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The reboot cast of Gossip Girl
Photograph: HBO/ Binge

The best TV shows to watch on Binge

Here are the hottest TV shows that you’re missing on Australian streaming service Binge

Written by
Claire Finneran
,
Stephen A Russell
&
Rebecca Russo
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At this point, you might have scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page on both Netflix and Stan. It’s not your fault – we do have a lot of free time on our hands right now. Binge is another Australia’s streaming service that comes from the same hands as Foxtel and Foxtel Go. Binge has the added benefit of hosting a huge selection of HBO television shows, which makes it ideal for those keen to catch up on “prestige” television shows like The Wire, The Sopranos and Six Feet Under. But what else has Binge got to offer? Here are some of our favourite TV shows currently streaming on Binge.

Don't have Binge? Here are the best escapist flicks on Netflix and the best TV shows now on Stan

Binge has been advertising this limited series up the wazoo for good reason. Mare of Easttown follows a vape-toting Kate Winslet (playing Mare, natch) as she investigates a murder in her small town near Philadelphia and reckons with her own suppressed past traumas. It's a thrilling whodunnit that masterfully layers lived-in character vignettes to build addictive twists and turns. The accent work alone is garnering accolades, but tune-in for stand out performances from Julianne Nicholson, Evan Peters and the legendary Jean Smart, who provides some much-needed giggles as Mare's ice cream-hoarding mother. Watch before it absolutely wipes the floor at the Emmys this year.

Watch the trailer here.

This limited series has only just begun but it is already shouting a big "Aloha" to TV fans around the world. Jennifer Coolidge! Molly Shannon! Connie Britton's hair! All your favourite white lady icons come together for this sharp satire set in a luxury Hawaiian resort. We see the privileged guests, honeymooners and solo spa-seekers through the eyes of the resort's staff and the dry bite of the show's creator Mike White (who wrote Enlightened, School of Rock and, hilariously, The Emoji Movie). The White Lotus brings an air of tense mystery to its depiction of paradise, relaxation and hospitality. With all that entitlement snorkelling around together, a storm's bound to be brewing.

Watch the trailer here.

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It cleaned up at the 2020 Emmys, so what’s all the fuss about? Succession follows the Roys, a wealthy American family known for controlling the biggest media and entertainment company in the world (sound a little… familiar?) The patriarchal head is Logan Roy (played with intense stoicism by British actor Brian Cox) and then there are his slightly messed up kids, Kendall, Roman, Siobhan and Connor. The performances here are truly outstanding (especially from Aussie Sarah Snook) and the story toes the line between fierce drama and dirty satire. Plus, season three is right around the corner.

Watch the trailer here.

I May Destroy You is created by writer, co-director and exceptional rising star Michaela Coel, who plays an emerging author on the up in London. Horrifically, she begins to realise a black-out on a boozy night led to a sexual assault. Dancing a fine dramedy line, Coel’s searing take goes deeper on consent and the systemic structures that allow for abuse. Also examining racism and class, her character Arabella says she came to feminism late because she was “too busy being Black and poor”. It’s powerful stuff, but also gleefully romantic in spots.

Watch the trailer here.

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They called it Skins for a new generation, but Euphoria dared to go where Skins couldn’t go – it surpassed its sex-fueled hype to make a poignant allegory about a teenagers relationship with love, sex, drugs and trauma. Euphoria also has the incredibly talented Zendaya as its lead, alongside a host of other skilful young actors. The first season follows Rue, a teenager who has just returned home from rehab and struggles to keep clean and live a normal life.

Watch the trailer here.

This series has all the trappings of a hard-hitting crime drama: gloomy colour-grading, sullen detectives and spikes of adrenaline that keep you coming back for more. Add some of Stephen King's supernatural touches and you've got yourself an utterly watchable horror thriller. Even if you aren't usually inclined to pick up a spooky-ooky fantasy tale you'll be busting to know what happened to the small town and its inhabitants in The Outsider. Anchored by a tangibly weathered Ben Mendelsohn as a grieving lead detective, the series follows an investigation into the weirdly brutal killing of a child, with the main suspect (Jason Bateman) spotted with suspicious blood around his chompers, to extraordinary ends. Cynthia Erivo also swoops in as a show-stealing, neurodivergent investigator with fascinating memory skills.

Watch the trailer here.

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This underrated riot of a show is available in its entirety on Binge. Famously based on Lisa Kudrow's own experiences with comedy writer's rooms, The Comeback stretches the mockumentary form to its tragi-comic limits. Kudrow plays Valerie Cherish, a TV star of the golden-era of sitcoms who is fighting to stay relevant in a new world. The show takes place in seasons filmed literally, and for the purpose of the story, nine years apart – with Valerie appearing in raw footage collected for reality TV purposes. Co-created by Michael Patrick King (who you may know from a little show called Sex and the City), The Comeback will have you laughing and wondering how the hell we think common pop culture tropes are okay at the same time. 

Watch the trailer

Imagine if the original Gossip Girl wasn't so blindingly white and private school teachers had Instagram? Well you're in luck, that's exactly what the 2021 reboot is all about. It's supremely silly, but so was the original tale of a pack of wealthy Upper East-siders and their elaborate teen microdramas. This version of Gossip Girl follows a far more diverse cast through said dramas though: there's a pair of long lost sisters with feuding dads, a potential polyamorous throuple brewing and a pack of exceptionally young teachers trying to take the students down a peg. Rather than the multi-season arc of wondering who the eponymous Gossip Girl is, here we're lead to believe it is the teachers keeping the blog alive from the first ep. Truly wild.

Watch the trailer here.

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Before we begin: Nicole Kidman storming around New York in long winter jackets is camp excellence and should have it's own runway category on Ru Paul's Drag Race. The Undoing is a surprisingly entertaining thriller that uses the tension of Kidman's eyeballs and the spluttering of Hugh Jackman's gorgeous jowls to great effect. It follows some supremely wealthy adults as they deal with a graphic murder that has eyebrow-raising proximity to all of their lives. There are intense conversations in sparse New York mansions, truckloads of scandalous lie-reveals and a thread that you just can't stop pulling until you find out exactly what happens. And when you find out... Look, come back to us. We'll talk.

Watch the trailer here.

Superheroes? Haven’t we seen it all? Not quite yet. The television “remix” of the famous 1986 DC graphic novel is helmed by Damon Lindelof (known for his work on The Leftovers and Lost) and gained a suite of 2020 awards including outstanding limited series. The show takes place 34 years after the events of the graphic novel, but in the same altered reality where superheroes are outlawed from society. There are new characters and a very timely storyline about racial injustice. Regina King is, as always, outstanding.

Watch the trailer here.

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Issa Rae is the brains behind this funny and whip-smart comedy series which focuses on two female protagonists; listless but justice-seeking Issa (played by Rae) and head-strong career-driven Molly (played by Yvonne Orji). Their friendship is stellar and is one of the best parts of the show, which follows the two as they navigate relationships, career and the Black female experience in Los Angeles. 

Watch the trailer here.

Sons of Anarchy writer Misha Green takes the reins of Lovecraft Country, a rollicking adaptation of the Matt Ruff novel that recasts the weird tales of author HP Lovecraft, which are alarmingly chock-full of racist tropes, through an African-American lens. Set in the heart of segregation in the ‘50s Jim Crow era, Birds of Prey breakout Jurnee Smollett and When We Rise lead Jonathan Majors are fab as reluctant Scooby Gang sorts. Investigating surreal occurrences X-Files-style, their misadventures are goofy fun. Sadly the show hasn't been picked up for a second season, but you can enjoy the entirety of the first on Binge right now.

Watch the trailer here.

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Cate Blanchett delivers some of her finest work in Mrs America, depicting real-life conservative campaigner Phyllis Schlafly. She became a thorn in the side of the Women’s Liberation movement during the ‘70s, pitting her head-to-head with an also brilliant Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem. There’s some irony to Schlafly battling so strenuously against the Equal Rights Amendment to constitutionally recognise women on the same level as men, given her prominence and commitment to political activism. That seeming contradiction is what makes the show sing, as is the all-star cast that includes Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Paulson, Tracey Ullman, John Slattery and recent Emmy-winner Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. 

Watch the trailer here.

You may know Bill Hader from Saturday Night Live or from his bit parts in numerous Seth Rogan-adjacent films of the past two decades, but with Barry, Hader truly comes into his own. The talented comedian writes, directs and stars in this HBO dark comedy series that follows a former army-vet-turned-assassin that decides to leave his dark past behind to try his hand at acting. The show is incredibly bleak at times, but also supremely funny at the same time. Side characters, including Anthony Carrigan’s NoHo Hank and Henry Winkler’s Gene Cousineau, are outstanding.

Watch the trailer here.

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If you're after something short and sharp to capture your attention the three-episode arc of Quiz is bound to do the trick. Based on a true story, the miniseries follows an alleged cheating scandal that may-or-may-not have happened on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2001. We're shown both sides of the coin in this captivating look at game show mechanics and average joe vigilantes. Quiz is delightfully funny thanks to the would-be cheaters the Ingrams played by Matthew Macfadyen (Succession) and Sian Clifford (Fleabag) and has you questioning who to believe to the very end and beyond.

Watch the trailer here.

If you’d rather ignore the political climate in the US, Emmy award-winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ tour de force Veep might be a… funnier take. Created by Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, The Death of Stalin) this political satire follows the day-to-day dealings of US vice president Selina Meyer and her (somewhat inept) staff. The show hilariously satirises the nuances of everyday American politics – and the insults thrown around would make even the most vulgar sailor blush.  

Watch the trailer here.

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Co-created by Glee and American Horror Story’s Ryan Murphy, Pose is a drama series about New York’s Black and Latino LGBTQIA ballroom culture scene in the 1980s. The show is both glamorous and heartfelt, showcasing sharp dialogue, a brilliant soundtrack, and, naturally, lots of dancing and drama. Billy Porter and MJ Rodriguez lead the cast. 

Watch the trailer here.

It isn't often that an American spin-off of an Aussie or Kiwi show goes well (we're looking at you US Kath and Kim), but this one is an exception. What We Do in The Shadows manages to nail the casual comic timing of the Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement film while adding its own signature spin on the share house of selfish vampires. Natasia Demetriou as Romani vampire Nadja who is eternally frustrated by her dim-witted male vampire housemates is a standout. As are the roster of surprising guest stars (Tilda Swinton, Wesley Snipes and Evan Rachel Wood to name a few). 

Watch the trailer here.

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Donald Glover proves once again that he is more talented than most with this series about an aspiring rapper and his manager/cousin. The charm of Atlanta lies in its writing and cinematography – Glover (who created the show) wanted to show people “what it feels like to be black” in America and succeeds with a thoughtful, eccentric show that subverts expectations in the best way.

Watch the trailer here.

Ah! The old faithful. If nothing is scratching your itch turn to the golden tones and pleasant pace of The Great British Bake Off. Binge stocks the latest seasons and many, many spin-offs (Canada, celebrity etc.) for you to bliss out to. Watch as a bunch of polite British people gently compete to make batches of cupcakes, biccies, brownies and more under the firm-but-kind eyes of the judges. Hosted by Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas in its recent iterations, the GBBO is given a mildly surreal comic undertow too. Deeply relaxing viewing.

Watch the trailer here.

Wondering what else to watch?

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