Australian TV show recommendations.

DeeDee Adelaide

So @A_Ron_Hubbard threw out the challenge in the Q&A. Let’s do it, Aussies. I have no idea how easily available any of these are outside Australia, but if you come across any of them, I’d recommend: 

Wentworth. Drama set in a women’s prison. It’s based on a hugely popular drama/night soap from the 1970s/80s, but is much more gritty and realistic than that one was. I have never fully warmed to it personally, as I’m too nostalgic for the original, but I have seen several seasons and it’s an excellent show. 

Upper Middle Bogan. A comedy about a posh doctor who finds out she was adopted and her biological family are car-racing bogans. It’s a typical clash of cultures sitcom (no laugh track), but the bogan characters especially are warm and hilarious, and the doctor’s wanky hipster husband is a delight. 

The Letdown. A comedy drama about a middle class 30-something woman who has a baby and struggles with parenting. Sounds kinda whatever, but it’s so well done; it’s funny but also sometimes devastating. If you’re a parent you’ll relate and if you’re not, you might never want to be after watching this. 

Rake. The show that the Greg Kinnear one is based on. This one is better, and the main character is the sleazy duke from Moulin Rouge. 

Glitch. A bunch of people in a small town return from the dead, including the first wife of the local police officer. Gripping drama that goes off the rails a bit in S2, but still definitely worth watching. 

Cleverman. Dystopian reworking of indigenous Dreamtime stories. Really original and interesting show. 

Seachange. Comedy drama about a big city lawyer who moves to a small seaside town to become the local magistrate. The town is full of endearingly quirky weirdos and it’s a lot of fun. It’s 20 years old, but still good, and it’s being rebooted this year. 

The Day Of The Roses. This is super obscure and 20 years old, but if you ever see it anywhere, I highly recommend it. It’s a two part mini series about a real life train crash in Sydney in the 1970s where 80 people died and hundreds were injured. I haven’t watched it for probably 7 or 8 years but I still think about it a lot. 

We Can Be Heroes. Summer Heights High is probably better known outside Oz, but for me, WCBH is Chris Lilley’s best show. A mockumentary about several nominees for Australian Of The Year (including Ja’mie from SHH) with Lilley playing all the main parts, it’s funny and relatable and sometimes cringy, but also shockingly sad in parts. 

Ronny Chieng: International Student. It’s all in the title. Fun little comedy about a Malaysian student studying in Australia. 

Rosehaven. Another of those “small town full of weirdos” comedies that we seem to love doing. A man moves back home from Sydney to a small town in Tasmania to help run his mum’s real estate agency when she is taken ill. His best friend who has been left at the alter decides to go with him. That’s it. But it’s great. 

We also do a lot of good “slice of life” dramas (that all seem to star Claudia Karvan and/or Justine Clarke and/or Ben Mendelsohn), such as The Secret Life Of Us, Tangle, Love My Way, The Time Of Our Lives, etc. These are all worth checking out if you’re just looking for something not too deep to binge on. 

kojiattwood

Comments

  • Masterchef! :p
  • Neighbours!

    I really like Wentworth, Glitch and everything that Chris Lilley does.  There was a show a few years back called Underbelly that I liked too.

    My cousin is into a show that I can't remember the name of, but I've watched a few episodes with her and it's pretty good...it takes place in the 1920's and is about a woman investigator?  It's a murder mystery type of show?  

    And because I know how much Kiwis love being lumped in with Aussies, there'a s lot of really good shows from New Zealand too - starting with Top of the Lake.  There a lot of really funny comedies too.



    Dee
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    @CretanBull Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I’ve never watched it, but it’s pretty popular here. 

    I’m not a fan of Underbelly, as I was living in Melbourne during the era of those gang wars and the show really glorified some incredibly awful people. A lot of Melbourne people dislike it for that reason, but it is hugely popular anyway, and I get why those who don’t remember or don’t know the actual people involved would enjoy it.  
    CretanBull
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Masterchef! :p
    Do you get that? I’d have thought you’d just have your own version. 
  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    edited June 15
    Dee said:
    @CretanBull Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I’ve never watched it, but it’s pretty popular here. 

    I’m not a fan of Underbelly, as I was living in Melbourne during the era of those gang wars and the show really glorified some incredibly awful people. A lot of Melbourne people dislike it for that reason, but it is hugely popular anyway, and I get why those who don’t remember or don’t know the actual people involved would enjoy it.  
    Yes - Miss Fisher's Murder Musteries - that's it!  We have a similar show here called "Murdoch Mysteries", it's set a little further back (like turn of the century) but is a similar sort of thing...just with a lower budget and production values.

    I can see what you're saying about Underbelly.  I love Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, but I really struggled with the glorification of criminals - and they were purely fictional.  Given that Underbelly deals with real people and events I can see how that feeling would be intensified.

     
    Dee
  • @Dee: in your list, Upper Middle Bogans caught my eye first, mostly because other than the name of a road, I had never seen the word "bogan" and didn't know what it meant. So I looked it and the series up. It seems that I can watch the first two seasons/series in the USA on Hulu, but it's called Bess of Both Worlds. I just hope they didn't change anything else other than title. I've never forgotten or forgiven the horrible dub of the original Mad Max we got because I guess the original speech was just "too Australian" for us Yanks! Lol
    Dee
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    @TheRealCrazyDave Oh wow, what a weird title. I get why they would have changed it though, as obviously Americans don’t know what a bogan is (it’s kind of our version of a redneck, I guess?). 

    Anyway, if you watch it, let me know what you think. I always wonder whether Australian humour travels well. 
    TheRealCrazyDave
  • @Dee: I'm finally getting around to watching The Leftovers(for some reason I made it about 6 or 7 episodes and just stopped a couple years ago, not even sure why) and as soon as I finish it I'll check out UMB/BoBW. I'll definitely let you know what I think, or if I come across something I don't understand. 
    Dee
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    @CretanBull I’ve seen a few episodes of Murdoch Mysteries, but I didn’t realise it was Canadian! I thought it was Americans trying to sound a bit old timey posh. 
    CretanBull
  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    edited June 16
    Dee said:
    @CretanBull I’ve seen a few episodes of Murdoch Mysteries, but I didn’t realise it was Canadian! I thought it was Americans trying to sound a bit old timey posh. 
    The main guy is actually French Canadian, his name is Yannick Bisson.  The guy who plays his side-kick (I forget his character name, the actor's name is Jonny Harris) is from Newfoundland, his natural accent is closer to an Irish accent than anything that you might normally associate with Canada.

    Dee
  • I'm not Australian but I watched a bunch of Australian shows on Netflix for a while because once you watch one, they just keep coming! My two favorites were Wanted and The Doctor Blake Mysteries. 
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    @CeciliaM The guy who plays Dr Blake got #MeToo-ed! He’s out and now it’s his cleaning lady or whatever she was who solves the mysteries. 
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    I’ll second Wentworth. It’s a tonne of over the top gritty fun. 
    Dee
  • Dee said:
    Masterchef! :p
    Do you get that? I’d have thought you’d just have your own version. 
    The Australian version is a BILLION times better.
  • Underbelly is a terrific series IMO.
  • And to tap in to a little NZ if you like a silly melodramatic fantasy series set in modern times the Almighty Johnsons is a fun ride.

    CretanBullDee
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    edited June 20
    Dee said:
    Masterchef! :p
    Do you get that? I’d have thought you’d just have your own version. 
    The Australian version is a BILLION times better.
    Haha, my favourite is the UK one and I hate the Aussie one. Ours is so over the top and melodramatic and repetitive, and everyone always has a sob story. “My dog died of cancer ten years ago. I’ve never worked in the food industry or considered applying to be an apprentice chef or going to catering college but it’s always been my dream to work in food! I’m doing this for us, Fido!” 

    The UK one is like, “This is Geraldine. She enjoys gardening and baking cakes with her grandchildren.” It’s so low key, I love it. 

    What’s the American one like? Do you get all the guest chefs like Nigella, Heston, etc.? 

  • DeeDee Adelaide
    amyja89 said:
    I’ll second Wentworth. It’s a tonne of over the top gritty fun. 
    I know the original (Prisoner: Cell Block H) was huge in the UK. Have you ever watched that one or was it way before your time? 
  • Dee said:
    Dee said:
    Masterchef! :p
    Do you get that? I’d have thought you’d just have your own version. 
    The Australian version is a BILLION times better.
    Haha, my favourite is the UK one and I hate the Aussie one. Ours is so over the top and melodramatic and repetitive, and everyone always has a sob story. “My dog died of cancer ten years ago. I’ve never worked in the food industry or considered applying to be an apprentice chef or going to catering college but it’s always been my dream to work in food! I’m doing this for us, Fido!” 

    The UK one is like, “This is Geraldine. She enjoys gardening and baking cakes with her grandchildren.” It’s so low key, I love it. 

    What’s the American one like? Do you get all the guest chefs like Nigella, Heston, etc.? 

    The American one is way over the top with faux drama, plus sometimes the contestants are quite nasty to each other.  Frankly, though the BEST version, if you're truly into food is UK "Professionals'; it's truly remarkable.

Sign In or Register to comment.