• Treat yourself with France's excellent Spiral series. (SBS)Source: SBS
So much television, so little time. Here, we unearth a diamond so you don’t have to.
Jeremy Cassar

28 Sep 2016 - 11:26 AM  UPDATED 31 Aug 2020 - 9:08 AM

Tempting as it is to to gravitate towards the latest Real Househusbands of the Arctic Circle, sometimes we need a reminder that quality storytelling is only ever a few clicks away.

Spiral is one such show, and it’s been a welcome addition to SBS’s international line-up since it first aired in 2008. The show is available in full on SBS On Demand, including its most recent seventh season (the highly anticipated eighth season is coming in late 2020).

It is also a sleeper hit that picked up the International Emmy Award for Best Drama years into its run (2015).

Here’s what we we wager you’ll love about it...


A prosecutor, a police captain, two lieutenants, a lawyer and a judge walk into a courthouse…

The characters of Spiral are sent to all parts of Paris by a sprawling mystery involving police corruption, arms trafficking and murder. The French president also plays a role - as does a serial killer with the deceptively elegant moniker: "The Butcher of La Villette".

It’s a halfway point between The Wire and Law and Order

Don’t have the time or headspace to confront David Simon’s rewarding yet ultimately rather hopeless masterpiece, but want something meatier than CSI: Nebraska? Spiral meets you half-way, offering up a thrilling ride that doesn’t require you check your intellect at the opening credits.


It only gets more and more thrilling 

While season one is entertaining, season two maintains the thrill ride until it heads into more brutal terrain. And it all begins with a memorable death-by-burning you won’t want to miss. Each subsequent season dares to ratchet up the stakes a notch, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun to behold.


It’s pretty crazy

Spiral explores some pretty messed-up crimes and serves up some pretty gob-smacking twists and reveals – yet doesn’t resort to caricature.

It's still going

There are currently seven full seasons to marathon (76 hours of top notch drama to be exact) at SBS On Demand, plus there is an eighth season coming later this year. In this day and age, a quality television drama lasting this long is an accolade reserved only for the greatest US pioneers, and it seems CANAL+ has enough faith in the creators (Alexandra Clert, Guy-Patrick Sainderichin), to allow for varying blocks of time between seasons. So you know you’re getting something that’s been created with care.


Seasons 1- 7 of Spiral are available on SBS On Demand. Watch the first episode right here:


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