Sydney Expat Interview Series Part 12 – Australian Television

Sydney Expat Interviews

Australian television. It’s rather a funny beast – original Aussie shows, interspersed with British and American fare. Shows start at odd times (8:03?) and you’re never entirely sure when the new season of your favorite program is set to begin again (“House Raiders is back – after Australia Day!” So, February? March?). Cooking shows, home renovations, and panel shows reign supreme. Not long after moving here, I realized that if I wanted to make conversation with my co-workers, I needed to start watching Masterchef, ASAP. Watching local TV is one of the quickest ways to get in touch with the culture (for better or for worse!), so this month, I’ve asked the expats to give me their take on TV in Australia.

This is the 12th in an 18 part interview series with expats living in Sydney. Please make sure to visit the fantastic websites of the participants linked below, and join me on Facebook for much more on expat life in Sydney.

Sydney Expats Answer - What Australian TV Shows Do You Love


Question 12: Do you love any Australian television shows?


Australian TV schedule

Name: Ashley
Country of origin: United States
Lived in Sydney: 2 years (in Newcastle)
Visit Ashley on Instagram

Yes! I LOOOOVE watching TV shows from other countries. It really helps you get a glimpse into another culture. I got hooked on Big Brother when I visited for the first time in 2007. It’s an addiction. I’ve also enjoyed My Kitchen Rules, House Rules, and Real Housewives of Melbourne. I haven’t gotten into any of their dramas or sitcoms and I think that’s because the reality shows are on almost every night of the week. Meaning House Rules will be on 5 nights out of 7 so if you want to get involved in it, you have to watch nightly.


Name: Julia
Country of origin: UK
Lived in Sydney: 7 years

I am loving watching Masterchef, at the moment.Sydney Expats - What Australian TV Shows Are You Watching?


Name: Katie
Country of Origin: UK (but, born in Australia)
Lived in Sydney: 12 years

I LOVE Masterchef, contestants need real talent on that show. I also loved Heartbreak High, the kids were so cool! Big fan of The Cleverman (just started on ABC).


Name: Paul
Country of Origin: England
Lived in Australia (currently Perth): 6 years
Have a look at Paul’s doodles at Sprotson Green via The Notorious MUM

Gogglebox, Border Security and Summer Heights High. Also, Police Ten Seven from New Zealand. They’re funny – Australians “take the piss” in a really nice way.


Name: Kirstie
Country of origin: United States
Lived in Sydney: Since September 2013
Kirstie blogs at Venga Vale Vamos

I have to say, Chris Lilley’s shows (particularly Summer Heights High) probably contributed to my decision to come to Australia! I knew I’d love the sense of humor.Sydney Expats - What Australian TV Shows Are You Watching?


Name: Shane
Country of origin: USA
Lived in Sydney: 1 year
Shane blogs at Sea Salt Secrets

Honestly haven’t turned on a TV since I’ve been here. Australia recently joined the 21st century with Netflix and I find Upper Middle Bogan entertaining. (A bogan is a redneck).


Name: Caitlin
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 1.5 years
Caitlin blogs at Where’s Wallis

I’ve been so busy enjoying what the country has to offer that I haven’t had any time for TV!


Name: Victoria
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 6 years
Victoria blogs at The Freedom Travellers

Not really, I don’t really watch TV since moving here, there’s just so much other stuff I’d rather be doing. My other half does love the AFL and The Block so those would be the two we watch the most.


Name: “Bushranger”
Country of origin: Serbia
Lived in Sydney: 6.5yrs

ABC Kids (by coercion from my toddler).abckids


Name: Debbie
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 10 years

Nope. None whatsoever. I find Australian TV to be very poor quality and the Australian TV Networks idea of program scheduling is non-existent. It’s impossible to follow any show through a season as the networks move the shows around, drop them for a week, change the days or just stop showing them altogether.


Name: Mollie
Country of origin: USA
Lived in Sydney: 4 years

Definitely not. Most I have seen are pretty bad.


Name: Erin
Country of origin: Texas, USA
Lived in Sydney: 7 1/2 years
Erin blogs at TexErin-in-Sydneyland

No. But I do watch a whole lot more British television since living here. QI, Would I Lie About You?, the Alan Carr show (Chattyman), and The Graham Norton Show.


Name: Melissa
Country of origin: USA
Lived in Sydney: 1 year
Melissa blogs at Leche Love

Quite a bit of Graham Norton, but I believe that’s BBC based.


Name: Rachel
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 4 years

I don’t tend to watch much Australian TV. I’ve recently become hooked on Netflix and catching on English comedy re-runs and trying new boxsets like House of Cards, Orange is The New Black and The Killing.


Name: Alana
Country of Origin: New Zealand
Lived in Sydney: 14 years

I watch absolute minimal TV (2-3 hours a week), but LOVE Offspring for its quirky, relatable characters and Wonderland for its beautiful people.Sydney Expats - What Australian TV Shows Are You Watching?


Name: Patricia
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Lived in Sydney: 5 years
I love A Place to Call Home, Gogglebox and The Great Australian Bakeoff. First one because I love seeing how Australia was in the 50s, second one because it’s funny, and the third one because I love baking, and I love how they help each other and they are always polite and respectful.


Name: Emily
Country of Origin: UK
Lived in Sydney: 13 years

When I first got here I liked Grass is Greener and McClouds Daughters. I watched The Footy Show a lot – but then I grew up. I loved Masterchef first and second series.
I will watch Bondi Rescue.  Kath and Kim is another classic. I’ve loved panel shows like Gruen and The Glass House and RoveIn the UK, I watched Home and Away and Neighbours religiously at uni, and my favourite late night telly was Prisoner.  Sydney Expats - What Australian TV Shows Are You Watching?


Name: Kristen
Country of Origin: United States
Lived in Sydney: 8 years

I don’t get to watch as much TV as I’d like, but when I do have a few moments I love:
* The Project. I’m a huge Waleed Aly fan. I would love to see him in a one on one debate with Donald Trump.
* Selling Houses Australia. Love seeing the renovations but get frustrated by people who hold out for a price that is not supported by the market.
* AFL! This is the year that the North Melbourne Kangas will take it all. Mark my word.Sydney Expats - What Australian TV Shows Are You Watching?


What are your favorite Australian television shows?
Anything else we should be tuning in for?


Read Part 1: Expectations vs Reality
Read Part 2: The Most Memorable Sydney Day
Read Part 3: Your First Day in Sydney
Read Part 4: Drinking Like an Aussie
Read Part 5: The Birds of Sydney
Read Part 6: Australian Christmas
Read Part 7: Off the Beaten Path
Read Part 8: Questions About Your Home
Read Part 9: What People at Home Think of Australia
Read Part 10: Advice for Moving to Sydney
Read Part 11: A Sydney Weekend

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