Watching genre TV in Australia has been a painful process over the last few years. If you want to stay above the line of the law, it’s involved a patchwork quilt of cable subscription, VPN streaming, US iTunes and recently launched streaming services like Netflix, Stan and Presto.
The 2016/2017 season brings with it some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that it will still involve shopping around a little bit. The good news (actually, the great news) is that almost all of them will be hitting our shores day and date with the US, meaning there’s very little reason to resort to that ‘other’ method of acquiring content. Of course, only some of this content comes free, but our philosophy is this: if you want them to keep making them, it’s either put up with the ads or the subscription costs. There is no other excuse.
Supergirl: Season 2, The Flash: Season 3, Arrow: Season 5 and Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2
WHEN: From 5 October 2016 (Wed) WHERE: Fox8 (Foxtel)
There’s only one place to get all four shows, with FOXTEL sewing up an exclusive deal for fast-tracked episodes of all of the DC Universe. The Flash: Season 3 (CW) is going deep into comic book territory, immediately starting with the Flashpoint storyline and introducing Kid Flash into the series. It returns on 5 October, and it also marks the start of a superhero season on the CW that will include Supergirl: Season 2 for the first time. The show moves from CBS to CW on 10 October (11 October Fox8), joining Arrow: Season 5 (5 October in the US/6 October on Fox8 in Australia) and Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2 (13 October) for an eventual crossover in December. That alone makes all of these shows worth watching from the get-go. FoxtelGO will also have it on streaming.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 4
WHEN: 27 September 2016 (Wed) WHERE: 7Flix (Free-to-air)
You probably wouldn’t know it unless you were looking, but this is currently playing on 7Flix, remaining with the Seven Network. On the plus side, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is playing on a free-to-air network, despite reports last year that it had been snatched up by FOXTEL. Unfortunately, it is on a 1-week delay from the US, meaning that there’s a week of spoilers, teasers for the next episode and endless web chatter to sift through before you get to it. Naturally, you can stream this on Seven’s app as well.
Luke Cage – Season 1
WHEN: 30 September 2016 (Fri) WHERE: Netflix
One of the few times when we get exactly the same content at the same time as the US. Marvel’s follow-up to Jessica Jones, and another step on the road to The Defenders, lands in its entirety on 30 September. All 13 episodes ready to binge, and given that’s the day of writing this, you’ll probably have seen them all by the time you read this.
The Walking Dead – Season 7
WHEN: 24 October 2016 (Fri) WHERE: FX (FOXTEL); iTunes
As if you needed any reminding. Following the dramatic cliffhanger at the end of Season 6, fans will riot in the street if the late October premiere doesn’t give us immediate answers about the fate of one of the main characters at the hands of Negan and Lucille. (If you’ve read the comics, chances are pretty good they stick to the source material). Once again, FX has this tied up for FOXTEL subscribers.
Gotham – Season 3
WHEN: Good question! WHERE: Not Australia, apparently
The networks seem to have abandoned any sense of timeliness with this series, with Channel 9 treated this one abysmally last two years. The lack of an Australian release date is perhaps indicative of its standing. The third season is going straight for the Court of Owls storyline, so this is definitely a good time to jump aboard. Your best bet is to head to the Fox website, which does require you to have a US address or VPN, and stream the episodes on a slight delay for free: http://www.fox.com/gotham