TV & Movies

Save Your Coin, Here Are The Best Free-To-Air Shows You Need To Binge

By Morgan Reardon
31st Mar 2020

Shrill

Sure, the likes of the big name streaming services are good and all, but there’s nothing quite like finding an epic new show to binge and getting it for free. No, we don’t mean doing anything illegal, our local channels are packed with awesome shows and it won’t cost you a cent to enjoy them—which means more money for bulk snacks.

We’ve done the hard (viewing) yards for you and uncovered the very best free-to-air shows you need to binge now.

SBS On Demand

Shrill

This binge-worthy dramedy follows Annie (Saturday Night Live’s Aidy Bryant), an up and coming journalist in Portland, Oregon, who has spent her life trying to conform to “the norm”. She’s always on a diet but would rather be eating pancakes (who wouldn’t?), her sort-of boyfriend is a jerk and her parents are sick. But Annie still has a smile on her face… that is until she falls pregnant, and so the journey of life begins. Prepare for LOLs and tears in this absolute must-watch direct from Hulu. Catch seasons one and two here.

Wellington Paranormal

Created by Oscar winner Taika Waititi (Thor and JoJo Rabbit) and Jemaine Clement (What We Do In the Shadows), this New Zealand mockumentary comedy series is the perfect anecdote to the grim world news right now. It follows two members of the Wellington police—Sergeant Maaka and Officers Minogue and O’Leary—whose job is to investigate paranormal phenomena, yep it’s weird and wonderful, just like you’d expect from Waititi. In their first adventure the crime fighting duo encounter what they think is a drunk projectile-vomiting teenager, when in actual fact it’s a body-hopping demon who stops by Wellington every 66 years. Scope seasons one and two here. 

Back To Life 

Produced by Harry and Jack Williams (Fleabag), this British dark comedy series follows Miri Matteson who has just arrived back in her home town, a place she no longer recognises, in the dysfunctional family home she involuntarily vacated as a teenager, living with parents she no longer has a relationship with. Why? Because she’s just been released from prison after serving an 18-year prison sentence. You’re probably wondering about the funny part? Watching Miri adjust to her new life as the ultimate awkward and endearing adult beginner will make you laugh... and cry. If you liked Fleabag, you’ll love this. Catch season one here.

On Becoming A God In Central Florida

Kirsten Dunst is back on the small screen in this must-watch dark comedy. Dunst plays Krystal Stubbs, a minimum-wage water park employee, who lies, schemes and cons her way up the ranks of the cultish, multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme that drove her family to ruin in the first place. Special shout to Alexander Skarsgård who plays Dunst’s estranged husband Travis. You won’t regret carving out some time to catch this show

9Now

Friday Night Lights 

Prepare for all, and we mean all, the feels when you settle in for this epic drama. While this beauty hit screens back in 2006 and wrapped after five seasons, it became a cult classic for years to come. Why? Because it has so much heart. Set in Dillon, Texas, this spin-off of the movie of the same name, follows football squad the Panthers and their dedicated coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler). In this small American town, football and its players rule everything which leaves little room for injury, relationships and heartbreak but of course, this show serves up plenty of it. Be sure to stick around for the latter seasons which show Black Panther’s Michael B Jordan getting his big break. Enjoy all five seasons here

The Mindy Project

If you’re after some serious light-hearted LOLs from one of the funniest women going around, then look no further than The Mindy Project. The show follows Dr. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kahling), an obstetrician and gyno living in New York who has just about everything figured out… except her love life. Following her disastrous dating escapes is reason enough to watch this show but the best bit is her colleagues—the cranky but loveable Dr Danny Castellano (yes, you will be rooting for them to get together) and the hilarious nurse Morgan Tookers (Ike Barinholtz) whose one-liners will make you cry. The best bit, 9Now has the entire six seasons ready for you to devour here

The Arrangement 

This juicy drama delivers a seedy behind the scenes look at Hollywood. The Arrangement follows Megan Morrison, who auditions for a role in a blockbuster flick alongside famous heartthrob Kyle West (Josh Henderson). While Megan doesn’t get the role she does get another job offer—$10 million if she agrees to marry Kyle. But naturally nothing is that simple and soon Megan is thrown in the middle of creepy cult religion that is taking over Hollywood… sound familiar? Seasons one and two are ready for your binging pleasure here.

7Plus

Gold Digger

When Julia, a divorced mum-of-three meets a handsome man while celebrating her 60th birthday solo, she falls hard. The only problem is Benjamin (played by Ben Barnes) is half her age and her three adult children are convinced he’s a gold digger after her countryside mansion and small fortune. With no social media accounts and a shady past, could they be right about him? Throw Julia’s cheating ex-husband in the mix, who left her for her best mate, and you’ve got a deliciously dark show. The addictive six-part series will keep you hooked with a bunch of mysterious flashbacks that will eventually reveal a family secret so dark it will change everything. Get hooked, here

Family of Suspects

If you’re a lover of true crime and prefer your episodes short and snackable then you’ll want to get involved with this Seven original series. Family Of Suspects follows the true story of multi-millionaire Australian dad Michael Griffey who was brutally murdered in his garage at Christmas time in 2005. What unfolded in the murder investigation is almost to wild to believe—his son was arrested for it, his wife was charged with his murder, while his daughter confessed to it. Presented by journalist Denham Hitchcock, follow along as he investigates what really happened to this family. Each of the eight episodes run for no more than 15 minutes, get your binge on here. There's no trailer out yet, but you can get a peek at the craziness of this case below. 

ABC iView 

Stateless

ABC is at it again with this epic, raw drama that will seriously make you think. Inspired by true events, Stateless follows a young woman escaping a cult, a refugee fleeing with his family, a father trapped in a dead-end job and bureaucrat on the verge of a national scandal—all coming from vastly different walks of life, they find their paths intertwined at an immigration detention centre. The cracking cast includes Cate Blanchett, Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney and Asher Keddie. Prepare to be moved, here

State Of The Union

Short on time? Then this series is for you. In each ep, no more than 10 minutes long, we follow estranged lovers Tom (Chris O’Dowd) and Louise (Rosamund Pike), on their weekly catch up at the pub as they chat through what went wrong in their 15-year union… all before they head to a couples counselling session. Raw and honest with a touch of humour, you’ll devour the first season in a single sitting. 

Total Control

Total Control stars powerhouse actors Rachel Griffiths and Deborah Mailman—that fact alone should be enough of a drawcard. In this ground-breaking political drama, we meet Alex Irving (Mailman) a fearless Indigenous senator, who just weeks into her political career in Canberra is bitterly betrayed. Not one to rest on her laurels, she’s on a quest to seek redemption and settle a score against the party, and the Prime Minister of Australia. 

10 Play 

Drunk History Australia

Is there anything better than getting cultured about Australia’s history from your favourite comedians and celebs? Well, add in the fact that they’re absolutely sloshed and making it up as they go and you’ve got the recipe for success that is Drunk History. The show, which already has series in the UK and US, features the likes of Matt Okine regaling the origins of Waltzing Matilda, Em Rusciano recounting Dawn Fraser’s infamous last Olympics, while Joel Creasy explains Australia’s forgotten war… you know, the one with emus. If you need a good laugh—and let’s be honest, we all do—then head here immediately. Here's an peek at the UK version.

L.A’s Finest

If you’re a fan of Will Smith’s Bad Boy flicks then you’ll love this spin off show. L.A’s Finest follows the life of LAPD detective Sydney Burnett (played by Gabrielle Union) aka the sister of Martin Lawrence's Marcus Burnett. In it we watch Sydney and her cop partner Nancy McKenna (played by Jessica Alba) take on everyone from drug cartels to corrupt government officials in this fast-paced, gritty show. 

After more binge-worthy goodness? Check out the best new shows on Netflix and Stan.  

Image Credit: SBS

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