ABC iview: best streaming shows of 2023

From Aunty Donna's Coffee Cafe to The Newsreader S2 – here are the top ABC iview shows of 2023 according to ScreenHub writers.

Here are the six best shows to stream on ABC iview in 2023, as reviewed by ScreenHub authors.

The Whiteley Art Scandal – 4 star review

The Whiteley Art Scandal. Image: ABC.

‘There’s a wealth of fine detail throughout this series, whether you’re interested in Whiteley’s methods or working or how the police brought one of the disputed paintings from Sydney to Melbourne when they couldn’t get insurance for the trip. Artist Bill Luke’s sketches of the various characters is a nice touch (and helps keep the chain of owners clear), while all the central players make strong impressions. The series even has a few surprises up its sleeve before the end credits.’

Read: The Whiteley Art Scandal, ABC review: a rotten world well displayed

Utopia S5 – 4 star review

Utopia. Image: ABC.

‘While there’s a big risk with this material of slipping into ‘old man yells at cloud’ territory – and there have been occasional episodes in the past where the targets have seemed a little ill-chosen – producers Working Dog know their stuff. Despite the sense of futility that underlies Utopia, for the most part they manage to highlight the underlying flaws in our system without getting overtly political, making sure the comedy comes first even when the moral is ‘maybe this woke business is getting a little out of hand’.’

Read: Utopia Season 5 review: an ABC winner returns

Queerstralia – 5 star review

Queerstralia. Image: ABC.

Queerstralia is a glowing tribute to the people who refused to conform, who stood up to be counted and pushed back against persecution. It’s all handled in Marr’s trademark cheeky delight, in the way of the very best documentaries that aim to reach out across arbitrary demarcation lines (here’s looking at you, Salamanca Market) and restore queer heroes to the centre of the story.’

Read: Queerstralia review: our exultant, sometimes tragic LGBTIQA+ history

In Limbo – 4 star review

In Limbo. Image: ABC.

In Limbo is basically a story about two men’s friendship (even if one of them is dead) that looks to go deeper than just the usual banter. It doesn’t always find the heart of things, but a certain distance feels more realistic at times. We see why Nate and Charlie became friends as kids, and we see them as best mates as adults.’

Read: ABC’s In Limbo offers a spirited look at male friendship

Aunty Donna’s Coffee Cafe – 5 star review

Aunty Donna’s Coffee Cafe. Image: ABC.

‘Being their first ABC-commissioned narrative series, Aunty Donna bring the laughs out at a rapid pace, many of which come at the expense of ABC properties like the aforementioned Gardening Australia, as well as Rake and 4 Corners – and even the ABC iView app itself (which ‘definitely works!’). I bust a gut many, many times during my binge watch of the (criminally short) six episodes.’

Read: Aunty Donna’s Coffee Café review: locally sourced sketches with robust comical flavour

The Newsreader S2 – 4.5 star review

The Newsreader. Image: ABC.

‘A big part of what makes the show work is that it’s one of the busiest Australian dramas around. All of the aforementioned plotlines take up a fraction of the episode; many of them only get a brief scene or two. The bulk of the first episode is devoted to News at 6’s election night coverage, which starts out on a knife-edge thanks to Tate running promos committing the team to having an election result by 7.45pm, and only gets worse as their other big draw – an exclusive chat with Paul Keating – proves harder to land than they thought.’

Read: The Newsreader Season 2 on ABC review: still a winner

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites