• (L–R) ‘La Fortuna’, ‘SF8’, ‘Framed’, ‘Gomorrah’ season 5. (SBS)Source: SBS
December is all about documentaries and crime dramas, with some comedy and sci-fi thrown into the mix.
SBS Guide

25 Nov 2021 - 9:39 AM  UPDATED 30 Dec 2021 - 10:30 AM

Alone Sweden

The Swedish version of the wildly popular US reality series, Alone Sweden follows four women and four men trying to survive the brutal Norwegian wilderness completely alone. The eight participants are not only isolated from each other but from the outside world. With only their camera and a few aids for company, they must combat extreme weather conditions, ruthless hunger, wildlife and total isolation. The aim? To survive out there longer than anyone else.

Nine-part series Alone Sweden premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.



The fifth and final season of Naples-set Italian mafia series, Gomorrah, is here. Following the Savastano Camorra clan, there are plenty of rival clans and internal family struggles to keep the drama coming. Bestselling author of the book on which the series is based, Roberto Saviano, also created the show, guaranteeing authenticity. Before the epic conclusion, there are many storylines to wrap up, including the aftermath of the clash between the Levantes and Patrizia, the police chasing down Genny, who must rely on a questionable source of support, and what happened to Ciro. If you’re late to this engrossing party, seasons 1–4 are now at SBS On Demand.

Double episodes of season 5 land weekly on Saturdays at SBS On Demand:


Perfect Life

From Spain comes sweet relief with this comedy drama in which three thirty-something women realise the lives they’ve planned out don’t always follow script. María and her man are about to move into their forever home when he realises the road ahead is far too straight and boring, and bolts. Her sister Esther offers solace which leads to her showing up at her best mate Cris’s daughter’s birthday party a little high, and not on life. An unexpected dalliance there points María’s life in a whole new direction – it’s anyone’s guess where she’ll end up. If you’re after a funny relatable dramedy, pop this one on your watch-list.

Seasons 1 and 2 of Perfect Life premiere exclusively in Australia and are now streaming at SBS On Demand.


La Fortuna

A drama based on real piratey events, this English and Spanish language series stars Oscar©-nominated favourite, Stanley Tucci, with Oscar©-winning director Alejandro Amenábar (The Sea Inside) at the helm.

The titular ‘La Fortuna’ was sunk in Spanish waters in 1804, taking its immense booty with it. When wealthy American Frank Wild (Tucci) discovers the loot, he wastes no time in whisking it home to Atlanta, Georgia. Determined to take back the $500 billion stash for Spain is Lucia, a smoking, cursing world-worn archival clerk, who fires up her fellow civil servants to follow her lead. Fresh out of diplomatic graduate school, Alex (Alvaro Mel) offers to help. This David and Goliath battle pits the unlikely team of Lucia, Alex and Jonas, a crusty old American lawyer they bring on board, against Tucci’s modern-day pirate and his hefty legal team. This series of substance is also peppered with humour. 

Hero or villain? Stanley Tucci and the murky depths of shipwreck hunters in ‘La Fortuna’
Plundering between the lines of the law, this rollicking drama depicts a stoush over the discovery of deep sea treasure.

La Fortuna premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.



This six-part German drama follows twenty-something mates, Max, Nellie and Janosch underground to Munich’s catacombs for an illegal rave party. When a fire breaks out, many revellers are injured in the panic to escape the network of tunnels, and some go missing, including Max. The next day, Max’s girlfriend’s body is found on the riverbank, sending his friends on the hunt for the truth. From shadowy figures living in the catacombs to authority figures they’re not sure they can trust, Nellie and Janosch are on the quest of a lifetime in this dark edgy thriller.

Echos premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Vienna Blood

We return to 1900s Vienna for season 2 of this English-language drama. Fans will be keen to reconnoitre with young English doctor, Max Liebermann, who helps Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt in his investigations of disturbing murders in the Austrian capital. Based on the best-selling novels by Frank Tallis and from acclaimed screenwriter Steve Thompson (Deep State, Jericho, Sherlock), the series co-stars Matthew Beard and Juergen Maurer.

Season 2 of Vienna Blood premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand. (Season 1 is available for catch-up.)


The Sketch Artist

From Canada comes this French-language crime drama where stories are told from an interesting angle – our protagonist is Eve, a young sketch artist who can ‘read’ people. Eve and her colleagues – Maryse, the methodical director, Bernard, the seasoned investigator, and Anthony, the new technician – help police solve crimes and tackle cold cases. The ten-part series plays out a case over two episodes each. One cold case is immensely personal for Eve: the disappearance of her baby boy five years ago. This watchable series will capture your emotions as well as your eager attention.

The Sketch Artist premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


Catch and Release

We are nothing if not dedicated to maintaining a constant supply of high-quality Nordic Noir. Set in a small village in northern Norway, Catch and Release follows the aftermath of the murder of well-liked Dr Meyer, who’s found floating down river with a bullet in his back. Among those desperate to solve the crime are his daughter, Erika, a young doctor, and ailing policewoman, Irja. With other locals getting tangled up in the investigation, prime suspect is the teenage Mira, who fled the scene with a shotgun in hand. We can feel you rubbing your hands together in satisfaction, NN fans, and rightly so.

Want a Nordic Noir with a killer combination of scenery and mystery? Catch ‘Catch and Release’
A small northern Norwegian town is famous for its fishing – until a local doctor is found dead in a river.

Catch and Release premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.   



Deliciously fascinating, this sci-fi series from Korea explores themes of robots, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (VR), horror, fantasy, superpowers and natural disasters, with a dose of romance thrown in. In its eight stand-alone episodes, dive into storylines that include becoming trapped in a terrifying fantasy world while live-streaming a VR game, a detective who’s not a fan of AI systems who ends up working with an AI implant, and a nursing robot who agonises over which of their patients to save.

Sci-fi anthology series ‘SF8’ is a South Korean spin on ‘Black Mirror’
Eight of Korea’s best directors take a stab at predicting the future, with impressive results.

SF8 premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.



Host Marc Fennell delves deep into Australia’s most infamous art heist: the theft and then the return of Picasso’s ‘Weeping Woman,’ from Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria in 1986. Three and a half decades on, the crime remains unsolved. Creating a media firestorm at the time, accusations went flying, reputations were ruined, suspects were interviewed and then released. Fennel talks to rock stars, painters and other stakeholders in an attempt to reveal the truth behind the sometimes deadly rumours surrounding this bizarre event in the nation’s history.

‘Framed’ sees Marc Fennell investigate one of the most brazen art thefts in history
Find out what happened when a Picasso disappeared from The National Gallery of Victoria, in this four-part documentary coming to SBS On Demand.

Framed premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.



With a slight echo of Echos, the German series also landing this month, and Stranger Things, this Spanish thriller adds a distinctly sci-fi flavour. When three young women go missing in a small town, Javi, the 13-year-old brother of one of the women, and his crew of mates, set out to find them with dogged determination. Their first stop is the abandoned nightclub where the women were last seen. The cast of young actors will impress.

Paraiso premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


The Promise

From the creators of Emmy Award-winning police drama, Spiral (now streaming at SBS On Demand), this French crime drama is set in the region of Landes, in south-west France. When police captain Pierre Castaing fails to locate local girl Charlotte Meyer, who vanishes amid a vicious storm on Boxing Day, 1999, he is ostracised from the community. Twenty years on, his daughter reopens the case in an effort to not only solve the mystery but clear her father’s name.

The Promise premieres exclusively in Australia and is now streaming at SBS On Demand.



Ken Burns’ new ‘Muhammad Ali’ docu-series is an immersive look at the Greatest of All Time
“He called himself the greatest, and then proved it to the entire world.”
‘Tell Me Who I Am’ is Spain’s gritty spy saga with a female James Bond
This story of a Spanish socialite turned wartime spy is a gritty tale of globe-trotting espionage that’s Spain’s biggest TV series to date.
Sex, guns, politics and police: a complicated, compelling drama set in Algeria
‘Algiers Confidential’ is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Sofia Helin talks us through her picks on SBS On Demand
The star of 'The Bridge' and 'Atlantic Crossing' talks about her top selections from SBS On Demand.
Here’s what’s leaving SBS On Demand in December 2021
It’s drama central this December. Catch a host of outstanding series before they leave, as well as documentaries and movies galore.
Dig into the truth about Australian TV in ‘The Back Side of Television’
Only Mitch McTaggart has the guts to explore what TV has really been telling us over the years.
‘Dark Side of the 90s’ offers jolting nostalgia for Gen X-ers
This new 10-part series from VICE takes us back to the age of grunge, supermodels and high-stakes talk television.
Norwegian–German drama 'Furia' weaves a tangled web in which a female cop risks all to fight extremism
Typically in terrorist-crime dramas, it is a burly big man in camouflage who is depicted as the saviour of humanity. Not in the Norwegian–German drama 'Furia'.
Your guide to audio described programming in December 2021
A summary of which programs will be more accessible to those who are blind or vision-impaired.