A 2010 Australian comedy series about the antics of an irascible, self-destructive lawyer operating in the Sydney CBD - Mr Cleaver Greene, portrayed by Richard Roxburgh.
The series is a slow-burning comedy set within the justice system of New South Wales, and each episode revolves around peculiar or well-publicized court cases that grab Cleaver's attention. In addition to his ongoing rebellion against the justice system, subplots about his relationship with ex-prostitute "Missy", his ongoing battle against the Tax Office, his mounting debt to somewhat dubious figures and the dissolving relationship between his best friend and and his friend's wife.
The series is noted for its well-written episodes (they manage to avoid most of the legal jargon seen in other court shows), and strong acting (with plenty of guest stars every episode). In January 2014 a US remake began airing on the Fox network, but only lasted one season.
This show provides examples of:
- All Star Supporting Cast: Hugo Weaving as a cannibal in the first episode and Sam Neill as a doctor who as a three-way with the family dog are probably the biggest name guest stars but by no means all
- Amoral Attorney: Cleaver Greene - being an extremely proficient lawyer, Cleaver will twist the rules, consult outside sources and even SLEEP with his clients if he thinks it'll help.
- Played with; while Cleave does some pretty amoral things he's shown to have genuine moral compass that prevents him from defending people who don't deserve his help like Eddie Langhorn or Mick Corella.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: In a case Ripped from the Headlines Cleaver Defends a man charged with having Three-Way Sex with the family dog and his wife.
- Big Bad: Attorney General Cal McGregor for season 2.
- Becoming the Mask/Secret Identity Identity: Missy goes through a variation of this.
- Bittersweet Ending: As of season 2 - Cleaver has successfully brought down Cal McGregor, but is stuck with fourteen years in prison for conspiracy to commit manslaughter.
- Butt Monkey: Cleaver Greene sometimes he deserves some of the things that happen and sometimes he doesn't.
- Defictionalization: The barristers of New South Wales love this show and this character so much that they're happy to pretend there is a real Cleaver Greene running around in real life, up to and including having Roxburgh send video messages in character at social functions.
- Driven to Suicide: Joe Sandilands after it is revealed that he used to visit a brothel.
- Expy: Missy starts dating Joshua Floyd in the second season; Floyd is wanted internationally for treason after leaking senstive government information via his website in a situation not at all unlike that of Julian Assange in real life.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Melissa "Missy" Partridge used to be one of these and much of her plot is about covering this fact up.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming
- I'm a Humanitarian: Professor Graham Murray in the pilot. Unlike most examples of the trope, Murray is not villainous nor murderous, instead being rather curious and ultimately regretful of his culinary choices.
- Mad Artist: Denny Lorton the accused in one episode killed a Rent Boy in the name of art.
- Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: The legal profession loves this show. While the situations depicted are over-the-top (but some are grounded in real facts), the general feel of a barrister's practice in the Criminal law is accurate and hilariously funny, much in the same way that doctors think that Scrubs is the most accurate description of what it feels like to be a practising doctor in media.
- Mood Whiplash: In the second episode, one scene shows David and Melissa having a humorous discussion about Melissa's fictitious relative Angus. The next scene has David getting shot twice in an attempted murder.
- The Nicknamer: Cleaver Greene
- Teacher/Student Romance: Finn, Cleaver's son, has a relationship with his English teacher which lasts until she drops him for a younger boy.
- Teens Are Monsters: In the second season Cleaver ends up defending (and sleeping with) Michelle, who is charged with killing one of the actors in her student film. When Cleave determines the murder was deliberate, Michelle attempts to blackmail him into continued service by revealing she's not even 16 yet.
- Triang Relations: Cleaver<- Missy ->David "Harry" Potter
- It's sort of resolved in the Season 1 finale.
- Your Cheating Heart: Frequently.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: A lot of season one's legal proceedings are based on interesting aspects from cases in the casebook of one of the Executive Producers (who is a practising barrister).