I remember binge watching the first series on BBC iplayer when it first came out over here in the UK and thoroughly enjoying it. I loved learning about a culture and people that I knew relatively little about. So when I saw the next series had been released on iplayer, I hopped right on it. This is my review of Cleverman series 2:
The series takes place sometime after the events of the series 1 finale that saw the inhabitants of the Zone being taken by the CA. It does not look good for them as Koen is dead (or is he?) and the rest of them, who weren’t shot, were being escorted to some unknown location. However, they are saved by an unknown Hairy and the majority escape to this abandoned building in an attempt to avoid capture. Meanwhile, Koen who (surprise, surprise) is not dead, finds himself in the custody of Slade. He escapes but without Nulla Nulla, which gives Slade the opportunity to study it, to what end, no one knows. The rest of the series breaks into many different yet connected plot lines such as Koen coming to terms with his abilities whilst trying to help the people from the Zone, Slade studying the Hairies and Nulla Nulla for reasons unknown, Waaru realising his politcal ambitions whilst enacting his plan for Human and Hairy integration which involves genocide and Jarli, a new Hairy character from the Bindawu tribe, fighting for change in his tribe.
Firstly, the characters are the best part of the series with special mention going to Koen, Slade, Waaru and Linda. Regarding Koen (Hunter Page-Lochard), it was nice to see the character almost fully matured and accepting of his role as the Cleverman. In series 1, he acted like a selfish, whiny and immature child who refused to take responsibility for his actions. However, since the altercation with the CA in the finale, he has changed into a leader; a person that the audience can root for. Furthermore, the way Koen’s powers were showcased were visually impressive. They managed to make them look mystical and interesting without detracting from the realism of the series. Slade (Iain Glen) is still a shady character in this season. I do not think the audience ever really know what is going through his head at any given moment during the season. I would love to say that the character is completely evil but he has moments that show that he is not a complete monster. Although, what kind of man experiments on his wife that way?? It was poetic that ultimately he died at the hands of the person he loved the most- especially since the guy had so many enemies that could have taken him out.
Furthermore, Waaru (Rob Collins) was clearly in his element this season. Finally, he had become the ‘big man’ he always wanted to be. His plan to get the Hairies to integrate by changing their DNA was absolutely shocking! How could a man who used to be a respected community figure for Hairies and Humans alike in the Zone, come up with such a sickening idea? Worse still, how can a government ever support such a scheme?
Moreover, Linda (Deborah Mailman) was my favourite female character in the series. When she was onscreen, she always had an impact on me, particularly her scenes with Koen after it is discovered that she killed his dad and his mum by ramming her car into theirs.
Another thing that I liked about this season was the fact that there was a human rights lawyer who confronted the newly appointed Minister Marion Frith (Rachael Blake) on her and her countries treatment of the Hairies. One thing that bothered me about season 1 was the lack of involvement from foreign countries and entities like the UN. In a world where worldwide cooperation is common place and social media allows for the swift diffusion of information across the globe, I cannot understand how the Australian goverment’s treatment of the Hairies had not become a worldwide issue. In my mind, this did not make any sense. So, when the human rights lawyer turned up it felt like the show had fixed a huge plot hole.
In addition, the introduction of the character Jarli was interesting as it managed to answer questions I did not even know that I had: Are all of the Hairies living with the human in secret or in the Zone? If not, then where are the rest of them? For the most part, I liked his character. His curiousity and desire for change were understandable, however, he also seemed somewhat selfish and too stuck in his principles which made him incapable of understanding other people.
If I had to choose something that I did not like it would have to be the character Audie (Taylor Ferguson). Honestly, it seemed to me like character was introduced to be solely a love interest for Koen as she did little else in the series. In fact, she reminded a lot of Zendaya’s character in Spiderman: Homecoming. In both cases the characters did not do a lot, however, I get the sense that they both will be more important and have more important roles in the next installments of their franchises/series.
Overall, I really enjoyed the second series of Cleverman and I really, really hope that they get another- especially since they ended the series the way they did.
Rating: 4/5 stars
So what did think of the series? Leave a comment below 🙂
Featured Image taken from Wikipedia