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Six web series to watch this winter

It might be cold outside, but this list of Aussie online originals will warm your soul.

Ranging between five and 20 minute episodes, this collection of Screen Australia-funded comedy series is super easy (and free!) to binge and the perfect way to get your daily dose of humour. So wrap your eyes and ears around these winter warmer web series.

over and out

Over and Out is a narrative comedy about the lives of a regular nuclear family smack bang in the middle of the post-apocalypse. Created by real life husband and wife duo Christiaan Van Vuuren (Soul Mates) and Adele Vuko (Skit Box), they play parents Lewis and Freya, struggling with the stressful demands of parenthood all the while battling zombies, mutants, disease and feral kids. From anti-vaxxers who refuse zombie injections to new ‘vegetarians’ AKA people who don’t want to be cannibals, there’s something for everyone. But don’t just take our word for it - the series also won Best Short Form at the international TV festival Cannes Series earlier this year. It’s a must see.

Sarah's Channel

Online original Sarah’s Channel nails the ridiculousness of the YouTube influencer phenomenon on the head. Beauty vlogger Sarah (Claudia O’Doherty) discovers she’s been reanimated after an apocalypse and finds herself surrounded by subterranean mutants. Despite ‘mole people’ deciding she’s some kind of warrior, Sarah doesn’t let them or the ominous monster Quahmork stop her from doing what she loves. At only four to five minutes per episode, you can easily smash out Sarah’s Channel in under an hour. After breakout roles in the US (Love, Trainwreck and Inside Amy Schumer), Claudia O’Doherty returns to Australia to work with her long-time friend and Sydney playwright, Nick Coyle, who features as her mole man accidental love interest – Justin – and both wrote and directed the show. Think typical YouTuber formats like beauty routines, makeovers, ‘haul’ videos and ‘What’s in My Bag?’ but with an apocalyptic twist - swap lipstick for a saliva/blood/clay concoction or an iPhone for a knife in sack.

So what are you waiting for – “like and subscribe!”

  • Come behind the scenes with Nick and Claudia here

sheilas

Comedy and sister duo, Hannah and Eliza Reilly (Growing Up Gracefully) launched their new online series Sheilas last year. With funding from Screen Australia’s Gender Matters initiative, each of the four episodes is constructed from a feminist perspective and aims to revive the stories of badass sheilas of Australian history. The online series focuses on a different woman in each episode, including: Indigenous bushranger Mary Ann Bugg; Merle Thornton, a feminist and academic who chained herself to a bar to allow women to be able to drink in pubs; Olympic champion swimmer Fanny Durack; and WWII spy Nancy Wake.

It boasts some fantastic talent too from the likes of Brenna Harding (Puberty Blues), Christiaan Van Vuuren (Soul Mates), Kate Box (Rake) and the Reilly sisters themselves. Cheeky and informative, the series combines re-enactments, comedy and history, reminiscent of Chaser skits like The Checkout and Hamster Wheel, to give you a grand overview and insight into some of the sheilas Australia should know about.

  • Come behind scenes with Hannah and Eliza here

Glennridge secondary college

Melbourne absurdist comedy group, Aunty Donna, is back this year with their online series Glennridge Secondary College, a funny yet frighteningly accurate representation of Australian school life. 

Boasting a loyal YouTube following (252k subscribers) and even venturing into some animation this time round, the group has created a more structured format with this sketch serial. Ridiculous yet relatable, Glennridge Secondary College centres around very familiar Australian teenage experiences. It’s already a hit online with their predominantly Gen-Y fan base but is sure to evoke a certain sense of nostalgia for all age groups harking back to playground handball competitions, testosterone-fuelled boys, trips to the school nurse, long-winded roll calls and being kept in at lunchtime. With 16 episodes, there’s plenty of content to binge and catch up on. 

  • Come behind the scenes with Aunty Donna here

superwog

Brother duo Nathan and Theo Saidden have lifted their game (read – budget) with their new six part comedy Superwog, an expansion of their short videos. Their YouTube channel is currently sitting at more than 1.3 million subscribers with episode 1 notching almost 9 million views. There is no denying that they have a far-reaching and loyal fan base.

In this satirical comedy, the Saidden brothers play multiple characters (including Superwog, his parents and best friend Johnny) as they partake in misadventures and overcome the barriers that come with an ethnic heritage - you’ve got swimming carnivals, bitcoin investment, formals and high school politics. The dynamics between the different pairings - father and son, mum and dad, and best friends - against the backdrops of a chaotic and dysfunctional household and privileged private school are sure to entertain. 

skit box: the series

Female sketch comedy trio Skit Box is back with a three part production. The creators behind viral hit Activewear and Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am, Adele Vuko, Sarah Bishop and Greta Lee Jackson, have released their self-titled web series in a move into narrative work.

From a uniquely female perspective and inspired by the likes of The Mighty Boosh and Flight of the Concords, the show focuses on the journey of three women trying to make it in the male-dominated comedy scene. The addition of animated objects (each girl’s alter ego) who come to life whenever they need a pep talk or a dose of reality, makes for some amusing encounters. Skit Box highlights the obstacles and challenges women face in this industry amidst subtle and overt sexism and seedy male characters. With special guests Greg Larsen and Matt Okine in the mix, make sure you tick this one off your list!

  • Come behind the scenes with Skit Box here

Are you an online creator? You may be eligible for both development and production funding from Screen Australia.