The 10 Best TV Shows On Presto
#1 The X-Files
Chris Carter’s seminal UFO-hunter drama ran for a remarkable 9 seasons before it finally came to an end in 2002, and all 202 episodes of the original series can be found on Presto in their newly-remastered HD versions – where the original film negatives have been used to bring the show into the high definition age. That alone makes it worth watching again – and if you’ve never seen it, you’re in for a treat.
#2 The Big Bang Theory
When it premiered back in 2007, this one got itself a small following in Australia, as episodes of it popped up out of ratings season. Today, it’s one of television’s most reliable schedule fillers, but the best way to watch it is via streaming – no ads, and effortlessly binge-able in bite-sized 20-minute chunks. The early episodes in particular are worth revisiting, as the show started to find the balance between nerd jokes and the need to actually flesh out the characters. Presto has every episode through to season 7, with more coming later in the year.
#3 Ray Donovan
Also on Stan (2 Seasons)
All three seasons of this acclaimed show are on Presto, where the Ray of the title (played by Liev Schreiber) is a lawyer working on behalf of the rich and famous, solving sticky problems and generally acting as a “fixer” – he’s not shy of using dodgy methods to achieve a result. This, of course, brings the FBI after him, and life doesn’t get any better for Ray when his father (Jon Voight) is released from prison.
#4 Penny Dreadful
Also on Stan (1 Season)
Drawing on the gothic horror fiction of the 19th century for its inspiration, Penny Dreadful has a whole genre’s characters at its disposal, from Frankenstein to Dorian Gray to Van Helsing. The show’s title is the name given to British pulp fiction novels of the day, and the show revels in its ability to head down the same path with all manner of dark, sensational plots. There’s a great cast here too, and loads of atmosphere.
An tough ex-convict strides into a small town, fleeing from people that want him dead. Opportunity arrives when the town’s new sheriff arrives in town and immediately gets killed in a robbery; our ex-convict grabs his badge and decides to make the small town of Banshee his home. Made for HBO’s adventurous sibling channel Cinemax, Banshee is a modern-day western with a violent disposition.
Another case of fiction brushing up against real life, Aquarius sees 1960s LAPD officer Sam Hodiak (David Duchovny, trying hard to stop being Hank Moody from Californication) investigating the disappearance of a teenage girl – an investigation that leads him to the notorious Charles Manson and his burgeoning cult. Manson, meanwhile, wants to be a rock star. Dark and fascinating from start to end.
#7 The Americans
Elizabeth and Philip Jennings are a nice normal suburban American couple, raising their kids and socialising with neighbours in the idyllic early 1980s. There’s just one thing about them that’s a little unconventional – they’re actually Soviet KGB agents, living undercover and able to be “activated” at any time they may be needed. And their neighbour is an FBI agent. Awkward. Created by a former CIA officer, The Americans is very much a popcorn espionage thriller, but with a sense of authenticity about it.
#8 The Walking Dead
Anyone with braaaaaaaiiiiiiins is already aware that this is one of the finest zombie-themed TV series of all time, and if you haven’t gotten around to watching it yet, every season bar the latest one is there in HD. Adapted from a comic book series by Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont, it portrays the likely outcome of a zombie apocalypse with to great effect. The opening episode is feature-film quality on its own.
#9 Mr Robot
Kind of the anarchic cousin on Halt And Catch Fire, this universally acclaimed series follows troubled hacker Elliot Alderson as he is recruited by a mysterious organisation that has an agenda to bring down a large corporation. Elliot is “genius” smart and almost completely dysfunctional in society, and the pressures that his new double life bring to bear on him may not end well. An absolutely incredible series that takes a lot of inspiration from Stanley Kubrick’s movies. An absolute must-see.
#10 Halt And Catch Fire
Set in the heady ‘80s days of the personal computer revolution, this fictional drama borrows from real life to tell its story of the troubled, driven son of an IBM executive who manages to talk an electronics company into letting him develop and build the first affordable home PC. It’s no easy task, and the business and personal drama that surrounds it – combined with an authentically reproduced ‘80s world – makes for great viewing. And don’t worry – it’s about the people, not the tech. Thanks to some exclusive deals including the all-important HBO, Foxtel’s streaming service Presto has been slowly accumulating a solid library of TV shows, some of which you can’t see anywhere else, and some that have arrived after spending some time on Foxtel. Since Presto added support for HD last year, they’ve made sure all their new show additions have gotten the HD treatment, and as a result we’ve got yet another option for high quality on-demand TV in Australia. Here’s what we think is the pick of Presto’s TV series offerings at the moment.
While Presto’s TV show list isn’t as large as its competitors’ – they do have access to some key exclusives that are well worth adding to your favourites. Have we missed any Presto must-sees? Let us know!
2017 Update: Presto shut down at the end of January 2017. In October 2016 it was announced that Seven West Media’s 50 percent stake in Presto will be bought out by Foxtel and Presto will cease operations on 31 January 2017. Foxtel decided to focus on the streaming service Foxtel Play instead, which was later relaunched as Foxtel Now. Read our Foxel Now review here and see which shows are streaming on Foxtel Now this month.