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5 ultimate classic shows you can watch free online

The internet is full of noise, but hidden amongst it all there are some absolute goldmines. We’ve made a list of some of the greatest, most nostalgia-inducing shows – all available to watch for free online.

From learning how to paint with Bob Ross to deep-diving in space with Carl Sagan, we’ve got you covered with all the good stuff. So sit back, relax, and take a trip back in time with these five ultimate classic shows.

classic shows

From Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: go back in time with these 5 ultimate classic programs you can watch for free online.

The Joy of Painting

The afro-sporting American painter and television host Bob Ross would become the stuff of cult legend with his art show The Joy of Painting. Ross was a television personality in the ’80s and ’90s before passing away in 1995, yet he would become a posthumous internet celebrity in the 21st century.

Attracting fans from all over due to his kind personality and artistic talent, his videos not only serve as educational tools for anyone wanting to learn about painting, but they also offer a glimpse into the man behind the art, all the while narrated by his deeply calming voice.

All 31 seasons of The Joy of Painting, which ran from 1983 to 1994, are now online. Head here to watch them.

Cosmos 

If you love space and haven’t seen Cosmos: A Personal Voyage then you best get watching. The award-winning series was co-written and narrated by iconic American scientist Carl Sagan in 1980 and it broke major ground at the time, revitalising worldwide interest in space and astronomy for the first time since the moon landing.

The series delves into all kinds of juicy subjects like the origin of life and our place in the universe. It also inspired a follow-up documentary series from fellow scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson (who was influenced by Sagan as a high school student) called Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. 

Check out the first episode of Cosmos below.

Art Attack

Art Attack is a British show which originally aired from 1990 to 2007. Co-created and hosted by Neil Buchanan, each episode showed Buchanan teaching a different out-of-the-box art technique. Whilst the show was aimed at kids, it’s an unmissable classic.

“Now this is the show that is going to give your eyeballs a very big shock,” begins Buchanan at the beginning of the first episode, before dropping paint-filled eggs filled on the floor.

Check out the original first series from 1990 below.

Countdown

Iconic Aussie ABC show Countdown spanned 13 years, from 1974 to 1987. Hosted by famed producer and music journalist, Molly Meldrum, it was the first series on the ABC to broadcast in colour.

The show featured performances and music videos from popular bands at the time, including ABBA, Blondie, AC/DC, Kate Bush, The Cure, Madonna, INXS, Kylie Minogue, and many more. It had a massive cultural impact, helping to bring both homegrown artists international recognition, and international artists success within Australia.

In 2017 the ABC aired a retrospective of the show, named Classic Countdown, with each episode dedicated to a single year, starting from 1975. Narrated by Australian musician John Paul Young, the episodes showcase performances, interviews, and Meldrum’s weekly rock report, dubbed Humdrum. Head here to watch it.

The Century of the Self

This four-part British documentary series from 2002 explores how the work of psychoanalysts Sigmund and Anna Freud have been used by those in power to control people in the age of mass democracy.

Created by filmmaker Adam Curtis, the award-winning series poses deeper questions about consumerism, commodification, and modern life, from the vantage point of the early 2000s, and its sentiments remain eerily relevant today. Watch the entire series below.