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Your Summer Streamin' sorted

As summer well and truly kicks off, we take a look at some fantastic Screen Australia-funded scripted series from 2019.

If you’re searching for that perfect holiday binge or finally have a chance to catch up on some of your favourites, here are 11 titles that are all available to stream right now (and many for free!).

From brand new dramas such as Upright and Total Control, to heart-warming dramedy series like Robbie Hood, there’s something for everyone.

Upright

In this landmark new series, theatre superstar Tim Minchin plays Lucky Flynn, a gifted pianist who’s estranged from his family, broke, damaged and directionless. When he learns his mother has days to live, he embarks on the 4,000km drive from Sydney to Perth to say goodbye, taking with him his only cherished possession - a battered upright piano. Things go pear-shaped when he crashes into a ute driven by Meg (played by Milly Alcock), a tough-as-nails teenager on the run with plenty of baggage of her own. The pair are thrown together and forge the unlikeliest of bonds in their quest across the Nullarbor.

You can binge the whole series on Foxtel or streaming service Foxtel Now here

Total Control

Deborah Mailman stars in her first leading role as unlikely national hero Alex Irving who is catapulted into government as a Senator for Queensland. When she finds herself betrayed by the Prime Minister (played by Rachel Griffiths), she sets out on a path of redemption and revenge. Total Control shines a light on hot button issues including the incarceration of Indigenous Australians, land rights and sexism in politics and Mailman’s commanding on-screen presence as the straight-talking and feisty Alex is has received high praise.

Recently landing three AACTA awards, this political drama is a much-watch. Catch it on ABC iview here

  • “Mailman is superb” – The Guardian
  • “One of the best Australian offerings of the year” - Mamamia
  • “Never less than fiercely entertaining” – The Australian

Seachange

Seachange

After a 20-year hiatus, Seachange is back on our screens. Sigrid Thornton reprises her role as Laura Gibson and returns to Pearl Bay to visit her pregnant daughter Miranda after losing her job in Africa. Seachange dishes up its usual powerful qualities of humour, sentimentality and melodrama and we get to spot familiar faces such as caravan park manager Kevin, disgraced real estate developer Bob Jelly and his wife Heather. ­Laura is forced to tie up the loose ends of the life she left behind but will Pearl Bay take her back?

Episode 1 was the highest rated drama debut of the year, and now you can spend time at Pearl Bay yourself by watching Seachange on 9NOW here

  • “Does not disappoint” - SMH
  • “There isn't much that a dose of Seachange cannot fix” – SMH

Les Norton

Based on Robert G. Barrett’s classic Australian novels, Les Norton follows the exploits of a country lad’s misadventures as a bouncer/fixer at Sydney’s most notorious illegal casino in Kings Cross in the raucous 1980s. On the run from his own troubled past, he soon finds himself dragged deeper into the web of underground criminality. Alexander Bertrand has received rave reviews for his performance as Les, the crooked larrikin and with the added star power of Rebel Wilson (brothel madam), David Wenham (casino kingpin) and Kate Box (Les’ housemate), take a step into the colourful and dangerously thrilling world of 80s crime.

Watch all eight episodes on ABC iview here

  • “[Alexander] Bertrand is a definite stand-out” – Arts Hub
  • “Promises all the excitement and nostalgia of a retro Underbelly” - SMH

The Hunting

Starring award-winning Asher Keddie and Richard Roxburgh, The Hunting follows four teenagers, their teachers and families in the wake of a nude teen photo scandal. By tackling themes of misogyny, sexualisation, stigma and online exploitation, it underscores how these problems cut across class and cultural lines.  The four-part drama offers a nuanced portrait of contemporary, multicultural Australia and sparks a conversation on consent, ethics and trust.

The Hunting became the highest-rated SBS drama commission in history, and you can binge it now on SBS On Demand here

  •  “Australian TV needs more of this teen drama” – SMH
  • “Compelling, tense and prickly drama” – The Guardian

Lambs of God

Based on Marele Day’s novel of the same name, award-winning Lambs of God is a dark gothic tale of three nuns living a life of solitude in a convent on remote and rugged island. Their live are disrupted and hell breaks loose when a young priest (Sam Reid) enters their world while on a mission from the Church (to redevelop the property). Also on display is the beauty of some of Australia’s natural landscapes, having been filmed in the Blue Mountains, NSW south coast and Tasmania.

The all-star cast includes Emmy Award-winning Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale), Australian favourite Essie Davis (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) and young UK-talent Jessica Barden.

The series just cleaned up at the AACTA Awards (taking home nine trophies), so go check it out for yourself.  All four episodes available on Foxtel here

  • “stunningly crafted…with electric performances and beautiful cinematography” – news.com.au
  • “intensely gothic and deliriously compelling” – The Guardian

My Life is Murder

Fan-favourite Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) graces Aussie screens in 10-part crime drama My Life is Murder, billed as “a cop show without a cop.” Lawless stars as Alexa Crowe, a complex, contrary and fearless investigator who brings a different approach to solving crimes joined by sidekicks DI Kieran Hussey (Bernard Curry) and millennial data-whiz Madison Feliciano (Ebony Wagulans).

Having been sold around the world, the series features Melbourne’s west and boasts a stellar line-up of regulars and guests including Danielle Cormack, Don Hany, Magda Szubanski and Ryan Corr.  

Catch up on 10 play here

Robbie Hood 

Robbie Hood

Recently winning an AACTA award for Best Online Drama or Comedy, this short-form series follows cheeky but likeable 13-year Robbie in his hometown of Alice Springs. Writer-director Dylan River says the show is based on both his and his family’s experiences growing up in Alice. It puts a new spin on the Robin Hood folk tale; Robbie is a troublemaker but has a heart of gold and spends his days roaming the streets with his gang of merry friends. He steals from the rich (or borrows heavily) and gives to the poor (mostly friends and family), has to put up with his dad - a drunk and a bit of a “dickhead” - and loves his nan. 

You can binge this cheeky and heart-warming series (only 6 x 10 minute episodes) on SBS On Demand here

  •  “The most perfect piece of TV you’ll see this year” - SMH

Five Bedrooms

Five Bedrooms

From the creators of Offspring comes dramedy Five Bedrooms, which tells the story of a group of five mismatched people who meet at the singles table at a wedding. After a few too many champagnes they decide to pool their funds and buy a house together. This is where drama and complications ensue. Featuring an impressive and diverse cast, Five Bedrooms provides a good dose of comedy as the band of new homeowners navigate the joys and perils of share housing. 

With season two returning to our screens next year, get up to speed on 10 play here

  • “The best Australian show on TV right now” - Perth Now
  • Five Bedrooms is the new Offspring…a must-watch dramedy” - Mamamia

Ms Fisher's MODern Murder Mysteries 

A spinoff and modern take on the popular cult favourite Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, this series is set in the 1960s and sees Miss Phryne Fisher’s niece Peregrine take centre stage. Peregrine, played by Geraldine Hakewill (Wanted), inherits a windfall when her famous aunt goes missing over the New Guinea highlands, presumed dead. She pairs up with Detective James Stead, (their love/hate relationship an ongoing part of the storyline), and must prove herself to become a world class Private Detective in her own right.

Watch the spinoff series on 7Plus here

  • “Vivacious crime series spinoff delights” - IndieWire
  • “Seductive sleuthing” - WSJ

Bloom 

This Stan Original series is set in the aftermath of a devastating flood that kills five locals in an idyllic Victorian country town. One year on, a mysterious plant appears with the power to restore youth. Boasting a star-studded cast, including Jacki Weaver, Bryan Brown, Phoebe Tonkin and Ryan Corr, Bloom examines themes of deep-rooted regret, love, passion and destruction as its characters chase a second chance at life.

It’s the perfect series to binge over the summer in preparation for series 2, airing 2020. You can watch all six episodes on Stan here

  • “This is a series that deserves a mass audience” - Screen Hub
  • “Just as bold and captivating as anything from overseas” - SMH
  • “Gripping Australian drama” - news.com.au

Catch-up on the Australian, film, TV and online productions that were released during the course of 2019 now available to stream here

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