Captivating Tales Down Under: Exploring the Stellar World of High-Rated Australian TV Series

Australia is not just home to kangaroos and stunning landscapes; it's also a hotbed for captivating and high-rated television series. From the heartfelt drama of "A Place to Call Home" to the thrilling mysteries of "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries," these Australian shows have gained international acclaim. Join us on a journey through the gripping narratives of "Mr Inbetween," the comedic chaos of "Offspring," and the witty and dramatic world of "Rake." Prepare to be engrossed by the spellbinding tales woven in the streets of "Rosehaven," "Stateless," and "The Gloaming." Explore the unexpected and quirky journey of "Upright," and delve into the psychological depths of "Wakefield." With a stellar lineup like this, there's no doubt that Australian TV series have the power to captivate audiences worldwide.


A Place to Call Home


a-place-to-call-homeImage via Acorn TV

The show titled A Place to Call Home is a period drama that takes place in rural New South Wales during the 1950s. It tells the story of Sarah Adams (Marta Dusseldorp), who returns to Australia after spending 20 mysterious years in France with her husband following World War II.

As Sarah settles into her new life in a small town in Australia, she becomes acquainted with the wealthy and aristocratic Bligh family. She frequently clashes with the strict matriarch Elizabeth Bligh (Noni Hazlehurst) and experiences a rollercoaster of love and loss throughout the six-season series. The show features beautiful scenery of rural Australia, capturing the essence of the time period with its detailed sets and fashion. Fans of Downton Abbey will likely find enjoyment in this Australian counterpart.


Jack Irish


jack-irish-guy-pearceImage via Acorn TV

Marta Dusseldorp also appears in the crime drama series Jack Irish, set in Melbourne. The show revolves around the character Jack Irish (Guy Pearce), a former criminal lawyer who becomes a private investigator and debt collector after his wife is murdered and his legal career takes a downfall.

The storyline is based on crime fiction novels written by Peter Temple. It was initially developed as a three-part miniseries and later adapted into a full-fledged television series spanning three seasons. If you enjoy action-packed crime thrillers with elements of corruption and unexpected twists, Jack Irish is a perfect choice.


Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries


miss-fisher-murder-mystery-essie-davisImage via Acorn TV

Set in Melbourne during the extravagant 1920s, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is a historical mystery and drama series based on a series of novels by Kerry Greenwood. The TV series, like the novels, follows the life of private detective Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis).

With three seasons in total, the show captures the essence of the era with its flapper fashion, intriguing characters, and mysterious murder cases. The creators, Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger, describe Phryne Fisher as a feminist ahead of her time, likening her to a James Bond action hero with even better style.


Mr Inbetween


mr-inbetween-scott-ryan-justin-rosniakImage via FX

Mr Inbetween is a dark and offbeat comedic drama that follows the life of Ray Shoesmith (Scott Ryan). By day, Ray is an assassin, and by night, he plays the roles of a father, divorcé, brother, and boyfriend.

Throughout its three seasons, the show delves into the dichotomy between Ray's professional and personal life, as he struggles to balance his violent tendencies with his interpersonal relationships. It offers a uniquely humanist and comedic perspective on a seemingly cold-blooded killer. Created by and starring Scott Ryan, Mr Inbetween was predominantly filmed in Sydney and is based on Scott's 2005 feature film The Magician.




Offspring CastImage via Netflix

If you're seeking a lighthearted and quirky romantic comedy set in Melbourne, Offspring is the perfect choice. The show features attractive doctors, a dysfunctional family, and lovable characters, making it an irresistible combination reminiscent of the popular series Grey's Anatomy.

Across its seven seasons, Offspring revolves around the life of obstetrician Nina Proudman (Asher Keddie) as she navigates her early 30s. The characters are relatable, flawed, and endearing, with standout performances from Nina's sister Billie Proudman (Kat Stewart) and Billie's on-and-off boyfriend Mick (Eddie Perfect). The show incorporates flashbacks, animations, and fantasy sequences that add to its quirky charm. Fair warning, you might find yourself humming Nina's catchy ringtone after a couple of episodes.




rake-seriesImage via ABC Television

Rake is another delightfully unconventional show, featuring a significantly different protagonist and setting. The series centers around Cleaver Greene (Richard Roxburgh), a barrister based in Sydney known for defending seemingly guilty clients through unconventional methods. Outside the courtroom, Cleaver leads a colorful life filled with debts, a complex relationship with a prostitute, and ongoing tax issues with a nemesis he consistently outwits.

Rake offers an amusing and satirical take on legal dramas, presenting a wide range of outrageous and seemingly unwinnable cases across its five seasons, culminating in the High Court of Australia.




rosehavenImage via SundanceTV

Rosehaven is a down-to-earth comedy that follows the journey of two friends who move to a small town in Tasmania. The show revolves around Daniel McCallum (Luke McGregor) returning to his hometown, Rosehaven, to assist his mother with her real estate business. To his surprise, his best friend from the mainland, Emma Dawes (Celia Pacquola), also decides to join him after a failed marriage.

As the series progresses over five seasons, it explores their experiences and challenges in Rosehaven, including their interactions with eccentric neighbors and their personal journeys towards resolution. Luke and Celia, who are best friends in real life, provide an added sense of authenticity to the show, both in their acting and writing.




stateless-fayssal-bazziImage via Netflix

Based on true stories, Stateless portrays the intersecting lives of four strangers at an immigration detention center in the Australian outback. The show thoughtfully explores how a woman escaping a cult, an Afghan refugee, an office worker, and a bureaucrat find their paths intertwined. It serves as an unflinching portrayal of the effects of Australia's immigration detention system on individuals, offering a humanistic perspective.

Co-created by the talented Cate Blanchett (who also has a small feature role), the show delivers high-quality storytelling and exceptional performances. Although it only consists of one season with six episodes, the impact and resonance of the series are undeniable.


The Cry


In 'The Cry', starring Jenna Coleman and Ewen Leslie, nothing is what it seemsImage via ABC/BBC One

Emotional, intense, and full of depth, The Cry is a limited series that follows the gripping story of new mother Joanna (Jenna Coleman) and her husband Alistair (Ewen Leslie) as their four-month-old son Noah goes missing during a trip to Australia.

The show explores the aftermath of this tragedy, delving into its personal and relational impact, all while the couple faces relentless media attention. With exceptional performances and unexpected twists and turns, The Cry is a beautifully crafted and compelling series that will keep you captivated over its four episodes.


The Gloaming


the-gloam-emma-boothImage via Starz

For those seeking a dark crime drama with a touch of the supernatural, The Gloaming is a must-watch. Inspired by Tasmania's haunted history, the show follows police detectives Molly McGee (Emma Booth) and Alex O'Connell (Ewen Leslie) as they investigate the murder of a woman near Hobart. Their investigation leads them down a rabbit hole connecting to a 20-year-old cold case, corruption, cults, and a mysterious Tasmanian history. While only one season is currently available, talks of a second season are in progress.




upright-milly-alcock-social-featuredImage via Entertainment One

Upright tells the story of the unlikely friendship between stressed and jaded Lucky (Tim Minchin) and teenage runaway Meg (Milly Alcock) in the vast Australian outback. Their bond strengthens as they embark on a journey to transport Lucky's upright piano from Sydney to Perth, his mother's house on the other side of the country. Along the way, they face misadventures and engage in discussions that delve into life's big questions and small moments.

The series is a heartwarming exploration of the ups and downs of life, featuring both moments of strangeness and melancholy. The beautiful landscapes of the Australian outback serve as a backdrop to their transformative journey. Similarly to The Gloaming, a second season of Upright is currently in development.




wakefieldImage via Showtime

If you're open to dramatic TV series with musical interludes, Wakefield is a uniquely captivating choice. The show revolves around psychiatric nurse Nik (Rudi Dharmalingam) and the patients and staff at a psychiatric institution in the Blue Mountains. It intertwines Nik's personal life and family history with his experiences at work.

With thoughtful storytelling and nuanced performances, Wakefield addresses the delicate line between sanity and insanity, reminding us that it can be easily crossed. It is a moving and well-executed series that spans one season consisting of eight episodes.

With an array of unforgettable characters, gripping storylines, and top-notch production quality, these high-rated Australian TV series have solidified Australia's position on the global television stage. From the gritty crime dramas of Jack Irish and Mr Inbetween to the witty comedies of Rake and Rosehaven, there is something for everyone to enjoy. And let's not forget the emotional rollercoasters of A Place to Call Home and Offspring, or the intense mysteries of The Gloaming and The Cry. Whether you're in the mood for laughter, tears, or goosebumps, these outstanding shows deliver it all. So, dive into the world of Australian television and discover why these series have captivated viewers from around the world.

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