I really enjoyed this show, the rare comedy/mystery that works really well as both. The first two episodes are really funny, and the remaining ones are intermittently funny as the focus shifts from comedy to mystery.
It’s about a small town in Tasmania that is rapidly gentrifying thanks to an influx of lesbians from the mainland, one of whom is long-suffering cop Dulcie. This is a great performance from Kate Box (Good God, imagine how hard middle school was for this woman), who essentially plays the straight man (comedically speaking) to most of the rest of the cast of quirky characters, led by Madeleine Semi as foul-mouthed, horny mainland detective Eddie. It’s kind of like if Northern Exposure was about a serial killer instead of some will-they-or-won’t-they bullshit.
One of the things I really love about crime fiction and television is that it allows for exploration of social issues without didacticism (usually). Deadloch does this really well, highlighting the aforementioned gentrification as well as the mistreatment of the indigenous people and the paternalistic cruelty of wealthy white people who do philanthropy for them. And, of course, how women are mistreated by men in their personal and professional lives. The only stumble, in my opinion, is this: Dulcie sees one of her indigenous neighbors has sprayed ACAB on their garbage cans and just kind of gives it an exasperated eyeroll. For a show that clearly sets out to skewer a lot of injustices, it’s a weird blind spot. Why even bring it up only to dismiss it?
My slight political objections aside, I still give this a full-throated recommendation. It’s one of the best crime shows I’ve watched in years. I’m really hoping for a season 2, though I suspect this is a lightning in a bottle situation that won’t be repeated. Catch it on Prime.