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Synopsis:

This hit Australian dramedy stars the “effortlessly charming” (Boston Herald) Rodger Corser as Hugh Knight, a brilliant but arrogant heart surgeon forced to give up his high-flying job in Sydney to work as a GP in his rural hometown of Whyhope. In Series 3, Hugh’s probation for his misdeeds is coming to a close, but he has mixed feelings about leaving his budding relationship with hospital boss Penny (Hayley McElhinney, The Babadook).

Then tragedy rocks the Knights, and Hugh learns he has inherited the family farm—along with $11 million in debt. While Hugh’s mother, Meryl (Tina Bursill, Home and Away), and brother, Matt (Ryan Johnson, Rake, Fairly Legal), process their grief in vastly different ways, Matt’s wife, Charlie (Nicole da Silva, Wentworth), receives an unexpected guest that complicates matters. With his family in chaos and his career on the line, Hugh is faced with a difficult choice: return to his glamorous life in Sydney or stay with the people who need him in Whyhope.

The final season of this “ever-sparkling comedic drama” (The Guardian, Australia) tackles the contentious world of politics, with disbarred lawyer Cleaver Greene (Richard Roxburgh) having won an Australian Senate seat on a campaign promise to do nothing. But even Cleaver’s low expectations fall short of the absurd reality, as he contends with a right-wing nemesis (Jane Turner, Kath & Kim), a noxious gas attack believed to be the work of terrorists, and a disastrous visit from the US defense secretary (Anthony LaPaglia, Without a Trace). Can Cleaver outmaneuver his cutthroat colleagues, or will his self-destructive behavior destroy his budding new career?

Featuring biting wit, inedible characters, and sharp social commentary, this “smart, cheeky, and funny” (Newcastle Herald, Australia) series also stars Matt Day (Muriel’s Wedding), Sara Wiseman (A Place to Call Home), Jacek Koman (Jack Irish), Erroll Shand (Mystery Road), Mark Mitchinson (Dear Murderer), and William McInnes (East West 101).

What We Thought:

I’m grouping The Heart Guy and Rake together because they are kind of similar. Both feature alpha type leading men although The Heart Guy isn’t as dramatic (dark) as Rake. I’m a fan of both shows but like Rake more.

The Heart Guy is about a heart surgeon returning home to his small town after some bad behavior. Season 3 sees his probation coming to an end, but Hugh is hit with a family death. He inherits the family farm, loads of debt, opens the new Cardiac Clinic, everyone has love interests with some changing from previous seasons and a baby. It’s a mix of lightheartedness with drama and overall it’s not a bad show. I binge it over 2-3 days when the DVDs come in. I’m curious to see where it goes from here.

Rake Series 5 is the final season and I’m bummed. I really like the show and quickly watch it when the DVDs come my way. Series 5 sees Cleaver as an Australian senator having won the election in season 4. Of course it starts out with a bang with a believed terror attack on the government but is later found out to be something much funnier in the season. Cleaver butts heads with other politicians including old foe “Harry Potter”, his sister and of course Cal McGregor and his half-brother.

Rake is funny and twisted. It has dark elements like Shameless, but Cleaver always believes he’s doing the right thing. Missy moves in with Wendy to raise Cleaver’s grandchild. She ends up moving in with Cleaver who’s also renting out his apartment trying to fight being blackmailed over an embarrassing video shot by the neighbor. It’s all entertaining and one of my favorite non-US shows.

Both The Heart Guy and Rake are worth watching if you’ve seen previous seasons and I’m sad to see Rake go.

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