When it comes to quality viewing, it’s easy to feel trapped by choice. With so much greatness to watch, why risk starting something that’s merely good? Fortunately we’ve found the solution. We’ve gone through the SBS On Demand back catalogue and found a range of first-rate series that may have escaped your notice. Whether you’re after drama, comedy, or just someone trying to come up with a new kind of breakfast, these hidden gems won’t let you down.
Marcus (Babou Ceesay) and Jas (Freida Pinto) are a quiet left-leaning couple in early ’70s London – until the death of one of their friends at the hands of the police radicalises them, and suddenly they’re fighting the system by any means necessary. Inspired by the real-life activism of the British Black Panthers, and with producer Idris Elba in a supporting role (plus a deeply scary Rory Kinnear as the racist policeman determined to restore order to London’s streets), it’s a gripping mix of knife-edge thriller and insightful character drama that never loses sight of the personal cost of violence.
Guerilla is now streaming at SBS On Demand:
Inspector Rojas: In Cold Blood
On the edge of the desert in the most isolated town in Chile, a serial killer is plying his trade. Everybody knows he’s out there, but only one cop is willing to do something about it – César Rojas (Francisco Melo). With its roots in the real-life story of Julio Perez Silva (AKA “The Psychopath from Alto Hospicio”), a taxi driver who killed 14 women between 1998 and 2001, this mix of spaghetti western, police procedural and historical drama paints a quietly devastating picture.
Inspector Rojas: In Cold Blood is now streaming at SBS On Demand:
Back To Life
Eighteen years after she was sent to prison, Miri Matteson (series co-writer Daisy Haggard) has moved back in with parents she can’t talk to in a small town that most definitely doesn’t want her around. This often hilarious comedy finds much of its humour in the small details, finding optimism in the darkest moments without selling short the pain of many of the characters. It’s a brightly polished comedy gem, a show full of heart and insight that can get laughs from the most unexpected directions.
Back To Life is now streaming at SBS On Demand:
The Red Line
Three families. One shooting. Over eight episodes, the fault lines that radiate out from the death of an unarmed African-American doctor at the hands of a white cop create a ground-level snapshot of a divided America. Matter-of-fact about the way race and sexuality play out in modern America – Noah Wyle plays the dead doctor’s husband, now raising his adopted African-American daughter as a single father – it’s a quietly ground-breaking series that shines a sometimes harsh light on a range of hot-button cultural issues.
The Red Line is now streaming at SBS On Demand:
Brothers Mark (Mark Little) and Andy (Andy Bush) have spent much of their lives staying away from Cavendish on Canada’s Prince Edward Island – and when they return to look after their ailing father (Kevin Eldon, who is hilarious), it turns out they had good reason. Dad runs The Museum of the Strange and Fantastic, and Cavendish is a town with no shortage of either.
The brothers’ dynamic (one’s a slacker, the other’s a stickler for rules) and the relentlessly weird yet matter-of-fact town play off each other for some great comedy. And if you know enough about Anne of Green Gables to know it was set in Cavendish, there’s an episode here you’ll never forget.
Cavendish is now streaming at SBS On Demand:
Pros and Cons
Erik (Lars Ranthe) and Nina (Lene Maria Christensen) are living a quiet, peaceful life in the suburbs of Copenhagen. They’re also two of the country’s most skilled con artists… or they were until they retired to raise a family. But when someone from their past arrives with a con too good to pass up (and the ability to destroy their new lives if they say no), then their old life – and just possibly, the spark in their relationship – is back with a vengeance. With entertaining cons and family drama, this suburban crime comedy is stylish fun.
Pros and Cons is now streaming at SBS On Demand:
Nuts and Bolts
If you’ve ever wondered how things work, then you’ve got something in common with rapper and musician Tyler the Creator. Whether it’s building the ultimate electric go-cart, falling out of a plane or inventing a brand new breakfast meal, he’s out there on the front lines of creativity… or just messing about having a good time.
Nuts and Bolts is now streaming at SBS On Demand:
With the Melbourne International Comedy Festival luring the world’s best stand-ups to our shores, there’s no better time to check out this series exploring just what it is that makes stand-up comedy work (or not). Former stand-up comedian Kilph Nesteroff tackles the art of telling jokes from every angle, from bombing to Christian comedy to the world of LGBTQ comics and what exactly Michael Winslow – you know, the guy who made all the funny noises in the Police Academy movies – is up to now.
Funny How? is now streaming at SBS On Demand:
When a frozen body is found on a snow-covered mountain on the German-Austrian border, you know it’s time for some international crime-solving. But this is no straightforward killing, as the killer taunts the police with a recording made of the killing. Soon the bodies start to pile up, and the mis-matched cops on the case have to figure out how to work together before the Krampus Killer strikes again.
Pagan Peak is now streaming at SBS On Demand:
If there’s one thing better than a drama set in the world of high finance, it’s a drama set in the world of high finance where bankers are the ones with their lives on the line. Swedish investment banker Tom Blixen (Adam Pålsson) would disagree, especially after seeing his latest client murdered in front of him in Moscow. It turns out shares in dead-end oil company Neftnik aren’t going to be as easy to sell as he thought. Based on the first in a trilogy of action thrillers by Swedish writers Camilla Grebe and Paul Leander Engström, it’s a high-stakes drama where nobody is who they seem.
Moscow Noir is now streaming at SBS On Demand:
Follow the author here: @morrbeat