Rake is outrageous. Cleaver Greene, it's protagonist, has, in a moment of rare perspicacity, called himself a 'fucking fuckwit', which is as close as one can get to what the serial is all about. And we can only find joy in that. Because Cleaver is a clever lawyer, and is shameless, inventive, and the rallying point for all lost causes and souls.
So, his CV includes successful defence of, to name a few, a cannibal, a 'dog-loving' couple (oh I wish I could tell what that means!), a polygamist, a masturbating paparazzi, a criminal with 750 charges of rape, murder, extortion et al, and so on and so forth. And he does his thing with a rare pizzazz and a scruple-less effortlessness.
As a character, Cleaver is a miracle. He's obnoxious, but completely lovable. He is uncontrollable with his basic instincts, is highly successful in pushing away everyone he loves, but is the one everyone in trouble turns to. He is deep trouble himself, but is the beacon for everyone desperately looking for an outre solution.
Needless to say, his personal life is a gargantuan mess. He goes from one affair to another, leaving only anger and despair in his wake. His iffy commitment levels are forever impinging on his work, and his profane-littered litanies in court and off it are a legend of cringe-worthiness.
And to top it all, these are his nearest and dearest - his ex-wife is an ex-but-reconsidering lesbo, he is in love with a prostitute, his son can only fall in love with women much older to him, his secretary is marrying a guy who refuses to have sex with her till they get married, so she has an affair with a colleague who's wife has just had an affair with Cleaver. And this is just for starts!!
After establishing Cleaver and his family and his closest mates and colleagues, the four-seasons masterpiece engages us in his legal battles, his outre and unhinged connivances, and slowly sucks us into his personal life and his struggles with straightforward engagements.
Nothing is simple in Cleaver's books. And what gives the series depth is its clever and continuous commentary on the inequities and contradictions of the legal and political firmament.
It's pretty well established that this serial is a watermark in Australian television. And we can't reiterate enough the blessings of Netflix. The access to unreachable, often unknown, quality serials and documentaries, is a boon like no other!
Catch this boon!!