The Bureau (5 seasons)
The latest and possibly final season (5) arrived at SBS On Demand this year. There is no better time to start your marathon of one of the best French series (or possibly just series) ever made.
The Bureau is based on real accounts from French spies, and reveals what life is like for the deep cover agents that put their lives on the line in the so-called Bureau of Legends (a clandestine branch of the French Secret Service). It features an all-star cast that’s a who’s who of French cinema including lead Mathieu Kassovitz (Amélie), Louis Garrel (Little Women), Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and Florence Loiret Caille (Spiral), and two episodes in season 5 are directed by Palme d’Or winning director Jacques Audiard (Dheepan). This spy thriller will hook you in with its tense storylines and world-class cinematic quality.
Watch every episode of The Bureau at SBS On Demand.
Spiral (8 seasons)
Speaking of the best French series... Starting in 2005 Spiral is the award-winning series that follows a team of flawed but driven police officers and prosecutors as they contend with the most heinous crimes in modern-day France. Spiral covers both the investigative and legal elements of any given case, moving from catching the culprits to bringing them to justice in the courtroom. Think Law & Order, but darker, grittier and in Paris. The show has also been compared to The Wire, as it delves into the impact the work has on our heroes’ personal lives and the systematic corruption they have to face. Spiral is one of the best cop shows around and season 8 (the final season) has just landed this December, so there is no better time to start watching than now.
Watch every episode of Spiral at SBS On Demand.
The Killing (3 seasons)
It wouldn’t be an SBS On Demand watch-list without some incredible Nordic Noir. Running for just 3 seasons, The Killing certainly left its mark as one of the best Nordic Noir series ever.
Season 1 takes place over 20 gripping episodes and 20 days in Copenhagen. On what is supposed to be her last day in the homicide department, Sarah Lund (Sofie Gråbøl) is thrown into the murder investigation of teenager Rosie Larsen. The Larsen family and their friends struggle to cope with the loss. Meanwhile a top politician, Troels Hartmann (Lars Mikkelsen, brother of Mads) is involved in a ruthless but promising election campaign. As the investigation unfolds, Copenhagen opens up like a Chinese box, full of secrets and power struggles and everyone becomes a part of the same story as the police follow the leads.
Watch every episode of The Killing at SBS On Demand.
Follow the Money (3 seasons)
We are staying in Denmark for this classic financial crime thriller that is returning to SBS On Demand. Follow the Money starts with the discovery of a corpse near a wind farm, but the investigation soon shifts gear from the murder mystery to the dealings of environmentally friendly energy company, Energreen. Entering the boardrooms and banks of the corrupt world of economic crime, the series centres on four lives that become entwined as the rich, poor, greedy and fraudulent go to any lengths to realise their dreams. This slow-burn thriller has plenty of twists and turns plus some familiar faces if you’ve watched other Nordic Noirs and it is created by one of the co-writers of Borgen (so you know it’s going to be good).
Watch every episode of Follow the Money at SBS On Demand from 23 December.
Low Winter Sun (1 season)
Thrilling American drama series Low Winter Sun is set in modern-day Detroit and stars two British actors, Mark Strong (Temple, Deep State) and Lennie James as detectives Frank Agnew and Joe Geddes (Strong was in a British miniseries that sparked this show). With their police unit rife with corruption, the series starts with the murder by Frank of a corrupt cop. From creator Chris Mundy (Ozark, Bloodline), the atmosphere is tense and dark, with photography to match. While it seems at first to be the perfect crime, the murder activates forces that pull Agnew into the heart of Detroit’s underworld, altering his life forever. Strong is as, well, strong as ever here; it’s hard to take your eyes off his face. James is also magnetic as Geddes, the pair proving to be a formidable force.
Watch every episode of Low Winter Sun at SBS On Demand.
Riviera (3 seasons)
If there was ever a year that you wanted a series to take you away to beautiful locations, such as the French Riviera’s Côte d’Azur, the picturesque canals of Venice, Italy and the romance of Buenos Aires, Argentina, it was this year. Riviera begins when Georgina Clios’ (Julia Stiles) billionaire banker husband Constantino (Anthony LaPaglia) is mysteriously killed. She is determined to find out what happened, but the deeper she digs, the darker things get. The drama and conspiracies continue in the second and third seasons of Riviera, as do the stunning costumes and locations.
Watch every episode of Riviera at SBS On Demand.
Home Ground (2 seasons)
This Norwegian drama looks at the issues of gender equality and inclusion in sport. After leading her team to sensational results in European women’s football, coach Helena Mikkelsen (Ane Dahl Torp) finds her achievements ridiculed by the male experts of the footballing world. She is offered the role of assistant coach for the Norwegian Premier League men’s team, Varg IL. Not satisfied with being an assistant, Helena is able to expose the club’s weaknesses and convince the club director that the club is in bigger trouble than they realise and lands herself the historic job of head coach. But even though she is qualified, it doesn’t mean everyone will agree with or accept the decision. It’s not going to be an easy ride. The long-awaited second season has just landed this December.
Watch every episode of Home Ground at SBS On Demand.
Spooks (10 seasons)
This seminal UK spy drama ran for 10 incredible seasons and introduced us to a slew of players who would become the who’s who of British actors. Set behind the scenes of the modern-day British Security Service (MI5), Spooks shows what it’s like to be a spy, through the eyes of the spies themselves, balancing the personal life storylines with the intense and sleek action. The series became known for its shock twists, cliffhanger endings and the feeling that no character is safe (long before Game of Thrones killed off a lead character early, Spooks had already done so and in a completely brutal way).
Jump back to 2002 when in season 1 a young Matthew Macfadyen was the chief of Section D, a clandestine counter-terrorism division who work round the clock to safeguard the nation.
Watch every episode of Spooks at SBS On Demand.
Killjoys (5 seasons)
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, the fifth and final season has just landed this December.
Watch every episode of Killjoys at SBS On Demand.
Happy Endings (3 seasons)
Three seasons is not nearly enough of this series, but luckily it’s also one of those cult shows that you can marathon over and over again. The show starts out with six Chicago-based, long-time friends: Dave, Alex, Jane, Brad, Penny and Max. Alex and Dave are getting married until Alex bails as a runaway bride. The group then has to navigate how to function after the awkward break-up. But the focus of this is only a few episodes.
While at first glance, Happy Endings may look like your typical urban friends hangout show (à la Friends) it takes that formula and turns it up to absurd levels. It’s meta, slightly bizarre and has gag after gag after gag. The cast has incredible chemistry, each character is ah-mah-zing (it’s one of those shows where you can’t pick a favourite) and most important it’s just really funny.
Watch every episode of Happy Endings at SBS On Demand.
The Last Man on Earth (4 seasons)
Speaking of another comedy that needs more episodes, we have every episode of the Will Forte comedy The Last Man on Earth. The year is 2022, and after a deadly virus has swept the planet (eek), average guy Phil Miller (Will Forte) searches the country for other survivors, but finds no one. Phil comes to the painful realisation that he is almost certainly the last living being on Earth. All he wants is for someone – anyone – to find him, preferably a woman.
A year ago this show seemed kind of far-fetched and now some of it is scarily relatable. The virus sweeps the planet in 2020 (creepy) and one of the first celebs to die from it was Tom Hanks. (What? OK, this is getting too close to home.) Phil does find other survivors played by an incredible cast including Kristen Schall, January Jones, Cleopatra Coleman, Mary Steenburgen, Mel Rodriguez and Kristen Wiig. This dark comedy will make you laugh, cringe and also hit you right in the feels.
Watch every episode of The Last Man on Earth at SBS On Demand.
Plus there's so much more to watch at SBS On Demand. Click here to explore the full program line-up.