• The shows that captivated Australians in 2019. (SBS On Demand)Source: SBS On Demand
2019 saw a bounty of brilliant new TV series from home and abroad. If you haven’t seen them, don't miss your chance to catch up on the shows that captivated Australians this year, streaming at SBS On Demand.
SBS Guide

5 Dec 2019 - 3:13 PM  UPDATED 12 Dec 2019 - 9:04 AM

The Hunting

Starring Asher Keddie and Richard Roxburgh, The Hunting follows the lives of four teenagers, their teachers and families in the aftermath of a nude teen photo scandal. Tackling themes of misogyny, online exploitation, sexuality and sexualisation, the series offers a vital portrait of modern, multicultural Australia.

Richard Roxburgh won the AACTA Award for Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama for his role in The Hunting,and writers Niki Aken and Matthew Cormack picked up the AACTA Award for Best Screenplay in Television, for episode 3 titled #shittyboys.  Breaking ratings records earlier this year, The Hunting is now set to screen in six other countries. 

The Hunting box set is now streaming at SBS On Demand.



Struggle Street

Season 3 of this thought-provoking documentary series was released this year. Locals of the New South Wales Riverina region share the complex issues facing them and many Australians today, including addiction, poverty and drought-induced stress. Season 2, from 2017, is also streaming at SBS On Demand.

Struggle Street seasons 2 and 3 are streaming at SBS On Demand.


Filthy Rich and Homeless

This series asks five high-profile Australians to experience life as one of the nation’s growing number of homeless. Season 2 is filmed on the streets of our most expensive city, Sydney, and in the live episode, participants Cameron Daddo, Skye Leckie, Benjamin Law, Alex Greenwich and Alli Simpson reflect on their experience.


Filthy Rich and Homeless seasons 1 and 2 are streaming at SBS On Demand.  


Australia In Colour

Narrated by Hugo Weaving, this documentary is a unique collection of moments of our nation’s history brought to life for the first time in colour. Reflecting on Australia’s character, attitudes and politics, and the struggle to value our Indigenous and multicultural past, it offers a fresh perspective on our history.

Australia In Colour is available to stream in full at SBS On Demand.


Years and Years

Starring Emma Thompson, this audacious drama follows an ordinary Manchester family and catapults them from life in 2019 to 2034. In this fictitious depiction, Britain is rocked by political, economic and technological advances while the family experiences what they hope for and fear in the future. Audiences have found Russell T. Davies’ show ‘both brilliant and terrifying’.  

Years and Years is available to stream at SBS On Demand. 


On Becoming In Central Florida

Kirsten Dunst shines in this dark comedy as Krystal Stubbs, a minimum-wage water park employee. She lies, schemes and cons her way up the ranks of the cultish pyramid scheme, FAM, that drove her family to ruin. In this creepy view of suburban America, capitalism crumbles.

On Becoming A God in Central Florida is available to stream at SBS On Demand.



‘Behind every great fortune is a great crime.’ Julia Stiles plays Georgina, newly married into the wealthy Clios family. When her husband (Anthony LaPaglia) is killed in a yacht explosion, she begins piecing together the mysterious circumstances surrounding his untimely death and uncovers family secrets that involve money laundering and one very dangerous set of people.

Both seasons of Riviera are now streaming at SBS On Demand



With an impressive cast of stars, including Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville and Liv Tyler, this female-centric drama is set in cosmopolitan 18-century London, and centres on the heady and highly competitive world of the city’s most valuable commercial activity – sex.

All three seasons of Harlots are now streaming at SBS On Demand.



This thrilling Norway­–USA collaboration brings together homicide detective William Wisting (Sven Nordin) and FBI special agent Maggie Griffin (Carrie-Anne Moss) to solve the case of a suspected American serial killer on the loose. Wisting’s journalist daughter is also put into grave danger after publishing a news story related to the investigation. This is one bingeworthy series.  

Watch Wisting at SBS On Demand. 


The Son 

Jumping across his life experience in the Wild West, The Son follows Eli McCullough (Pierce Brosnan) who will stop at nothing to secure his legacy at the time of the nascent oil industry of 1917. He employs deceit, fraud and murder – weapons he wields with the effortless skill of the Comanche warrior he once was.

Seasons 1 and 2 of The Son are now streaming at SBS On Demand.



Set in rural Ireland, this psychological thriller follows Cat (Carolina Main) who returns to her childhood home following her mother’s death from a fall at the bottom of the garden. The simmering tension of this family saga deepens when Cat begins to suspect her father (Adrian Dunbar) is involved in the apparent accident.

Watch Blood at SBS On Demand.



Project Blue Book

Project Blue Book was the name the US Air Force gave to its clandestine operation, investigating UFOs and related phenomena, which ran throughout the fifties and sixties, one of America’s most mysterious periods. Game of Thrones’ Aidan Gillen plays Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the college professor hired to spearhead Project Blue Book. Real-life case files are brought to life in this series. To call it fascinating would be an understatement.

As we await the arrival of season 2, catch season 1 of Project Blue Book at SBS On Demand. 


Below The Surface

The first season of this Danish thriller throws us right into the mess of three heavily armed men taking hostages in a metro train, sending us below the surface with what becomes a terrorist threat. Commander of Denmark’s Terror Task Force Philip Nørgaard (Johannes Lassen) is back after a well-earned break in season 2. This time, the setting is on board a ferry on which innocent passengers find themselves in the company of the suspected kidnappers, the woman kidnapped, and Nørgaard and his team out for their blood.

Below The Surface seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Pagan Peak

This German hit draws inspiration from the genius premise of The Bridge. German Ellie Stocker (Julia Jenstch) and Austrian Gedeon Winter (Nicholas Ofczarek) are sent to investigate a murder that took place on the countries’ border. Gruesomely staged, the victim’s body is found propped up on a mountain pass in the Alps, reminiscent of a pagan ritual. Soon, more such crime scenes are discovered. Are these deaths part of a bigger, more sinister plan? The wintry backdrop is almost a character in itself in this thrilling series.

Pagan Peak is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


The Handmaid’s Tale

This hugely popular adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel barely needs an introduction. Season 3 follows June’s resistance to Gilead’s dystopian regime and her determined strike back against overwhelming odds. Season 4 is in our future. Stay tuned!

The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

Debrief after every episode with Eyes On Gilead: A Handmaid's Tale Podcast.  


Moscow Noir

Young Swedish investment banker Tom Blixen (Adam Pålsson) has the world at his feet. It’s Moscow, 1999 – the height of the Wild East – and he’s feeling invincible. But when Tom takes a huge gamble, he’s thrust into a battle between the big boys: not only millionaires and oligarchs, but their private armies, too. Who can he trust?

Moscow Noir is available to stream at SBS On Demand.



Finland brings us this thrilling series. When intelligence agent Mari (Krista Kosonen) goes undercover, she befriends an asylum seeker, who also seems to be going under cover – she’s actually Madina (Sibel Kekilli), one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, who until now has been presumed dead. Mari sets out to befriend Madina, and discover her true intentions in Helsinki.

Bullets is available to stream at SBS On Demand.


Mary Kills People

With three seasons until its belt, this popular Canadian show focuses on the secret life of Dr Mary Harris (Caroline Dhavernas). An ER doctor and single mother to a teenage daughter, Mary operates a side hustle with her colleague Des (Richard Short) helping terminally ill patients end their lives. Working outside the law, they risk discovery after the death of a superstar footballer comes to light. To say Mary’s life is complicated is putting things mildly.  

Three seasons of Mary Kills People are available as a box set at SBS On Demand.

More from The Guide
‘On Becoming A God In Central Florida’ takes the pursuit of the American dream to a whole new multi-level
It’s a case of if you can’t beat them, join them, but what if you lose yourself in the process?
‘Years and Years’ imagines a terrifying dystopian future that looks very much like right now
This exceptional six-part series delivers a chilling, futuristic tale that taps into collective worldwide rage and chaos. ‘Years and Years’ is unlike anything ever seen on television but captures exactly what the world currently feels like. And it’s essential viewing.
‘Wisting’ is Nordic noir with a US twist
When an American serial killer turns up in Norway, it’s a crime-solving culture clash as both countries put their best cops on a case that’s cold in more ways than one.
5 ferocious reasons why you should be watching ‘Harlots’
Smash the patriarchy and have a great time, while you're at it.
It’s hostage drama on the high seas with ‘Below The Surface’
Cop Philip Nørgaard wants a quiet life. But when evidence of Danish war crimes arrives on his doorstep, he’s soon dealing with a hostage situation that’s all at sea.
Everything you need to know about 'Riviera' season 2
Brace yourself for some more first-class intrigue, as season 2 of the hit high-society drama returns to SBS and SBS On Demand.
Who can you trust amid the murder in 'Moscow Noir'?
Life is looking good for ambitious banker Tom Blixen. And then it very suddenly isn't, as he strays into the world of Moscow's shadowy powerbrokers.
‘Bullets’ shows why women make the best cops – and the best criminals
When a terrorist everyone thought was dead turns up in Helsinki, an undercover cop is sent to get close to her. But how close is too close?
A violent past haunts the present in season two of ‘The Son’
In season two, ‘The Son’ brings the violence of the 1800s right up to 1988.
The Playlist Ep 88 - Karyn Kusama ('Destroyer') / 'Pagan Peak' / 'Lego Movie 2' / 'Sometimes Always Never'

0:36 Destroyer / Great Nicole Kidman performances

6:40 Fiona's interview with Destroyer director Karyn Kusama

21:29 Pagan Peak, a new German series

25:05 What Have You Been Watching? - including The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and Sometimes Always Never