Third-episode verdict: Rake (US) (Fox)

The BarrometerA Barrometer rating of 4

In the US: Thursdays, 9/8c, Fox
In the UK: The Universal Channel.

Time to cast our eyes over the first three episodes of Rake, Fox’s lacklustre attempt to remake Australia’s popular show about a rogue lawyer who’s gone off the rails a bit (Richard Roxburgh as the eponymous Rake) by diluting it down to the point of non-existence and casting Greg Kinnear as the not-eponymous Keegan Deane. 

This is what it should look like:

This is what it actually looks like:

As a show, it just sort of exists. It’s not especially fun. It’s got almost nothing interesting to say about the legal system. Rake’s Deane’s flaws, including gambling addiction, aren’t really terrible and no one really does anything to him (goodies or baddies) as a result of the thefts, deceptions, etc, he commits, so they just seem like harmless quirks. Greg Kinnear is woefully miscast as Deane, not having the charm or ability to portray the darkness of character needed for the role.

So all it is is 40 minutes or so of Kinnear running around being mildly annoying to people, mildly unreliable and mildly incompetent as a lawyer. Despite the occasional guest actress (Alex Breckenridge in episode two) or guest star (Tony Hawks in episode thee) doing their best to enliven proceedings, they’re always better than the show itself and nothing about any regular aspect of the show makes you want to watch it, unless you’re desperate for a screen saver on your TV and can’t be bothered to stump up for one of those fireplace DVDs.


Barrometer rating: 4
Rob’s prediction: Will be cancelled before the end of the season

  • benjitek

    It's unfortunate that those who see this first, without ever hearing of the original Australian, will probably never give the real version a try. The US version is such a contrast to the originality, humor, and great storytelling done right that is prevalent in the Aussie one.

  • It's a shame that Australian TV doesn't get exported much these days, unless it's soap operas. I can only think of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Ja'mie Private School Girl and Kerry Packer's War having made it to the UK recently.

  • Mark Carroll

    The Doctor Blake Mysteries!

  • Oh yes! The cursed darkness of BBC Daytime hides it from my sight. Although I think it's starting on Alibi soon

  • Oh yes! The cursed darkness of BBC Daytime hides it from my sight. Although I think it's starting on Alibi soon

  • benjitek

    Not much of a soap opera fan myself, but I was strongly addicted to A Place to Call Home 😉 Suds done right — loved the ending of series 1…

  • bob

    Austalia's Rake was recently added to Netflix in the US. Episode one was highly enjoyable.

    The main character is called Cleaver Green. Not sure whether he “admits” to a different first name in future episodes but as far as I could tell, he wasn't called Rake by anyone.

  • benjitek

    Cancelled — hopefully something better will replace it:

  • Hopefully. Maybe Gotham. Fox's lack of pilot season is going to make it hard to guess