Nothing on television can captivate us quite like a classic murder mystery. From Sherlock to Benoit, Poirot to Nancy Drew, getting all riled up behind a fictional homicide and trying to spot clues that don’t exist is one of modern humanity’s greatest pastimes. With such a beloved genre and with so many established characters, it can be hard to make a murder mystery story feel fresh or even exciting.
Well, the team behind Prime Video‘s new original Australian series “Deadloch” saw that challenge, and raised us a murder mystery story like you’ve never seen before. Set in a small Tasmanian town, the murder of Trent Latham rocks its civilians to its core (think “Twin Peaks”, “Broadchurch” etc.)
But, what sets “Deadloch” apart is just how unbelievably, tummy-achingly funny it is. One of the very first lines of the show is: “Shit, his dick’s on fire”, just in case you wanted a sense of the show’s tone. With some of the greatest comedic minds (the iconic pairing of Kate McCartney and Kate McClennan) in Australia behind the wheel, “Deadloch” takes what would otherwise be a bleak, grim tale and makes it unapologetically hysterical. Don’t worry – you still get your gritty, eerie and tension-filled hunt for the killer, but this story comes with a generous helping of ‘I’m about to p*ss myself’.
“Deadloch” is streaming on Prime Video now, but why don’t we get ourselves acquainted with the town, its people, that murder and the series’ iconic creators? Read carefully, this is going to be a show you’ll be talking about for a while.
Who Is in “Deadloch”?
The creators of “Deadloch” gathered some of Australia’s finest comedians to take on the roles of both law enforcement and civilians. The series never relaxes on those cry-laugh moments, while also never compromising the expected tension, and the actors help pull off that balancing act.
The series is led by my personal new favourite cop duo – Kate Box as Senior Sgt Dulcie Collins and Madeleine Sami as Eddie Redcliffe. Firstly, it’s just refreshing to see an all-women cop duo at all (specifically disappointing considering just how many police-based television shows and movies we have). But Box and Sami play two, such extreme opposites that their heads clash often, but it’s always so funny that it never feels like an overdone bit. Collins adheres strictly to the book, maintaining a rigid and uptight demeanour as a sergeant, while Sami, flown down from Darwin, exudes just the right amount of chaos. Pure, unhinged, rough-as-guts chaos.
Knowing the supporting characters’ intentions, relationships and even motives only elevates “Deadloch” further. You’ve got Nina Oyama’s Abbie, a spritely, keen-as-a-bean junior constable who is absolutely frothing to be working a murder case like this one. Dulcie’s girlfriend Cath, played by Alicia Gardiner, suffers from Dulcie’s poor work/life balance, while Susie Youssef plays the extremely stubborn Mayor Aleyna. She still wants to host the town’s famous Winter Festival, despite the literal murder. Politicians, eh?
Beyond that, we see Kartanya Maynard and Leonie Whyman play teens Miranda and Tammy, who help introduce us to the sleepy town in the first place. But the pair aren’t just used as throwaway plot devices — we learn so much about them and follow their relatable, internal struggles as they prepare for adulthood.
Who Created “Deadloch”?
If the plot and cast of “Deadloch” haven’t sold you, then maybe its creators will. “Deadloch” was written and created by Kate McCartney and Kate McClennan, who at this point have cemented themselves as Australian comedic legends. Even if you don’t recognise them by name, you know their work.
They first broke out with The Katering Show, a web series that saw the two Kates host their own cooking show. The pair managed to pack in the excessive amount of cheesiness we expect from cooking shows, before dousing it in some of the most vulgar, brazen and witty humour you will have ever seen behind a countertop. They followed that up with their take on morning television talk shows with “Get Krack!n”, in which they skewered every type of morning TV stereotype and personality possible and left absolutely no crumbs.
In fact, “Get Krack!n” offered social and political commentary and imbued it so seamlessly that you might not even notice it’s happening (or it’s the one thing that stays with you most). This tightrope walk between comedy (even slapstick) and social commentary is one we’ve seen attempted often, with plenty of failures and misfires.
In “Deadloch”, just like in “Get Krack!n”, McCartney and McLennan are one of the talented few to hit the nail right on the head.
What Can You Expect From “Deadloch”?
As we’ve said, “Deadloch” is as thrilling as it is hilarious. But beyond the tension and the laughs, what does “Deadloch” actually offer us?
Firstly, “Deadloch” feels like true event television. It’s the type of show that everyone will sit down at once to watch at the same time. And then take to Twitter to discuss their theories and opinions. And then head to work the next day and have it dominate the office chat. While the first three episodes are available now, episodes four through eight will be released weekly, which in turn just helps build the suspense that the show naturally creates.
Additionally, this show touches on social commentary in ways plenty of ones like it shy away from. In less deft hands, the discussions of misogyny, homophobia and racism against First Nations people might feel tacked on. But, in “Deadloch”, it’s all carefully thought out, tackled with sensitivity, and doesn’t feel egregious or gratuitous. The commentary here is biting and at times confronting, but still important to the story and to these characters. The main storyline revolves around murder but still sheds light on the systemic abuse of minorities in Australia.
Thirdly, you can expect a lot of swearing. Swearing on swearing on swearing. We’re talking versions of curse words that you have never even thought imaginable. It’s brilliant and it’s inspired.
Is Deadloch a Real Place?
Hate to be the one to break it to you, but Deadloch isn’t a real place.
You’ll have to look elsewhere for winding beaches, gloomy bushland and this Winter festival that not even a murder can stop. But it did draw inspiration from co-creator Kate McLennan’s hometown of Mortlake, Victoria, which, as of the 2016 census, has a population of 1,372. (Deadloch’s is slightly higher, at 2,406).
So, you’ll have to cross Deadloch off your Winter travel destination list. But you can get to know it in all its beauty, and its secrets, right now by watching “Deadloch” on Prime Video.
Solve the Deadloch murders yourself on Prime Video. Start your 30-day free trial today. This article originally appeared on POPSUGAR Australia.