There are a lot of TV shows out there and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic?
Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable shows through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best mythical creatures in TV shows, our attention this time turns to mermaids. From animated prequels to Korean gems, below we’ve gathered our top picks.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favourites feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Although Siren’s set up is overly familiar to other teen dramas, it’s ultimately the allure and dangerous demeanour of the mermaids that make this such a gripping watch.
After military personnel commandeer a ship and snatch up a strange creature found while fishing, the story shifts to focus on a marine biologist named Ben.
He runs into Ryn, a mysterious mermaid who has taken human form. It’s soon clear she’s out to find her sister who happens to be the mermaid these authorities have kidnapped.
Split across two seasons, Siren adapts and advances its mermaid mythology nicely, leading to lots of ensuing drama to bubble up.
The Little Mermaid
Based off Disney’s hit film of the same name, The Little Mermaid series takes viewers back to the timeline leading up to the feature film.
Specifically, the adventures here center on Ariel and her friends at the age of fourteen. From her first known encounter with Ursula to her growing collection of human trinkets, there are a lot of nods to the movie and its world here.
In its simplest form, this is a coming of age series that captures the essence of the film while also introducing new characters, such as Ariel’s merboy friend Urchin. With this blend of old and new, The Little Mermaid series solidifies itself as a solid prequel.
Diverse, educational and well written; Bubble Guppies is an animated series that’s absolutely perfect for kids. Preschoolers should love what’s here, with vibrant and catchy songs alongside a host of memorable characters.
At the center of this are six young merpeople who attend a school taught by the kind Mr Grouper. The merkids are typical preschoolers, asking a litany of questions that are answered insightfully.
Bubble Guppies features a lot of educational content, with topics including the solar system, colours, music and even the construction industry tackled. If you’ve got kids, this one’s certainly up there with the better offerings.
What do you get when you mix nudity, melodramatic acting, epic music and a binge-worthy story? Netflix’s latest Australian drama Tidelands.
The story begins in a small coastal town which is left reeling following a fisherman killed at sea. While the town begin pointing fingers at one another, ex-con Cal returns home after a decade of prison time. Once there, she immediately becomes entangled in the mystery which involves a strange shard of rock and whispers of sirens in the sea.
This one is more of a polarizing watch than others on this list, especially given the ending. However, it’s undoubtedly made a splash with the general public.
H2O: Just Add Water
H20: Just Add Water is the definitive mermaid show for pre-teens and teens. With surprisingly good characterization and some decent life lessons, this drama is anything but average.
The series itself revolves around three girls, Emma, Rikki, and Cleo. These ordinary teens discover a moon pool on Mako Island which turns them into mermaids with special powers on the night of a full moon. However, they’re not to look at the moon’s eye or side effects will be cast upon them.
Unlike some of the other shows tailored for teens, this one does tackle a variety of grown-up topics that make it accessible for adults too. Relationships, friendships and some genuinely clever one-liners combine to make this a unique mermaid offering.
Serving as a spiritual successor to H20: Just Add Water, Mako Mermaids is much more tailored toward kids than it is for adults. However, there’s certainly enough here to like.
The show itself revolves around a young man who’s magically turned into a merman. However, when he discovers his underwater origins he comes in contact with magic waters, which are guarded by a trio of mermaids, desperate to protect Mako Island.
The writing is a bit of a mixed bag with this one, but it’s very obviously designed for kids and pre-teens so it’s tough to grumble too much with this one!
Aryana is a coming of age Filipino drama. With lots of episodes and each clocking in at round 35 minutes or so, there’s certainly a lot to chew through.
At the center of this is Aryana, who narrates the journey of a girl who struggles through adolescence. With warring parents and hints of her becoming a mermaid on her fourteenth birthday, Aryana centers on its soapy drama nicely.
While the production design is a bit hit or miss at times, this Filipino show made quite the impression when it dropped back in 2012. In fact, it was hastily renewed and went on to broadcast 189 episodes!
The Legend of the Blue Sea
The Legend of the Blue Sea is one of the better shows involving mermaids. Split across 20 feature-length episodes, the story begins in 1598 with newly appointed governor Dam Ryung staying at an inn for the night. There, he runs into a captured mermaid named Sim Chung whom he releases back into the ocean.
Fast forward to the present day, we follow our protagonist Joon-Jae who happens to be a smooth talking con-man staying abroad at an oceanside resort. However, when Sim Chung washes up on shore, she casts her gaze on Joon-Jae and the two meet.
It’s a pretty intriguing set up and one that combines a good amount of humour with bubbling romance. As per the usual run of Korean dramas, the middle set of episodes do fizzle out a little but stick with this one – the conclusion is brilliant and rounds things out nicely.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best TV shows through the years about mermaids!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!