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Series / Tidelands (Netflix)

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Tidelands is a 2018 Australian Urban Fantasy TV Series.

Calliope "Cal" McTeer (Charlotte Best) returns to her hometown of Orphelin Bay from prison, getting involved with the local drug trade alongside her estranged brother, Augie. After an attempted drowning awakens her siren powers, she finds herself in a conspiracy involving the queen of the Tidelanders (human/siren hybrids), Adrielle Cuthbert (Elsa Pataky), and her nefarious goals involving a destructive horn created by sirens.

The tropes are about to turn:

  • Action Girl: Cal is established as a capable fighter early on when she fights off two other inmates who assault her while she's preparing to leave prison (both of the women outweigh her). Later she's also shown capably taking down larger male opponents as well.
  • The Alcoholic: Rosa, Cal and Augie's mom, is an alcoholic. Because of this Laura expresses incredulity after learning Rosa owns a bar when she gets out of prison. While she's sober in the present, running a bar seems like a bad temptation.
  • Artifact of Doom: There is an ancient horn created by the sirens which has the capacity to inflict grave destruction. Adrielle and local gangster Grigori Stolin want it for different reasons, but Cal wants to make sure neither of them acquire it.
  • Bathtub Scene: Cal goes into the bath and then holds her head underwater in hopes of testing if she can still breathe there after she'd survived drowning. Colton interrupts her and she's shown topless when she gets out. Later she tries again but fully clothed this time.
  • Beauty Is Bad: Adrielle, Leandra and Violca are all very beautiful women while being ruthless villains.
  • Big Bad: Adrielle, the ruthless leader of the L'Attente group which now doubles as a drug trafficking syndicate, is the main villain.
  • Blood Magic:
    • Adrielle has a seer she keeps as a prisoner whose blood when dripped in the water allows them to have clairvoyant visions.
    • Colton is sacrificed on Adrielle's orders, with his blood shed in the sea summoning a siren briefly.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Violca gets pregnant by Colton, to her surprise since Adrielle told her hybrids like them were all infertile.
  • Calling the Old Woman Out: Cal has a tendency to give her mom flak for past and present mistreatment.
  • Child by Rape: Human men don't appear to have any choice when called by sirens for mating in the sea, as they drown doing so especially, and this implies all human-siren hybrids are the product of rape.
  • Closet Gay: Murdoch is secretly seeing Lamar, breaking off their kiss quickly in fear of someone noticing them.
  • Coitus Interruptus:
    • Adrielle calls Dylan away while he's having sex with one of the L'Attente women.
    • Leandra is eating out a pretty young woman from their group when Cal assaults her in revenge for Leandra's doing the same to her before.
  • Comforting the Widow: Laura Maney goes from thinking Augie murdered her husband to letting him eat her out literally within minutes. It seems she really needed comfort.
  • Commune: L'Attente is officially just a kind of hippie free love group who live together while sharing resources, but they're really siren-human hybrids and involved with drug trafficking. They still practice the free love part, but now members are paid according to how much Adrielle deems they contributed.
  • Compelling Voice: The sirens' call to human men is apparently irresistible, since they drown while mating right in the sea.
  • Cop Killer:
    • Cal was in prison for an arson which killed Durborrow, but it turns out he was already dead.
    • Leandra later murders Officer Corey Welch, Cal McTeer's ally and lover, who unlike Durborrow is honest.
  • Daddy's Girl: Cal was always close with her dad Pat growing up. They had a loving and warm relationship together.
  • Dark Action Girl: Leandra murders Zach Maney in her very first scene, displaying unusual strength while doing so as she picks up Maney by his neck. She also later beats up Action Girl heroine Cal. Leandra appears to be Adrielle's main enforcer and bodyguard.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Adrielle, the main villain of the series, has sex with Augie that displays serious Questionable Consent while also showing attraction to her henchwoman Leandra, a Psycho Lesbian whom she shares a kiss with.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Cal, the heroine who is an Action Girl, fights and kills Leandra, her enemy who's a Dark Action Girl, in the season 1 finale.
  • Dirty Cop: Paul Murdoch, a local cop, is aiding the area's drug ring and also involved with Lamar, the second in command within the L'Attente syndicate. His mentor Durborrow was also a corrupt sergeant who did this too. Murdoch killed him and framed Cal for it.
  • The Dragon: Lamar is the lieutenant of Adrielle, who runs the L'Attente syndicate.
  • Dramatic Irony: Augie sends Colton to protect Cal, not knowing he nearly murdered her recently and at the time is intent on trying again.
  • Evil Cripple: Lamar is the lieutenant of The Queenpin Adrielle, and has only one eye.
  • Eye Scream: Leandra gouges Zach Maney's eyes with her thumbs. They're presented to her boss Adrielle afterward. Gilles has his left eye torn out by Dylan for spying on Adrielle too. Eye gouges seem to be Leandra's go-to method of attack, since she attempts this against Cal as well later.
  • Exposition of Immortality: Cal learns her dad, Adrielle and Bill are immortal when she finds old photo albums which show them looking just the same in the early 20th century.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Bill is so overjoyed to see Genoveva back, he doesn't notice as Adrielle and Leandra come up behind him, with the latter quickly knocking him down. Adrielle then kills Genoveva while he's Forced to Watch.
  • Fair Cop: Corey is a very handsome young police officer.
  • Fallen Angel: Grigori Stolin believes that sirens are this, and wants to contact them so he can speak with his dead daughter again, saying they're the closest he'll get to God.
  • Fanservice Extra: Many of the supporting characters.
    • Leandra is very beautiful and introduced topless before proceeding to murder a man. She continues to wear pretty revealing clothing. Later she is also shown eating out a pretty young woman from their group who's topless as well before Cal interrupts things.
    • Violca is also beautiful, wearing low cut dresses and once a very brief swimsuit that shows her cleavage off.
    • Other Tidelanders also get it on (often in groups), which reflects their free love ways.
  • Femme Fatalons: Adrielle has her nails sharpened into talon-like points, reflecting her menacing but beautiful appearance. Her predecessor Genoveva also has them.
  • Fountain of Youth: Contact with seawater causes Genoveva to turn back into her youthful self.
  • Frame-Up: Cal was framed for murdering Durborrow, who supposedly died in a fire she set. He was dead already though, having been killed by Murdoch. This was set up by her mom Rosa to get rid of her.
  • Friend on the Force: Officer Corey Welch continually offers assistance to Cal as a cop, as a friend, and as a lover.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Leandra attacks and murders Zach Maney wearing only a small thong, her large breasts on full display.
  • Gayngster:
  • Greed: Violca apparently wants to overthrow Adrielle for not giving her underlings more profit. Adrielle says money isn't the only thing, which Violca clearly dislikes. She has a point though as Adrielle keeps most of the money they earn.
  • Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: Downplayed. After being in prison for 10 years for arson and manslaughter, Cal takes part in the Orphelin Bay drug trade. It turns out she'd been framed to begin with. Given she's shown having to fight off two other inmates right before being released, it's apparent she grew hard for survival there.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Tidelanders are all half human/half siren, giving them some of the sirens' abilities but looking human. In every case they have human fathers and siren mothers, since sirens' songs call men into the sea.
  • Healing Hands: Tidelanders are shown to have the power of healing through touch.
  • Heal It with Water: Tidelanders can heal through manipulating the water in people's bodies.
  • Human Sacrifice: Colton is ordered sacrificed by Adrielle for the sirens as punishment when he plots with Violca to overthrow her. This makes one siren briefly come up out of the water.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: Tidelanders (half human/half siren hybrids) live for centuries without aging, but aren't able to have children… or so it seems until Violca is impregnated by her lover Colton, a human.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Lamar tells Violca he isn't interested in her "butterfly" when she acts enticing with him. The next scene shows him kissing Paul Murdoch.
  • In the Back:
    • Corey is murdered by Leandra stabbing him in the heart this way.
    • Adrielle later also gets stabbed in the back by Gilles, but Dylan heals her.
  • Kill All Humans: Adrielle intends to exterminate humanity so that sirens can reign supreme.
  • Leg Focus: Cal, Adrielle and minor female characters often wear outfits that display their long bare legs, with the camera focusing on them very often.
  • Lingerie Scene: Cal gets a couple of these, mostly in a tank top and her panties but also sometimes with her bra.
  • Love Triangle: Cal develops feelings for both Corey and Dylan. She also has sex with them both. Corey is murdered, Dylan's left stabbed in bad shape when he's last seen and so Cal may not end up with him either.
  • Making a Splash: The hybrids have the ability to manipulate water somewhat. Also blood, which is implied to be because that's mostly water too. They usually do this with water in people's bodies, whether to harm or heal them.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Cal and Dylan sleep together while in the grass near the beach.
  • Manipulative Bitch:
    • Adrielle has a tendency to emotionally blackmail or otherwise manipulate people for her own benefit.
    • Violca manipulates constantly, pushing people by various means to act as she wants in furtherance of her schemes.
  • Modesty Towel: When she's caught in the nude by Colton after exiting from the bath, Cal covers herself with a towel, though not before he's seen it all (the audience gets a shot of her topless).
  • Monster Lord: Adrielle is the tyrannical queen of the Tidelanders, siren-human hybrids.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Augie, Corey and Dylan are all handsome, muscular men who have multiple shirtless scenes, sometimes during sex with women.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Cal is pretty and shown multiple times in a revealing tank top, panties or topless, with a couple sex scenes.
    • Adrielle is probably the most beautiful of the female characters. She wears a revealing dress for most of her appearances with no bra underneath.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Dylan is distraught at having torn out Gilles' eye under Adrielle's order, and it shakes his faith in her.
    • The look on Rosa's face after Cal points out that her bringing in Stolin hoping he would take out Adrielle not only caused them to ally instead but has now endangered her son just screams this.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Adrielle often wears dresses showing her navel or near there and thus also a lot of her breasts.
  • Neck Lift: Leandra lifts up Zack Maney by his neck prior to murdering him.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Carl learns she isn't the biological child of her parents, nor the sister to Augie by blood.
  • Offing the Offspring: Rosa tries to kill her daughter Cal so she can have Cal's inheritance from her dad for herself. It turns out they aren't Cal's birth parents though.
  • One-Gender Race: Sirens are all female and they reproduce by mating with human men. Hybrids which result appear human, both male and female. It's left unclear where original sirens come from, though Bill says they've been in the waters forever.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Cal is only called her full name Calliope a couple times.
  • Our Sirens Are Different:
    • They can call men into the sea to have sex with their songs (drowning the humans while doing so) and bear many hybrid children from this as a result.
    • Both sirens and the hybrids can manipulate water or blood to a limited degree.
    • Hybrids live for many decades with no signs of aging at least if in regular contact with seawater. The sirens on the other hand appear to live forever.
    • Sirens simply leave their babies on shore where they live afterward.
    • Hybrids also have the ability to breathe underwater.
    • A hybrid can cause harm or heal humans through affecting the blood in parts of their bodies.
    • Sirens look like women with pure white skin and hair, but black eyes.
  • Out with a Bang: All men whom the sirens call to mate with them out in the sea drown while they're doing so.
  • The Queenpin: Adrielle leads the L'Attente commune, which is part of a drug ring. Her underlings always address her as "madam". Her actual title among the Tidelanders is even Queen.
  • Questionable Consent: Adrielle and Augie having sex does not seem entirely consensual on his part as she just springs it on him, although this could be roleplaying, albeit he goes along with this and she doesn't stop when he protests while she's pressing his torso hard between her thighs while getting his penis inside her. The fact that she's also a murderous gangster and his drug supplier just makes this more sketchy.
  • Parental Abandonment: Tidelanders are half human/half siren hybrids. Born from human men mating with sirens who drown during the act, they are left on shore by their mothers once born and have no further contact with them. Most of them long to see their siren mothers. Adrielle promising she will call them keeps many loyal to her.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Leandra, a Dark Action Girl who's introduced murdering a man, later has sex with a woman and she also shows attraction to Adrielle, kissing her.
  • Public Execution: Adrielle kills Bill in front of her group supposedly for murdering Genoveva (which she actually did).
  • Put on a Bus: Violca flees town after her scheme collapses and Colton is murdered. She is not seen again after that.
  • Really Gets Around: Tidelanders are pretty promiscuous as a rule, with the L'Attente denizens often shown having sex together, including in groups. Free love is part of their commune's way. They can't get pregnant usually, so there are less potential consequences.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Cal's dad, Adrielle and Bill turn out to be over a century old since they appear in old photos from around the 1920s Cal finds while looking just the same.
  • R-Rated Opening: The series opens with a scene in which Leandra brutally murders Zach Maney through breaking his neck with her bare hands while wearing only a thong.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: Grigori Stolin is a Serbian drug lord who runs drug rings in Sydney and Melbourne. Rosa calls him in hoping he'll take out Adrielle. However, though he has a ruthless reputation they're soon working together because she's got something he wants.
  • Seers: Adrielle keeps an old woman who's one prisoner. Her blood is capable of causing visions when it's in water along with the person who she shows, which Adrielle takes from her forcibly. She's revealed to be Genoveva, Adrielle's predecessor whom she overthrew. Everyone thought Adrielle had killed her.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Leandra is introduced topless and she appears to like going around in that state since there's no particular reason for this.
  • Slashed Throat:
    • Colton is murdered this way at Adrielle's command.
    • It turns out that Durborrow was really killed this way too.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Not long after they find out that Violca is pregnant with their baby, Colton's killed.
  • The Starscream: Violca, one of Adrielle's underlings, wants her position and is always plotting her takeover.
  • Straight Gay: Lamar and Paul Murdoch secretly have a thing together while both display no stereotypical traits of queer men.
  • The Syndicate: L'Attente, a commune which doubles as a drug trafficking organization, serves as the dominant criminal force for the Orphelin Bay region.
  • Tanktop Tomboy: Cal is a bit of a tomboy Action Girl who wears tank tops quite often.
  • Token Minority:
    • Jared, one of Augie's men, is part Aboriginal.
    • A couple of the L'Attente guys are also men of color, but they don't get lines or characterizations.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Orphelin Bay hides a population of sirens, and fishermen who work in the drug trade.
  • Tragic Stillbirth: Rosa believes Cal caused her miscarriage, part of why she loathes her.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Cal is nearly drowned, and as a result, discovers her siren powers.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Some of Adrielle's underlings.
    • Leandra is a woman of East Asian descent who's also a lesbian.
    • Violca is a woman who's clearly part Aboriginal Australian.
    • There are also some other women of color in her group though they're only background characters.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Violca and Colton, two minor villains, turn out to be a genuinely loving couple. She gets pregnant and they're overjoyed to become parents. It doesn't make Violca become any less ruthless, but actually doubles down as she knows Adrielle won't let her have a baby. So she grows determined to kill Adrielle and Augie as well since he'll object to her taking over in L'Attente. Their scheme is found out by Adrielle; Colton gets sacrificed at her orders with Violca fleeing.
  • Vapor Wear: Adrielle usually wears dresses while also clearly having no bra on, as her nipples show under the fabric.
  • Wall Bang Her: In an unusual oral sex case, Augie eats out Laura Manny, who is sitting up against a window at the time.
  • Water Is Womanly: The sirens are water beings and depicted being all female. Most of their half-human children are women as well (though some men exist too) while they got more focus. Hybrids have abilities to manipulate water from their siren heritage.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Adrielle has Dylan tear out one of Gilles' eyes for spying on her when he won't reveal who told him to. He's just a little boy aged maybe 10 at most.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Tidelands


"They're here for you."

The sirens emerge from the sea, with their inhumanity hidden by the fact that the sun is behind them, until one gets close enough for Cal to see her face.

How well does it match the trope?

4.6 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / SinisterSilhouettes

Media sources: