• (L - R) 'Trigonometry', 'Invisible Heroes', 'Killjoys', 'Joint Venture' and 'The Carmichael Show' (SBS)Source: SBS
We know there are A LOT of TV series out there, and some shows get missed. So here are our picks of the 10 most underrated hidden gems at SBS On Demand for 2020.
By
SBS Guide

10 Dec 2020 - 11:43 AM  UPDATED 10 Dec 2020 - 12:51 PM

Trigonometry

Cash-strapped couple Gemma (Thalissa Teixeira) and Kieran (Gary Carr, Downton Abbey)) decide to open their small apartment up to a third resident. Surprisingly, their new lodger Ray (Ariane Labed, The Lobster) seems to make things easier for the couple. But they soon enter a polyamorous relationship and each of them must learn how to navigate love and relationships in an entirely new way. Refreshingly original, authentic and funny, this brand-new show from the UK is about love, bravery and following your heart.

Why you should watch 'Trigonometry'
"It's nice to make something that you know has irritated some people!," says 'Trigonometry' star Thalissa Teixeira of the show she desperately wanted to be in. (Now streaming at SBS On Demand).
‘Trigonometry’ is not your average love triangle
Refreshingly original, this brand-new show from the UK is about love, bravery and following your heart.
  

Trigonometry is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Invisible Heroes

Based on a true story, Invisible Heroes takes us to Santiago, Chile in 1973. Augusto Pinochet has just overthrown the president in a bloody military coup, throwing the populace into fear and turmoil. At the time, Tapani Brotherus was working as a Finnish diplomat and enjoying the expat lifestyle with his wife Lysa. But when people literally start climbing the walls into their compound, desperate for help, he ignores all diplomatic protocol and instructions from above, helping ensure safe passage to Europe for over 2,000 Chilean citizens.

This multilingual political thriller from Finland in collaboration with Chile is utterly captivating, highlighting what can happen when individuals choose to act from a moral rather than policy standpoint. Pelle Heikkilä (Midnight Sun) stars as Tapani, and real-life wife Sophia Heikkilä plays Lysa. Also look out for Mikael Persbrandt (BeckSex EducationAgent Hamilton) as Swedish ambassador Harald Edelstam.

Invisible Heroes is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

The Carmichael Show

Stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael stars in this multi-generational sitcom. In episode 1, he announces his girlfriend Maxine (Amber Stevens West) is moving in. Not short of opinions, how will his family react? His father is the type to vote Republican if it means receiving an economic stimulus payment, his mother is always right with Jesus and his brother has bright ideas on tap.

This comedy comes with a twist; not your standard network sitcom and not afraid to discuss issues such as mass shootings, whether it’s okay to still like Bill Cosby’s comedy and obtaining consent from a woman before sex. Featuring an incredible cast including Tiffany Haddish, Lil Rel Howery and Loretta Devine, this show is topical and funny – give it a whirl. 

Tiffany Haddish was born ready
‘The Carmichael Show’ may be based on lead actor Jerrod Carmichael’s dysfunctional family, but co-star Tiffany Haddish is the main attraction. (SBS VICELAND, Saturdays)
Should you own a gun? The confronting questions asked by 'The Carmichael Show'
TV’s most provocative comedy debates the big issues facing modern culture.

The Carmichael Show seasons 1–3 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Joint Venture

In a fictitious future in São Paulo, Brazil, marijuana has just been legalised. Now, small-time dealer Biriba (Luís Navarro) must decide whether to make his business official in a quickly saturated market, or stay on the wrong side of the law dealing harder more dangerous drugs for much bigger pay. Changing from one world to another is more difficult than he imagined, and to make matters worse, certain people from his past aren’t too happy with his decision.

Produced by HBO Latin America this series explores the grey area between what is criminal and what is legal, diving into the social and economic consequences drug trafficking can have on not only a person, but their country as well.

'Joint Venture' is Brazil’s most addictive new drama
On the streets of São Paulo, the tension stays high even when getting high becomes legal.

Joint Venture is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Apnea

Women call the shots in this powerful and sensual murder mystery from France. Set on a small island in the Mediterranean, a series of suspicious deaths and a sudden lack of fish coincide with the arrival of mysterious stranger, Théa (Laetitia Casta) who enthrals the young Chloé (Noée Abita). This thrilling supernatural series is inspired by the myth of the mermaid and will lure you in. The scenery and underwater sequences are shot beautifully and poetically, elevating this coming-of-age/ecological drama. 

There's a lot going on under the surface in 'Apnea'
When a small island suffering from a fishing shortage is hit by a string of murders, a mysterious woman rapidly becomes the focus of blame – but her secret will prove to be far more fantastic.

Apnea is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

The Hot Zone

This mini series is extremely intense, but ultimately has a happy ending, which isn’t a spoiler because it’s based on a true story. In 1989 it is discovered that the Ebola virus has infected a group of chimpanzees in a research lab in the suburbs of Washington D.C. Spread by blood, the virus has a fatality rate of 90%. Luckily Dr. Nancy Jaax (Julianna Margulies), a real-life researcher with the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases knows the importance of containing and stopping the virus, and while she comes up against naysayers, there is no way she’s letting Ebola spread. The virus itself is one scary thing, but what’s really moving is how deadly or helpful the human response to a virus can be.

'The Hot Zone' is the viral thriller that couldn’t be more topical
'The Hot Zone' is the true story of a team of scientists faced with a deadly disease threatening to spread across the United States… in 1989.

The Hot Zone is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Killjoys

This sci-fi series, from the producers of Orphan Black and the creator of Lost Girl, follows a fun-loving, hard-living trio of interplanetary bounty hunters sworn to remain impartial as they chase deadly warrants throughout the Quad, a distant system on the brink of a bloody, multi-planetary class war. If you can follow all that, this show is for you! Hannah John-Kamen stars as Dutch, a much-loved top-level Killjoy with a unique gift for earning people’s trust and respect, regardless of their class. But beneath her banter and protective flirtations lies a dark and secret past. Smart, funny and featuring a badass cast with incredible chemistry, if you liked Firefly you will enjoy Killjoys.

A handy cheat-sheet for keeping up with the bounty hunters of ‘Killjoys’
Things move fast with these three.

Killjoys seasons 1–4 are now streaming at SBS On Demand (season 5 lands 17 December).

 

The Pier

Alejandra is a high-profile architect who is shattered by her husband’s suicide. After discovering that he led a double life with another woman for years, Alejandra tries to appease the pain by approaching her under another identity to discover why her husband lived a lie – and what really happened on the night he died. Starring Álvaro Morte (a.k.a The Professor from the hit series Money Heist) and created by Álex Pina (who created Money Heist) you won’t want to miss this addictive Spanish thriller.

Spanish drama ‘The Pier’ reinvents the female duo, 'Thelma & Louise'-style
And it's all about sex, lies and double lives.

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

 

The Family Law

Based on Benjamin Law’s best-selling memoir, this dramedy following everyone’s favourite almost-functional Asian–Australian family has been warming audiences’ hearts since it first aired in 2016 – and this year we brought back all 3 seasons to SBS On Demand. 14-year-old Benjamin is slightly self-obsessed, with aspirations to be famous despite his severe lack of talent. For the Law family, all communication can lead to misunderstanding and unlikely comedy stems from tragedy. This is a show about sabotaged expectations, growing pains, finding your place in the world, and the strange embarrassment we feel towards the people we’re supposed to love the most: our family. The Family Law delves into divorce, romance, coming of age and coming out, all while making you laugh and cry.

The most memorable moments of 'The Family Law' - according to the cast and Benjamin Law
Now that the groundbreaking comedy has wrapped up, we reminisce with the people who created it.
How ‘The Family Law’ normalised cultural diversity on Australian TV
Asian-Australian families can be dysfunctional, conflicted, and compelling – like any family. In celebrating that, ‘The Family Law’ changes what we expect from Australian television going forward.

The Family Law seasons 1–3 are now streaming at SBS On Demand (also available with Simplified Chinese subtitles).

 

The Principal

2015 crime drama miniseries The Principal (which came back to SBS On Demand this year) is a whodunnit set in a multicultural school. Matt Bashir (Alex Dimitriades), history teacher and former Deputy at a prestigious girls’ school, is swiftly promoted to the position of Principal of Boxdale Boys High. In this notoriously difficult Sydney school, Bashir’s radical approach brings him into conflict on all fronts and leaves his personal life dangerously exposed. He works overtime to get the local community on side, promising change in his charges. But just when it seems he is making progress, a 17-year-old student is found dead on school grounds. The murder and subsequent police investigation threaten Bashir’s fledgling reforms, his support from staff and even his resolve. But he’s determined to do his best for the boys of Boxdale despite his fear that students will take matters into their own hands. The murder investigation shifts from students, gang members, local shopkeepers, parents and the teaching staff.

Confessions of a middle class white boy: How 'The Principal' gave me a better understanding of multiculturalism
Television drama is no panacea, but it can go some way towards cultural understanding.
5 reasons there needs to be a season 2 of "The Principal"
Bring back Bashir!

The Principal is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

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