Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the comedy series Fleabag.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the comedy series Fleabag. Supplied

The best shows to binge-watch this summer

While 2019 brought many shows that viewers (and stars) would like to forget - the ill-fated reboot of the Today Show, Seven's dating disaster The Super Switch and Rove's short-lived return to the small screen - there were also numerous hits that are worth revisiting.

Here's a list of shows to binge-watch this summer that will knock you for six.

CHERNOBYL

Chernobyl, the gripping dramatisation of the 1986 nuclear disaster, features an all-star cast.
Chernobyl, the gripping dramatisation of the 1986 nuclear disaster, features an all-star cast.

Where to find it: Foxtel on Demand.

What you're up for: Five episodes

Why watch it: This gripping dramatisation of the 1986 nuclear disaster at the

Chernobyl power plant has turned the abandoned site into a weirdly popular new

tourist hotspot. The series details the events that led up to the explosion, as well as

the aftermath, with powerful performances from Emily Watson, Jared Harris and

Stellan Skarsgard

TOTAL CONTROL

 

Rachel Griffiths in Total Control.
Rachel Griffiths in Total Control.

 

Where to find it: ABC iView

What you're up for: Six episodes

Why watch it: Two of the very best in the business - Deborah Mailman and Rachel

Griffiths - go head-to-head as an initially naive new Senator and her politically astute

PM. Newcomer Harry Richardson also puts in a scene-stealing performance as an

ambitious member of the new Senator's staff.

FLEABAG

 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the comedy series Fleabag.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the comedy series Fleabag. Supplied

 

Where to find it: Amazon Prime

What you're up for: Two six-episode seasons.

Why watch it: This was the show and the star (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) that had

everyone abuzz in 2019. Waller-Bridge was the creative force behind Killing Eve, but

in Fleabag she not only works her magic behind the camera but in front of it. Over

the course of two six-part seasons, she plays Fleabag, an emotionally self-

destructive cafe-owner searching for love in all the wrong places. Sadly, there will be

no more Fleabag. Unlike so many TV shows which overstay their welcome, Waller-

Bridge had the good sense to quit while ahead and leave viewers wanting more.

WENTWORTH

 

Where to find it: Foxtel on Demand

Susie Porter and Kate Jenkinson in Wentworth.
Susie Porter and Kate Jenkinson in Wentworth.

What you're up for: 10 episodes, but there are also six previous seasons to enjoy.

Why watch it: Thank goodness this prison drama got a stay of execution as it's really

upped the ante with the shocking plot twists going into season seven. It's little

wonder that some of Australia's finest actresses have lined up to do time on

Wentworth. Here, women - of all ages, shapes and sizes - are given the opportunity

to really showcase their acting chops in ways that a stint on Ramsay St or Summer

Bay would never afford them. This series picks up after The Freak (Pamela Rabe)

was buried alive by Will and by season's end there will be even more blood spilled

on the prison floor.

THE HUNTING

Asher Keddie and Richard Roxburgh in a scene from The Hunting.
Asher Keddie and Richard Roxburgh in a scene from The Hunting.

Where to find it: SBS on Demand

What you're up for: Four episodes

Why watch it: Any parent of young children will wake up in a cold sweat after

watching this compelling series about the modern world of sexting and online

pornography. It captures the gulf between tech-savvy teenagers who have a "take

pics or it didn't happen" approach to life and their parents, raised long before it

became commonplace to take and send naked photographs. Kavitha Anandasivam

delivers a heartbreaking performance as Amandip, a sensible student who decides

to bow to convention and send a boy she likes a topless photo, sending both their

lives into a tailspin.

OLD PEOPLE'S HOME FOR FOUR YEAR OLDS

A scene from The Old People's Home for Four Year Olds.
A scene from The Old People's Home for Four Year Olds.

Where to find it: ABC iView

What you're up for: Five episodes

Why watch it: This show is best summed up with one word: heartwarming. From the

makers of feel-good TV shows like Gogglebox and MasterChef Australia, Old

People's Home for Four Year Olds follows what happens when a group of children

undertake their kindergarten sessions in a Sydney nursing home. Spoiler alert:

spending time with these enthusiastic and loving little people brings improved health

and happiness to lonely residents. Watching how much the kids and the adults

blossom, one can only hope that this program is eventually rolled out in nursing

homes around the country.

UNBELIEVABLE

Merritt Wever and Toni Collette stunned viewers in the true crime series Unbelievable.
Merritt Wever and Toni Collette stunned viewers in the true crime series Unbelievable.

Where to find it: Netflix

What you're up for: Eight episodes

Why watch it: The most unbelievable thing about this compelling story of Marie Adler

-a rape victim who recants her story when the police and her foster-mother doubt

her contradicting versions of the assault - is that it is all based on a true story. Two

policewomen discover that an increasingly violent sexual predator is on the loose.

Toni Collette plays no-nonsense detective Grace Rasmussen while Karen Duvall is

the God-fearing Merritt Weaver. Be warned, this is harrowing viewing.

SUCCESSION

 

Succession has been a global smash-hit.
Succession has been a global smash-hit.

 

Where to find it: Foxtel on Demand

What you're up for: Two 10-episode seasons

Why watch it: A self-absorbed mogul refuses to give up the helm of his empire to his

spoiled adult children, despite his failing health. The fictitious and uber-powerful Roy

family flit about by helicopter, wear designer clothes and plot to stab each other in

the back over dinner in their plush New York apartment. Watch out for Australia's

Sarah Snook as the daughter who watches with mild bemusement as her brothers

(played with gusto by Macaulay Culkin's little brother Kieran and a brilliantly snide

Jeremy Strong) fight for power.

THE CRY

Asher Keddie in the gripping drama series The Cry.
Asher Keddie in the gripping drama series The Cry.

Where to find it: ABC iView

What you're up for: Four episodes

Why watch it: When a baby goes missing from the back seat of his parents' car

during a family holiday to Australia it sends shockwaves through the local community

and casts the eye of suspicion over all who knew him. Told in a fractured timeline,

the mystery slowly unfolds over the course of the series with every episode

delivering a new twist. British actress Jenna Coleman delivers a beautiful

performance as the guilt-racked and grieving mother while Ewan Leslie is fabulous

as her manipulative and controlling husband, Alistair.

FIVE BEDROOMS

 

Five Bedrooms fills the void left by Offspring.
Five Bedrooms fills the void left by Offspring.

 

Where to find it: 10Play

What you're up for: Eight episodes

Why watch it: This was the show that filled the void left by Offspring (when it left our

screens the first time around). Five Bedrooms has the winning formula of drama,

comedy and - most importantly - actor Kat Stewart and screenwriter Michael

Lucas. Stewart plays one of five people who drunkenly commit to buying a house

together. As the mismatched housemates adjust to living under one roof, surprising

romances bloom and friendships are forged.

 

MORNING WARS

Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon appear in a scene from
Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon appear in a scene from "The Morning Show” … a new offering from Apple TV+.

Where to find it: Apple TV

What you're up for: 10 episodes

Why watch it: It was billed as Jennifer Aniston's TV comeback. Not to mention yet

another notch on Reese Witherspoon's belt as a producer who tells strong stories

about women. But the standout performances in this tale of an American brekkie

show thrown into turmoil when one of its hosts is accused of sexual harassment,

actually come from Steve Carrell and Billy Crudup. Carrell is excellent as the self-

righteous, disgraced host, Mitch, while Crudup is the right blend of charm and smarm

in his performance as an ambitious exec.