TL;DR – This is a show that is filled with clever writing, full of compelling characters, interesting stories, and heart you rarely see.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Authenticity, this is something that content creators across the world are
desperate to achieve because it is what modern audiences crave, even if they
don’t quite know what it is. Add to this it is easy for people to notice when
something is out of place when it is something close to them, like the lives of
tradies, or small shop owners, or people living in apartments. So it is a bold
move to set a new drama series in a setting that is deeply familiar and even
bolder when you pull it off with style.
So to set the scene, The Heights
revolves around the people that live in and around a block of apartments called The Tower. While the area around is
starting to rapidly gentrify, The Tower is made up of low socioeconomic
residents just trying to make their lives a little better. One day as everyone
was out enjoying the sunshine with a BBQ and a game of soccer the fire alarm of
The Tower rings out. This causes all kinds of frustrations for the residents
like Hazel (Fiona Press) who have to evacuate when everyone knows it is a false
alarm. When all is sorted, everyone goes back to their lives when a soccer ball
gets kicked into a garden but when Pav (Marcus Graham) goes to collect it he
discovers a newborn baby among the
veggies. Pav an ex-cop runs the baby
straight to the local hospital (it was quicker than waiting for an ambulance) into
the hands of Claudia (Roz Hammond) a doctor that is new to the hospital and
area. Everyone begins wondering whose
baby could it be, but there is a lot on everyone’s plate, like a wake and a closing
of the local pub, starting a new school, finding a new job, and 100% not
telling your mother than you are studying education and not business. Now, from this point onwards, we will
be looking at the season as a whole, or at least the first 16 episodes, so
there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
So Season Two of Cleverman has come, hit us hard, and it’s now over. So we have had some time to think back and contemplate on the overarching themes for the season and how it worked, which is what we are going to do today. So today with our review we will look at how Season Two improved on Season One, look at the central themes and characters, and finally conclude on the importance of Cleverman. Before we start, just a warning that we will be talking about the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS]. Also, this will be looking more broadly at the season, if you what to look at individual episodes, then you can look at our reviews here: Revival, Bindawu, Dark Clouds, Muya, Skin & Borrowed Time.
TL;DR – Indeed everyone is on Borrowed Time, as choices come to a head in the season finale
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So we’ve reached the end of Season Two with the final episode Borrowed Time, and after five weeks of everyone making mistakes, tonight it all comes to a head. At the end of last week’s Skin (review) we had that shocking moment when Charlotte (Frances O’Connor) defending herself and her baby put a scalpel right into Slade’s (Iain Glen) neck, though we didn’t see him die. Now there is one thing you need to know about TV, and that is they are not dead until we see the body, and even then everything is up for grabs. Well, first up tonight not only do we find out, yep he’s dead, but we also find out that he ended up going nowhere in the end, because (and I had forgotten this) he got caught up in the blue wave at the end of Season One. That was a really powerful opener but Borrowed Time doesn’t stop there, and a reminder as we will be talking about the episode as a whole, there are [SPOILERS] ahead. Continue reading →
TL;DR – Today we find out that there are consequences for actions and what happens when you push things too far.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
So we have reached the penultimate episode of Cleverman’s sophomore season and we are starting to get a glimpse of the end game and how it presumes things are about to get significantly worse. So at the end of last week’s Muya (review), things reached a head and finally Koen (Hunter Page-Lochard) stood up to take the mantle of cleverman and you can tell he’s serious because he unlocked his superhero costume, and you only earn the superhero costume when things are about to get real. However, at the end of last week we find many of our characters are in precarious places, Nerida (Jada Alberts) has lost the two girls under her protection, Charlotte (Frances O’Connor) has been kidnapped by Jarli (Clarence Ryan) and her future is still far from being safe, and Alinta (Tamala Shelton) is now trapped in her father Waruu’s (Rob Collins) house, which should be the safest place in the world for her, yet somehow we can’t feel like it is. Now we will be discussing the episode in depth so there may be some [SPOILERS] moving forward. Continue reading →
TL;DR – Relationships and repaired and torn, and for some blackmail is the least of their worries
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So at the end of last week’s episode Dark Clouds (review) we find that Aunty Linda (Deborah Mailman) didn’t just cause Koen’s (Hunter Page-Lochard) parents deaths through negligence, but she was actively trying to kill them, and then Waruu (Rob Collins) just slit Koen’s throat and slapped on some red kryptonite sap from a Melaleuca to stop him from regenerating. Oh boy, was that a lot to take in, and we have had a week to learn what everyone’s fate will be, and tonight’s episode Muya packs all the same punches and more, as we continue our drive to the end of the season. Just a warning, there will be some [SPOILERS] going forward so be careful. Continue reading →
TL;DR – As Season Two continues we start to see where the lines in the sand will be drawn, and characters are starting to take a stand against the coming storm
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So we continue our look at Cleverman’s second season, and after the carnage of Revival (review), we get a couple of episodes to hold our breath … nope, we continue steam rolling through the season with carnage in our wake. So today we will be discussing both Bindawu & Dark Clouds so there may be some spoilers going forward, however, if you want to be careful and have not watched these episodes, then I would suggest avoiding the paragraph on openings and cliff-hangers towards the bottom.
TL;DR – Season 2 opens with a bang, leaves you wanting more, and fearing the worst.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Wow what an opener, I mean we loved Season One of Cleverman, but I don’t think anything prepared us for how this first episode of Season Two was going to play out. So to remind everyone of where we left off last season, Koen (Hunter Page-Lochard) had rallied all the remaining residents of The Zone to fight the coming Containment Authority. His brother Waruu (Rob Collins) rejected his family and his people to stand with Jarrod Slade (Iain Glen) who is trying to unlock Hairy DNA and the power it possesses and that creep probably did something to his wife Charlotte’s (Frances O’Connor) pregnancy. Finally, Araluen (Tasma Walton) was able to escape the brothel she had been imprisoned in after killing the minister in charge. All through the season we were building up to the conflict, Koen was understanding and accepting his role as the Cleverman, and then bang season two opens and Koen is dead in a body bag, and you know nothing is safe anymore. So in our review today we are going to be covering all the aspects of the first episode of Season Two, so there will be [SPOILERS] for those who have not seen it yet. If you have not seen Revival yet, you can watch it easily on ABC IView, or SundanceTV, and you should go do that right now. Continue reading →
TL;DR – Cleverman is revolutionary TV show in many ways, its freshman season was a powerful work of cinema, though not a perfect one.
Score – 4 out of 5 Stars
For those who have not seen the show yet, and you should go fix that, Cleverman is the story of Australia in the not too distant future. Where we lock people up just because they are different or because it is politically convenient for the government to shift the blame on to them, where people have to shed aspects of their cultural identity to try and protect themselves from harm just because they are perceived as being different, and where the government can use the catch-all excuse of ‘national security’ to hide things from the population and to deflect condemnation of the international system. So you know it’s clear that this is fiction because that would never happen in modern Australia… To do my overview of the first season of the series I am probably going to spoil a couple of things, so you have been warned now to only proceed if you have watched the show.