The new year brings a new true-crime docuseries and a new feature film, both from Australia, to two stateside streaming services.
For updates about shows from Australia and New Zealand added to US linear TV and streaming channels throughout the month, see the Down Under TV Viewing Guide.
Programs and dates are subject to change without prior notice.
Videos below may contain content that is not suitable for everyone.
The Night Caller (Australia-UK-US)
This four-part true-crime docuseries depicts and explores a killer’s harrowing legacy — of tragedy, grief, responsibility, and redemption — as seen through the eyes of a filmmaker returning to his childhood home of Perth, Australia, and spending time with those closest to the killer and his victims.
In the early 1960s, Perth was a sunny, peaceful, and innocent city until it was devastated by a spate of horrific and seemingly disparate killings. The local police failed to connect the murders and attribute them to one man until it was far too late, and then sought to cover up their failings — with tragic consequences.
This is a series about the devastating aftermath of serial murder, and how the killer’s wife and the two men wrongly convicted of his crimes have come together through grief and injustice in the pursuit of closure and redemption — including holding the police to account.
Written and directed by Thomas Meadmore (The Spy Who Fell to Earth), The Night Caller premieres in the US with its first episode on Tuesday, January 19, exclusively on Sundance Now and its digital channels, including Sundance Now on Amazon Channels. New episodes will debut on Tuesdays through February 9. (The series will launch on Sundance Now in Canada on the same date.)
Penguin Bloom (Australia)
Based on the book Penguin Bloom by Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Greive, this film tells the true story of renewal that occurred when a woman whose life seemed shattered found hope and purpose in her family’s love — and in a bird on its own journey of recovery.
The film’s cast includes two-time Academy Award® nominee Naomi Watts (21 Grams, The Impossible), BAFTA Awards nominee Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead, Love Actually), double Oscar® nominee Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook, Animal Kingdom), Rachel House (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), AACTA nominee Leeanna Walsman (Safe Harbour), Lisa Hensley (My Life Is Murder), and newcomers Griffin Murray-Johnston, Felix Cameron, and Abe Clifford-Barr.
In 2013, Samantha Bloom (Naomi Watts), her husband Cameron (Andrew Lincoln), and their three sons left Australia for a holiday in Thailand. While enjoying a view, Sam fell off of a rooftop due to what was later determined to be a rotted railing, breaking her vertebrae in two places. Paralyzed from the chest down, Sam — a lifelong outdoorswoman, surfer, and traveler — was unrecognizable to herself, and spent months in a depression that made her question who she could be in the world and in her own family.
A year later, her children brought home a wounded baby magpie they had found. Warily eyeing the black-and-white bird the kids affectionately named Penguin, Sam bonded with the household’s new member, beginning a process of emotional healing that surprised her husband and sons, her mother (Jacki Weaver), and herself.
Written by Shaun Grant (Janet King) and Harry Cripps (The Letter for the King), and directed by Glendyn Ivin (The Cry), Penguin Bloom, a Netflix Film, premieres in North America on Wednesday, January 27, exclusively on Netflix.
NON-PREMIERE PROGRAMS BEING ADDED TO STREAMING SERVICES
Love My Way: Series 1 (Australia)
This critically-acclaimed, award-winning drama follows a group of 30-somthings in Sydney as they deal with work, relationships, parenthood, and others of life’s ups and downs. Amongst them is Frankie Paige (Claudia Karvan, Newton’s Law), who juggles family obligations with being successful at love and fulfilled at work, all in the hope that happiness might occur if all those things fall into place.
Costarring Asher Keddie (Offspring), Brendan Cowell (The Borgias), and Dan Wyllie (Secret City), Love My Way: Series 1 begins streaming Monday, January 11, followed by Series 2 on January 25, on Acorn TV and its digital channels, including Acorn TV on Amazon Channels.
Nothing Trivial: Series 3 + Finale (New Zealand)
Set in the convivial and competitive world of pub trivia, this warm, lighthearted romantic comedy-drama about broken hearts, second chances and starting over, centers on five men and women in their 30s and 40s who have one thing in common: they are unhappy or unlucky in love. The series stars Shane Cortese (Outrageous Fortune), Debbie Newby-Ward (Shortland Street), Blair Strang (Go Girls), Nicole Whippy (Shortland Street), and Tandi Wright (800 Words). (Video is from Season 1)
For details about the January premieres of shows from the UK, Canada, and Ireland, visit The British TV Place. For info about the debuts of original-language, English-subtitled programs from Europe, visit The Euro TV Place.
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