FOR MONTHS, Hollywood seemed at a standstill. Images flooded social media feeds and news outlets of writers on the picket line, brandishing cardboard signs and wearing slogan tees decrying their need for a fair deal. Now, after more than 140 days of labour stoppage in what has been the longest and most costly ever experienced in Hollywood, the WGA has reached a tentative deal with studios and production companies. While it’s certainly good news for those involved, the last few months have dealt a blow to many a beloved series with delays to filming and production.
Safe to say, those releases you may have been eagerly anticipating will see you holding your breath for a little while longer. True Detective: Night Country has been rescheduled to a 2024 release, while the final season of Billions currently has no set return date or time since union members joined the strike. Though it seems certain that the future of programming rests on somewhat shaky ground with a number of delays to be expected, there’s no shortage of entertaining options already at our fingertips. A range of streaming platforms boast some of 2023’s most anticipated and binge-watched series that we’d happily rewatch time and time again.
So, while you’re waiting for that new season or series debut, here are 26 of the best TV offerings 2023 has gifted us so far that you can catch up on or revisit.
Amazon Prime Video
A salve to the bleak news cycle, Jury Duty proved that human decency and kindness is, in fact, not extinct in the world. The heartwarming mockumentary pits Ronald Gladden amongst a group of colourful jurors who come from all walks of life, as well as James Marsden who nails the douchebag-celebrity trope. Despite all the shenanigans that unfold, Gladden proves himself as a confidante and friend to all those he meets over the course of jury duty.
If it felt like you were waiting for an eternity, you would have let out an exhale of relief when Sex Education finally returned to Netflix for its fourth season. Viewers watch as Otis tries to open his own sex therapy clinic despite grappling with a rival student therapist, while other characters navigate their relationships, faith, life and career goals, and intimacy struggles.
Binge, Stan, Netflix
Happy Valley is one of those British crime dramas that’s well and truly crossed the cultural divide to become an international success, and interestingly enough, despite the name, has done so by being one of the bleakest shows on TV. Its utterly harrowing third and final season is testament to this, grounded once again in astonishing performances from leads Sarah Lancashire and James Norton.
A Spy Among Friends
A slow-burning spy thriller grounded in one of the most infamous espionage sagas of the Cold War, Ben Macintyre’s excellent historical novel got the spiffingly British adaptation it deserves, led by excellent performances from Guy Pearce and Damien Lewis. Saville Row suits and smoky vistas of 1950’s London abound for lovers of John le Carre, and while it’s definitely a bit shorter on action than other spy dramas, the real-world intrigue makes up for it.
Everyone has come across someone who will swear up and down that Yellowjackets is the best thing on TV, and while it hasn’t quite cracked the mainstream in Australia yet, it’s hard to argue once you do get stuck into the brutal survival thriller.
Bill Hader continues to cement his directing chops in the beloved Barry. In its final season, you can expect the same incredible performances from an ensemble cast as well as a finale that’s proven somewhat divisive, yet many see as fitting.
Two words. Two words that have been imprinted on the brain of pop culture and serve to leave your knees weak as you swoon uncontrollably: ‘yes, chef.’ In its second season, the hugely popular series focuses on each character that plays a pivotal role in the kitchen, serving up episodes that aren’t just entertaining but also carry emotional heft.
If you’re unfamiliar with the incredible series that details the rise of Minx magazine – a carefully curated blend of feminism with erotic centrefolds – then it’s time to get acquainted. In its second season, the series sees staff members navigating the magazine’s newfound success as they try desperately to maintain their own ideals. With captivating characters, a charged storyline and enviable fashion on display, it’s no wonder the show is quickly becoming a fan favourite.
Season three of The Great follows Catherine as she strives to improve life for working class Russians. It might sound like the making of a documentary film, but this comedic tale soars with its vulgarity and dark humour. Catherine must wrestle with power struggles, an incompetent husband, and the possibility of warfare, all of which makes for compelling viewing.
Idris Elba stars as a master negotiator who finds himself on a plane headed to England from Dubai. When it’s hijacked by some sinister folks, his job skills come into play as he works through a number of twists and turns not even Sherlock Holmes could anticipate.
What We Do In the Shadows
In its fifth season, the series starring everyone’s favourite vampire roommates sees them head out into the community. As always, you can expect hilarious antics and memorable moments that occur around the mall, Pride parade and speed dating event.
Harrison Ford, in a TV series? Say no more. Alongside Jason Segel and Jessica Williams, the series sees the Star Wars alum play Dr Paul Rhodes, a therapist who has a rather unique way of treating those in his care. It’s a rollicking good time with great performances across the board.
As Joe Goldberg, Penn Badgley continues to bring mystery to the misogynist serial killer who somehow continues to get away with murder. Now living a new life under a new identity in London, Goldberg suddenly finds himself the hunted, not the hunter, which makes for gripping television you can’t look away from.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Amazon Prime Video
Returning with its fifth season, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel follows its title character in the future, where she reigns as a comedy superstar. Thrust into the throes of fame, Midge questions the pursuit of fame at the expense of family, connection, and love. It’s a storyline counterbalanced with the present tense, as we watch her get her big break on a late night talk show, all the while with a sense of what looms down this career path.
From A24, Netflix’s BEEF follows two people who, after getting into a road rage incident, find themselves consumed by the events as it takes hold of their every thought. Across ten episodes that star Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, viewers are taken on a journey that feels wholly original and mesmerising.
Hailing from Last Chance U and Cheer creator, Greg Whiteley, comes the newest sports documentary on the world of wrestling. With a focus on Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), Whiteley follows the athletes who chase stardom and sporting reverence, each of them coming from different walks of life as they come to be united by the one sport they love.
Naturally, all anyone could talk about for weeks was the fourth and final season of Succession – and for good reason. As the three adult kids of media mogul Logan Roy struggle to work out how to sell the family business and come to grips with their own inheritance and legacy, the events that unfold are sure to knock the breath out of you. Incredible performances from an all-star cast and some of TV’s best writing to date, Succession has proved itself to be the must-watch show of the year.
The Last of Us
Though based on the video game of great acclaim, the TV series adaptation shocked viewers with its incredibly storytelling and delivered some of the most poignant, emotional episodes of the year. The survival road trip drama saw Pedro Pascal soar.
Though at times Rain Dogs can feel like a punch to the guts, the series also has moments of hilarity and surprise. Daisy May Cooper stars as Costello, an aspiring writer and single mum, who navigates the realities of financial hardship alongside her gay best friend, Selby. Their characters are multi-faceted and have such a unique and interesting relationship that it makes for compelling viewing.
Amazon Prime Video
Turning a film into a TV series is no easy feat, yet it’s somehow been achieved with great success in Dead Ringers. Telling the story of twin doctors – Elliot and Beverly Mantel – played by Rachel Weiss, the series follows them as they attempt to create a new birthing centre, only to find they have conflicting ideas of what they want to do with it.
Kerri Russell stars as Kate Wyler in this political tale of intrigue. Having landed the role of US Ambassador to the UK, Russell must now contend with a growing international crisis, disgruntled officials, her own disdain regarding the job, and a superstar husband who will go to any length to steal the spotlight.
The third season of Happy Valley sees viewers return to on-the-beat policing in Halifax. The performances are incredible, with James Norton starring as criminal Tommy Lee Royce, who sees his long-running conflict with Sergeant Catherine Cawood come to a head. With writing that feels authentic and the kind of emotional storytelling that seems lifted from reality, the series presents a character-rich narrative that stays with audiences long after viewing.
Starring the inimitable Natasha Lyonne, Poker Face follows Charlie Cale, who has been gifted with the extraordinary ability to determine when someone is lying. As she hits the road, she encounters numerous characters and a number of crimes she can’t help but try and solve. The result is a rollicking good time you won’t be able to look away from.
Colin From Accounts
This Aussie rom-com somehow flew under the radar, but the comedy series is well worth a watch. With its edgy humour and witty dialogue, the series will keep you on your toes and is sure to have you laughing out loud.
Apple TV+ delivers a fascinating story from M. Night Shyamalan and Tony Basgallop. The storyline centres around grieving parents who hire a nanny to care for the doll they’re using to process the death of their child. But when the fake baby suddenly becomes a live baby, it just so happens that the nanny they’ve entrusted belongs to a religious cult boasting sensory powers.
Amazon Prime Video
Based on the novel by Naomi Alderman, the series follows teen girls who discover they have the unusual ability to electrocute people. As a result, gender imbalances are turned on their head, as the world comes to grapple with this unique phenomenon.
While technology has been a cornerstone in the Black Mirror universe, the sixth season certainly veers into horror territory. Through a number of stories, viewers are confronted by a world where your likeness and personal life can be exploited, a serial killer by the name of ‘Loch Henry’ and astronauts who use robot-doubles to interact with families back on Earth.
In its third (and final) season, the hit show returns with Jason Sudeikis as the moustache-wearing coach, delivering heartfelt and emotional episodes that continue to resonate with audiences around the world. Now, we see AFC Richmond play their final match of the season as friendships are tested and characters face setbacks, both on and off the pitch.
There She Goes
Amazon Prime Video
The hour-long special starring David Tennant and Jessica Hynes sees them play parents of a teenage daughter with severe learning disabilities. Etched with authenticity, the family unit takes centre stage in this series which shines a spotlight on the daily realities of life for this family as they navigate a rare chromosomal disorder.