The TV shows and films Mia, Jessie and Holly loved in 2023.

This summer season isn't just about catching up with family and friends, oh no. 

Really, it's the perfect time to lay back, relax and rather catch up with the best TV and movies of 2023.

This year has given us an array of brilliant content, and lucky for us, a lot of it is available on popular streaming platforms. But with such a plethora comes the hard choice of what to actually watch.

What shows and films are worth your precious time? It's a question Mia Freedman, Holly Wainwright and Jessie Stephens asked themselves.

So if you're looking for a bit of viewing inspiration for the summer break, Mia, Jessie and Holly have put in the hours to bring you a beautifully collated list of reccos.

Listen to Holly, Jessie and Mia talk about the movies they loved this year.

Jessie Stephens' recommendations.


Beef, Netflix.

"I loved Beef. It has Ali Wong and it's about rage. It starts with a road rage incident between strangers and it basically sparks a feud. But it's also about Asian rage and how there's almost an expectation that your rage should be suppressed and you should be polite and be the 'nice person' who is pleasing everyone else," says Jessie.

And Ali Wong's character is the standout. 

"I think I was feeling particularly rageful when I watched it - I kept turning to people and saying 'Don't you find this rage relatable?!' And they were like 'I don't think this is meant to be relatable...' It's dark and funny."

Homeland, Disney Plus.

Jessie says she has spent the last few months diving into Homeland - and if you're looking for a binge-able, multiple seasons show, this is one great option. 


"Homeland is years old, but it has really captured my attention. It's particularly interesting because it's about the Al-Qaeda Middle East politics in the wake of September 11. It actually is really relevant for right now. The way that you see how American television cast Middle Eastern people and terrorism for a really long time - it informs our current moment."

Beef and Homeland. Image: Netflix/Disney+.



Air, Prime Video.

"It's the one all about basketball player Michael Jordan. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are great in it, and what's fascinating is the product, branding and decisions made," says Jessie. 

Past Lives, Apple TV+.

It's award-winning for a reason. And Jessie made the call: it's one of the best movies she says she's ever seen.

It's a 2023 romantic drama that follows two childhood friends over the course of 24 years while they contemplate the nature of their relationship as they grow apart, living different lives. 

"It's about this concept of In Yun, a Korean word that's about past lives and reincarnation. It's just brilliant."

Past Lives. Image: Apple TV+.


Holly Wainwright's Recommendations.


Succession, Binge.

Holly says that she dipped in and out of the show over the years, and sometimes found it too businessy or complex. It follows the tribulations of a family-owned media company, not too dissimilar to the Murdochs.

But sticking with it for the end season was very much worth it, notes Holly. 

"I went back to the beginning, and wouldn't you know it, everyone was right. It has some of the best, most brilliantly performed, subtle funny TV moments."

Alone Australia, SBS On Demand.

"You probably have to be living under a rock to not know who won this show, but it's still worth watching if you haven't," says Holly.

It's about people trying to survive in the Tasmanian wilderness in an attempt to win the prize money.

"The reason it was such a particularly good season is because it was brilliantly cast. It ended up being a stand-off between an alpha man who thinks he knows everything and a hippie woman who does know everything."

WHAM!, Netflix. 

"It's about the '80s, George Michael, homophobia and all those things," says Holly.

Matildas: The World at Our Feet, Disney+.

And last but not least, Holly's final TV recco has to be the Matildas documentary.


"I loved it. If you watched it before the World Cup it gave you really good context. But watching it now, you know who they all are. It's like a real fly on the wall of all these big celebrities. It still really stands up as a watch."

Succession and Alone Australia. Image: Binge/SBS.



"When I was deciding what to recommend I thought of what I had been to the movies to see, and obviously Barbie. I think we all went to see Barbie in a theatre," says Holly.


The Banshees of Inisherin, Disney+.

"I stand by this recommendation. It was Oscar-winning and a huge deal. It's about two men who are best friends that live on a tiny Island in Ireland, and one day one of the men just decides he does not want to be friends with the other guy anymore. The other man then completely unravels," Holly notes.

It's male vulnerability to the core.

Cocaine Bear, Netflix.

"What a brave movie to make. It's a shock-horror movie, set in the '80s and it has a great soundtrack. It is gory and silly. But it is based on a real story about a bear that ate a lot of cocaine that fell out of a plane."

The Banshees of Inisherin. Image: Disney+.


Mia Freedman's Recommendations.


Beckham, Netflix.

"The first time I watched it I was like 'Why is there so much soccer in my Posh Spice movie'. I actually fast-forwarded through all the soccer bits. But the second time I watched the soccer bits, and it was a better documentary when you watch the soccer. I, of course, loved it," Mia says. 

"I found it fascinating. Cancel culture pre-dated the Internet, and if there was ever a person that got cancelled for doing something that certainly wasn't a crime, it was David Beckham."

The Super Models, Apple TV+.

This recommendation is for those who are super nostalgic about the '90s.

"This is most interesting for Gen X women. The supermodels were women we thought we knew so much about, but we very rarely heard them talk," explains Mia.

"We never heard their side of the story, and to peel that curtain back and see these women now in their 50s - I could have watched 100 episodes of it."

Hot Potato: The Story of the Wiggles, Prime Video.

Last but not least, Mia's final documentary recco is the Wiggles. 

"Outstanding. Absolutely loved that. Speaking with Anthony, the Blue Wiggle, after watching the documentary was fascinating."

The Super Models and Beckham. Image: Apple TV+/Netflix.



Tár, Netflix.

This is the psychological drama film with Cate Blanchett who plays a composer-conductor.

"I watched it on the plane and was so gripped. It's about a musician called Lydia Tár who is days away from recording a symphony that will elevate her career - but then she gets embroiled in a cancellation," says Mia.

"It's really interesting because it's unexpected."

Licorice Pizza, Stan.

"For something very different I watched a movie called Licorice Pizza. It's not directed by Sofia Coppola or Leah Dunham, but it's that genre. It's a throwback to the '50s of a girl growing up in an American town - it's a funny, coming-of-age."

Tar. Image: Netflix. 

What's your favourite TV shows and movies that you saw in 2023? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature Image: Apple TV+/SBS/Disney+.

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