This is what Australian television can be. Funny, clever, challenging and generally great. Of course, now America has taken the format and are making their own which could mean the concept is destroyed, but we will always have Richard Roxburgh. (They’ve got Greg Kinnear. He may save it)
So, Cleaver Greene (Richard Roxburgh) is a Sydney lawyer who enjoyed prostitutes, cocaine and gambling. He is regularly beaten up by those he owes money to, and revels in taking the most unwinnable and unusual cases. In the first season, he defends a cannibal (Hugo Weaving), a shock jock accused of causing a race riot (Rachel Griffiths) and a couple enjoying a very, very close relationship with their family dog (Sam Neill and Heather Mitchell). Cleaver also has an interesting relationship with his ex-wife and son, a challenging love affair with an ex-prostitute who is dating a lawyer hell-bent on destroying Cleaver and is trying to find a way to reconcile with his ill father. There is just so much to the show.
It says a lot for the marvellous writing and excellent plots that the show has attracted such big names for guest appearances. There have been two seasons so far for Rake, and a third is currently in production. I enjoyed the first a lot more than the second, and I think it is because the court cases were stand-alone. In the second season, there were more plots which carried on over several episodes and less of the titillating excitement of the first. Mind you, given where the second season ended, I cannot wait to see where they take it.