Two women on the run from the law. Australian accents. Honestly, those two details are all you need to know about the Australian series Wanted on Netflix. The underrated show's first two seasons followed the characters from Australia to Thailand and New Zealand. But fans are dying to know: will Wanted return for Season 3?
Unfortunately, nothing has been announced yet about a third season for the Australian drama. That could be because it was only recently released on Netflix in the U.S., and executives might be waiting to see whether the show picks up a big enough American following to justify a renewal.
The show's intriguing plot follows two complete strangers, Lola and Chelsea, who witness a murder that involves dirty cops. But far from being agents of justice, these two end up being framed for the crime, and have to go on the run from the law themselves. It's got a Thelma and Louise vibe to it, except with even better accents.
And even though it's flying a bit under the radar on Netflix, that by no means should stop you from watching. Reviews of the show are celebrating the leads as some of the most complex female characters on television. The Guardian raved that Wanted was one of Australia's "most progressive dramas":
Moreover, while Wanted’s multifaceted leads could easily slip into lazy odd-couple caricatures, they never do. Lola is older and more street smart, with a rougher manner about her – but she’s also vulnerable and unafraid to show it... Chelsea is the uptight, easily frightened one but she’s also resilient and calculating.
It's a testament to what happens when women are placed at the center of their own stories, as the show's creator and star Rebecca Gibney was conscious about the way she constructed her female characters, paying special attention to women who often go uncelebrated. Gibney told The Sydney Morning Herald that she wanted to highlight the experiences of middle aged women:
"Initially for me, my character was about showcasing a woman in her late 40s. Certainly a lot of women my age and older feel like they get to a point where they become invisible, and so I wanted to create a character that wasn't invisible," she says.
Actresses have long complained that past a certain age, they aren't offered meaningful roles, and the data is there to prove them right. HuffPost reports that an analysis done by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism proves that while older men have no trouble finding meaty parts, middle aged women are woefully under-represented in media:
The analysis, released Monday, looked at 414 scripted movies, TV shows and digital series that aired from September 2014 to August 2015 across 10 major media companies — CBS, Sony, 21st Century Fox and so on. In that period, men made up nearly 80 percent of the characters over 40 portrayed in films.
But shows like Wanted are helping turn that around in the world of television. In fact, HuffPost noted that the same USC report found that older women fared better "on the streaming networks (Amazon, Netflix, Hulu), where about a third of the older characters were women." Huffpost continues:
About 38 percent of speaking parts on streaming shows went to women, which is relatively high compared to 28 percent in films. As more content moves to these networks, this is one place where we could start to see real change.
With streaming services leading the drive towards featuring more complex, older female characters at the center of stories, Wanted is right alongside other shows such as Grace and Frankie in proving to the world that women over the age of 40 can be just as entertaining as any other characters.
And it seems like audiences are catching on. New viewers of the show are taking to Twitter to express their love for the Australian road tale:
Wanted is proving that not only can women be action stars, women over 40 can have lives as adventurous as any other character. And hopefully, as the stellar reviews keep pouring in, enough viewers will tune in to give Netflix no choice but to renew the show for a third season.