I made the mistake of watching the first episode of the American version of this marvelous Australian series. DON’T! As usual the Americans omit all the good stuff that the Australian version has (literary, philosophical references, superior acting, political nuance and satire, character development) . (I won’t go off on a rant about this, but I do need to vent a bit, so bear with me.) I could cite–and I’ll bet you can too– the list of movie, after movie, series after series where the American “translation” falls flat, dumbs down the dialogue, script, etc. Okay, that off my chest, to return to Australian “Rake”, recommended by my friend Ellen. It’s terrific: funny, silly at times, intelligent, literate dialogue (e.g.off-hand references to Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, T.S. Eliot). The plot is rarely predictable and provides an inside and often amusing and satirical look at the Australian legal system. The central character is Cleave, a dissolute barrister with a “flexible” morality; yet within that framework he is able to demonstrate the absurdity of much of the legal system (and society) with its own convoluted morals. It’s outrageous and usually unpredictable. It has characters you love to hate and others you love in spite of their human failings. And with five seasons and a dearth of good stuff to watch, it is my current go-to viewing. Coming up soon: “My Mister”, a South Korean series with rave reviews from critics and recommended by my friend Janine. If you don’t for some reason like “Rake” you can try this one.