25 Days of Crime-mas Day 21: City Homicide brings Australian drama

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: Daniel MacPherson attends the GQ Men Of The Year Awards at The Star on November 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images for GQ Australia)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: Daniel MacPherson attends the GQ Men Of The Year Awards at The Star on November 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images for GQ Australia) /

City Homicide is an entertaining Australian TV crime drama that will broaden your horizons. That’s why it’s our pick for Crime-mas Day 21.

TV crime drama fans know that they’re popular around the world, and City Homicide is one of the best entries from Australia. If you haven’t checked out the Australian crime drama scene, this is a place to start.

While viewers know that American and British crime dramas are top-notch, shows from Australia are pretty good too, and this is one of their longer-running procedurals. And you don’t have to go far to find it: the entire series is currently streaming on Hulu as part of its international catalog.

Here’s why City Homicide needs to be on your watch list:

More from TV Crime Dramas

Australian crime drama

It’s worth checking out City Homicide just to experience how an Australian series is in comparison to the American shows and British crime dramas. As British TV fans know, series from different countries have their own distinct flavor, and that’s true of Australian shows, too.

City Homicide isn’t as dark as a British crime drama, but it’s not nearly as glossy as an American show, either. It’s somewhat in the middle—it tells good, solid stories but there are also some lighter elements to it, too, with various office romances and other personal issues that crop up. Give it a glimpse just to see how it compares to your favorite show.

The rotating cast

One of the interesting things about City Homicide is that after the second season, the producers decided that they wanted to rotate their ensemble instead of having one core cast like most TV shows. Characters were added, others weren’t seen as often or got entire episodes off, and then others left the series entirely.

In one way, this is neat because it’s somewhat realistic, showing the possibility for turnover in the police department. In another way, it can be frustrating if you become attached to a particular hero to realize they’re not in an episode or are only in certain seasons. But it definitely does make the series stand out compared to the usual TV crime drama.

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What is City Homicide about?

As the title indicates, the series follows the investigations of a homicide squad based in Melbourne and their personal and professional challenges. Over 84 episodes the show throws a lot of stuff at them, and things do get a bit crazy. There are multiple hostage situations, a few inter-team affairs, some divorces, and that’s not even talking about the cases they solve!

If you like a mix of crime-solving and personal stories in your crime drama, this is a show that fits right into that space. It’s similar to Law & Order in that you can watch just about any episode and jump right in, and bounce around if you feel like it.

Why should you watch?

If just getting to see a different flavor of crime drama isn’t enough for you, there are a few good actors in the original City Homicide ensemble that will intrigue.

This was an early breakout role for Strike Back star Daniel MacPherson, who played the charming but complicated Detective Senior Constable Simon Joyner for the first three seasons and the first two episodes of season 4. He elevates Simon from the usual “wild card in the office” stereotype and the show does take a downturn once he’s gone.

You’ll also recognize Damien Richardson, who portrays Detective Sergeant Matt Ryan and is one of the characters to make it through the entire five seasons; he’s gone on to star as Drew Greer in the Jack Irish series.

Episodes to watch

“The Return” (season 1, episode 4) is a spotlight episode for Richardson, when Matt is asked to pass a letter from a fugitive to his sick mother. In the process of fulfilling the request, he realizes that the case in question isn’t as open and shut as others would like him to believe.

“Somersaulting Dogs” (season 2, episode 2) includes a young Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad) in an episode about teenage bullying that may have led to suicide—or was it homicide?

“Dead Weight” (season 3, episode 15) features an early appearance by actress Rebel Wilson in a more serious role than you’ve probably seen her in before.

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What do you think of City Homicide? Which TV crime dramas are making your list for the 25 Days of Crime-mas? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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