping with his defendant and so he careens from one disaster to another.  He lives in a more gritty part of Sydney, which I've never seen.  I do recognize some scenes filmed in the CBD, particularly around Hyde Park.

 

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Your public library may give you access to Hoopla which also has the Australian series available for checkout. You can check out each episode separately. I've watched the first two so far and I like it.

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Mine has some deal with RBDigital.  So I have a login for my county library, then a login for RBDigital, and finally a login for Acorn, which is only active during the checkout period.

But the Acorn app. works well with my Apple TV or Chromecast, in different rooms.

 

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Dialogue is so cracking.

In S01e03 (R v Dana) Cleaver sleeps with his law partners wife.

He goes to his ex-wife to unburden himself from the guilt.  He explains to her that he’s learned that chimps and humans are almost genetically the same but the only difference is that humans have 1.3% genes which lets them program DVD players.

Meanwhile he explains the mating habits of the chips, how they’re polygamists.

Then says he must have more in common with chimps than the average humans.

Later, his partner’s wife tells Barney that there is another man, but doesn’t say who it is.  Barney says he locked himself in the study, listened to Diamond.

Cleaver asks if he isn’t sure his wife isn’t leaving him because of his musical taste. 😄

 

Whatever his failings as a man he can talk up a storm, including in this episode, pretty much getting a polygamist off.

Other thing surprising was that in the credits, this episode was directed by Rachel Ward.  Yes that Rachel Ward.  She apparently transitioned to behind the camera, though she only directed two episodes of Rake according to IMDB.

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But the Acorn app. works well with my Apple TV or Chromecast, in different rooms.

For anyone else reading here who can use Hoopla, it also works with Chromecast. I cast from an Android tablet using the Hoopla app and it works great.

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Just watched S01 E05, R v Chandler.

A. Why would anyone do that?
B. Why would you record yourself doing it?
C. Why would you keep a copy of the recording?
D. Why would you be walking around with the recording on your person?

Dogs can't consent. Not sure why the show wanted to make that seem okay and just another kink. And sorry but I don't equate eating meat, horseracing, or lab testing on animals with bestiality. (And WTF is going on in Australia that this would be the topic of a regular dramedy?)

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A lot of the cases they have are sensational, ripped from the tabloid headlines.

The very first case was about a cannibal.  I guess it's part of the satire, how corrupt the system is that Cleave gets these cases yet is buddy-buddy with the prosecutors and politicians in Sydney.

But Cleave seems to win most of his cases, even though he's poor.  In one of the episodes they estimate he earned about $238k in a year.  But he's blown it all on gambling and drugs and hasn't paid taxes, which is why he's in trouble with the tax authorities.

I'm in season 3.  Just about every big Aussie star, known to US and foreign audiences, have had a guest or cameo role.  For instance Cate Blanchett.

I've never seen the main cast in anything else though.  The guy who plays Cleave is great, perfect for the character.

 

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Hoopla's hard though because one episode is one rental.   Acorn gives you seven days as many episodes as you want.  More libraries have Hoopla but if you are lucky enough to have an Acorn Library it is the better choice.  My library had Acorn.  And after 7 days you can just check out another 7 days.   

I liked the first seasons of Rake a lot.   But I thought the last season was pretty far off the rails.

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Through 3 seasons now.

They finally show the Harbour!

But it's probably a composited shot of Cleave being carried along by that hot air balloon, over the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

 

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Still in season 1 because I'm not binge watching it. My only take away from episode six (R v Langhorn; controversial radio talk show host charged with inciting racist violence) is: OMG, why would anyone put peanut butter on a steak? Please tell me that's not an Australian thing. 😝

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I'm finishing up season 4.  The plots and stories become a little outlandish.

Cleave definitely finds adventures instead of being a boring lawyer in a big city.

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The plots did get convoluted as the series went on.  Became a senator, which is kind of farcical for such a flawed, undisciplined guy.  Brilliant but too easily distracted by the partying and gambling to really get anywhere.

But the joke is that there are many such corrupted and flawed people in the Australian legal and political ranks?

Not exactly a glowing portrayal of Aussie society.

Then again, it mocked the US politicians too, a bit in that last season.  US Secretary of Defense is named Potemkin?  Otherwise no other overt jokes about Putin having control over a certain US politician.

Every character comes across flawed.  Wendy married that drug pushing guy who was going to shoot his way out of trouble and then was involved with the sociopath political consultant lesbian.

Then one of the Australian prime minister had those plumbers killed.

Maybe if I was familiar with Australian politics, I would recognize characters like Cal and other "polys" as being caricatures of real life Australian politicians?

 

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