Mercado on TV: Prime’s Deadloch and the lead character that will keep you watching


Plus: What is it with cults and Home and Away?

Deadloch (Prime) is a new Aussie “feminist noir crime thriller” from the two Kates, writers and comedians Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan. Only one of the two lead performances, however, will keep you watching.

Deadloch is set in a small Tasmanian town where dedicated policewoman Dulcie (Kate Box) works. When a dead body is found on the beach, a detective is sent down from the Northern Territory to help. 

It stretches credibility to send a cop from that far away to investigate, particularly when Eddie (Madeleine Sami) is inept and rough as guts. Her over-the-top portrayal is at odds with the rest of the show, which is quietly quirky and amusing. 

Thankfully, it is all anchored by Kate Box, a queer actor in a show with a lot of lesbian characters. That plotline makes for a great running gag in a small-town comedy that also includes Kris McQuade, Tom Ballard and Pamela Rabe.

Now to a small town where lesbians are not so welcome, but a sense of deja vu always lingers. Home and Away (Seven) is having a “must-watch week” with another bomb and another cult storyline. 

Home and Away’s first cult storyline was in 1996 with Selina (Tempany Deckert), and then in 2003 when Tasha (Isabel Lucas) washed up on the beach and was thought to be a mermaid because she only spoke pig Latin. Turns out she was actually on the run from a Y2K cult, but once she recovered, she joined another cult.

After a fourth cult in 2013, now we have a doomsday cult, this time headed by Margot (Mandy McElhinney). That is a lot of cults for one show, and it rivals how many explosions there have been in Summer Bay. 

As well as Alf (Ray Meagher) blowing up on a regular basis, a fundraiser blew up in 2016, and a food truck blew up in 2021. What’s dopey about this latest blast though is that it is a direct repeat of what happened a decade ago.

Home and Away

In 2013, a laptop containing a bomb was passed around from Jett (Will McDonald) to Irene (Lynne McGranger) to Heath (Dan Ewing) to Bianca (Lisa Gormley) before exploding in the hospital, killing a minor character, Ethan (Matt Minto), who was also involved in that year’s cult storyline.

Now in 2023, a cardboard box containing a bomb is passed around from Irene (again) to Kirby (Angelina Thomson) to Marilyn (Emily Symons) to Xander (Luke Van Os) to Leah (Ada Nicodemou) to John (Shane Withington) before exploding in a car. If it’s anything like the previous blasts, expect all major residents to survive, with the exception of one bit character.

Read more Mercado on TV here.

Mercado on TV

Welcome to TV Gold: The all-new weekly TV podcast

Well, the name is new! So is the email address asking for feedback and question – [email protected].
Listen now on your favourite podcast platform for 30 minutes of TV reviews and recommendations every week from Mediaweek’s Andrew Mercado and James Manning.

This week on TV Gold: Deadloch, Nacho and Hunt for Raoul Moat

A diverse slate of good shows this episode starting with Prime Video’s feminist noir comedy Deadloch set in Tasmania. There’s lots to like, but watch it for Kate Box. Stan has the Spanish drama Nacho about real-life adult movie star Nacho Vidal. It’s a sex-filled R-rated romp telling how Nacho went on to feature in around 700 porn movies. Finally, we look at Hunt for Raoul Moat on Britbox which is a brilliant dramatisation of Britain’s biggest manhunt for a very violent offender.

 Email the hosts: [email protected]

Listen online here, on the LiSTNR app or on your favourite podcast platform.

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