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The best TV shows on Binge (January 2023)
A guided tour through the halls of the home of HBO in Australia.
Foxtel’s streaming sidecar Binge has become the on-demand destination for some of the best, and most popular, TV shows in modern history. But with over 1,000 series to choose from, navigating the labyrinth of top-shelf telly can be a little overwhelming. We’re hoping we can save you from the endless scroll with our recommendations for the best TV shows streaming on Binge (you can find out top picks for movies here).
Before we begin
Click the 'Expand' button for more information on each TV show and where to stream them.
Comedian Nathan Fielder has built a career "helping" struggling small businesses turn things around with unhinged and elaborate schemes. If Fielder proved anything over four seasons of Nathan for You, its that he's utterly obsessed with upping the stakes with every subsequent episode and season.
His latest series The Rehearsal is an extension of his work on Nathan for You, except this time it's not businesses he's helping but the personal lives of his curious cast of subjects. Whether that's coming clean about a long-standing white lie, confronting a sibling about a disagreement over inheritance, or an extensive training regime for a would be parent, Fielder promises to leave nothing to fate. Of course, real life isn't as predictable as we'd all like to imagine, and that's where Nathan finds himself at home, where his comedy shines, in the absurd and unexpected.
The White Lotus
Created and written by Mike White, The White Lotus is a dark comedy about the murky power dynamics of tourism. If you can imagine the messiness of reality TV spliced into a prestige drama with the satirical bite of Succession, then you've got the idea.
Originally envisioned as a six-part limited series, the first season of The White Lotus takes place at a Hawaiian resort of the same name. Told over the course of a week, the plot tracks the hijinks, horniness and thorniness between the various privileged guests staying at the hotel and the poor staff who have to put up with them.
The upcoming second season of The White Lotus is set to move the action to Europe and will take place at a Sicilian version of the resort featured in the previous one.
House of the Dragon
Set several hundred years prior to the events of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon follows the rivalries and alliances of the royal Targaryen family as it descends into a period of civil war (later referred to by characters in Game of Thrones as the "Dance of the Dragons") and political turmoil.
The setup is both deeply familiar and starkly different to that of Game of Thrones, no pun intended. There's nary a White Walkers in the mix, but there are, of course, a lot more dragons. While fans can expect to see familiar locations like King's Landing and Storm's End to return, they shouldn't expect the houses involved with this particular struggle for the Iron Throne to echo the actions or ethics of their Game of Thrones counterparts.
Sex and the City
After six seasons, two god-awful movies and one spin-off that nobody remembers, you would think that the Sex and the City fountain had truly run dry but against all common sense, the HBO reboot series And Just Like That... went ahead without the series' sex positive MVP, Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) in 2021. Sure, there were some long overdue changes made for the reboot, not the least of which added a bit of diversity to the main cast; Sara Ramirez's Che Diaz a "non-binary, queer stand-up comedian who hosts a podcast," but it sometimes feels too little too late.
The release of the reboot got us in the mood to binge all six seasons of the pro-Samantha Jones original series (potentially followed by a wine-fuelled hate watch of the two movies). The entire original Sex and the City and the reboot series And Just Like That... are both available to stream on Binge.
Mare of Easttown
The entire season of HBO's crime drama Mare of Easttown is available to stream so you can watch all seven episodes back to back without waiting a week for answers.
Once a local sports hero in small-town Philadelphia, Mare is a grizzled detective with a growing list of mysterious murders and disappearances on her plate. Despite her popularity, Mare's work begins to take a toll when the murder of a young mother is piled on top of an unsolved case of a missing girl from a year prior. The overworked small-town detective premise might feel a bit rote but Mare of Easttown recieved high praise from critics when it first aired, thanks in large part to Kate Winslet’s performance as the titular Mare Sheehan.
Mare of Easttown also stars Jean Smart (Watchmen), Evan Peters (Wandavision) and Guy Pearce (Memento).
Parks and Recreation
When Parks and Recreation first aired back in 2009, it seemed like a cheap attempt to replicate the success of The Office by shifting the petty workday drama from a Paper Company to the small-town politics of Pawnee. What we actually got was one of the best comfort-food comedies of all time that launched the careers of Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt and Ben Schwartz (just to name a few). Co-creator Michael Shur followed Parks and Rec up with two more bingeworthy classic: Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place, proving he can do no wrong.
All seven seasons of Parks and Recreation are streaming on Binge.
Sam Levinson's surreal and strikingly cinematic high-school drama was one of the most talked HBO original series in years before the pandemic. With the arrival of the second season in 2022, Euphoria has continued to explode in popularity.
The series follows a group of friends at an modern American high school, led by Zendaya's Rue, a young woman struggling to navigate her first relationship while recovering from a dangerous and destructive drug addiction.
While there are echoes of other series where edgey high school-aged characters push on the boundaries of likability and audience comfort (see also: Skins) here, Euphoria's diverse cast, mesmerizing cinematography, compelling performances and undiluted commitment to be extremely extra all of the time help it appeal to those who usually wouldn't bother with it given the genre and setting.
The first two seasons of the show are currently available on Binge.
High Maintenance follows a Brooklyn-based weed dealer on his daily delivery route. Creator Ben Sinclair plays The Guy, an appropriately named character who serves only to frame disparate, standalone stories throughout each season. The dealer delivers the viewer to another customer who usually takes the episode from there, rarely revealing morsels of The Guy's own personal life.
Each season is essentially a collection of short stories, only linked by their shared love of the Devil's Lettuce. If you had to label it with a particular genre, my instinct would be to call it a comedy because there's plenty of hearty chuckles to be had, but there's also an ounce or two of sticky icky romance, drama and heart.
If you're in need of some warm-and-fuzzies, give High Maintenance a good choof.
Bored to Death
If you're missing your weekly hit of Ted Danson now that The Good Place has wrapped up, you should give Bored to Death a shot. HBO's Bored to Death only ever aired three seasons between 2009 and 2011, but it's a tight three-season run that's all killer and no filler.
Jason Schwartzman plays a sort of fantasy version of the show's writer, novelist Jonathan Ames, who, true to the show's title, finds himself bored and uninspired after discovering his girlfriend will break up with him. In an attempt to ignite his imagination, Jonathan posts a Craigslist ad claiming to be a private investigator and quickly gets a response for a gig shadowing a suspected cheater. Jonathan's thrill-seeking detective work intersects with his personal and professional life as he finds himself too deep (and probably a little too high).
The MVP here is Ted Danson, who plays Jonathan's wayward editor and proto father figure. Still, the show's heart is the relationship between the three best friends. Zach Galifianakis rounds out the trio of buds as a comic book artist and Jonathan's best bud, Ray Hueston.
At the start of quarantine, quiet nights at home quickly became the worst setting possible for an intense TV drama, so I turned to comedy. I returned to a few of the classics; Curb, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Nathan For You, but I was desperate for something new. That's about when I stumbled across Dave, a biopic series about comedy rapper Lil Dicky. Coming from the producers of Curb Your Enthusiasm, you can expect a fair deal of cringe comedy as a socially inept Lil Dicky claws his way through the world of American Hip Hop.
Dave isn't shy of some good old fashioned gross out comedy, but I was surprised to find as much heart as I did digging further into its debut season. At times, the comedy takes a backseat to the fledgling love shared between a mismatched group of friends. Eventually, it leads to some real tearjerker moments before swerving quickly back into its musical comedy lane with surprisingly solid tunes.
Damon Lindelof cut his teeth on Lost, where he proved he wasn't afraid to leave some questions unanswered (for better or worse). But none of Lindelof's work will leave you with as many questions as The Leftovers. Not loose-end questions– that sort of manufactured intrigue that Lost was criticised for– questions you're happy to explore and continue exploring long after the credits have rolled. We're now over three years from The Leftovers Season 3 finale, and it's still a show I think about constantly.
I know a lot of people gave the first season a shot and dropped off after a few episodes, but I can't recommend persevering enough. Season 2 and 3 go beyond the novel's source material into some truly wild and fascinating places (including the Australian outback for the majority of Season 3).
The famously ‘unadaptable’ graphic novel Watchmen was always going to be comfortable on the small screen. The politically-charged alternative history superhero epic is far too dense for a feature-length film. I’m personally a big Snyder apologist, and I think his effort to cram such a complex narrative into a cinema-sized serving should be celebrated. But there’s no doubt that it was always going to be better served as a TV series.
Still, Watchmen’s history with on-screen adaptations was enough fuel for a few nay-sayers to bet against the 2019 series before release. What we got, in the end, was not an adaptation of the same story, but rather a continuation, or sequel, set in a future that more closely resembled today’s political climate. And to sweeten the deal, it was brought to life by Leftovers’ alumni Regina King (in the lead role as Sister Night), and creator Damon Lindelof.
While it’s not required reading, knowing the original Watchmen story will help you understand some of the show's weirder elements. It won’t give you all the context you need, but you can catch the 2009 movie over on Binge if you can’t find a copy of the book.
Dramas about rich people problems aren’t typically my cup of tea, and there was nothing about Succession’s marketing that convinced me it wasn’t just another Billions. But what I didn’t realise until consuming both seasons over a single week was that Succession doesn’t actually glorify the wealthy elite, rather tears them apart limb from limb with whip-smart satire and a healthy serving of schadenfreude.
Brian Cox is perfectly cast as a Super Saiyan-level bastard, Logan Roy; the Roy family patriarch and co-founder of a fictional media giant Waystar Royco that is maybe definitely based on Murdoch’s media empire.
In my opinion, Succession is HBO's best replacement for Game of Thrones. It has all the familial conflict and back-stabbing, but it's much wittier.
Game of Thrones
What’s there to say about Game of Thrones that hasn’t been said already. It’s the most popular and most expensive drama in history, and if you’re reading this list, you’ve probably already seen it. If the TV show’s divisive ending left a bad taste in your mouth, we’d recommend revisiting the show’s glory days (roughly seasons 1 to 4).
If the disappointment is too fresh, there’s more to see in the Game of Thrones Binge Centre, a home for every season, plus behind the scenes docos, cast interviews and more.
If The Sopranos’ near-unanimous praise hasn’t been enough to get you tied up in Tony’s troubled and twisted family crime-drama, then it’s time to pull out the gabagool (capicola) , whipped cream, Neapolitan ice cream and buckle up for a Bada Binge.
Every season of the HBO classic is now streaming on Binge.
What We Do in the Shadows
What We Do in the Shadows succeeds where so many U.S. comedy adaptation have failed thanks to creators Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clements’ oversight, the brilliant performances of its three leads, and its expansion of the film’s lore and universe. The TV series treads fairly similar ground at certain points, but it’s by no means a scene-for-scene remake (like the first season of America's The Office).
There’s also an outrageous number of cameos from some of Hollywood’s most famous vampires.