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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Ten Australian TV Shows You Should Stream This Summer

Hit pause on your fifth run of 'Seinfeld' — there's plenty of hilarious, relatable and completely bingeworthy local television to get into.
By Nathania Gilson
December 25, 2017
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Ten Australian TV Shows You Should Stream This Summer

Hit pause on your fifth run of 'Seinfeld' — there's plenty of hilarious, relatable and completely bingeworthy local television to get into.
By Nathania Gilson
December 25, 2017
  shares

2017 was an action-packed couple of months for scripted storytelling. As we are wont to do, we made sure you knew what international and Australian films to watch before the end of the year, and we've just put together our list for the best films of 2017. But what about television?

We may have gotten through the past 12 months on a steady diet of Stranger Things, the return of Twin Peaks, a dollop of BoJack Horseman, regular portions of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and late-night benders of Margaret Atwood-inspired dystopia. But how much Australian television do you remember watching? If none come to mind straight away, we're here to cure that case of pop cultural amnesia.

So fire up your local streaming services, prepare your stash of Zooper Doopers, put your phone on Airplane Mode, get into your cosiest staying-in-for-the-summer outfit and settle in for some top-notch Australian-made series. Here's ten to get you started.

KIKI AND KITTY

What if your new best friend was also the human embodiment of your vagina? For some, that's a rhetorical question. For Nakkiah Lui, it's the beginning of a brand new series. Written by and starring Lui (who plays the lead role of Kitty), and directed by Catriona McKenzie, Kiki and Kitty is modern-day absurdist comedy at its best. Launched as one of the new short-form series for ABC Comedy earlier this year, each episode explores what it's like to be "the good black girl in a bad white world". It's fierce, funny and unapologetically explores the politics of race and gender in a way that few Australian television shows would dare.

Available on: ABC iView.

RONNY CHIENG: INTERNATIONAL STUDENT

You may recall Ronny Chieng from his day job as a correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show. Based on his real-life experience of being a university student in Melbourne, Chieng plays a version of himself on the show. Cultural stereotypes are both exploited, and interrogated, for laughs but also for thoughtful reflections on what it means to be a young person who switches countries, and cultures, full of hope and expectation. This is perfect viewing for anyone who appreciates a story from an outsider's perspective with a sharp comedic edge.

Available on: ABC iView.

ROSEHAVEN

Daniel and Emma are fictional best mates. So are real-life comedians Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola, who also happen to be the co-creators and writers of the show. Exploring what happens between moving back home to help out with the family business and a failed marriage, this Tasmanian-made series is deeply endearing. Both seasons play like a love letter to rural life, and what happens when we decide to give up on ambition. Daniel/McGregor and Emma/Pacquola are about propping each other up just as much as they're about mocking the hell out of each other. For those of us who prefer to find gentle humour through genuine friendships.

Available on: ABC iView.

GLITCH

Set in the fictional country town of Yoorana, Glitch explores what happens when seven people rise from the dead with no memory of who they are, or how they died. Sitting somewhere between supernatural mystery and sci-fi, the series was created by Tony Ayres (producer of The Slap) and Louise Fox (previously a writer on Broadchurch). If you were previously a fan of the 2012 French series Les Revenants, the first two seasons of Glitch offers an Australian gothic take on small town urban legends and unfinished business.

Available on: Netflix Australia.

ROUND THE TWIST

Totalling four magical seasons, Round the Twist was definitive in making strange the new normal on 90s Australian television. Galore with monsters, werewolves, human ice cream machines and the haunted lighthouse that started it all, the series is the equivalent of audio visual comfort food for old fans. Also guaranteed to be a cornucopia of oddball amusement for the yet to be initiated. It's now all on Netflix.

Available on: Netflix Australia.

THE OTHER GUY

If modern break-ups and heartache need to be key story ingredients for your summer viewing, consider The Other Guy. In the long tradition of male comics playing versions of themselves on screen, comedian and Triple J life member Matt Okine is AJ, an aimless breakfast radio host who has just split up with his longtime girlfriend (Valene Kane). The show deals less with the heroics of finally accepting adulthood, and more about the funny, sad and inane aspects of getting older anyway. Give it a go if you loved Master of None, Love or Please Like Me.

Available on: Stan.

NO ACTIVITY

Two cops on a nighttime stake-out, a methamphetamine shipment that never arrives, and mindless conversations form the basis of the first season of this slapstick improvised comedy. And if you want more, there's a second season to devour as well. For fans of Mike Schur's American workplace comedies (The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Recreation), No Activity is Australia's equivalent of the nothing-ever-happens type of comedy. Expect some sincere moments among the sly laughs too.

Available on: Stan.

THE FAMILY LAW

Adapted from Benjamin Law's book-length series of personal essays on his family, The Family Law deals with the aftermath of a family's breakdown in the wake of a divorce, and what it's like to grow up on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland as an Asian kid who dreams of starring on Home and Away (spoiler alert: it's no walk in the park). It's rare that a series can be awkward, hilarious and heartbreaking all at once, but The Family Law manages to fictionalise Ben's coming-of-age without forgetting to look at weighty issues too, like coming out as a Chinese-Australian teen, the deportation of extended family, and the unexpected death of grandparents with grace and warmth.

Available on: SBS On Demand.

OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS

Boasting an all-female creative team (from the co-creators and writers to the starring roles), Other People's' Problems is a dramedy about reluctant copywriter Florence and the ever-enterprising Ann, who team up to ghostwrite letters for people in exchange for clothes. In a misguided attempt to prove they're both great at helping people, acting as agony aunts leads them to wondering if they're actually just rubbish at dealing with their own problems. As with all the best stories, this one is based on writers Penelope Chai and Jane Dickenson's experiences of starting a bartering project called Clothing for Correspondence (pen to paper in exchange for clothes from your wardrobe). A perfect snack of a series for the heartfelt snail mail letter writers and op-shop fiends among us.

Available on: ABC iView.

GET KRACK!N

Kate and Kate, the co-creators of ABC's The Katering Show, are back to take on the world of Australian breakfast television. You can be guaranteed two things for every 30 minute episode in the series: these two do not know how to host a breakfast TV show, and it is too damn early in the morning (we're talking go-to-air-at-3am.-early) to have maintained one's A-game. For anyone who is resistant to the real thing, cosy up to this eye-wateringly hilarious time on the grey green couch of never-ending awkwardness.

Available on: ABC iView.

Published on December 25, 2017 by Nathania Gilson

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