Watch Out For: Cleverman Premiering This Week


An Australian made sci-fi fantasy about an indigenous superhero, Cleverman is everything you never knew you always wanted.

Just when you were looking for something new to sink your teeth into – you know you’re always looking for some new show to fall in love with – Cleverman comes along to possibly fill the void. Well, at least it’s offering something new, something a little different, which is a lot harder to find than it should be, especially on Australian TV.

Cleverman is set in a near future where mythical creatures called ‘Hairypeople’ are living among humans. Naturally, humans are none too happy about this because we suck. Basically, a population of people are deeply anxious about a minority group – sounds familiar, huh? The titular character – The Cleverman – is the chosen one; he’s endowed with powers and tasked with the responsibility of uniting people.

The cast is 80% indigenous Australian, which is basically unheard of, and the premise is startlingly relevant. This show is set to fill a void that has been sucking the life out Australian production for years. The significance of Cleverman is best summed in a quote by the creator, Ryan Griffen (via Sydney Morning Herald): “I wanted to create a superhero for my son.”

That said, it’s never a good idea to put all the burden of representation on the shoulders of one show. So, you know, give it some time to get going. Anyway, there’s something refreshing about seeing a different representation of ‘hero’ on our screens. Goodness knows I’m sick of all the straight white guys rescuing us in popular media… until they become Nazis (thanks, Marvel).

Whatever happens with this show, it’s definitely worth checking out. Plus the trailer is super enticing; I definitely want to see more.

Cleverman premieres Wednesday, June 1, at 10 p.m Eastern on Sundance TV in the US and ABC TV and ABC iView on Thursday at 9.30pm.

Image courtesy of ABC

Author: Undie Girl

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.

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