The best TV shows to stream in March

By Craig Mathieson

Top streaming in March (from left): Toni Collette in The Power, Celeste Barber in Wellmania and Brian Cox in Succession.Credit:Amazon Studios, Netflix, HBO/Binge

Did you know there’s a four-day weekend at the end of March? It’s not government sanctioned – and hopefully my bosses aren’t reading this – but when two of my favourite shows return within three days of each other, then I’m officially on holiday. New seasons of Yellowjackets (March 24) and Succession (March 27) ensure it’s a busy month for streaming. There’s a heap to watch in March.

That said, series feel more finite than ever. Succession’s fourth season is its last, a decision that the creator of the best show on TV has earned the right to make. Across the industry, three seasons feels like the norm these days, even for a popular show. The streamers have done the research: the number of new subscribers a scripted show can generate in its fourth season is less than a new series on debut. There will be exceptions – Amazon Prime will make The Boys for yonks – but long runs will be increasingly rare.

Hopefully you will discover a new favourite show this month, so let’s get your viewing calendar organised. As ever, don’t forget to tell us about any shows that we’ve missed. After all, I’m going to need a replacement for Succession.

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered every Thursday.


My top Netflix recommendation is Wellmania (March 29).

Netflix’s up (Heartbreak High) and down (Byron Baes) run of Australian commissions continues with this contemporary comedy about a food blogger, Liv Healy (Celeste Barber), who has to get in shape pronto to claim a prized TV gig in the US. What follows is a journey through the seven circles of wellness – on Bondi Beach, naturally – as she goes from yoga and spin classes to herbal laxatives and fecal purging. Journalist Brigid Delaney adapted her memoir of the same name with The Family Law creator and Good Weekend columnist Benjamin Law, for what should be a timely takedown of the wellness industry and a study of personal insecurity. Bonus casting: Miranda Otto as a stern motivational guru.

Also on Netflix: In conspiracy thriller The Night Agent (March 23), a low-level FBI agent assigned to routinely monitor a phone buried away in the basement of the White House finds himself caught up in a far-reaching plot when it rings and he hears shocking claims. Gabriel Basso (Super 8) plays the young Fed, with New Zealand’s Luciane Buchanan (The New Legends of Monkey) as a witness caught up in the chaos, but the real draw here is creator Shawn Ryan. Ryan was also responsible for The Shield, which is one of the great American cop series.

After five seasons on the BBC, Idris Elba’s perpetually tormented London police detective John Luther returns in the movie Luther: The Fallen Sun (March 10). Creator Neil Cross often chafed under the British broadcaster’s budgets, so Netflix have stumped up for this feature film, in which we find Luther framed and behind bars while his latest nemesis, a cyber sociopath played by Andy Serkis, runs wild. The only way to stop him is for Luther to break out and do what his colleagues can’t. However ludicrous that sounds, it’s worth having Elba back in a role he’s effortlessly made his own.

February highlights: The wholesome Japanese geisha drama The Makanai was a breath of fresh air, horror-mystery Lockwood & Co. made the case for teenage ghostbusters, and Formula One fans got a new season of Drive to Survive.


My top Binge recommendation is Succession (March 24).

It’s confirmed: the fourth season of television’s reigning heavyweight champion – the soul crushing but delectably funny saga of a tyrannical media mogul and his flawed family – will be the final instalment. Creator Jesse Armstrong has vowed to go out strong and the season three finale – Logan Roy (Brian Cox) outflanking his rebellious children in a bid to sell his empire to a tech mogul – is the perfect starting point. The show’s excruciating insights into business, marriage and wildly expensive parties should be ratcheted up for the final episodes, which will hopefully resolve everything from the marriage of Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) to the fate of the forever falling upwards cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun).

Also on Binge: An early candidate for the annual ‘best of’ list, Rain Dogs (March 7) is an uncompromising portrait of the platonic but obsessive love between two London outsiders: impoverished aspiring writer and single mother Costello Jones (Daisy May Cooper) and privileged gay heir Selby Florian (Jack Farthing). This BBC/HBO co-production was created by British writer Cash Carraway, whose 2019 memoir Skint Estate detailed her own experiences with homelessness, sex work and motherhood. The show has a crackling wit, brutal ramifications and a deep understanding that what connects two people can also destroy them. Consider this an enticement and a warning.

February highlights: Helena Bonham Carter found both the humour and the heartbreak in the soap star biopic Nolly, while Harley Quinn: A Very Problematic Valentine’s Day Special brought superhero romantic chaos to the animated hit, and British crime comedy Romantic Getaway profited from some unlikely thieves.


My top Stan recommendation is Lucky Hank (March 20).

After helping guide Better Call Saul from improbable prequel to essential drama, Bob Odenkirk had the pick of projects for his next act. His choice? This sardonic comic-drama about college English professor William Devereaux Jr as he falls into a mid-life crisis. Creators Aaron Zelman (Silicon Valley) and Paul Lieberstein (The Office) have crafted an academic farce and marital meltdown, with Mireille Enos (The Killing) as William’s increasingly unimpressed wife. Like its flawed subject, expect Lucky Hank to achieve tenure.

Also on Stan: Every year when this insider look at America’s political divide returns, it feels as if The Circus (March 27) is more essential than ever. That hasn’t changed with the upcoming eighth season, which should focus on the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, Donald Trump’s legal maladies, upcoming Supreme Court rulings, and probably a dozen other looming spot fires. This documentary series has become a favourite with US political junkies who appreciate the hosts’ knowledgeable tone, shorthand commentary and readiness to deliver some side-eye verdicts.

February highlights: Party Down’s first new episodes in 12 years supplied maximum laughs, Australian drama Bad Behaviour explored the power dynamics of teenage girls, plus the return of rags to riches reboot Bel-Air.

Amazon Prime

My top Amazon Prime recommendation is The Power (March 31).

A bolt of speculative science-fiction that became one of the best reviewed novels of 2016, Naomi Alderman’s book imagines the upheaval in our world when teenage girls develop the ability to emit electrical charges: gender conventions flip, rivalries flare, society teeters. Alderman helped adapt the story following a cross-section of characters, including the ambitious mayor of Seattle (Toni Collette), a London gangster’s daughter (Ria Zmitowicz) and a revolutionary faith leader (Halle Bush). The book was a page-turner with unsettling implications, providing a terrific launchpad for a squad of female writers and directors.

Also on Amazon Prime: A high school reunion really is the end of the world in Class of ’07 (March 17). The awkward greetings and not-so-buried enmity of a 10-year reunion at an Australian girls school is overtaken by an apocalyptic disaster that leaves the partygoers stranded without help. Creator Kacie Anning (Upload) has forged a chaotic comedy – think Bridesmaids meets Lord of the Flies – about female friendship, warped power structures, and surviving “the poco”. Emily Browning (American Gods) plays perpetual rebel Zoe, while Caitlin Stasey (Please Like Me) is queen bee Saskia.

How much Fleetwood Mac lore do you want? Daisy Jones & the Six (March 3) is a mockumentary about the rise and sudden collapse in 1977 of a Los Angeles band who very much resemble the revered but tumultuous creators of Rumours. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel was presented as an oral history, and the format carries over as period scenes are mixed with estranged band members speaking 20 years on. Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) plays a Lindsay Buckingham-like guitarist and vocalist, but the standout is Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough (The Girlfriend Experience), who delivers a riveting interpretation of a Stevie Nicks type. The actors performed a suite of songs written for the series, and an album will accompany the episodes.

February highlights: Christoph Waltz was perfect as the scary new boss in The Consultant, while Toni Collette headlined the black comedy film The Estate.

Apple TV+

My top Apple TV+ recommendation is Ted Lasso (March 15).

The third season of the feelgood comedy finds AFC Richmond back in the Premier League, but favourites to be relegated. Apple’s hit has had no such issues, but it would be fair to say that the show, headlined by co-creator Jason Sudeikis in the title role, as the team’s unlikely American coach, actually had a few issues in the second season. Whisper it, but Ted Lasso occasionally had the wobbles. The creative team will be looking to right that with 12 new episodes, even as characters such as hard nut Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) enter their culturally ubiquitous phase. Game on!

Also on Apple TV+: Star power has been the defining philosophy in Hollywood since the first silent serials were produced. More than a century later it endures, with a cavalcade of famous actors appearing in Extrapolations (March 17), an eight-part anthology series about the effects of climate change. This future-facing drama features – deep breath – Meryl Streep, Kit Harington, Edward Norton, Sienna Miller, Marion Cotillard, Tobey Maguire and many more, but the key credit is creator Scott Z Burns. The writer of everyone’s favourite pandemic movie, Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, hopes viewers will invest in a series about an issue that too many people care not to think about.

February highlights: Liaison was a knotty, unpredictable cyber thriller with French star power, Dear Edward was an effective tearjerker about losing loved ones, and Eugene Levy – of all people – explored resort life with The Reluctant Traveller.


My top Disney+ recommendation is The Mandalorian (March 1).

With Andor having restored faith in the creative potential of the Star Wars universe, it’s time for the crowd-pleaser to return. Masked bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal, plus some capable body doubles) and his powerful ward Grogu (a.k.a. Baby Yoda) return for the third season of a space-opera western that hits the sweet spot of lean showdowns and familial devotion. Having saved the lacklustre Book of Boba Fett by crashing the final episodes, the duo will travel to Djarin’s combative home planet of Mandalore, which is an exciting premise for those familiar with Star Wars canon. Creator Jon Favreau has situated the show, and Grogu’s merchandising potential, exactly where it belongs.

Also on Disney+: At the end of Mel Brooks’ madcap 1981 comedy History of the World, Part 1 there was a fake trailer for the second instalment. A mere 42 years later, it’s now a reality. An eight-part sketch comedy series that pinballs through history with farcical momentum and shonky sets, History of the World, Part II (March 6) was put together by the 96-year-old Brooks with the assistance of comics Wanda Sykes, Nick Kroll and Ike Barinholtz. Everyone in Hollywood with comic bona fides guest stars, including Seth Rogen, Sarah Silverman, Danny DeVito, Taika Waititi and Josh Gad.

Keira Knightley, who has been a movie star for two decades, continues to pursue roles that look anew at historic events through a feminist lens. Having starred in 2020’s Misbehaviour, set at the 1970s Miss World pageant, she now headlines Boston Strangler (March 17). This is a true story based on the efforts of Knightley’s Loretta McLaughlin, a 1960s Boston newspaper reporter who defied disbelieving editors and city officials to reveal that a serial killer was targeting the city’s women in their own homes. Her co-star is Carrie Coon (The Leftovers), one of the finest American actors of her generation.

February highlights: Not Dead Yet was the latest comedy where the dead meddled in the business of the living, while true crime devotees got a compelling new documentary series in Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence.


My top Paramount+ recommendation is Yellowjackets (March 24).

An unexpected must-see that won plenty of fans when the first season dropped in late 2021, this supernatural thriller about a terrifying incident was full of subversive ideas about friendship, teenage girl dynamics, and what you lose in staying alive. It was a showcase for the likes of Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci and Melanie Lynskey, who were matched by their young flashback equivalents, as the narrative moved between a knotty mystery and taut horror sequences. Everyone’s favourite hobbit, Elijah Wood, joins the cast for the second season, which should see Yellowjackets attain Next Big Thing status.

Also on Paramount+: Kiefer Sutherland is in his wheelhouse for Rabbit Hole (March 27), a paranoid thriller that taps in to our shared fears of shadowy powerbrokers, covert manipulation, and political instability overtaking the United States. The 24 star plays John Weir, a corporate spy framed by unknown adversaries, leading him to Ben Wilson (the estimable Charles Dance), who’s running an undercover war on behalf of democracy’s first responders. What’s surprising about the series? It was created by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, best known for writing the Hollywood comedies Bad Santa and Crazy, Stupid, Love.

February highlights: Australia got its own rags-to-riches saga with Last King of the Cross, while Trekkies were reward with a concluding season of Star Trek: Picard.

ABC iview

My top ABC iview recommendation is Knowing the Score (March 21).

Orchestra conductors are so hot right now, thanks to Cate Blanchett’s turn as the monstrously privileged maestro in Tar. The actor’s research led her to this documentary about esteemed Australian conductor Simone Young, on which she serves as executive producer. Directed by Janine Hosking (The Eulogy), the movie charts the Manly native’s return to Australia in 2022 to serve as chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. For much of the previous two decades, Young’s career had been honed in Europe. This is a portrait of a gifted musician, and a straight shooter.

February highlight: Zoe Coombs Marr gave our queer history a welcome reappraisal with the documentary series Queerstralia.

SBS On Demand

My top SBS On Demand recommendation is Vigil (March 2).

In recent years British crime dramas have been honed to the sharpest edges: desperate motivations, shock twists, constant escalation of the stakes. Think the final season of Line of Duty, Bodyguard, and Trigger Point. This Scottish thriller furthers the philosophy, putting a claustrophobic homicide detective, Amy Silva (Suranne Jones), aboard a Royal Navy Trident nuclear submarine to investigate the suspicious death of a crew member. A huge hit for the BBC in 2021 and available on free-to-air television here for the first time, the six-part limited series is a masterclass in escalation and old-fashioned cliffhangers. If you’re at all partial to the genre, it will prove addictive.

February highlights: The Walk-In was a riveting British drama about the race to stop far-right terrorists, with Sick as a startling Swedish comedy about what happens after you beat cancer.

Other streamers

My top recommendation for the other streaming services is BritBox’s The Confessions of Frannie Langton (March 8).

In adapting her own 2019 novel of the same name, British author Sara Collins set out to provide a corrective to both the starchy period drama and the historic perception of slavery in Britain. As she eloquently put it when the show launched in the UK: “This is Jane Eyre if Jane Eyre was black and had shagged the mad woman in the attic and maybe killed Mr. Rochester.” Karla-Simon Spence plays Frannie, who as a child was taken from Jamaica and gifted as a slave to a wealthy London couple in the early 19th century, entering a household where she would become dangerously entangled with both the master and mistress – including an affair with the latter. This show will definitely loosen corsets.

Also: Don’t underestimate the restorative value of a good Rebecca Gibney series. An eccentric but amenable comic-drama from New Zealand, AMC+’s Under the Vines (March 20) has the Packed to the Rafters star playing a former Sydney socialite who, along with a disgraced London lawyer, inherits a rundown winery situated on Aotearoa’s southern island. It’s a quirky, open-hearted series – To the Manor Born and Doctor Doctor are both forebears – that has a firm creative footing as it heads into its second season.

February Highlights: The Madame Blanc Mysteries on AMC+ took the familiar British whodunit to France, plus the bittersweet laughs of BritBox’s Avoidance.

* Nine is the owner of Stan, 9Now and this masthead.

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered every Thursday.

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