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TV Review: Wanted (Australian)

If You Haven’t Seen “Wanted,”

You’ll Want To!

(No One Worries About Nails)

by G G Collins          Copyright 2019          5 Stars 

Not since “Thelma & Louise” have two women done so much running. And is it ever fun to watch. Women’s adventure is way undervalued, especially for the over 50 woman who is frequently viewed as not exciting. Seriously, this is pure fable. In “Wanted” there are interesting evolving characters and moments of closeness while still kicking some serious butt!

Rebecca Gibney (“Winter” and “Packed to the Rafters”) is co-creator and ex-producer along with Richard Bell who also ex-produces and writes for the series. Gibney plays Lola Buckley, the down-on-her-luck grocery checker who is always one step away from being canned. Her customers overwhelmingly have anger issues. Geraldine Hakewill is Chelsea Babbage, the 20-something uptight accountant who may have been doing some creative bookkeeping out of utter boredom. Together they are an awakening force.

One evening at a particularly lonely bus stop where they have been meeting, but not talking, for months, they first witness a murder, are kidnapped at gunpoint and shoved into the boot of a car. While that’s a lot for one evening, it gets far worse as they escape, are recaptured and escape again. There’s a lot going on involving drugs, dirty money and even dirtier cops.

To complicate things, Lola has a past involving an unfortunate ending; that of her former husband. She has been on the run before, changed her name and learned street smarts. Her in-laws are holding a grudge, but her sister is forever her guardian and safe haven.

Chelsea has a rich father who is damaged by the loss of her mother to Huntington’s and is a perennial business traveler. Chelsea carries a heavy burden knowing that she has a 50/50 chance of developing the disease. At first, she’s relieved to get away from blazing guns and lunatic police, until she realizes she doesn’t really know this woman who barks orders at her, but seems to know what she’s doing. And just why is it she knows life on the run?

In a touching scene, the hard-bitten Lola and fast-learning Chelsea discover they are one another’s best friend; something the viewer knew already. It’s understated and yet a pivotal moment in their relationship. Although Chelsea could leave and return home to a slap on the wrist for her neophyte embezzling (and shoplifting lipstick she never wears), she chooses to stay and run.

Without giving away their roles, here are other actors to watch in “Wanted” Stephen Peacocke, Robyn Malcolm, Nicholas Bell and Anthony Phelan—it is no secret he is a very bad guy.

The writing in “Wanted” is learned, witty and convincing. Gibney and Hakewill turn in quality performances in the Australian outdoors among the snakes and sweltering heat. They play for keeps and keep on going.

In the States, watch “Wanted” on Netflix. Three seasons are currently available with a fourth coming soon. Rated TV-14 for moderate violence and language.