• Jenny Brockie hosts an episode of 'Insight' on sexual harassment. (SBS)Source: SBS
Celebrate the legacy – and future – of Australia's premier first-person discussion show with these vital episodes.
By
Jeremy Cassar

6 Nov 2018 - 3:16 PM  UPDATED 6 Nov 2018 - 3:16 PM

Since 2001, when its format matured into the dynamic panel discussion we now know, Insight has broached, dissected and attempted to make sense of just about every relevant issue facing modern Australia. And it's done so with admirable consistency and depth.

Steered by host Jenny Brockie, Insight tackles everything from the curious to the confronting to the confounding. The series has carved out a legacy in Australian television history, revealing the perspectives and experiences of people we might never meet. Here is a sample of especially memorable episodes from the always-memorable Insight, available to watch now.

Do you have a favourite that's not here, or an episode you'd like to see again? You can let SBS know.

 

"Fat Fighters" (2013)

Fight the bulge? Or fight the discrimination?

It’s only fitting we begin with Insight’s most viral offering – its episode devoted to weight and weight bias. "Fat Fighters" is as divisive as the show gets, featuring representatives from all sides of the weight debate. Body image, diet and health are the trio of talking points, with viewers forced to confront their misconceptions or prejudices towards the heavyset. The results are heated, to say the least.

 

"Electroshock" (2013)

"It doesn't have to be perfect to work. If it saves your life, isn't that more important?" – Natalie.

2013 was a stellar year for Insight, as evidenced by its exploration of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). The episode reinforces the fact that tackling major depression is like fumbling around in the dark with your hands tied behind your back. The contentious success rate of ECT is revealed as a microcosm for most treatments – proving that when it comes to the black dog, there are no absolutes. 

 

"Two of a Kind" (2006)

"I think we're just like one person." - Bridgette and Paula Powers.

One of the less 'heavy' entries in the Insight canon is this special on identical twins, which probes 22 duos for the truth about living alongside another version of yourself. From two young women who are so intertwined that they speak in unison, to two male lifesavers actively searching for a pair of identical twins to wed, this is a riveting episode that cast a light on a world most of us will never enter.

 

"Love Transformed" (2016)

What is it like to be the loved one of someone who comes out as transgender?

This terrific instalment serves as an unofficial sequel to the 2013 episode “Transgender”, by placing focus on the loved ones of trans people. We meet the partners, parents, siblings and children of those who’ve transitioned at various stages of life, and witness their love and acceptance, pain and resentment, and everything in between. For many of the guests, there’s a tangible catharsis to speaking freely in a public forum. 

 

"Violent Femmes" (2014)

"I stop once my opponent starts bleeding, that's when I stop." - 'Lea', 14.

Acts of physical violence among young males is a pervasive issue the world over, but we rarely hear about those that occur within the young female population. Here, gender stereotypes are thrown for a loop when we learn violence among young Aussie girls is nowhere near as rare as it's assumed. We meet a wide range of teenagers who not only use fighting as a means of conflict creation or resolution, but accept it as a natural part of their daily lives.

 

"I’m Not Racist, But…" (2012)

Are we all a little bit racist?

Proving Insight doesn’t shy away from sticky subjects, this is a thorough and frank discussion of racism in Australia. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect is hearing from people from non-Anglo backgrounds who feel disdain for members of their own community who don’t totally assimilate into "Aussie" culture. This episode asks whether we all carry a degree of suspicion towards those who aren’t like us.

 

"Getting Better" (2017)

How do you move on from trauma?

A woman loses her entire family after their boat sinks. A man is crushed in a heinous automobile accident. Another man, as a child, is sexually molested by members of the Orthodox Jewish community. Another woman, as a child, is raped, kidnapped into slavery, then discarded after falling pregnant. We hear the stories of these brave survivors of trauma and learn how they’ve managed to move forward without the past dominating their lives.

 

Watch Insight Tuesday nights at 8:30pm on SBS, or repeated the following day at 3:30pm. To select from a long list of episodes, head to SBS On Demand.

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