Cancel your plans, lay on the snacks and settle in for the best Aussie TV shows to binge watch on Stan.
Who’s in it? Patrick Brammall, David Field, Rose Byrne, Genevieve Morris
How much have I missed? Two seasons, six episodes a piece. Each episode is around 25 minutes.
What’s the best bit? A season two episode involved some male errr… bodily grooming will have your jaw dropping.
What’s it going to remind me of? Can you imagine if Samuel Beckett wrote an episode of Brooklyn 99?
One of Stan’s two original originals (yes, there are more on the way) No Activity is a smart and laugh-out-loud cop comedy about a stakeout where, well, there’s not a lot of activity to report.
The clever script is amply supported by the excellent array of improvisation from the actors, leading to some genuinely surprising moments — for the both the audience and the people on screen. It’s not tightly scripted, obviously, but the oddball meandering dialogue is charming and often hilarious, while the direction makes the best use of the static environments.
No Activity was Logie nominated — a big feat for a streaming-only show — and deserves a look in. Check it out for some hilarious cameos from Tim Minchin and Sam Simmons!
Who’s in it? Richard Roxburgh, Matt Day, Adrienne Pickering
How much have I missed? A lot! Thirty-two episodes across four seasons — with seasons 1-3 currently on Stan.
What’s the best bit? The cameos from well-known local actors are great — especially Barry Crocker as Cleaver’s dad.
What’s it going to remind me of? If Boston Legal was a black comedy set in Sydney.
Rake is a much-loved legal dramedy exploring the career, life and loves of Cleaver Greene, a criminal defence barrister so self-destructive he should be up on charges. Roxburgh leads a cast that’s swimming in some of Australia’s best acting talent and the show has rightly been given a lot of award nods — and even a few wins.
The NSW justice system and state politics might not sound like topics that are ripe for the comedic treatment, but Rake deftly balances lightly wry observations with some deeper dips into the darker end of the comedy pool.
It’s more cerebral than laugh out loud — and you’ll definitely groan as Cleaver makes some of the more terrible decisions of his life — but Rake is an Aussie classic that’s hard to fault. Just one caveat: Rake got remade into a US series of the same name and it’s bloody awful! Avoid at all costs.
Who’s in it? Who isn’t? Underbelly must have slipped a paycheque to every single working actor in the country at some point.
How much have I missed? Six seasons, all self-contained and looking at a particular piece of Australian crime history. You’ve got five on Stan right now.
What’s the best bit? Jump straight to Underbelly Razor and enjoy a look at the bad boys and girls of the 1920s.
What’s it going to remind me of? The headlines you’ve read
If you’ve somehow missed the Underbelly phenomenon, then we can only assume you’ve just climbed back up from your nuclear bunker and we’ll give you a few years to catch up on current affairs before we introduce you to video streaming services.
Finish watching or just catch up on the five series of Underbelly that Stan now has available. Underbelly changed the way true-crime dramatisations got made from the very get-go and redefined the genre even if it did get perhaps a little sillier in some seasons.
We’re also getting a brand new Underbelly in 2017, this one titled Chopper. And yes, it’s what you think. So, catch up and get ready!
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
Who’s in it? Essie Davis, Nathan Page and a lot of cameos
How much have I missed? Three seasons so far, with the first two on Stan.
What’s the best bit? Miss Fisher shows a very unusual technique for drug testing in episode one.
What’s it going to remind me of? Miss Marple’s younger and far more dangerous daughter.
With the number of crime shows Australia produces, anything would think we had some sort of convict connection in our recent history.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries takes the action back to the 1920s — and Melbourne — and does away with hard-boiled detective types, instead offering up Essie Davis as The Honourable Phryne Fisher, a society dilettante turned private detective.
The show plays fast and loose with history, but has a lot of fun skewering the morals and society of the time. Essie Davis — currently playing Lady Crane on Game of Thrones — hams up Miss Fisher with a glee that’s perfect for the role.
Pour yourself a cocktail, pop on a silk robe and let yourself have some almost criminal amounts of fun with Miss Fisher.
Who’s in it? John Jarratt and yes, he’s playing Mick Taylor, one of the most frightening horror figures in recent memory. Plus, Lucy Fry in a defining role!
How much have I missed? Possibly two whole movies, but at the very least six episodes.
What’s the best bit? The story does something very different with the Wolf Creek mythos — and it’s great!
What’s it going to remind me of? Probably your worst nightmare.
Back in 2005 a low-budget Aussie horror flick called Wolf Creek hit the cinemas, terrifying audiences and wowing critics. Eleven years (and one sequel) later, the Wolf Creek TV series has become one of Stan’s first locally made shows.
John Jarratt returns to his role as the menacing Mick Taylor, while Queenslander Lucy Fry pops on an American accent as Eve Thorogood, the teenager hellbent on tracking him down. Yes, in just six episodes the series flips the tale of Mick Taylor and offers up a stellar performance from Fry as a powerful and driven young woman.
The series is beautifully made with some stunning cinematography that shows off the Australian outback for all it’s worth. It’s also a worthy addition to the Wolf Creek canon. If you liked Lucy Fry’s work, you can also find her in the TV series of Stephen King’s novel 11.22.63, alongside James Franco — also on Stan!
What’s coming up?
Stan has more original shows in the works. Here’s what we know:
Merchants of Misery: This comes from Trent O’Donnell, of No Activity, and looks at a young woman who inherits her father’s celebrity talent agency and finds herself learning the family trade the hard way.
The Other Guy: A well-known radio host finds himself suddenly single after 10 years because he discovers his girlfriend having an affair with his best mate. Matt Okine, half of Triple J’s duo Matt and Alex is developing the show which has been described as “hilarious and heartbreaking”.
All Thumbs: Three awkward social outcasts try and overcome their various shortcomings and find love. It’s been created by — and stars Damon Herriman — who Justifed fans will know as poor old Dewey Crowe. The team behind No Activity, Jungle is producing the show.
Chaperones: Created by and starring comedy group Aunty Donna, Chaperones has the offbeat trio suddenly looking after a child star!
HisenseHack: The Hisense 2017 range now comes with the Stan app, offering instant, on-demand access to the best new shows from around the world.