What's so good about Water Rats? Well - the actors. The realism. The believable emotions involved. The fallible human face of the police. Years ago, when I watched a lot of television, I often noticed that most of the best TV series were Canadian or Australian. Better stories, better acting, everything just feels more real and more intelligent. Water Rats is a prime example of this. All the characters feel real. When the cops cut corners and reluctantly break the rules, you can understand it. You can sympathize. You can see it from their point of view. Once in a while the good guys have to play dirty, because all the bad guys do. And the performances of everybody involved in this show, from the actors to the directors to the production crew, are just superb.
As a dyed-in-the-wool sci-fi freak, I'm actually not a big fan of realism. And certainly not of cop shows. Except when it's done really well! And Water Rats scores on this account. When Goldie died, I totally did not see it coming. Sure, I could see something ominous was building up, but I was sure it was the guy she was with that would buy the farm. How could they kill HER?! I was so upset I had to call up a friend (whom I knew to be watching it at the same time) and talk about it, despite it being close to midnight.
I hear the show was produced as a kind of export product, to attract tourists to Australia. Well, lemme tell ya: It works! I haven't been there yet, but the show sure does give me the urge to go. I love the whole Aussie national atmosphere, not least of all the accent! I hope to be able to afford the complete DVD set of Water Rats someday. My life will be pretty much complete if I can slip an episode into the DVD player every night before I hit the sack. Oh yeah!
9 out of 10. Only cop show I could ever even consider rating so highly.
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