Secret City (season 1)

This Australian political thriller was obviously influenced by House of Cards (even the opening theme is similar), although it’s set in Canberra, with many scenes actually shot in the Australian Parliament building.  The story is told from the point of view of a journalist (Anna Torv from Fringe) who is fortunately much smarter than House of Card’s Zoe Baird, although not quite as smart as she thinks she is.  We see a feckless chief executive being led around by his skeevy Secretary of Defense and an even skeevier Attorney General, one of the three of whom is actually in bed with the Chinese.  The resonances of this tale of an  incompetent leader possibly compromised by a foreign power with modern American politics are the more amazing given that it was originally broadcast in 2016.  Maybe all dysfunctional political families are alike.  The twists and turns will keep you guessing until the end, even as they become more implausible.

The 6 episodes tell a complete story, but a second season has been filmed and will be broadcast later this year.    Netflix.

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