Korean dramas and western TV series dominate the video-on-demand scene in the country, but if you’re seeking a bit of change in content, we recommend trying an episode or two of TV shows from the land Down Under.
You may not often hear about Australian TV series getting recommended for binge-watching sessions, but these shows certainly pack a punch that’s quite stronger, we daresay, than some of the most popular titles owning social media these days.
If you do feel like taking a break from the top trending list of your VOD service provider, here are some Aussie programs you might want to check out. A little secret: it gets better as you get to the bottom of it. Thank us later, mate:
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Length: 3 seasons
The series is tagged as horror on Netflix but don’t be fooled, it’s a highly watchable one with an ambitious plot that plays with death and resurrection through science. Seven people mysteriously crawl out of their grave one night at a fictional small town in Victoria, Australia called Yoorana. They come from different timelines, one being a soldier from The Great War and one having recently died two years ago, and each character’s journey is about remembering how they lived and learning the truth surrounding their death. But the biggest mystery of all remains to be how they were brought back to life.
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Length: 3 seasons
You’d think the worst end to a tiring day is a jam-packed commute home, but Wanted lifts the bar a little higher than that. Two women living completely normal lives end up wandering the entire country, together, in a car none of them owns. Female leads Lola and Chelsea were merely waiting for their late-night bus ride home when they got randomly tangled in a carjacking incident. The next thing they knew, they’re living the crim life caught up in a constant chase with the crooks.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Length: 3 seasons
Set in the 1920’s Melbourne, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is recommended for anyone who loves a good dose of period dramas and enjoys listening to the sound of the early 20th century spoken English. Phryne Fisher, the modern woman lead of the series, wears her skirts higher than her ankles, reveals a bit too much skin, and independently works her way around the criminal justice system of old Australia as a lady detective, seeking justice for people who can’t win it for themselves.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Length: 2 seasons
Aussies create some of the most intriguing storylines based on dark national government politics juxtaposed life-endangering investigative journalism. Secret City piques the interest because just when you thought lead character Harriet Dunkley, who’s a veteran political correspondent for The Daily Nation, has successfully acquired a significant puzzle piece that will reveal the extent of dirty politics happening in the country, another mystery opens up and leads to another. A foreign nation is widely believed to be the root of evil but the revelations from each episode seem to be pointing to Canberra’s own backyard.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Length: 2 seasons
While it does have a bit of a slow start, this political thriller doesn’t beat around the bush. Once all the important elements of the story were in place, the tug of war for dominance went full throttle. The Code sophisticatedly treads the thorny path of reckless hacking into some dirty politics involving no less than big fishes from the Australian government. But more than that it carefully tackles sensitive subjects like media scrutiny, mental health, and oppression through the life of the lead characters, Banks brothers Ned (a journalist) and Jesse (a genius hacker). A word of caution, if your goal is to unwind this might not be the best pick for you, but if it’s a good thrill and a purposeful story you’re looking for, you might just have found it.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Length: 5 seasons
Rake follows the story of a brilliant lawyer who, more often than not, successfully wins cases for his guilty clients. In the first episode of the series, criminal defense barrister Cleaver Greene defends a world-renowned economist whose downside is cannibalism. In the third, a chef who’s a bigamist. You can guess the rest. The series offers the kind of atmosphere you’d see in feel good movies but what makes it a really alluring watch, apart from its entertaining showcase of human authenticity, is the razor-sharp wit of every scene that throws subtle but solid jabs on morals and life issues that matter.
Length: 1 season
This list contains mostly thrillers that have a lot of dark alleys and dead bodies, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing warm and fuzzy for the drama lovers out there. Sisters is a brutally honest series that reflects life as we know it—you like some, you hate some, and some days you just don’t know. The knots are messily tied up on this one, you have an In vitro fertilization doctor “who’s almost falling off the perch” admitting to donating his own sperm to patients throughout the course of his career, and then you have his children figuring the whole family thing out. But the most striking thing about this drama is the diversity of the characters in it and their unpretentious journey to self-discovery. A+++ for the actors’ performances by the way.
Genre: Crime, Drama
Length: 7 seasons
This seven-season series, going eight by next year, is a reimagined version of the landmark 1979 Australian soap opera ‘Prisoner’, better known as ‘Prisoner: Cell Block H’. The gripping narrative of Wentworth revolves around the character of Bea Smith and her first days in the Wentworth Correctional Center before becoming the top dog. You’d think a series that happens within the four walls of a correctional center 98% of the time would get boring and be just full of violence, but the storyline of Wentworth is what we’d call a great zoom in on the most complex aspects of human existence, the human mind and consciousness, because it unpretentiously portrays what happens when these things collide. The characters are easy to identify, the teal gang and the officers. But this drama series brilliantly highlights that at the end of the day, whether you’re manning the bars or you’re behind it, you’re human. We highly recommend starting this one with a clean slate though because you might’ve already gobbled up an entire season before you even realize it.
The good news is all of these dramas are available on Netflix.
Feel free to let us know in the comments if you find one that you like. Happy binge-watching!