Bad re­mark raises Rake ex­pec­ta­tions

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

ITHINK Richard Roxburgh needs to stop say­ing they used Break­ing Bad as their model for Rake. Or maybe watch Break­ing Bad. You’ve seen it— what the hell is he talk­ing about? Rake doesn’t start un­til Thurs­day but you would’ve seen the ads. And OK, let’s say you haven’t— Richard Roxburgh does not play a high-grade drug man­u­fac­turer who works for a Mex­i­can car­tel. He is not sta­bly mar­ried with deep sub­ur­ban roots. He does not have ter­mi­nal can­cer. But, you know, this is just fur­ni­ture. They’re not the things Richard Roxburgh would be talk­ing about in Break­ing Bad. Or I don’t imag­ine they are, I’mnot a mind reader.

But I’mguess­ing he and the other Rake cre­ators, bar­ris­ter and prob­a­bly self-de­scribed rake if you asked him Charles Wa­ter­street and writer-di­rec­tor Peter Dun­can, liked the rogue side of Wal­ter White. I hate the word rogue. It’s kind of past it. You re­ally only ever hear it now if some­body’s been eaten by a crocodile.

Cleaver Greene is a rogue. And how he re­sem­bles Wal­ter White I’myet to fig­ure out. I felt like a pate goose watch­ing this, and Rake was the fun­nel forc­ing all avail­able fod­der down my gul­let in the short­est time pos­si­ble. And this is why it should never be men­tioned in the vicin­ity of Break­ing Bad. Wal­ter White is lead­ing a mul­ti­lay­ered du­plic­i­tous life, lies stacked on top of one an­other that were shown to us over the course of many episodes. Within the open­ing min­utes of Rake we know Cleaver Greene is a guy who owes money, uses pros­ti­tutes and blows his nose on his shirt. Like most 50-year-old bar­ris­ters prob­a­bly. So nat­u­rally women can’t get enough of him. Is it the shirt as tis­sue thing, cos that’s hot, or is it be­cause he looks like Richard Roxburgh?

I re­ally wish the writ­ers had had the con­fi­dence to let us find out things about Cleaver Greene on our own. Be­cause once they get over their show­boat­ing— which is em­bar­rass­ing for them any­way, be­cause Cleaver is a to­tal light­weight— the se­ries looks like set­tling into a solid le­gal drama with some nice by­play among the var­i­ous re­la­tion­ships go­ing on around the place. It doesn’t feel very fresh though. It might be de­lib­er­ate. I hope so. I’mhop­ing we’ll get to the end and find Cleaver’s been dead the whole time. That’d cheer me up.

Rake, ABC1, Thurs­day, 8.30pm

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