Rake is an Australian produced drama series that has aired three seasons already. When it was thought the series had run its course, it was picked up for a fourth season with eight episodes on the network channel ABC. That fourth season’s first episode premiered on May 19, 2016 to the delight of fans everywhere. Although there had been an American produced series of the same name by the same creator as the Australian version, with Greg Kinnear (As Good As It Gets and Heaven Is For Real) heading up the lead role, the thirteen episode series never did get a chance to take hold. With the introduction of the Australian version to the American public, we are seeing a very different reaction. The original series was created by Peter Duncan (Unfinished Sky and Children of the Revolution), Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge and Van Helsing), and Charles Waterstreet (Prisoners Of The Sun and The Marsupials: Howling III).
@Rake is based on a highly intelligent criminal defense barrister, or lawyer as they are known by in America, that pretty much has a death wish. His aptitude to self-destructive behavior lands him in more hot water than they do anything else. The title character Cleaver Greene is superbly portrayed by Richard Roxburgh, who as mentioned above is also a co-creator of the series. Even though the lead character in #Rake comes off as a complete scoundrel, it is often overlooked what an emotional, heartfelt side he has to him. True, he is a brilliant attorney, but he is also an individual who to his dismay experiences that which surrounds him in brilliant and drastic extremes, and that right there might be his whole problem in a nutshell. He continually self-sabotages, and comes off as one of those types who will never let himself “be” happy. Let’s take a look at what I mean, shall we? He totally screwed up his marriage to his wife, Wendy, and he is the world’s worst role model for his son. Add to that the fact he goes and falls in love with his fellow office worker, and he can’t seem to leave the booze and drugs alone. Rounding it all out is the fact that he continues to disappoint family, and sleeps with his best friend’s wife. If that isn’t the very definition of a #Rake, I don’t know what is.
For all his flaws, Cleaver is consistent on one thing, and one thing only—his job. A job that involves helping terrible people pull one over on the justice system, and Cleaver is very good at what he does. One can’t help but wonder if the reason Cleaver is so good at what he does is because he actually believes in the system, in the letter of the law—he truly believes in justice. Sure, he breaks every rule he can, and yes, he does consort with the very types that he defends. But, underneath it all, down deep, he believes even the lowest most heinous criminal deserves their day in court. And, no matter his faults, the one thing Cleaver wants, more than anything, is to be good, not the @Rake that he is.
Rake currently shows with a very respectable 8.7 out of 10 on the IMDB site, with nothing to be found on either the Metacritic or the Rotten Tomatoes sites. The viewers are favorable towards this series, and cite their liking of Cleaver, the main character, for that favorability. The general consensus is that the series recognizes that people can be dysfunctional in their private lives and still excel in their pubic professional lives. In this recognition the audience appreciates that, although it could go the other way, the series writers do not choose lecture on this very subject. Something the viewers state as a refreshing approach to today’s television. They like that Rake can be their guilty pleasure that they can enjoy to its fullest, and not feel back about it in the morning.
Having aired the final episode of its fourth season on July 9, 2016, there is no official word confirming or denying the renewal or cancellation of this series. In fact, the series is listed as being on hiatus, with its fate to be decided. If the current ratings on the IMDB site, along with the viewer and critic reviews are any indications, then chances are very good for a season five.
Will Rake return for a fifth season? If so, will Cleaver continue to sabotage his own happiness? And what about the love in his life? Will he find a way to mess that all up as well?
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