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Enjoyed the crime-meets-coming-of-age-series? Here's what you should watch next.

| By Erin Elizabeth | Journal

Liked ‘Boy Swallows Universe’? Here Are 9 Similar Shows to Watch Next

Enjoyed the crime-meets-coming-of-age-series? Here's what you should watch next.

Within the first two weeks of its release on Netflix, the screen adaptation of Trent Dalton's Boy Swallows Universe racked up 7.6 million complete series views globally, making it the most successful Australian-made show on the platform yet.

If you were one of those 7.6 million streamers who loved the crime-meets-coming-of-age story set in 1980’s Brisbane, Australia starring Phoebe Tonkin, Simon Baker and Travis Fimmel, here are 9 incredible shows you should watch next.

1. Heartbreak High

Where can I watch it? Netflix

Though both the original and the reboot of this iconic Australian series deserve a watch, it’s the latter we’re recommending for Boy Swallows Universe fans. Renewed for a second season within a month of its release on Netflix, Heartbreak High follows students and teachers at Hartley High. No subject is off limits, with the series tackling everything from teenage crushes to police brutality and sexual assault. Starring an incredible cast of newcomers including Ayesha Madon, Thomas Weatherall and Asher Yasbincek, there’s a reason it took home an Emmy last year.

2. The Slap

Where can I watch it? Amazon Prime Video

An Australian classic, 2011’s The Slap stars Home and Away royalty, Melissa George, alongside OG Heartbreak High heartthrob, Alex Dimitriades. An adaptation of Australian author Christos Tsiolkas’ novel of the same name, The Slap begins with – you guessed it – a slap, bestowed on a young boy at a suburban barbecue. The fallout is immense, with relationships ended and friendships irretrievably broken.

3. The End of the F**king World

Where can I watch it? Netflix

Based on Cartoonist Charles Forsman's mini-comics, this coming-of-age, Thelma and Louise-style series took 2018 by storm. Season 1 follows teenagers James and Alyssa on a crime spree-fueled road trip, while season 2 sorts through the aftermath. Gruesome yet tender and equal parts funny and affectionate, both seasons take place in a highly stylised world somewhere in England in a time that feels both past and present.

4. Mr Inbetween

Where can I watch it? Prime Video

Inarguably one of Australia’s greatest crime shows, Mr Inbetween tells the twisted tale of Ray Shoesmith (played by series writer Scott Ryan), a tween parent by day and a professional hitman by night. The darkest of comedies, this three-season series takes you on a perilous journey through the criminal underworld of suburban Sydney filled with drug kingpins, bikies, mobsters, and Ray’s friends and family who are none the wiser.

5. Animal Kingdom

Where can I watch it? Netflix

Based on the 2010 Australian film of the same name (a must-watch starring Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, and Guy Pearce), the Animal Kingdom series trades Melbourne for Oceanside, California. Centred around a teenager who finds himself living with estranged relatives who happen to run a criminal family enterprise, the series comprises six seasons made over six years, leaving you with 75 episodes of binge-worthy drama.

6. Underbelly

Where can I watch it? Prime Video

If you found yourself enthralled by the seedy underworld of 1980s Brisbane during Boy Swallows Universe, immerse yourself in late 90’s Melbourne amidst a gangland war in Underbelly. Originally airing on Australian TV in 2008 and based loosely on real-life events, the true crime drama series now has seven seasons under its belt, with the most recent airing in 2022.

7. Puberty Blues

Where can I watch it? Netflix

Another Australian coming-of-age classic, this series is based on the hugely popular 1979 book by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey. Set in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire in the late 70s, the series follows Debbie and Sue, BFFs who are navigating sex, teen pregnancy, and gender politics in a tumultuous time in Australia. Not only is the set design dripping in nostalgia, but the dialogue features some pretty incredible Australian slang, too. Deadset, moll.

8. Everything Now

Where can I watch it? Netflix

The most obvious similarity this Netflix series shares with Boy Swallows Universe is a cast member – the spectacular Australian actress Sophie Wilde. While the subject matter is quite different – in Everything Now, Sophie plays Mia, a teenager battling anorexia – it too explores the turmoil of adolescence, familial dysfunction, and the never-ending drama that is high school. Created by 23-year-old Ripley Parker, daughter of Thandiwe Newton, it’s a fresh and fun watch, though at times confronting, too.

9. Cloudstreet

Where can I watch it? Amazon Prime Video

Adapted by Australian author Tim Winton from his own bestselling 1991 novel, this dust-covered three-part series is a crash course in Australian country living. Set in the rural outskirts of Perth, Western Australia, Cloudstreet tells the tale of two clashing families – the Lambs and the Pickles – who find themselves entwined by misfortune. Taking place over twenty years from 1943 to 1963, it’s both heartbreaking and heart-warming, with plenty of dry humour scattered throughout. Speaking of Tim Winton screen adaptations, 2017’s Breath is another one to watch, starring Simon Baker, AKA Eli’s dad, Robert.

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