In over three years, Stan has considerably expanded its catalogue, which now includes thousands of hours of content. Here are the best series available to stream right now.
Australia’s home-grown streaming service has a lot going for it. It’s slick, accessible, fast and user-friendly. The customer support team is excellent. There are a ton of devices you can watch on. Plus, buffering isn’t an issue as long as your broadband is fast enough. But where the service really excels is the TV show and movie library. From Australian content to classic blockbuster flicks and from acclaimed television to guilty-pleasure series, there’s literally something for everyone.
What helps Stan stand out from the crowd is the service’s generous roster of shows fast-tracked from the US. Fans are able to watch new episodes as soon as they are released, so the suffering of FOMO has become a thing of the past. In recent months, the streaming platform also surprised audiences by adding several underrated yet beloved shows to its library, like Parks and Recreation and Veronica Mars. This proves that while Stan is interested in providing subscribers with fresh, current content, cult series are also a priority for the Australian platform, and we’re not complaining one bit.
Moreover, Stan’s efforts to develop original content have paid off. No Activity is hilarious and delicious, so much so that it even inspired a US version. Horror spin-off Wolf Creek has been a hit with both fans and critics, who praised it as a chilling and gripping experience. The Other Guy and Romper Stomper have also been received with enthusiasm, proving that Stan is a force to be reckoned with. All in all, if you’re serious about binge-watching, a subscription to the Australian platform is a must. Here are the best TV shows you can currently stream on Stan.
Need more TV?
1. The Bold Type
Inspired by the life of Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, The Bold Type follows three young, outspoken women as they navigate life and love in New York. They work together at a glamorous magazine - Jane is a writer, Kat handles social media, and Sutton starts as an assistant but dream about a career in fashion. They are often mentored by their fierce boss, Jacqueline.
Despite revolving around the world of fashion magazines, The Bold Type’s main focus is the strong friendship between the three main characters, who have each other’s backs no matter what. Smart and bubbly, the show doesn’t shy away from tackling hot-button themes like gun control or sexual assault, but it does so in a thoughtful manner, ultimately offering a message of courage and hope. It’s refreshing to watch women supporting women instead of working to tear each other down.
2. Escape at Dannemora
Based on true events, Escape at Dannemora is a docu-drama revolving around two convicted murderers who pull off a prison break with the help of a female prison employee they get romantically involved with. The series, directed and produced by Ben Stiller, is a dramatization of the infamous 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility escape.
Escape at Dannemora doesn’t limit its scope to showing you the prison break. Instead, the series takes its time to put things in context by looking at each character’s life in detail. It’s slow-moving at times, but keeping up with it will reward you with a memorable tale and some fine acting from everyone involved. More character-driven than action-packed, the show is dark and intense, so it’s best to pace yourself with this one instead of binge-watching multiple episodes in one go.
3. All American
All American centres on Spencer, a talented football player who catches a break when a coach from a team in Beverly Hills recruits him. He decides to seize the opportunity and leave his violence-ridden neighbourhood behind, but soon finds out that life among the rich and privileged isn’t quite as rosy as he initially imagined.
The show is a thoughtful mix of classroom drama and class struggles, boasts an appealing cast, and offer enough soapy material to keep you invested in the story. A star in the making, Ezra manages a nuanced performance in the lead role, with the supporting players pulling their weight as well. The best part? You don’t need to be familiar with football to stay glued to the screen.
Starring Jim Carrey, Kidding follows Jeff Pickles, famous kids TV personality. But while he’s trying to make the little ones smile and teach them things on television, Jeff is dealing with a lot behind closed doors. The TV star is coping with the death of one of his children, which results in his sanity slowly leaking, causing trouble in both his personal and professional lives.
Although technically a comedy, Kidding is a very sad show. However, it tremendously benefits from a tight script and a fabulous performance from Jim Carrey. Bleak, yet still riveting, the series is highly recommended for when you’re craving something raw, honest, and beautiful.
Now here's a crime-procedural thriller you should definitely sink your teeth into (possibly with some fava beans and a nice chianti.) Hannibal introduces us to gifted criminal profiler Will Graham, an investigator who can empathise with anyone, including the worst psychos out there. Sadly, his unique methods aren't flawless. When an un-trackable serial killer crosses Graham's path he enlists the help of brilliant shrink Hannibal Lecter who, at this point in his career, is very much an under-the-radar cannibal. Snacks at this stage, not banquets.
In due (main) course the two form an effective criminal profiler partnership but it slowly becomes apparent that Lecter's brilliant mind has gone to the dark side. The good news is that as the seasons progress each course is more delicious than the last. Go in expecting polished presentation, plenty of gore and even the rare sprinkling of twisted humour. Bon appétit.
Rare is the show that can make you root for a cold-blooded serial killer, but that's basically Dexter's modus operandi. By day Dexter Morgan is a Miami-based blood splatter expert who helps the good guys solve murders; by night (and sometimes during the day, too) he commits a few of his own. Don't worry though, he only offs the guilty, so it's ok. Sort of.
Seeing dirtbags get their comeuppance is only part of this show's appeal – it's the episode to episode cover up of Dexter's double life that's the most riveting element. Because staying off the psycho radar isn't easy when your co-workers are cops and your own sister is in law-enforcement as well. Even if you're usually squeamish, prepare to be hooked on this character, what with his twisted code of honour and a growing desire for true, compulsion-free happiness.
7. The Shield
Vic Mackey (Michael Chikilis) is Al Capone with a badge, a detective as crooked as they come who's out to serve and protect only himself and his own twisted methods of justice. In 2002 The Shield effectively broke all the rules and started an anti-hero revolution for television, blazing a trail for shows like Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy to follow. Even today it boasts one of the most shocking pilot episodes ever broadcast (give it a speculative watch and you'll be addicted from then on).
Better yet, Mackey as a character remains magnetic across seven seasons of murder, drug dealing and torture, culminating in an absolutely riveting final season. This rogue cop sinks to the level of his prey to bring some semblance of order to a chaotic world, but will his many misdeeds eventually come home to roost?
This is the quintessential Western TV series, a based-on-records drama that focuses on the titular, almost-lawless gold-mining town. Though Deadwood does cameo some of the greatest gunslingers the frontier ever knew, at the centre of the action is Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant). He's a hot-headed lawman-turned-merchant who's forced to rethink his vocation when it becomes apparent that he's basically the only honest man in town.
Although his up-and-up character is instinctively repulsed by local “entertainment entrepreneur” Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) a jagged alliance between the two men is formed, even though the dislike is more than mutual. Together they resolve to try and defend their fledgling civilisation against greedy outside interests, including territorial government, the Pinkertons and other mining consortiums. Other things to expect: gratuitous swearing, in-your-face violence and a feeling outrage when you reach the end of season three and realise this is where HBO chose to end it.
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Watson, this acclaimed BBC series is a contemporary spin on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved series. We follow the legendary detective as he prowls the streets of modern-day London, cracking oddball cases and solving difficult mysteries with the assistance of his helpful sidekick.
The BBC series has received tons of praise ever since it first launched, and for good reason. Sherlock is slick, smart, witty and visually stunning. Both Cumberbatch and Freeman deliver amazing performances. The twists and turns are thrilling and unpredictable. Moreover, despite allowing Sherlock to use technology to solve crimes, the series stays true to its classic characters, so even purists will be utterly delighted. A must-watch for mystery lovers and Sherlock enthusiasts alike. Four seasons are on Stan.
Click to buy Sherlock Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
Based on a rootin' tootin' character seen in Elmore Leonard's books and short stories, Deputy Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) is a modern lawman who shoots from the hip like the West is still wild. Basically, he's that classic police maverick chestnut: a loose cannon with the John Wayne strut who gets results, while also being a thorn in the side of his U.S. Marshals Service bosses.
In his crosshairs are scumbags of all shapes and sizes – moonshiners, grifters, white supremacists, the Dixie mafia – you name it, he offers them the same cold-blooded logic. If you're a criminal armed with a gun around him, he's justified in filling you full of lead when the action kicks off. Admittedly, this sort of cowboy law-enforcement character hasn't aged well since 2010, but we challenge you not to get hooked on Raylan's adventures anyway.
11. No Activity
Stan’s first original series follows the peripheral players in a major police sting. The characters are involved in a stake-out where not much happens, so all that’s left to do is for them to enjoy each other’s company and relish in idiotic conversations. It’s a dark comedy centred on mundane human interactions, but that doesn’t make it any less watchable. Neither does the fact that the dialogue features a lot of improvisation, which leads to some hilarious bits.
Thanks to No Activity, Stan became the first streaming series ever to be in the running for the Logies, season one of the series scoring three nominations. Two seasons are currently available to binge, as well as season one of the US version.
12. Romper Stomper
Romper Stomper is a sequel to the 1992 movie with the same name, set 25 years after the events in the film. This time we follow a new generation of far-right activists and anti-fascists. It’s a bold and ambitious production starring Jacqueline McKenzie, Dan Wyllie, Lachy Hulme, Sophie Lowe, David Wenham and Toby Wallace. It’s also the series that helped a lot of us nurse hangovers on New Year’s Day.
At only six episodes, Romper Stomper makes for compelling and invigorating television. You’ll be completely mesmerised from the opening moments of the first episode, when you meet most of the main players, until the explosive finale. Plus, it’s not the kind of series you binge and then forget about. It will stay with you, at least for a few days. Fair warning.
13. Wolf Creek
A spin-off of the movies Wolf Creek and Wolf Creek 2, this Stan original sees John Jarratt reprising the role of deranged killer Mick Taylor. In season one we follow college student Eve, the lone survivor after Taylor attacks her family and kills her parents and brother. Determined to avenge the deaths of her loved ones, Eve turns from prey to predator and sets out to hunt down the notorious psychopath.
As far as revenge-driven TV series go, this is one of the best. Mick Taylor is a fascinating character audiences will be happy to get reacquainted with, while the series as a whole is gripping enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. Two seasons are currently on Stan.
This Showtime series stars Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis, which should be enough information to convince you to add it to your watch list. Need more? It’s all about the high-stakes world of Wall Street, as the show tracks the approaching collision between a US attorney and a leading hedge-fund manager whose hobbies include insider trading and other illegal proclivities. Fun!
While season one of Billions received mixed reviews, there’s been nothing but praise for the show since its sophomore effort forward. The writing is sharp, the performances are great, and the fast-paced story doesn’t disappoint. If you’re into shows that explore themes related to greed and power, Billions will be right up your alley. Three seasons are currently on Stan.
15. The Other Guy
For a poignant portrayal of modern dating, look no further than Stan’s The Other Guy. The show stars Matt Okine as a radio host who finds himself back in the dating pool after a tough break-up. But while the series does bring on the laughs, its more serious moments aren’t too shabby either. That’s because The Other Guy is more of a dramedy, highlighting how difficult getting over a break-up can be. Also, #adulting.
The show largely benefits from Okine’s natural charisma, with Harriet Dyer also pulling off an amazing performance as the main character’s no-filter BFF. All in all, if you’re looking for a pleasant way to spend a weekend, watching the first season of The Other Guy is a safe bet.
16. Better Call Saul
Spin-off series can either go very well (hello, Frasier), or they can be total disasters (we’re looking at you, Joey). We’re happy to report that Better Call Saul falls into the first category. We’re not going to argue that it’s better than Breaking Bad, but we strongly advise you give it a go, regardless of whether you’ve seen the original or not. The spin-off is an engaging and stunning drama that successfully stands on its own.
Better Call Saul follows small-time lawyer Jimmy McGill, played by Bob Odenkirk, six years before his appearance on Breaking Bad as Saul Goodman. As the series progresses, viewers see the events that shaped the lawyer’s life prior to his Breaking Bad appearance. Three seasons are available on Stan.
Click to buy Better Call Saul Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
There’s no shortage of comic-book adaptations gracing our TV screens nowadays, but Preacher is something special. Visually stunning and ridiculously addictive, the series doesn’t shy away from shocking viewers with gory scenes then immediately delighting them with some witty banter. The drama follows an unconventional minister who teams up with his ex and a hard-drinking Irish vampire and goes on a quest to find God.
Preacher is outrageous and disgusting, hilarious and bizarre. It promises a crazy ride and delivers, constantly crossing the line and pushing the boundaries of the genre in a delightful fashion. If you were looking for an unusual series, look no more. Two seasons are on Stan.
Click to buy Preacher Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
Speaking of excellent comic-book adaptations, iZombie is another underrated show that should be on everyone’s radar. This fascinating series is a fresh take on the horror genre, proving that not everything zombie-related has to be gloomy and apocalyptic. In fact, iZombie is fun and charming, and yet the creators excel when it’s time to pull off darker or more thought-provoking storylines.
The series follows Liv Moore, a former medical resident who becomes a zombie after being scratched at a boat party. She takes a job at the morgue where she snacks on brains, absorbs the memories of those she feeds on, and then helps the police solve murders. The premise is exciting enough, but the execution is what makes iZombie a delight. The show expertly combines procedural and serialised elements. As a result, it delivers both compelling "case of the week" episodes as well as thrilling season-long story arcs. Also, seeing the main character adopt different personalities every episode never gets old. Four seasons are available to binge on Stan.
Click to buy iZombie, Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
19. Ash vs Evil Dead
Evil is always waiting in the shadows. So when a plague threatens mankind, a hero reluctantly embarks on a journey to save the world. That’s the premise of this glorious series that acts as a sequel to the Evil Dead films. Ash, the titular hero, gets help from two trusty sidekicks: his friend Pablo and Kelly, whose family was wiped out by the evil dead.
The show works well for Evil Dead fans and newbies alike, being both gory and hilarious. It’s over the top and twisted, sure, but that’s part of what makes the series so much fun. Three seasons are available to stream on Stan.
Click to buy Ash Vs. Evil Dead, Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
20. Veronica Mars
Marshmallows, rejoice! Veronica Mars is available to stream on Stan, so fans of the series have reason to cheer. As for those who haven’t seen this marvellous cult show yet, what are you waiting for?
The series follows a teen private eye who deals with typical high school problems while also tracking down bad guys. A noir mystery drama like no other, Veronica Mars greatly benefits from sharp writing, heavy subject matter and a nuanced performance from Kristen Bell. The teen sleuth solves a different stand-alone case every episode while working to crack a more complex mystery over the course of a season. It’s fun, it’s addictive, it’s compelling and it's smart. More importantly, despite being released in 2004, the show stands the test of time, so you’ll enjoy it just as much today. All three seasons are on Stan.
Click to buy Veronica Mars Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
21. The Office
Based on the acclaimed British series of the same name, this quirky mockumentary follows the mundane adventures of a bunch of employees working at a paper company in Pennsylvania. Their boss, portrayed by Steve Carell, is well-intentioned, yet his attempts at humour usually fail miserably, making everyone uncomfortable.
The Office gave us memorable pranks, hilarious moments and a Jim/Pam romance worth rooting for. The first season is a mixed bag, but later instalments are worthy of praise and multiple re-watch sessions. With all nine seasons available on Stan, now’s the perfect time to revisit the show or tune in for the first time. Especially if you had a particularly crappy day at work.
Click to buy The Office, Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
22. Breaking Bad
What would happen if you quit your job and became an outlaw? Meet Walter White, the antihero living this ultimate fantasy. A school chemistry teacher who barely makes ends meet, White is diagnosed with terminal cancer. To avoid financial ruin, he resorts to turning an old RV into a meth lab on wheels.
Over the course of five seasons, White goes from awkward to ruthless, but viewers keep rooting for him nonetheless. Because herein lies the power of this influential series: its characters. Sure, the action sequences and plot twists are great, but the depth and complexity of the characters is what ultimately makes Breaking Bad so compelling. The show remains a pop culture phenomenon even a decade after it first aired, and it’s available to binge in its entirety on Stan.
Click to buy Breaking Bad, Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
23. Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights follows the coach and players of a high-school football team in Texas. Contrary to popular belief, the show isn’t solely about football. It’s about family, community, dreams and class. It’s uplifting, heartwarming, devastating and inventive. Plus, it boasts an amazing cast and powerful storytelling, perfectly portraying small-town life.
More importantly, Friday Night Lights proves that you don’t need gritty content or over-the-top twists to keep viewers engaged. It’s a family show everyone can enjoy, with terrific writing and nuanced performances that are more than enough to keep you glued to the screen. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose! All five seasons are available on Stan.
Friday Night Lights, Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
Meet the freshman class of Glendale Community College. They’re a bunch of oddballs who form a study group to help each other survive. They have very little in common, but their chemistry is the stuff of dreams. As a result, the show is funny, fresh and packed with pop culture references and meta-humour.
Here’s the thing about Community: you either love it or hate it. There’s no in-between. It’s unlike any other comedy you’ve seen before and its humour won’t appeal to everyone. But if it’s your kind of fun, you’ll become obsessed after only a couple of episodes. Six seasons are available on Stan. We’re still waiting for the movie.
Click to buy Community, Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
When they were little, Sam and Dean lost their mother to a demonic force. To avenge her death, their father became a hunter, going after supernatural beings. Now the brothers are following in his footsteps, saving people, hunting things. The family business. Over the course of the series they deal with all sorts of threats, from witches and demons to fancier monsters like djinns and ghouls. Constantly struggling to save the world, their unique bond is what keeps them moving forward.
Despite being on the air for 13 years, Supernatural is still going strong, with fresh storylines and a loyal fan base. With episodes varying from thrilling to heartfelt, the show is highly entertaining, and its meta instalments always manage to stand out from the crowd. Twelve seasons of Supernatural goodness are on Stan.
Click to buy Supernatural, Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
26. Twin Peaks
Something very strange is happening in Twin Peaks, so viewers should gear up for a crazy ride. At its core a crime drama, the cult series toys with the audience via odd dream sequences, creepy visuals and bizarre characters. It follows FBI agent Dale Cooper as he travels to a small town to solve the murder of Laura Palmer, a high school student. He soon realises that in Twin Peaks, nothing is what it seems.
The show originally aired in the early 90s but was revived last year. Twin Peaks is dark, stunning, surreal and breathtaking. In other words, it’s more of an experience than a TV show. Both the original and the revival are available on Stan.
Click to buy Twin Peaks, Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
What is there to say about one of television's top-ranked series? Could it be more iconic? Friends follows the lives of six buddies living in New York and experiencing relationship dramas, work problems and family trouble. It’s fun, it’s classic, it will make you giggle repeatedly, despite watching it for the seventh time. It’s just that good.
Considering that Friends is still being talked about 14 years after it aired its last episode, the show’s legacy is intact. Comfort TV at its finest, the series will always be there for you, just like the theme song suggests. All 10 seasons are available on Stan, so Chandler, Monica, Rachel, Joey, Ross and Phoebe are only a few clicks away.
Click to buy Friends, Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
28. Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation is the perfect example of how a rough start doesn’t have to prevent a series from becoming a low-key phenomenon. Despite an uneven first season, the show reinvents spectacularly in season two, defying all expectations thanks to clever writing and a wonderful ensemble cast.
The series follows the employees in the Parks Department of Pawnee, a fictional Indiana town. They’re led by Leslie Knope, the inspirational and hard-working hero we all need in our lives. Charming and funny, Parks and Recreation will grow on you. It’s an uplifting series that isn’t afraid to give its characters room to evolve. Treat yourself and watch all seven seasons on Stan.
Click to buy Parks and Recreation, Season 1 from iTunes StoreView details
The show about nothing revolutionised the sitcom and rightly deserves a spot among the best series of all time. It stars Jerry Seinfeld as a fictionalised version of himself and revolves around him and his friends – most notably Elaine, George and Kramer – as they deal with the minutiae of daily life. The fact that they happen to be horrible people is just the cherry on top.
Seinfeld offers no growth or reconciliation to its characters. And yet it’s beloved and influential, even today. The Bubble Boy. Festivus. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. No soup for you! It’s such a huge part of pop culture that you’re familiar with these elements and catchphrases even if you’ve never binged the series in its entirety. Which you can totally do now – all seasons are available on Stan.
|30-DAYS FREE: Sign up to Amazon Prime Video's free trial today|
This week's streaming deals
FREE TRIAL: 30 days of Prime Video's premium TV shows and movies for free from Amazon AU
Prime Video's free 30-day trial will give you instant access to thousands of premium TV shows and movies.View details
FREE TRIAL: 30-days of unlimited Desperate Housewives, Kardashians and more with hayu from hayu
Take advantage of hayu's limited 30-day month trial and access thousands of hours of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Made in Chelsea and so much more.View details
Browse Bigpond movies from Telstra Entertainment deals
Rent the latest TV and movies from Telstra's huge library.View details
For all the latest in TV and movie streaming, follow and subscribe below
Latest streaming news
The new Aussie streaming service allows subscribers to stream NCIS, The Bachelor and more for 1 month without paying a cent. Read more…
Fetch's crime-centric Oxygen channel will bridge the gap between a traditional broadcast channel and streaming service. Read more…
From the debut of the first original Netflix series made Down Under to a tell-all of the origins of McDonald's, there's plenty of excellent streaming TV to keep you entertained this week. Read more…
The Australia vs India test cricket series has begun and you can stream it instantly for free via Kayo Sports. Read more…
Every week, Finder digs through the week's new releases on Netflix, Stan, Foxtel, Prime Video and more to bring you our top picks for the week. Read more…
The content line-up on 10 All Access is a healthy mix of Aussie reality television and binge-worthy drama from CBS. Read more…