The best TV shows to come out of 2023.

There's a lot of TV these days. 

With 5,000 streamers, as well as your traditional free-to-air channels dropping new releases every single week, it's near impossible to stay on top of it all. Except, actually, staying on top of it is actually my job (yes, I'm tired, and yes, I realise this is an extremely unsympathetic problem to have).

But as overwhelming as the sheer level of content can be, there really hasn't been a better time to be a TV fan. You can dive deep into the all-time greats whenever you like, gorge yourself silly on ridiculous rom-coms and, of course, enjoy the ride of a new release that grabs the world's attention.

Which brings me here, to this list of 2023's best shows. Quick disclaimer: these are all NEW shows. Otherwise I'll be here for 10 years, because yes, new seasons of Succession, The Bear, Barry, Only Murders in the Building etc. etc. were also incredible – but we already *knew* they were great series. 

Okay? Cool. Let's do this:

The Last of Us.

Image: HBO.


This one feels SO obvious that it's almost silly. The Last of Us is undoubtedly one of the best new shows – if not THE best – of the year, no question.

The Last of Us is a survival story based on one of the world's most popular video games. It's set 20 years after the outbreak of a mutant fungal infection, which turns people into aggressive zombie-like creatures, has destroyed modern civilisation.

It follows Joel (Pedro Pascal), a survivor who is hired to smuggle a 14-year-old girl named Ellie (Game of Thrones' Bella Ramsey) out of a totalitarian quarantine zone. Together, they must traverse the US and depend on each other for survival.

This cast is stacked: supporting stars include Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman – who star in one of the best episodes of television I've ever seen – as well as Diego Luna and Melanie Lynskey.

It also gave the entire world a deep, deep appreciation for Pascal, which has been *very* important to this year's pop culture, internet memes and... society more broadly. So if you haven't watched it yet, what are you waiting for?


The Last of Us is streaming now on Binge.

Jury Duty.

Image: Prime Video.

Jury Duty was the sleeper hit of the year.

The series had virtually no hype, which might've been down to just how... silly it sounded. The premise was a prank show where only one man, the truly delightful Ronald Gladden, is unaware that the increasingly absurd situations he finds himself in as part of a jury are all fake.


And on paper, it feels a little cruel. Like the purpose of the show is just to laugh at Ronald.

But Jury Duty is not that at all, and that's what makes it such a funny, sweet watch.

The scenarios are hilarious, James Marsden (playing himself!) has some of the best dialogue of the year, and it has made a much-deserved star out of Ronald, the most wholesome guy on our screens.

Jury Duty is streaming on Prime Video.


Image: Netflix.


In BEEF, Ali Wong and Steven Yeun go head-to-head in the aftermath of a road rage incident between their characters, self-made entrepreneur Amy and failing contractor Danny.

They're living very different lives but are equally miserable, so their new feud sparks something new and exciting in their lives... and a way to channel their anger, of course.

Across 10 episodes, BEEF alternates between the two protagonists and the ever-increasing stakes of their, um, beef, that unravels their lives and relationships. And all of that happens alongside some serious laughs as well as deeply moving moments.

It's brilliant.

All 10 episodes of Beef are streaming on Netflix.

Poker Face.

Image: Peacock


Poker Face is a murder mystery anthology with a twist.

The 10-part series stars Natasha Lyonne as Charlie, who has the uncanny ability to tell when someone is lying.

In episode one, she is working as a casino hotel cleaner. After her workmate is murdered, she works to solve the mystery - and the events of the episode lead to her hitting the road.

At each stop – a new one per episode – she encounters a host of new characters and a mysterious death she can't help but get to the bottom of.

It's a brilliantly funny and clever series that feels both nostalgic and extremely fresh.

Poker Face is streaming on Stan.


Image: Apple TV+.


Shrinking is a comedy from Ted Lasso co-creator Bill Lawrence, Ted Lasso star Brett Goldstein (Roy Kent!) and Jason Segel. How's that for comedy chops?

It follows a grieving therapist, played by Segel, who starts to break the rules and tell his clients exactly what he thinks. Ignoring his training and ethics, he finds himself making huge, tumultuous changes to people's lives, including his own.


It also stars Harrison Ford in a rare (but delightful) television appearance, as well as Christa Miller, Jessica Williams and Michael Urie.

It is darkly funny while also being incredibly touching.

Shrinking is streaming on Apple TV+.

Cunk on Earth.

Image: Netflix.

The most ridiculous of the lot, but also one of the most fun.

Cunk of Earth is a faux-history documentary about the rise of modern civilisation, hosted by Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan). She asks very smart people very dumb questions, which actually sometimes become... very smart questions. It's weird. But it's hilarious.


Highlights include "what's ironic about Jesus Christ becoming a carpenter was [that] he was actually named after the two words you're most likely to shout after hitting your thumb with a hammer" and "which was more culturally significant – the Renaissance or 'Single Ladies' by Beyoncé?" 

Also, if you happen to LOVE the 1989 Technotronic song 'Pump Up the Jam' – good for you! – this is definitely the show for you.

Cunk on Earth is streaming on Netflix.


Image: Prime Video.


Many shows are described as 'laugh out loud funny', meaning you might chuckle a few times. But Deadloch comes through will genuine, deep belly laughs.

Like, your abdominals will hurt.

It is a truly absurd crime comedy set in a sleepy Tasmanian town after a local man turns up dead at the beach. Local senior sergeant Dulcie (Kate Box), Darwin senior investigator Eddie Redcliffe (Madeleine Sami) and junior constable Abby (Nina Oyama) must put their (hilarious) differences aside to solve the case, as the rest of the quirky town prepares to launch an annual festival event.

The show will be familiar in its buddy-cop detective make-up, but the commentary (and the jokes) feel fresh, timely and best of all, just so extremely Australian.

Deadloch is streaming on Prime Video.

Rain Dogs.

Image: HBO.


Rain Dogs is unlike anything else I've ever watched. It is a completely original, funny, heart-wrenching portrayal of financial hardship, centred around aspiring writer Costello (Daisy May Cooper, who I hope wins many awards for her work here).

In the opening episode, she and daughter Iris (Fleur Tashjian) are evicted from their flat, sending them into a familiar cycle of instability. This is complicated even further by the release from jail of Costello's best friend, Selby Florian (Jack Farthing), a wealthy gay man whose cash helps, but Costello and Selby's bond is so deep, so loving and yet so toxic, that his presence also hinders.

There's candour in the way Costello speaks about the harsh inflexibility of housing opportunities and shelters, and in her experience with a photographer with a poverty kink. There are laughs to be had in her friendship with Lenny, an ill man who likes to paint nudes, who Costello does odd jobs for, and her conversations with another bestie, Gloria. And there are eyes to be opened, in the cyclical nature of poverty, the middle-class sanitisation of the reality and the deep impact of childhood trauma.


Rain Dogs is poignant, funny and the show that has stuck with me the most this year. 

Rain Dogs is streaming on Binge.


Image: Disney+.


Think Girls, with superpowers. Extraordinary is perhaps the most underrated show of the year in my opinion. It dropped without much fanfare, at least here in Australia, in January, and it is simply a delight from beginning to end.

Máiréad Tyers stars as Jen, a 25-year-old costume worker in a world where everyone gets a superpower when they turn 18. Well, everyone except Jen. 

To be fair, not all powers are good. For every person with superstrength or time-bending skills, there's someone with something painfully mundane, like the ability to turn anything into a PDF, or painfully... pleasurable, like being able to give someone an orgasm with just a single touch.

But mostly, the superpowers are a conduit to tell this story of mid-20s confusion. Jen undertakes a mission to discover her power, but she's really on a mission to get her sh*t together. It's about exploring the worries of being in your 20s – of feeling directionless, not good enough or left behind – through a truly hilarious premise.

It's fresh, fun and genuinely very, very funny.

The show's second season has already been green-lit, so jump on board now and feel smug when it inevitably becomes huge.

Extraordinary is streaming on Disney+.


In Limbo.

Image: ABC iview.

Bold claim ahead. Like, really bold claim ahead: In Limbo is, in my eyes, the greatest series our dear, wonderful ABC has ever produced.

I warned you it was bold.

I watched it in one go, one afternoon in April. More than eight months on, I still think about it all the damn time.

It's a show about friendship, love and grief, starring Ryan Corr and Bob Morley as besties who must face how hard it is to let go of loved ones – especially if they're taken too soon.


When Nate dies, Charlie must face his grief in a way he never expected. Because, uh, his dead bestie starts haunting him. There are no levitating tables or flying books, but confronting the loss is the scariest thing Charlie has ever done. The only comfort is that he is facing it with his best mate by his side – albeit in ghost form.

In Limbo, in just six sitcom-length episodes, offers a moving portrayal of depression, grief and male friendship, so it will definitely make you cry, but the central friendship and the side characters also offer ample laughs, I promise.

In Limbo is streaming on ABC iview.


Image: Apple TV+.


Hijack feels like a return to the action-thrillers of the genre's pinnacle. Mostly because you know what you're going to get going in.

Idris Elba plays a business negotiator named Sam Nelson, who – you wouldn't believe it! – is on a plane that gets hijacked. Across seven episodes, paced almost entirely in real-time, Nelson must use his smooth-talking skills to broker a peaceful end to a terrifying ordeal.

As he deals with the chaos in the air, Hijack also explores the reaction on the ground, from police to politicians to Nelson's ex-wife and son. All of this expands the universe, but never too much. Ultimately the focus of the show is Elba, on a plane, being a hero.

It does exactly what it promises to do. It's thrilling, suspenseful, littered with cliffhangers and endlessly watchable.

Hijack is streaming on Apple TV+.

Feature image: Apple TV+/HBO/Netflix.

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