Bad remark raises Rake expectations
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