Best Australian Online and Web Series
Web series offer something for everyone, from reflecting our reality to exploring alternative worlds.
Predominantly designed for online platforms, they have been embraced by both emerging and established filmmakers as a vehicle for creative freedom and telling personal stories.
In this collection are clips from live action and animated series covering a range of genres, subjects and tones, from sketch comedy to horror, action to adult animation.
You'll find an Indigenous superhero, a family of cannibals, Carpool Koorioke, zombie-slaying parents, disastrous weekends, worse teachers and online dating gone very, very wrong.
WARNING: this collection may contains names, images or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Main image: Hajer, Aanisa Vylet and Jessica Phoebe Hanna in Halal Gurls.
Halal Gurls offers a candid look into the lives of three 20-something Hijabis living in Bankstown, Sydney as they endure the unseen everyday culture clash between their faith and desire. These women are strong, smart and sassy – 100% certified.
In Episode 3 (Going Up), Mouna (Aanisa Vylet) must face off against Rakesh (Vonne Patiag), a pansexual South-East Asian co-worker, to prove to her boss (Bryan Brown) and his colleagues who is more suitable for the new diversity position at work.
Billed as the world's first hijabi comedy series, when the trailer launched in September 2019, it racked up 50,000+ views in 72 hours, a record for any Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) original show.
A bet sees 'Giancarlo' fly to Venezuela to meet a woman he met online, but is he flying into a trap?
This clip beautifully captures a range of hopes and fears associated with online dating, as well as showing off the puppets and how they were integrated into the overall production design.
No Strings Attached is a puppet documentary series, since it features real stories from people's dating experiences retold with puppets and featuring real voices.
You can watch full episodes of No Strings Attached on YouTube.
Two parents – Lewis (Christiaan Van Vuuren) and Freya (Adele Vuko) – are struggling to survive the trials and tribulations of raising toddlers... in a post-apocalyptic world.
This opening scene examines a familiar dynamic between couples about the value of paid and unpaid labour, with suggestions that the stakes regarding baby wipes might be higher than the everyday experience would suggest – with the reality soon revealed.
Midwinter Films, Adele Vuko and the Van Vuuren brothers have been steadily building up a body of popular and acclaimed work in front of and behind the camera.
Over and Out was nominated for Best Online Drama or Comedy at the 2019 AACTA Awards and won the Best Short Form Series prize at Canneseries 2019.
The adventures of a young, black woman in a big, white world who comes into her own when she starts to listen to all of herself.
Nakkiah Lui has emerged as a creative tour-de-force. She wrote and stars (as Kiki, opposite Elaine Crombie) in Kiki and Kitty, in which she explores the personal and the political, in all its awkwardness as well as in celebration.
As Kiki grows more confident in herself, she blossoms and moves away from the awkward, second guessing do-gooder the audience meets at the start of the series.
A bilingual comedy web series about Lillian (Jenny Zhou), a young Mandarin interpreter reluctantly caught in a tussle of words and cultures during the most unexpected assignments.
Lillian is called to an interpreting job at a community garden where a Chinese grandmother-to-be's feng shui is at odds with council by-laws.
Bamboo Ceiling establishes the intent of the series, showing that language is only one aspect of interpretation.
Allowing all three characters to speak, the viewer can see the differing points of view, as well as attempts by the interpreter to negotiate common ground.
You can watch the full series on YouTube.
Mr Broden (Broden Kelly) refuses to let the class go until they are calm and quiet. Unfortunately, that might take a while...
This episode (Teacher Holds Back Class at Lunch) is one in a series of comedic examinations of life at school, taking the familiar and exaggerating it into the ridiculous.
Aunty Donna have been an active part of the Melbourne comedy scene since 2012 with their unique brand of surreal, fast-paced, alternative sketch comedy.
They have built a strong YouTube following and this series was nominated for an AACTA Award in the Best Online Drama or Comedy category in 2019. You can watch the full series on YouTube.
Starting From Now explores the lives of four Sydney lesbians as they struggle to work out who they are, find a place where they belong, and maybe even find someone to love along the way.
Season 4 picks up three months after Season 3. This clip from Episode 1 shows Kristen (Lauren Orrell) struggling personally and professionally while Steph (Sarah de Possesse) is confronting her tendencies in past relationships, as well as her unresolved feelings for Emily (Bianca Bradey).
The brainchild of writer-director-producer Julie Kalceff, the series has amassed over 130 million views and been seen in more than 230 countries. Seasons 4 and 5 also screened on Australian television (SBS2). You can watch the full series on YouTube.
Shakespeare Republic sets snippets of original text by William Shakespeare within contemporary settings.
In this episode, Phebe (Michala Banas) is at a house party talking about Ganymede. Her denials reveal her true feelings about the object of her affection.
In the play As You Like It, Phebe asks Silvius to deliver a letter; here, he hits send on the text message she's composed while drunk.
Shakespeare Republic has screened at 80 international film festivals and has won more than 30 awards from 70 nominations.
The first two seasons (2015–17) have been succeeded by Shakespeare Republic: #AllTheWebsAStage (The Lockdown Chronicles), featuring actors from Australia, Scotland, England and the USA and filmed via Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020.
When the COVID-19 lockdown hits, what else is there to do but take some online ukulele lessons and fall in love?
The web series Love in Lockdown explores the unlikely budding romance of ukelele teacher Ned (Eddie Perfect) and unwilling student Georgie (Lucy Durack) as they navigate the ups and downs of surviving a global pandemic and lockdown.
Produced by Gristmill Productions (Australians Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope) and written by Robyn Butler and Lucy Durack, Love in Lockdown won the ACCTA Award for Best Online Drama or Comedy in 2020.
This clip is episode 1. You can view the rest of this web series at the Gristmill website.
This series is based on the life of Boori Monty Pryor, a Birri-gubbah-Kunggandji-Kukuimudji man from Townsville.
It revisits his time as a young man in the 1970s living in Melbourne then Perth, as well as featuring flashbacks to his childhood.
This clip indicates how the series portrays his personal, everyday experiences in society and the impact of racism.
It features Clarence Ryan as Monty, with his parents played by Lisa Flanagan and Tom E Lewis.
Winner of the Grand Jury Award at the 2019 Melbourne Web Series Festival and nominated for an International Emmy Award for Best Short-Form Series.
Fragments of Friday is a comedy about three women navigating their twenties. It's about piecing together the night before, with your best mates by your side.
In Series 2 Episode 3, the three friends – Alex (Kacie Anning), Sophie (Sarah Armanious) and Maddie (Madeleine Jones) – join Max (Ryan O'Kane) and his mate Logan (Christiaan Van Vuuren) for a weekend at his 'country holiday house', only to find the reality a little less grandiose than anticipated. The rest of the weekend only gets worse from there.
Since Fragments of Friday, AFTRS alumni writer-director Kacie Anning and writer-producer Courtney Wise have continued to build up an impressive body of work, both domestically and internationally.
After fleeing their community, teenager Patricia Moore (Marlo Kelly) hunts to feed her cannibal family.
Meeting Toby (Joe Klocek) ignites her desire to live a normal teenage life. However this contravenes the family's number one rule – never fall in love with the food!
In this clip we meet Patricia and Rory (Christian Willis), with the set-up quickly inverting any expectations we may have about who is the predator and who is the prey.
Two best friends (played by Michelle Law and Liv Hewson) reinvent themselves after chronic illness. The series explores their hopes and aspirations, alongside their realities.
This clip provides a feel for their friendship, forged as teenagers. It particularly provides a sense of what Michelle is going through and hints at something more with a (day)dream sequence invaded by reality.
A young Indigenous superhero working for the Australian Government uncovers a vast conspiracy regarding the disturbing reality behind the superhero program and its connection with the mysterious death of his father.
Using established and accessible superhero characteristics, Zero-Point navigates its way through Australia's past and present.
Drawing from the significance of Maralinga as the origin story, the story explores culpability, guilt, anger, blame and possible courses of action for a different future.
This is Episode 4 of the series. It features the voices of Mark Coles Smith (as Kyle) and Steven Oliver (as Samson).
Take a ride around Fitzroy with Mutti Mutti songman Kutcha Edwards and Indigenous artists, as they share their music and stories of this iconic suburb.
It's an opportunity for a few laughs, songs, yarns and for passing on a bit of history.
This episode focuses on emerging artists Alice Skye and Emily Wurramara.
You can watch the full series of Kutcha’s Carpool Koorioke on YouTube.
Mining Boom is an animated workplace comedy aimed at adults.
It follows an eclectic team of FIFOs (Fly-In-Fly-Out temporary workers) as they slip up, cover up and shortcut their way through remote Australian mine sites.
In this clip, we see Jack, a Melbourne law student who is a new arrival at the site and feels like a fish out of water.
In creating the show, Pete Harris (who also voices many of the characters) drew on his years of experience working on Australian oil and gas mining sites.
For Jimmy 'Skinny' Skinford (Joshua Brennan), being kidnapped and forced to dig his own grave actually unearths the opportunity of a lifetime.
This clip starts with Jimmy meeting Zophia (Charlotte Best), who he has found buried but still breathing.
Coming to grips with his own near miss with death and the mystery of his new acquaintance, Skinny launches head first into a scheme of unparalleled mayhem.
The level of ambition the series has for its budget is evident through the combined delivery of the special and visual effects.
You can watch the full series of Skinford on streaming service Stan (subscription required).
Single mum Ally (Christie Whelan Browne) agrees to an online iso-date with Joe (Lewis Mulholland), the man who dumped her before COVID-19 changed the world.
Created by Libby Butler and Lewis Mulholland, and released during the height of Melbourne's second lockdown, Loving Captivity is a frank exploration of love, relationships and family set within the constraints of a locked-down world.
This clip is from the first episode. You can view the rest of the episode and the entire web series on the Loving Captivity Facebook page.
The misadventures of unlikely trio Catherine (Megan Hollier), Nina (Alexandra Nell) and Hashim (Jad Abid) as they try to save their sex-positive radio show from the conservative owners of the station.
This series celebrates friendship and frank discussions about sex, and navigates social norms from a female perspective.
At an under-resourced, regional sexual health clinic, leading sexual health nurse Sarah (Zoe McDonald) struggles to stay on top.
Sarah and her colleagues are all dealing with their complicated lives and questioning whether their jobs might be affecting their chances at finding love. After all, it can be hard to stay sexy in sexual health.
In this clip, some of the team (including Sarah Ng, Mark Silveira and Jay K Cagatay) head to the pub for some respite – from the patients and from Barb (Genevieve Morris), the clinic boss, and her oversharing.
Creators Madeleine Dyer and Daniel Mulvihill chose to set their six-part dramedy at a sexual health clinic as an accessible way to increase awareness, and generate constructive conversations, about sexual health.
A peculiar man searches for love in a dark and troubling world.
This clip starts with the interviewer, who acts as a conduit for both establishing a mystery from the past of Desmondo Ray and his future hopes, particularly of finding love.
This series combines animation with live action and was the most awarded web series in the world for 2018, winning the Web Series World Cup.