If you love Orphan Black or True Blood or Humans, do yourself a favour and get on board with Cleverman. The first two episodes are on ABC iView, you can get started right now. Come back and read this later.
I don’t write about it much but I am an expert on TV. I mean, I’m not on TV, I just know alot about it. Knowledge gleaned at the coalface of decades of dedicated consumption. And my specialist area is drama. I’ve been binge-watching box sets since 2007.
And Cleverman is good. Not just ‘good for Australia’, whatever that means these days, but Good good. I’m only two episodes in so proper comparisons are impossible but it is original, it is stylish, there is a rich, multi-dimensional story world that we’ve never seen on screen before, it has complex, compelling characters and it has something to say. All those tropes you get tired of in genre drama? Nowhere to be seen. You can’t possibly guess what’s coming next because this is that rare thing, a truly ‘novel’ story world.
I really hope it blows up. A second series has already been commissioned. I hope this helps Ryan Griffen, who wrote the series for his son, Wayne Blair and Leah Purcell, and young stars find a place on the world stage, and make some big bucks. I think it will, it’s class. We Australians should be proud. That’s why I’m beating this drum. Join the parade!
Cleverman is not ‘the first Aboriginal superhero’ according to Koorihistory.com. That was Super Boong (1973) on the skit show Basically Black