If you loved Boy Swallows Universe, you need to watch these 8 shows next.

Boy Swallows Universe has captured the hearts and the imagination of people around the world.

The screen adaption of the hit Trent Dalton novel of the same name is being critically praised for its heartfelt depiction of an Australian family grappling with poverty, addiction and crime in 1980s Queensland.

Starring Phoebe Tonkin, Travis Fimmel and Simon Baker, the seven-part limited series revolves around Eli Bell (Felix Cameron) and his brother Gus (Lee Tiger Halley), the sons of a recovering addict who must overcome hardships while growing up in a working-class Brisbane suburb in the 1980s. 

Watch the trailer for Boy Swallows Universe. Post continues after video.

Video via Netflix.

And given how obsessed viewers are with the Aussie series, fans who inhaled it might now be wondering: what next? Luckily for y'all hungry viewers, we've lined up your next obsession with shows in a similar vein as Boy Swallows Universe. 


Cloudstreet. Image: Amazon.


Based on Tim Winton's bestselling novel, the series is set in the rural outskirts of Perth from 1943 to 1963. The acclaimed miniseries tells the poignant story of two families living in the country who are forced into cohabitation after being struck by catastrophe.

The three-part series stars Essie Davis, Stephen Curry and Emma Booth. Like Boy Swallows Universe, it's an adaptation of a popular novel and offers a raw depiction of a family scarred by past trauma.

You can watch Cloudstreet on Amazon. 


The Slap.

The Slap. Image: Amazon. 

Another book adaptation, this time by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap should be compulsory viewing for its nuanced depiction of how a community grapples with a shocking incident.

The series begins with a man slapping another parent's child at a suburban barbecue, with the cast featuring more Aussie greats: Jonathan LaPaglia, Melissa George and Alex Dimitriades.


George reprised her role in the US version of the series, which featured an all-star cast that boasted Uma Thurman, Thandiwe Newton, Zachary Quinto and Lucas Hedges.

You can watch The Slap on Amazon. 

Heartbreak High.

Heartbreak High. Image: Netflix. 

With an irreverent tone and uniquely Australian perspective, the Netflix reboot of Heartbreak High is truly like nothing this country has produced before. The series follows the students and teachers of Hartley High as they navigate high school politics, racial tensions, sexual identity and romantic urges.


The cast is full of exciting fresh faces, including Ayesha Madon, James Majoos, Chloé Hayden and Thomas Weatherall.

You can watch Heartbreak High on Netflix. 

Safe Harbour.

Safe Harbour. Image: SBS On Demand. 


If Phoebe Tonkin's incredible portrayal of Frankie Bell in Boy Swallows Universe tickled your fancy, check her out in this four-part series, which tells the story of a group of six friends who set off on a yachting trip from Brisbane to Indonesia. Their lives are changed forever when their boat intersects with a fishing vessel overloaded with asylum seekers on their way to Australia.

Along with Tonkin, Safe Harbour stars Ewen Leslie, Leeanna Walsman, Joel Jackson, Jacqueline McKenzie and Hazem Shammas.  

You can watch Safe Harbour on SBS On Demand. 

Black Snow.

Black Snow. Image: Stan. 


Before Travis Fimmel was utterly brilliant as the beloved stepdad-cum-heroin-dealer Lyle Orlik in Boy Swallows Universe, he starred opposite Brooke Satchwell in Black Snow – a coming-of-age drama set in the harsh climate of North Queensland. And this plot comes with a serious whodunit twist. Fimmel plays police detective James Cormack, who sets off to investigate the cold case murder of a 17-year-old that's sat untouched since 1994.

You can watch Black Snow on Stan. 


Maid. Image: Netflix. 


As gripping as it is maddening, Maid is an American drama about young mother Alex, who starts a job as a cleaner to provide for her daughter after escaping an abusive relationship.

Margaret Qualley stars as the protagonist, with her actual mother, Andie MacDowell, playing her mum in the heart-wrenching 10-part series.

The show is an adaptation of Stephanie Land's memoir and explores similar themes as Boy Swallows Universe around how poverty prevents women from leaving violent partners and shines a harsh light on how a broken system can fail victims of domestic violence.

You can watch Maid on Netflix. 


Upright. Image: Binge. 


This offbeat drama follows the journey of struggling musician Lucky and runaway teen Meg, as the unlikely duo try to transport an upright piano to Lucky's terminally ill mother by trekking across the Australian Outback. The second season's plot is equally quirky, starring Matilda's Tim Minchin and House of Dragon's Milly Alcock.

The Australian drama is a thrilling ride and also explores more serious topics like mental health and trauma.

You can watch Upright on Binge.


Shameless. Image: Binge. 


When it comes to shows about dysfunctional families struggling with addiction, Shameless provided the blueprint. The long-running series follows the Gallagher family, a feisty and chaotic brood of individuals helmed by patriarch Frank (William H. Macy), who lives with alcoholism and has an unconventional approach to life.

Emmy Rossum, Emma Kenney, Cameron Monaghan and (your eyes don't deceive you!) a young Jeremy Allen White round out the family. The US series is based on the original UK series of the same name – and both are excellent. 

You can watch Shameless on Binge and Netflix. 

Feature image: Netflix/Amazon. 

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