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Deep Water (Mini-Series) (Australia)

This is a 4 part mini-series, each episode of about an hour each.There aren’t many good thriller, mystery series which focusses exclusively around gay characters. The drama is based on the historical, unsolved hate murders of possibly 30 to 80 gay men in Sydney's eastern suburbs and beaches in the 1980s and '90s. Murder mystery, detective series and gay characters; now tis is a series that ticks off all the boxes that I like when I look forward to watch something.

One morning, in one of the apartments on the beachfront of Bondi, a mutilated body of a young man is found. Tori Lustigman and Nick Manning are assigned the case. They soon discover that this could possibly be a gay hate crime of maybe an ex-lover or a hook-up gone wrong. Their boss wants the case to be closed soon but Tori strongly believes that this goes much deeper. With a series of investigation, she suspects that these murders go back to late 80’s and 90s of gay bashings and sudden disappearances of many young gay men during that time. Interestingly, as we soon find out, Tori’s brother was one of such men who mysteriously died in that phase. After a couple more murders happen, Nick and Tori realize that the killer is using ‘Thruster’, a hook up app, to lure gay men and kill them. As they meet more victims from the uninvestigated past crimes, they become convinced that the current killer is somehow connected. In reopening the cold cases the detectives reveal the hidden truth about the past murders and uncover critical evidence leading to the serial killer. In doing so they finally give closure to the victims' families by bringing the killers, both past and present, to justice.

The ending of the series was deeply moving, especially when you see the families of victims from the past finally getting a closure, including Tori herself and her father who never accepted the fact that their son was probably gay. Tori is always shown as full of distrust on anyone and questioning everything that comes her way. Although her partner Nick also wants the case to be closed and truth come out but he is also shown as a peripheral character. He and Tori have a very interesting dynamics going on. The beginning of the show is very interesting but Tori’s finding of unsolved cases from past and her finding people to give the details sometimes felt too convenient. And at one point there were so many characters introduced from past that I was so confused with all the names floating around but I know that this is my personal problem. I feel that a murder mystery works when there is enough thrill and drama to keep the viewers hooked, but this was somehow missing here. The characters lacked the richness and complexity that would have involved me emotionally, in spite of the plot having the potential to do so. It was a decent watch but not a compelling one. The deaths and reasons for murders from past made sense but I wish there was more solid reason and story behind the present day killings. It just didn’t feel justified enough, in my opinion.

The series is shot beautifully and the long shots of Bondi beach reminded me of my time, when i just walked briefly on the beach. I wish I could visit again and spend some more time there this time. Overall this was a fine murder mystery, just a bit sort of becoming a real good one. It is still much better than a lot of gay trash films out there. (6.5/10)

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