Not to be mistaken for the Greg Kinnear one season flop, the original Rake that airs in Australia is a hilarious show about a very mixed up attorney. He’s self-destructive, egotistical, but strangely very good at his job. Even though he can never seem to fix his own life, criminal lawyer Cleaver Greene defends the seemingly indefensible with some clever and humorous help from his friend and DUI lawyer in Tacoma. He represents cannibals, bigamists, and the many other scoundrels of society. He can win their cases for them even when all hope seems lost, but his personal life is an absolute mess. His ex-wife is his psychiatrist and he falls in love with a prostitute he’s been seeing for five years.
This guy is the definition of dysfunctional.
Rake is truly a black comedy at its finest. The first episode opens with an economist who is accused of murdering a man and then cannibalizing him. The economist looks completely set to be executed for murder, but Cleaver Greene might have a few tricks up his sleeve in order to keep the insane man from getting the needle.
After the first episode, I knew I was hooked. The topics discussed were pretty dark, but they were so well punctuated by moments of dry humor. I find Cleaver Greene to be an anti-hero I can actually root for unlike say, House from House M.D. who was completely unbearable. Greene is oddly relatable as he is an everyday man who is good at his job and just trying to make it through the day. There are many times, however, that he doesn’t do well at things. There is a messiness to his life that we can all relate to. We can all relate to that feeling of trying to keep our lives together, but never quite making it. Greene can be a very selfish bastard, so it’s extremely funny when you see Greene get his comeuppance for some of his more ruthless deeds.
The American version aired on network television and was extremely tame compared to the more hard-edged Australian version. This show does have a lot of sex, nudity and foul language so viewer’s discretion is advised. However, Rake is damn good television if you enjoy the more adult content.
Although the show has been on for four seasons, only the first two seasons have been uploaded to Netflix. Hopefully, the other two seasons will be uploaded soon as well.
Available on Netflix
Time Commitment: 2 Seasons
– Janiera Eldridge
Follow me on Twitter @janieraeldridge