Aussie streaming service Binge really lives up to its name – there is no better place to binge some of the best TV shows ever made. We’ve put together a list of the best TV shows streaming on Binge right now
WE OWN THIS CITY
Why you should watch: We Own This City is based on the true story told in the journalist Justin Fenton’s nonfiction book of the same name. Set in Baltimore 2015, riots are erupting across the city as citizens demand justice for Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man who has died under suspicious circumstances while in police custody. Drugs and violent crime are surging, and the city is reaching its highest murder count in more than two decades. Facing pressure from the mayor’s office, Baltimore police commanders turn to a rank-and-file hero, Sergeant Wayne Jenkins, and his elite plainclothes unit, the Gun Trace Task Force, to help get guns and drugs off the street. However, behind these new efforts, a criminal conspiracy was unfolding within the police department. This is excellent, albeit confronting, viewing.
Director: REINALDO MARCUS
Cast: JOHN BERNTHAL, JAMIE HECTOR, JOSH CHARLES, WUNMI MOSAKU, DELANEY WILLIAMS, NATHAN CORBETT, TREAT WILLIAMS
THE LAST MOVIE STARS
Why you should watch: This documentary series gets 5 Stars and that is no surprise. It is a joy to watch, especially if you grew up in that bygone era of movie stars of the Forties and Fifties. Ethan Hawke has directed a superb, intimate telling of the relationship of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, most of it with the aid of Zoom during Covid. He draws on interviews Woodward and Newman did with screenwriter Stewart Stern for a personal project that never came to fruition. George Clooney plays Newman, Laura Linney plays Woodward, supported by various performers who play actors, directors, and writers who knew the couple. Loved every minute of it.
Director: ETHAN HAWKE
Cast: GEORGE CLOONEY, LAURA LINNEY, ZOE KAZAN, MARTIN SCORSESE, ETHAN HAWKE, SAM ROCKWELL, SALLY FIELD, ALESSANDRO NIVOLA
THE WHITE LOTUS
Why you should watch: Mike White’s Emmy-winning series returns for Season 2, following various guests over the span of a week in the White Lotus’s stunning Sicily location. While a darker side of the picture-perfect travellers begins to emerge, the hotel’s professional but prickly manager tries to keep two young locals – each striving to get ahead by different means – out of her luxury establishment. There are some surprising plot turns here, which will cause protestations, but it is still excellent viewing. If you suddenly get the desire to take off for Sicily, filming took place at the cliffside Four Season’s San Domenico Palace in Taormina.
Director: MIKE WHITE
Cast: JENNIFER COOLIDGE, MICHAEL IMPERIOLI, THEO JAMES, TOM HOLLANDER, AUBREY PLAZA, WILL SHARPE, SIMONA TABASCO, BEATRICE GRANNO, SABRINA IMPACCIATORE, ADAM DIMARCO
Why you should watch: From the creator of The Favourite, Deborah Davis, comes this delightful look at the life and times of the Archduchess of Austria, Marie Antoinette, who was the last Queen of France prior to the French Revolution. Although much has been written about Antoinette in various series and films, this series from France does come up with some scenarios not covered before – whether fact or fiction – although the ending, of course, remains the same. Bridgeton fans will perhaps recognise Louis Cunningham who stars as Louis, from his role as Lord Corning in that series.
Director: GEOFFREY ENTHOVEN, PETE TRAVIS
Cast: EMILIA SCHULE, LOUIS CUNNINGHAM, JACK ARCHER, JASMINE BLACKBOROW, GAIA WEISS, JAMES PUREFOY, JACK ARCHER
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON
Why you should watch: There’s a talented ensemble cast attached to this excellent prequel set 200 years prior to the Game of Thrones. The Targaryen dynasty is at the absolute apex of its power, with more than 10 dragons under their yoke. Their slow fall begins when King Viserys breaks with a century of tradition by naming his daughter Rhaenyra heir to the Iron Throne. But when Viserys later fathers a son, the court is shocked when Rhaenyra retains her status as his heir, and seeds of division sow friction across the realm. There is another season in the wind, but not until 2024. Great viewing, but there is blood, and limbs being chopped off, of course.
Director: CLARE KILNER, MIGUEL SAPOCHNIK, GREG YAITANES, ALAN TAYLOR
Cast: MATT SMITH, PADDY CONSIDINE, RHYS IFANES, OLIVIA COOKE, MILLY ALCOCK, EMMA D’ARCY, EVE BEST, MATTHEW NEEDHAM
HIS DARK MATERIALS
Why you should watch: James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Andrew Scott are three reasons to watch this excellent series based on the novels of Philip Pullman. Lyra is an orphan who lives in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined. Lyra’s search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children and turns into a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. She is joined on her journey by Will, a boy who possesses a knife that can cut windows between worlds. As Lyra learns the truth about her parents and her prophesied destiny, the two young people are caught up in a war against celestial powers that ranges across many worlds and leads to a thrilling conclusion. There are three seasons to binge watch.
Director: JAMIE CHILDS, WILLIAM MCGREGOR, AMIT GUPTA, LEANNE WHELHAM, OTTO BATHURST, TOM HOOPER, CHARLES MARTIN
Cast: DAPFNE KEEN, AMAR WILSON, RUTH WILSON, JAMES MCAVOY, JADE ANOUKA, ANDREW SCOTT, JAMIE WILKES, KIT CONNOR, WILL KEEN
DEATH IN PARADISE
Why you should watch: Who would have envisaged way back in 2011 that there would be 12 seasons of this delightful police procedural set in the beautiful Caribbean location of Saint-Marie. It all began with Ben Miller as Scotland Yard DI Richard Poole who’s not quite suited to, and doesn’t like, the pace of island life or the heat and the sand; he also doesn’t like seafood. In later series, other English and Irish police officers head the investigative team, namely Humphrey Goodman, Jack Mooney, and Neville Parker. It’s excellent viewing if you want to escape to the islands for some sun and sand. Daquiris would be handy to get ultimate viewing pleasure.
Director: RICHARD SIGNY, DAVID O’NEILL, ALRICK RILEY, JERMAIN JULIEN, STEWART SVAASAND, TOBY FROW, ROGER GOLDBY, ALFRED LOT
Cast: BEN MILLER, DON WARRINGTON, DANNY JOHN-JULES, JOSEPHINE JOBERT, KRIS MARSHALL, ARDAL O’HANLON, RALF LITTLE
Why you should watch: Love the wonderful Sarah Lancashire in this police procedural as Sgt Catherine Cawood, heading an excellent ensemble cast of the best of British. Cawood is a no-nonsense police sergeant who heads up a team of officers in a rural Yorkshire valley. When a staged kidnapping spirals out of control, turning into a brutal series of crimes, Catherine finds herself involved in something significantly bigger than her rank, but unknowingly close to home. There are 2 seasons, with a third and final on the way.
Director: SALLY WAINWRIGHT, EUROS LYN, TIM FYWELL, NEASA HARDIMAN
Cast: SARAH LANCASHIRE, SIOBHAN FINNERAN, JAMES NORTON, CHARLIE MURPHY, RHYS CONNAH, RICK WARDEN, KARL DAVIES, CON O’NEILL
EAST NEW YORK
Why you should watch: We cross the pond for this police procedural from the producers of NYPD Blue, as we follow the recently promoted police captain of East New York, Regina Haywood, who leads a diverse group of officers and detectives, some of whom are hesitant to deploy her creative methods of serving and protecting. 74th precinct is a working-class neighbourhood on the edge of Brooklyn in the midst of social upheaval and the early seeds of gentrification. If you’ve ever wandered the streets and bars of Bed-Stuy, Clinton Hill or Park Slope you’ll love this one.
Director: MICHAEL M. ROBIN, MO MCRAE, SCOTT ELLIS, JACKELINE TEJADA
Cast: AMANDA WARREN, JIMMY SMITS, RICHARD KIND, KEVIN RANKIN, ELIZABETH RODRIQUEZ, OLIVIA LUCCARDI, LAVEL SCHLEY
COLIN FROM ACCOUNTS
Why you should watch: This viewer has a bit of a hit and miss relationship with Australian comedy, but this one from Patrick Brammall and Harriet Dyer, who also star, is thoroughly enjoyable and delightful. Perhaps it’s the canine aspect that makes it watchable. We follow Ashley and Gordon, two single-ish, complex humans who are brought together by a car accident and an injured dog. Flawed, funny people choosing each other and being brave enough to show their true self, scars, and all, as they navigate life together. But the star of the show is definitely Zak aka Colin. Loved every minute of it.
Director: MATTHEW MOORE, TRENT O’DONNELL, MADELEINE DYER
Cast: PATRICK BRAMMALL, HARRIET DYER, EMMA HARVIE, TONY LLEWELLYN-JONES, ANNIE MAYNARD, DAVID ROBERTS, DARREN GILSHENAN, HELEN THOMSON, TAI HARA