Rotten Tomatoes' 100% score is spot on for Prime Video's Deadloch

Australian cop show mixes big laughs with big twists

(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

The downside to having accounts with all the best streaming services is that sometimes, really great shows fly under your radar: there’s so much to see that you can’t possibly know about all of it. So I’m grateful to whoever suggested I watch Deadloch on Amazon Prime, because it turns out to be one of my favourite shows of 2023. And I’m not the only one: it’s sitting with a full 100% from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

Deadloch is an Australian police drama written by comedians Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan, and it features Kate Box and Madeleine Sami as two very mismatched cops trying to solve what seems to be a serial killer in the sleepy lochside town of the title. It’s very, very funny – one scene involving a choir singing a really inappropriate song made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to pop an internal organ – but crucially it never mocks the victims: the satire here, which is often very sharp, is aimed at the town’s inhabitants.

What are people saying about Deadloch?

According to Forbes magazine, “Deadloch is better than any comedy-murder series has any right being” and it has things to say about sexism and misogyny without coming across as preachy. The Guardian loved the “unpredictable pace-propelling twists rolled out from go to whoa” – me too; I didn’t guess who the killer was until the very last episode – and Slate puts it brilliantly: “If you were to take the British crime drama Broadchurch [and] mash it together with a feminist, less gun-packed Hot Fuzz, you’d end up with Deadloch."

The good reviews don’t stop coming. Vanity Fair called it “delightful… an addictive thriller” while Decider said that “Deadloch is a show that doesn’t make fun of murder, but has a lot of fun with the people investigating the murders, along with everyone who might be a suspect”.

What I liked about the show, other than the laughs, is that it’s warm-hearted: the main story is actually really dark, and in lesser hands the cast of oddballs could have come across as the programme-makers punching down. But that’s not the case here. Deadloch takes what could have been a tired buddy-movie template and breathes fresh life into it.

My only worry is that the show hasn’t had enough viewers to guarantee a second season: Amazon hasn’t yet announced plans for Deadloch season 2. Here’s hoping, because it’s one of the most distinctive, fun and funny shows I’ve seen in years. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (