Sky Katz and Kai Lewins, Surviving Summer Season 2, photo by Ben Saunders.
From mystery crime thrillers to unscripted romances, here’s our guide to the hottest Melbourne-made bingeable series, films and games to hit play on this summer.
Nothing screams summer more than rebel New York teen, Summer Torres (Sky Katz), making waves (in and out of the ocean) around Shorehaven. Dive into the second season of this hugely popular young-adult surfing drama and cast yourself (from your couch) into the world-famous beaches of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. Season one of Surviving Summer was a breakout success, reaching Netflix’s top-10 list in more than 42 countries. Don’t miss the second instalment of Summer’s antics down under.
Surviving Summer is currently streaming on Netflix
For a distinctly more urban series of romantic entanglements, Love Me is back for a second season and better than ever at charting the wins and missteps of its central relationships. The Mathieson family won the hearts of Melbourne with season one in the original series from Binge. Now they’re back and their relationships are decidedly more complex and tightly woven. Glen Mathieson (Hugo Weaving) charms as a grieving widower and hopeless romantic. Love Me makes for excellent summer viewing, filled with intimacy, vulnerability growth and desire, and will take you on a virtual tour of Melbourne’s shiny CBD and inner-city suburbs while it’s at it.
Love me is currently streaming on Binge
TV’s golden couple, Helen Norville (Anna Torv) and Dale Jannings (Sam Reid), are back to deliver the news, and a lesson on life and politics in Melbourne’s late ‘80s. Season one charts Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster, the growing HIV endemic and Lindy Chamberlain’s release from prison amongst other historic moments. Season 2 delivers more of the same tension, but the stakes are higher, the relationships are more established, and the spotlight is turned back on the media itself. Buckle up for some tantalizing summer viewing, and a chance to see some hilariously outdated hairstyles and mod-cons of the eighties.
The Newsreader S1 & S2 is now streaming on ABC iView
The new Stan crime series, Scrublands, starts with a bang. Or more aptly, a series of bangs. Follow journalist Martin Scarsden (Luke Arnold) as he peels back the layers on this atypical murder in the bush story. Scrublands had been coined ‘rural noir’. Directed by Greg McLean of Wolf Creek fame, you can expect a few thrilling twists and turns here.
Watch Scrublands on Stan now
If you’re looking for a pseudo-historical, gold rush romp, look no further than ABC’s Gold Diggers. Set in the Victorian Goldfields in 1853, with contemporaneous costuming and sets, but a modern twist on language, Gold Diggers is sure to sizzle this summer. Gert (Claire Lovering) and Marigold (Danielle Walker) are two self-described ‘hornbag’ sisters looking for love/money by shacking up with some blokes who’ve struck gold in Dead Horse Gap. Intrigued? So are we!
Watch Gold Diggers now on ABC iView
Foe unites two of the most lauded actors working today – Saoirse Ronan in the role of Hen and Paul Mescal playing Junior – as a husband-and-wife in a relationship on the brink of collapse. Set in the near future, with corporate power and environmental decay ravaging the planet, Junior and Hen live a solitary life on their isolated farm, until a knock at the door throws their lives into turmoil, and resulting in a life changing decision. If you live for speculative fiction and tense onscreen chemistry, don’t miss Foe.
Foe is playing in select cinemas and will streaming on Prime Video from 5 January 2024
If you’re after some high-octane romance this holiday season, Season 11 of The Bachelors Australia delivers. Shot at many charming date spots across Melbourne and Victoria for the first time in the Australian franchise’s history, you’ll be sure to find inspiration for your own love life, or at the very least observe the soaring highs and crushing lows of new love and unrequited affection on national TV. Some call it schadenfreude, we call it A-plus summer streaming.
Stream the latest episodes on 10play
Wouldn’t summer be a little more exciting with some intergalactic invaders and surprising alien powers? We think so too. Head on some wacky and celestial adventures with human asteroidean Lulin and her friends as their Year 6 science competition proves to be truly otherworldly.
Available and orbiting for screening on ABC ME from 1 January 2024
What better way to spend your summer days than immersing yourself in a world of Greek Gods, mystery, murder, romance and of course musical roleplay? Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical should be on the top of your wish list this Christmas. Having scooped up the most coveted ‘Game of the Year Award’ at this year’s AGDAs and also snagging a Grammy Nomination for its score and soundtrack, Stray Gods will keep you singing along all summer long.
Available for download now on all major platforms
Why not spend the holiday break growing that brilliant brain of yours? Keen to expand your vocabulary, or see how many strange letter combinations pass as words in the English language? Download Gubbins today and put your literary puzzle skills to the test with this addictive mobile word game. Beat your friends and your own best score.
Available now on iOS and Android
Follow us on @wearevicscreen and tell us what’s on your playlist this summer!