Wanted is an Australian drama series that follows two strangers who get caught up in a deadly carjacking and end up on the run, chased across the country by police. The two very different women are forced to rely completely and exclusively on each other to survive. Produced by Matchbox Pictures and R&R Productions, Wanted is distributed by Universal Media Studios International and was originally released on Seven Network. Created by Rebecca Gibney and Richard Bell, Wanted is a superbly written and well-acted chase drama with plenty of plot twists and surprises.
Wanted first premiered on the Australian Seven Network on February 9, 2016, with six episodes in the first season. It has captured attention with its gritty, realistic feel of two people just trying to survive today and deal with the curve balls that fate throws their way. As the story has developed across three seasons, Lola and Chelsea have grown into a relationship which is a sort of hybrid of Thelma and Louise and the Fugitive, and have each evolved in their own ways too. All three seasons of Wanted are available to stream on Netflix.
Season 3 takes viewers to several locations in South Australia including Flinders Ranges and Adelaide Hills whereas the first two seasons were filmed in Sydney, parts of Queensland, Thailand and New Zealand. It has also brought itself an International Emmy nomination. Gibney was all praise for the hospitality the crew was subjected to in Australia. She said, “South Australia has offered up such incredible locations. Jocelyn Moorhouse, who is such a cinematic director, has done some epic episodes. They’re so visual it’s a bit Morricone and Tarantino, in a way. It’s like a gunfight at the OK Corral! SAFC made it easy to shoot there, offering all sorts of incentives and the people are awesome. The studios are first class.”
Wanted Cast: Who’s in it?
The superb cast of Wanted keeps up engaged and manages to keep the audience guessing. This funny, edgy, and exciting series directed by Peter Templeman, Jennifer Leacey and Rob Sarkies stars Rebecca Gibney as Lola Buckley (an outright supermarket teller) and Geraldine Hakewill as Chelsea Babbage (an accountant under suspicion for embezzlement) in the lead roles. Other actors in prominent roles includes Stephen Peacocke as Detective Josh Levine, Kate Box as Detective Maxine Middleton, Ryan Corr as Chris Murphett, Nicholas Bell as Ray Stanton, MirkoGrillini as Terry Boke, Todd Levi as Ebert, Nicholas Hamilton, Veronica Neave, Anthony Phelan, Charles Cottier, Dean O’Gorman, Robyn Malcolm, among others.
Wanted Plot: What is it about?
Lola and Chelsea, as per their usual routines, are waiting at a small bus stop late one night when they witness a car crash. When two masked men come in, shoot the driver, a struggle ensues in which a gun goes off, killing one of the masked men. They are both taken hostage by the other assailant but manage to escape only to become embroiled in a much larger problem. They must flee across Australia, chased by genuine law enforcement officials which sees them as criminals, actual criminals who are out to get the money back, and a bunch of corrupt cops.
Rebecca Gibney plays Lola, an attractive older woman who has a shady past but who has managed to hold on to her big heart in spite of the blows time has dealt her. Geraldine Hakewille manages to pull off the younger but more neurotic of the duo in equally good taste. Wanted is a very familiar sort of show, based on a much-used premise in the media, but the story which starts out seeming so familiar and predictable moves fast into a twisted tale to keep you engaged. The Thelma and Louise feel of the chase mixes with other tropes like classic bad-guy chases and hitmen galore, not to mention the script development where bad guys gradually and progressively appear, to sustain the flow.
The duo remains on the run from the police throughout the first two seasons and finds new enemies along the way. In season 3, they return home in hopes of clearing their names and extract justice. But things rarely go as planned, and they find themselves journeying across Australia.
Edge of the seat exciting, and chock-full of near misses, Wanted is engaging, has good comic timing, and some breathtaking scenery and cinematography. The two women, on the run through no fault of their own, struggling to survive another day will make you laugh out loud while they make you teary-eyed. The twists and turns of fate, and a plethora of characters to love and hate, make this TV crime saga a cut above the rest, in spite of many oft-used tropes and devices. Wanted showcases superb and nuanced acting, excellent direction, and talented behind the scenes work.
Although not exactly a path-breaking classic, Wanted is more than watchable and remains an interesting show about dysfunctional characters caught in very trying situations who evolve as the show progresses. The writing could have been better, and tighter, but that is a small peeve in the overall goodness of the experience.
Wanted Season 4 Release Date: When will it premiere?
The second season of Wanted premiered on June 5, 2017, and also consisted of six episodes, while the third season was released on October 15, 2018, on Seven Network. Season 3 was released on December 13, 2018 on Netflix. Fans have managed to stay hooked to the adventures of Lola and Chelsea through 3 seasons and are eagerly awaiting news of a fourth. Sadly for fans of the franchise, there seems to be no solid news, at all, about whether the series will be renewed for another season or not. The closest one has come to any sort of speculation is when Gibney (co-creator and executive producer) said, in an interview, about co-star Hakewill, that “She’s a great person to have on set. I’m very lucky to have her in my life, and I always will, regardless of whether we do a Season 4.”
If renewed for another season, Wanted season 4 should return with a release date in Q4 2019. It might also premiere on Netflix in late 2019.
Wanted Season Trailer
A beneficial combination of capable direction, amazing locales, good solid camera-work combined with efficient and artistic cinematography and editing really make Wanted a pleasure to binge watch. Here is a trailer from the first season to get you a head start into the series. The series is available to stream on Netflix.
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