So who here is old enough to remember the Hartley High gang of hit Australian TV series, Heartbreak High? This show followed the lives of a group of Sydney-based teenagers and their families going through all kinds of difficult situations, from bereavement and teen pregnancy to academic struggles and sexual abuse. Moreover, while many Australian TV shows focused on the lives of glowing, blonde surfer dudes, this show illustrated far less Disneyfied story-lines and characterisations. Grittier and more racially diverse that other Australian television shows of the time, HBH presented audiences with a very different portrayal of life “Down Under”. Additionally, the show refused to shy away from issues such as racism, poverty or Australia’s colonial past.
The show ran for a total of seven seasons, which were broadcast all over the world, the last being aired in 1999 and leaving a significant gap in television media outside of the US in terms of portrayals that were relatable to varied audiences. Thus, if you enjoy throwback 1990s TV and have been searching a show that has diverse, realistic characters while undermining Eurocentric depictions of Australia, search no further. Check out the HBH episode guide here and/or watch and search for episodes for all seven seasons below.