This list could easily have started with Barbie or Beckham (“Be honest”). But if there’s anything that fires up the chat in the Broadsheet office more than the latest restaurant or bar openings, it’s the rush to share our favourite TV shows and movies – and our screen choices are varied, authentic and (mostly) unpretentious.

We watched a lot this year. But these weren’t passive moments in our screen-filled lives. They were the times we wept in the dark, holding our partner’s hand. The times we leapt off the sofa with our hearts in our mouth. The times we hit “next episode” instead of answering that text. They were the moments we felt compelled to tell our friends about. And you’re one of them.

Here are the Broadsheet team’s picks of TV and films we saw in 2023.
Warning: spoilers ahead.

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Alone Australia (SBS)
A gruelling, mostly bleak reminder of what it takes to survive out in the Aussie wilderness, on your own. Winner Gina Chick was the picture of resilience, leaning into her discomfort – the cold, loneliness, hunger, grief. It was beautiful and heartbreaking to watch.
Monique Foy, sales & partnerships manager

Beef (Netflix)
When I first saw the title I thought it was something to do with food, only to realise after the first episode it was about rage – and lots of it. This series is dark, hilarious and isn’t afraid to go to weird places. Plus, it has a soundtrack full of angsty ’90s bangers.
Aimee Chanthadavong, contributor

Fifa Women’s World Cup quarter final
Hands down, the best thing my eyeballs watched in 2023 was Cortnee Vine scoring that winning penalty shoot-out goal against France, and seeing the Matildas becoming history-makers.
Tilly Christie, campaign coordinator

Daisy Jones & the Six (Prime Video)
I’m a sucker for anything Taylor Jenkins Reid writes. Sam Claflin and Riley Keough made the perfect Billy and Daisy. While it didn’t perfectly recreate the book, the character development was insane and I felt the passion, struggle and intimacy in bucket loads.
Ella Witchell, junior graphic designer

Happy Valley (Binge)
I’m mad for a grim UK cop show, and there is none better than Happy Valley, which released its third and final season seven years after the second. The accents! The twists! The acting! When it finished, it sent me on a spiral looking for similar shows to fill the void.
Michael Harry, national editor

Our Flag Means Death, season 2 (Binge)
How can a queer pirate comedy hit so hard I’m sobbing half the time I’m watching it? Also, that fever dream of Rhys Darby as a merman dancing to Kate Bush was pure joy.
Jo Walker, editor, Domain Review

Perfect Days (in cinemas March 2024)
Wim Wenders’s film, which I caught at Telluride Film Festival, was (unsurprisingly) a perfect movie. Kōji Yakusho plays Hirayama, a Tokyo toilet cleaner who travels the city looking after public restrooms. It’s a poetic musing on life, and Wenders is a master director.
Audrey Payne, Melbourne food and drink editor

Queerstralia (ABC Iview)
Zoe Coombs Marr is one of the funniest people in Australia, and her series turned a potentially dry documentary – about the history of homosexuality in Australia – into a madcap, joyous, bonkers thrill-ride. I loved, laughed, and learned.
Michael Harry, national editor

Between Triangle of Sadness, the upcoming The Iron Claw and A Murder at the World, actor Harris Dickinson is everywhere. I loved his tender portrayal of an estranged father in Charlotte Regan’s debut film. It felt like a lighter, fun version of Aftersun.
Sasha Murray, content marketing manager

Succession, season 4 (Binge)
No other show had us hating and loving a different character in each episode. Long live the Disgusting Brothers!
Matt Phillips, group sales & partnerships manager

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (in cinemas now)
Heartbreakingly, I was not fortunate enough to win the Great War with Ticketek, so this was the next best thing. The Proshot of her LA shows are a cinematic masterpiece, giving you the best seat in the house. People were trading friendship bracelets in the cinema. 10/10.
Ella Witchell, junior graphic designer

The Bear, season 2 (Disney Plus)
“Fishes” – the star-studded flashback episode – was an absolute masterpiece. A must-watch panic attack-inducing episode gave us context; why Carmy works himself to the bone, why Nat is so unsure of herself, and how Ritchie, with the best intentions, often finds himself in too deep.
Tri Nguyen, senior creative solutions manager

The Boy and the Heron
It’s beautiful, classic Hayao Miyazaki (co-founder of Studio Ghibli). It’s made even better knowing it’s his last piece and has autobiographical features woven throughout.
Matt Phillips, group sales & partnerships manager

The Killer (Netflix)
I was captivated by Michael Fassbender’s performance as the zen, musing hitman who royally misses his mark and spends his time creating more bloodshed in the aftermath. The way David Fincher had the unnamed assassin berate himself over and over for his mistake was genius, and I was giddy every time the Smiths kicked in on his “work” playlist. But the finest moment was with Tilda Swinton during their suppertime exchange. Supremely satisfying to watch.
Emma Joyce, features editor

The Last of Us, episode three: “Long, Long Time” (Binge)
As far as apocalyptic scenarios go, bloodthirsty fungus is right up there for me. But Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett’s exquisite performances as Bill and Frank respectively completely stole the show – and broke my heart. My partner and I were sobbing. If you know, you know.
Dan Cunningham, directory editor

The Lonely Spirits Variety Hour
This micro-budget film, with an almost non-existent release, is one of the strangest and most original Australian films in recent years. An ambitious, experimental, warm and ultimately rather sad portrait of garage radio DJ Neville Umbrellaman, it was adapted by director Platon Theodoris from a stage play by Nitin Vengurlekar (who also plays Umbrellaman), and is a tonally and visually enthralling magical-realist comedy.
Barnaby Smith, subeditor

Vanderpump Rules, season 10 (Binge)
I have been watching this show for longer than I care to admit – and what’s not to love about watching rich kids in LA working as ... restaurant staff? But the drama it brought this season? Unmatched. A cheating scandal in real time? Hooked. #Scandavol was everywhere and it was all I could talk about. I cancelled plans to watch those last two episodes. Yes, really.
Julia Monaco, senior campaign manager

Honourable mentions:
Australian Survivor Heroes vs Villains, Barbie, Beckham, Better Date Than Never, Black Mirror Season 6, Colin from Accounts, Jury Duty, Old People’s Home for Teenagers, Only Murders in the Building, Oppenheimer, Past Lives, Shrinking, Squid Game: The Challenge, The Crown (Series 6), The Fall of the House of Usher, The Newsreader.