Stan has announced its lineup for the second half of 2017, and it's a cracker of Aussie-made shows and cult classics.
We've seen some hectic competition build in streaming over the past year or so, and as the small players drop off and the big guys get bigger, Stan has been forced to find its own niche.
There's no doubt rivals Netflix and Amazon have deep pockets, and even Foxtel has a strong legacy in the entertainment space (plus revenue from advertising as well as cable and streaming subscriptions). But instead of going belly up (vale Ezyflix and Presto), Stan has risen to the challenge.
The company is going all in, investing in local production and bidding for big exclusives from overseas to keep its viewers happy. And we're reaping all the benefits.
'Romper Stomper' -- Summer 2017
The TV reboot of the 1992 skinhead flick ticks both the Aussie and cult boxes right off the bat. While there's no sign of Rusty in the lineup, Jacqueline McKenzie is back from the original alongside David Wenham, with a writing credit from hip-hop artist Omar Musa. Expect modern day neo-nazis, updated for an Australia that's still racist, but just a different kind of racist these days.
'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams' -- late 2017
A trippy sci-fi anthology series with hints of "Black Mirror," "Stranger Things" and "The Twilight Zone," "Electric Dreams" is billed as a Stan Original (though it's also backed by Channel 4 in the UK and Amazon). Each of the 10 episodes follows a different story, and they pack serious star power: Steve Buscemi, Anna Pacquin, Greg Kinnear, Terrence Howard, Vera Farmiga and Australian "The Babadook" actress, Essie Davis. Bryan Cranston also stars and backs the show as executive producer. This one looks killer -- a must watch if you're a sci-fi fan.
'Wolf Creek' -- Summer 2017
Picking up after Season 1, Mick has a new batch of tourists and the same crazy eyes. Actor John Jarratt (the man behind the crazy eyes) appeared via video link at Stan's launch event saying, "Mick's a bit bored, he's out in the outback and tourists are a lot more fun than kangaroos."
It was pretty unclear if he was in character, but the murderousness was believable. 10 points for creeping us out Mick/John.
'The Second' -- 2018
"The Second" is Stan's first feature film and an ambitious bet. But as a dark thriller made on an indie budget, it makes sense for the streaming service. We don't know much yet, aside from the production team and lead actors, including Vince Colosimo of "Underbelly" and "The Wog Boy" fame. But the trailer shows us the kind of things that Aussie movies do best: vast isolation, badass ladies and an excellent car chase with a gun.
'The Other Guy' -- August 17
A semi-autobiographical comedy from Aussie stand-up comedian (and Triple J alum) Matt Okine, "The Other Guy" is peak Sydney hipster. Think 20-somethings having beers at the bowlo and doing caps of Molly for brekky, Uber drivers slinging gear in their spare time and plenty of awkward sex. Okine is joined by Bondi Hipster Christiaan van Vuuren, and the absolutely stellar Harriet Dyer (my pick for standout of the show). It's only six half-hour episodes, but the first two are bloody funny (with some very creative swearing) and feel like a perfect for Stan's younger audience.
'Will & Grace' -- September 29
After eight seasons in the late '90s, early naughties, Will, Grace, Karen and Jack are back. If you're a fan, this is all the info you need.
Most of these shows are due out by this summer, meaning you're fairly set for summers spent in the air con. We might worry about the state of the local film industry and have concerns that streaming services are becoming more homogenised. But it's awesome to see local shows that offer something more than reality TV and soaps.
Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here's your place for the lighter side of tech.
Batteries Not Included: The CNET team shares experiences that remind us why tech stuff is