If you are looking for something completely different, I recommend you give Cleverman a try. It wasn’t recommended to me in the menus on my Netflix profile – I found it while searching, and I’m glad I did.
This Australian series can be described as a dystopian sci-fi super-hero conspiracy thriller, which is based largely upon Aboriginal Dreamtime beliefs. I’ve only seen one season so far (there’s only so much TV a person can watch, after all) but I find the world fascinating.
The story begins six months after a race of hairy beings, who are significantly stronger than humans, reveals themselves to the outside world. In an opening scene, a couple of men are smuggling a Hairy family out of the containment zone, into a nice seeming apartment complex. Almost immediately, they contact officials in order to collect a reward for turning the family in. One of the young men, Koen West, is of aboriginal descent and is the nephew of the current Cleverman, Jimmy. Jimmy presents Koen with an ancient war club, and soon thereafter appears to offer his life to some creature he summons from the sky. Koen becomes the new Cleverman, even though he wants nothing to do with it.
Koen’s brother, Waruu, had been training to become the cleverman since childhood, and has positioned himself as a protector of all aboriginals and Hairies. He refuses to accept Koen as the true Cleverman, and even tries to perform as the Cleverman, but fails.
I enjoy how the Hairies often seem more human than the ‘humans’. The mother, who was separated from her family when they were arrested, is sold into prostitution, but doesn’t fight back because she feels dead, thinking she will never see her family again. Saying any more on this subject would involve spoilers.
We never get a really good look at the creature that Jimmy called from the sky, but this gives you a good idea.
It first kills Jimmy, and then a child. The media, under direction I’m sure, blame it on the hairies, and someone even creates similar looking kills, to drive sentiment against the hairies. It’s all about greed, power, and manipulation, of course. Humans being humans.
I’m really enjoying this show. I haven’t seen the second season yet, but I will soon. I haven’t been exposed to much Australian Aboriginal folklore before, and it really makes this show fresh and new. All of which makes it a surprisingly wonderful vehicle to highlight the issues of modern times. If you enjoy shows set in other cultures, I suggest you give Cleverman a try.