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10 amazing shows we still can’t stream in Australia and what to watch instead

Streaming platforms offer thousands of hours of television, but great shows still fall through the digital cracks. Here’s how to avoid FOMO.

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Competition on the streaming market is fierce. Whichever service you choose to subscribe to comes with an overwhelming amount of content. Even Apple TV+, which offers the smallest content library of the bunch, has an impressive collection of original TV shows. Binge-watching them all would take months at least, and with new content constantly hitting streaming platforms, it’s safe to assume we won’t run out of series to obsess over anytime soon. That’s why it’s so frustrating to discover that one of your favorite shows is nowhere to be streamed.

Yet it’s understandable that streaming platforms can’t offer every show ever made. Licensing deals are complicated and expire. Netflix made a name for itself by buying basically anything networks were willing to sell to them. Eventually, said networks realised this might not be the smartest way to go, since a huge chunk of viewers prefer to stream on their own terms, without having to wait a week between episodes or sit through commercial breaks. That’s why more networks and studios have launched their own streaming apps. It also explains why platforms like Netflix are investing heavily in producing original content.

Unfortunately, this also means that TV shows can end up suspiciously missing from all streaming services, regardless of how popular or critically acclaimed they are. If that’s the case, you have two options. One: you purchase the series from digital retailers or on DVD. Two: you wait patiently for the show to make it to a streaming service and watch something else in the meantime to overcome FOMO (fear of missing out).

If you choose the latter, we have some suggestions that will help. Here are some of the best series currently not available on streaming platforms, along with recommendations of what to watch instead.

1. The Other Two


Year of release: 2019
Cast: Heléne Yorke, Drew Tarver, Case Walker, Ken Marino, Molly Shannon


The breakout comedy of 2019, The Other Two follows two siblings who are trying to get by in life while their younger brother becomes a bona fide pop star overnight. It could have gone the snarky way. Instead, the show is heartfelt and hilarious, poking fun at the entertainment industry every chance it gets. Too bad it’s not available to stream in Australia just yet.
What to watch instead:

Schitt’s Creek


Year of release: 2015
Cast: Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Daniel Levy, Annie Murphy


Schitt’s Creek is enjoying quite the hype since landing on Netflix. Similarly to The Other Two, it follows an imperfect family, though the premise is different. This time around, the family suddenly goes bankrupt and has to relocate to a small town and adjust to their new lives. The show is pure joy to watch, so we bet you’ll binge your way to all five seasons in no time.

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2. The Killing


Year of release: 2011
Cast: Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell


This severely underrated show used to be available on Netflix, but, sadly, that’s not the case anymore. It focuses on two detectives who investigate the murder of a young girl, as well as touching on the family’s efforts to deal with grief and the goings-on of a political campaign that becomes linked to the case. Atmospheric and creepy, The Killing is a must-watch for crime fans. Unfortunately, you can only purchase it at the moment.

What to watch instead:

The Bridge


Year of release: 2011
Cast: Sofia Helin, Kim Bodnia, Thure Lindhardt, Dag Malmberg


The Killing is based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen, so The Bridge, a Scandinavian-noir crime show, might help soothe your streaming needs as far as atmospheric crime television is concerned. The plot revolves around the investigation into a body discovered on a bridge between Denmark and Sweden, which means the two countries have to work together to figure out what’s going on.

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3. Portlandia


Year of release: 2011
Cast: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel, Kyle MacLachlan


This absurdist series pokes fun at Portland and its eccentric, laid-back inhabitants. The show, starring comedic duo Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, has never been hugely successful but managed to gather a loyal cult following during its eight-season run. It portrays hipster culture through well-crafted comedy sketches, continually challenging and surprising fans with its playful nature. It’s a tad niche, sure, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.

What to watch instead:

Parks and Recreation


Year of release: 2009
Cast: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman


Another show with a (larger) cult following, Parks and Recreation is both heartfelt and hilarious. With a brilliant ensemble cast, the series follows a group of employees from the Parks and Recreation Department of fictional Pawnee, Indiana. It’s a mockumentary, so expect a lot of dry humour and awkwardness, all part of the show’s charm.

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4. Firefly


Year of release: 2002
Cast: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin


A cult hit, Firefly only lasted for one season, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of the attention of any serious sci-fi fan. A space western drama, the series follows the crew of a small transport spaceship, eager to take on any job as long as it puts food on the table. An addictive mix of humour and action, Firefly is daring and memorable, to the point where the Internet is still gushing about it all these years later.

What to watch instead:

The Mandalorian


Year of release: 2019
Cast: Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, Rio Hackford, Gina Carano


One of the most popular series to come out in 2019, The Mandalorian is a space western set in the Star Wars universe. The show revolves around a bounty hunter who makes his way through the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic. But when one of his jobs takes a surprising turn, he finds himself having to protect a mysterious child from the attacks of others. Action-packed and visually gorgeous, The Mandalorian will keep you glued to the screen for sure.

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5. Stumptown


Year of release: 2019
Cast: Cobie Smulders, Jake Johnson, Michael Ealy, Cole Sibus


One of the best network series to come out in the US in 2019, Stumptown isn’t available in Australia yet, but we’re still keeping our fingers crossed. The series revolves around Dex, an army veteran with a complicated love life who decides to become a private detective to make ends meet. It’s the best kind of procedural – fun, fast-paced and aesthetically pleasing. It also helps that Cobie Smulders was basically born to play this role, offering a powerhouse performance.

What to watch instead:

Luther


Year of release: 2010
Cast: Idris Elba, Ruth Wilson, Warren Brown, Dermot Crowley


If detective shows are your thing, Luther should definitely be on your watch list. The series follows a near-genius murder detective whose brilliance can't save him from the dangerous violence of his passions. The show is more on the gritty side, but it’s similar to Stumptown in the way it creates a captivating and layered main character.

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6. M*A*S*H


Year of release: 1972
Cast: Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Gary Burghoff, Jamie Farr


M*A*S*H is the kind of show that doesn’t quite work on paper. A dark comedy following the personnel at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War? But thanks to a formidable cast and great writing, it became one of the highest-rated shows in US television history. Part gritty sitcom, part meditation on the futility of war, M*A*S*H never disappointed, securing a well-deserved spot on any serious “best series of all time” type of list.

What to watch instead:

Seinfeld


Year of release: 1989
Cast: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards

Just as iconic, Seinfeld revolutionised television. It gave viewers a show about nothing, with flawed yet oddly endearing characters. Hugely popular and critically acclaimed, the sitcom stands the test of time, proving just as hilarious today.

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7. Felicity


Year of release: 1998
Cast: Keri Russell, Scott Speedman, Scott Foley

Felicity may have aged less gracefully that some other iconic ‘90s series. But hey, those who would like to bask in nostalgia and are still having nightmares about the main character’s life-changing haircut still can’t relive those simpler times via streaming. What a shame. The series focuses on Felicity Porter as she moves to New York after high school to follow a crush. It’s the show that brought Keri Russell into the spotlight - and for that, we should be forever grateful.

What to watch instead:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Year of release: 1997
Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anthony Stewart Head, Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendon

These two shows aired basically at the same time, so you’ll still get plenty of ‘90s vibes during your binge. Plus, despite some special effect that may seem dated now, Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains an engaging and well-crafted series all these years later. It follows a teenage girl who is the ‘Chosen One.’ As a result, she has to battle vampires, demons, and other evil forces to keep the world safe.

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8. The Mindy Project


Year of release: 2012
Cast: Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, Ed Weeks

This charming little show revolves around an obstetrician/gynecologist as she tries to balance her personal and professional life, while surrounded by quirky co-workers. The main character’s dating adventures are particularly fun to watch, especially given Kaling’s known love for romantic comedies. Unfortunately, the series isn’t available in Australia just yet.

What to watch instead:

You're the Worst


Year of release: 2014
Cast: Aya Cash, Kether Donohue, Chris Geere, Desmin Borges

You’re the Worst is an anti-rom-com featuring very dysfunctional people. They’re arrogant, narcissistic, selfish and mean. Yet, despite their shortcomings, you can’t help but root for their tumultuous relationship. Funny and sharp, the series doesn’t shy away from tackling important issues like mental illness, for which it has been praised by critics and fans alike. It’s a brilliant and daring show and we’d be remiss not to recommend it as the quintessential dating comedy for the modern age.

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9. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia


Year of release: 2005
Cast: Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson

Unpredictable and often ridiculous, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the dark comedy you didn’t know was missing from your life. Think of it as Seinfeld on steroids. The show follows a group of friends who own a bar and get into all sorts of trouble. You might not want to be buddies with them in real life, but they’re fun to watch on TV. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is offensive and disturbingly funny. In other words, the perfect weekend binge, as long as you’re willing to purchase it.

What to watch instead:

Arrested Development


Year of release: 2003
Cast: Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Portia de Rossi, Michael Cera

The verdict is in: the Bluths are one of TV's best dysfunctional family. Arrested Development is absurd and hilarious, with tons of dark humour and running gags. Its ensemble cast has great chemistry, the writing is sharp and the plotlines are bizarre in the best possible way.

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10. 24


Year of release: 2001
Cast: Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Elisha Cuthbert, Kim Raver

The premise of this action-packed show is its main selling point: each episode follows an hour of agent Jack Bauer’s efforts to save his country from foreign and domestic enemies. Smart and riveting, 24 also spoils viewers with nuanced performances and sharp dialogue. Crazy addictive, it’s not recommended for the faint of heart.

What to watch instead:

Homeland


Year of release: 2011
Cast: Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend, Damian Lewis

Stylish and provocative, Homeland does everything a spy thriller needs to do, including keeping viewers on the edge of their seat. It’s fast-paced and complex, offering plenty of adrenaline and a compelling main character brilliantly portrayed by Claire Danes.

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