"The three Bright brothers are the overseers of 3,500 square kilometers of land in Queensland, with hours between each of their homes. It’s a vast, unforgiving environment, and no one ever goes far without a full complement of supplies. When 40-year-old Cameron sets out on his own, ostensibly to fix a repeater mast, he never comes home. His body is eventually spotted, via helicopter, curled up by the stockman’s grave, the source of plentiful, and persistent, local ghost stories. Cam’s older brother, Nathan, and their baby brother, Bub, are as perplexed as the cop who’s come all the way from Brisbane to investigate. What was Cam doing by the grave, and what was his Land Cruiser doing nine kilometers away, still fully stocked with supplies, with the keys left neatly on the front seat?" - Kirkus Review
In 1825, Claire, a 21-year-old Irish convict, chases a British soldier through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. She enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past. [more inside]
The Letdown: Season 2 Season 2, Ep 0
New mom Audrey continues in the pathos of early parenthood. Australian series on Netflix. [more inside]
Two city-bred siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback, where they learn to survive with the aid of an Aboriginal boy on his "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe. [more inside]
This extraordinary story of courage and faith is based on the actual experiences of three girls who fled from the repressive life of Moore River Native Settlement, following along the rabbit-proof fence back to their homelands. Assimilationist policy dictated that these girls be taken from their kin and their homes in order to be made white. [more inside]
(Whole season) Not to be confused with the 1970s cop show of the same name (and later of 'Bargearse' infamy thanks to the D-Generation), Bluey is an Australian kid's cartoon that follows the adventures of the titular six-year-old Blue Heeler puppy, her dad, mum and four-year-old little sister, Bingo. With 21 million views since it launched in late 2018 on ABC's iView service (overseas viewers will want a VPN for the short seven minute episodes), Bluey has quickly become one of the most popular shows in Australian history. [more inside]
Tidelands: Home Season 1, Ep 1
After a 10-year prison sentence, Calliope "Cat" McTeer returns home to Orphelin Bay, where her brother Augie is dealing with a fisherman's murder. [more inside]
Both versions are fantastic but Tim Meadows excels in the US version. The second US season just dropped. Any interest in a discussion or comparison of the two versions?
+18 days 2 hrs since Lia Haddock's abduction. [more inside]
CARGO is a post apocalyptic thriller and an emotional story of a father trying to save his child at all costs. [more inside]
A Sydney lawyer defends five Aborigines in a ritualized taboo murder and in the process learns disturbing things about himself and premonitions. [more inside]
Australia has two excellent free on-demand streaming services via the two government supported broadcasters, the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). The ABC streaming service, iview.abc.net.au, is advertising-free and requires no login. The SBS service, SBS On Demand, contains ads and requires a login. Both of these services stream a lot of excellent domestic and international productions which I would like to bring to Fanfare attention, but I don't know if they are geoblocked to regular viewers outside of Australia. Are they?
Glitch: Season Two (All Episodes) Season 2, Ep 0
The Australian Broadcasting Company/Netflix show returns for season two, delivering several answers to the ongoing mystery of how the "risen" might have returned from the dead, even as many more questions arise.
Blindspot: Enemy Bag of Tricks Season 3, Ep 2
Roman makes a new friend in Australia while the team follows his tip to a satellite heist.
On a mission of mercy, Kevin assumes an alternate identity. Wherein we also learn the importance of secure two-factor authentication. They're Kevins! Identical Kevins all the way. One pair of matching bookends, Different as night and day.—Patti [more inside]
The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final begins Saturday! May 13th! at 2100 CEST / 3:00pm Eastern! with results announced usually between 6-630pm Eastern! Can you tell I am excite! Most of the world can watch via the main Eurovision YouTube channel. Fans located in the US can tune their TVs to LOGO or computing devices to LogoTV.com, where the show will be co-hosted by Ross Mathews and Michelle Visage of "Rupaul's Drag Race" fame. Other options for following the action include accessing the main Eurovision stream on YouTube using a VPN, or using the delightfully Swedish feed from SVT (co-hosted, although probably in Swedish, by 2015 winner Måns Zelmerlöw). [more inside]
Live from Kyiv, Semifinal 1 begins Tuesday, May 9th, at 2100 CEST / 3:00pm EDT. Come on in for performance previews and conjecture about who's good, bad, and so-bad-it's-good. Viewers outside the US can watch via the main Eurovision YouTube channel. For fans located in the US: LOGO is broadcasting the Grand Final again this year (with Ross Mathews and Michelle Visage of Drag Race fame. Yay!) which means we get to deal with geoblocking again. (Boo.) Get a VPN with endpoints outside the US to access the stream YouTube, or try the Swedish broadcaster's high-quality (and usually commentary-free) live stream. [more inside]
The Leftovers: Don't Be Ridiculous Season 3, Ep 2
Nora travels to St. Louis in her role as an investigator for the Department of Sudden Departure. [more inside]
A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family. [more inside]
Glitch: The Risen Season 1, Ep 1
Sergeant Hayes is a seasoned police officer in the small town of Yoorana in Australia. When late one night he receives a report of a disturbance in the cemetery, he is bewildered to find six naked, filthy, disoriented people wandering the cemetery who don't remember what happened to them. [more inside]
Cleverman: Terra Nullius Season 1, Ep 6
As the Containment Authority prepares to clear the city of Hairypeople, Koen must finally face his destiny as the Cleverman. (season finale)
Cleverman: A Man of Vision Season 1, Ep 5
Charlotte agrees to one last attempt at IVF at a clinic offering new technology; Slade offers Waruu a tempting deal. [more inside]
The Strange Calls: First Call Season 1, Ep 1
A young constable arrives to take the night shift in Coolum Beach, an ordinary Australian town . . . until the sun goes down. [more inside]
Cleverman: Containment Season 1, Ep 2
Koen seeks answers regarding his strange new powers, so he heads into The Zone; Aunty Linda realizes there is a new Cleverman.
EUROVISION DAY IS HERE! The 2016 Grand Final begins at 2100 CET / 3pm Eastern / 12pm Pacific. As before, the live stream will be available via the Eurovision website, the Swedish broadcaster, SVT, and for the first time, through the LOGO TV website. (Note to LOGO viewers: commentary will be provided by Carson Kressley and Michelle Collins.) Viewers located outside the US can also watch via YouTube. [more inside]
It's time for the next round of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest! Semifinal 2 begins at 2100 CET / 3pm Eastern / 12pm Pacific. As before, the live stream will be available via the Eurovision website. Viewers located outside the US can also watch via YouTube. Thanks to LOGO TV's contract to broadcast Saturday's Grand Final, the semifinal rounds are not available to viewers in the US via YouTube, and the Eurovision.tv stream is relatively low quality. One freely available (no VPNs necessary!) and high-quality source is the Swedish broadcaster, SVT. This is probably the correct link for today's stream. In case it's not, check the SVT Play home page. [more inside]
Dance Academy: Minefield First Watch Season 1, Ep 4
The boy-girl pairs are assigned confidence tests to prepare them for pas de deux.
Dance Academy: Learning to Fly First Watch Season 1, Ep 1
Tara, the audience avatar, joins Australia's top ballet academy. [more inside]
Dance Academy is an Aussie teen drama about students at a ballet school. I expected to hate it, but it's really rather good: well characterized, limits cheese to portions the size of a matchbox, a decent amount of real dancing per episode. Who's with me?
Three Australian lieutenants are court martialed for executing prisoners as a way of deflecting attention from war crimes committed by their superior officers. [more inside]
A working-class family from Melbourne, Australia fights city hall after being told they must vacate their beloved family home to allow for infrastructural expansion. [more inside]
This week: The House passes the "USA Freedom Act," which might ultimately curtail of the NSA's phone record collection. FIFA elects a new president, and is somehow expected to reëlect scandal-prone Sepp Blatter. Johnny Depp illegally brought two dogs to Australia, and its government threatened to kill them unless he took them away. LWT produces a short piece demanding Australia remove Australian things from the US. Main story: chicken farmers (YouTube 18m), and the systems of contract farming, gladiator payouts and vindictive secrecy that keeps them impoverished and the chickens mistreated.
LiteraryHero has done me the honor of tagging me for the next horror club pick! On Friday, December 19th, I'll post a discussion post for the 2012 Australian horror comedy 100 Bloody Acres, the story of two brothers who find a new and potent source of organic material for their blood and bone fertilizer business. Matt Zoller Seitz of rogerebert.com called it "the best low-budget horror comedy since Shaun of the Dead, and one of the most assured first features in ages." [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Europe Swings Right, Net Neutrality, National Spelling Bee Ends In Tie Season 1, Ep 5
This week: far-right groups including Greece's Golden Dawn party picking up seats in the European Parliament, Ukraine elects candy billionaire Petro Poroshenko as President, Obama's plans to leave Afghanistan, White House Press Secretary Jim Carney retires, the FCC's planned ruling on Net Neutrality (13m), the idiocy of Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and Scripp's National Spelling Bee ends in a tie. The show's official YouTube page offers this bonus clip (4m) coming off the hiatus.
Danger 5: Lizard Soldiers of the Third Reich Season 1, Ep 2
Nazi Dinosaurs! But where do they come from? [more inside]
Danger 5: I Danced For Hitler Season 1, Ep 1
The first episode of this Australian comedy show lays out the absurd premise of the world the main characters live in: It's the 1960s and Hitler still rules most of Europe. A courageous band of international spies tries to kill him. Also, bears can play the piano really fast. [more inside]