That’s British:The TV edition – with Russ
Sometimes our TV gets a hard time compared to US, you have high quality actors (and when you don’t, you pay ours boatloads more to come to your shores and don an American Accent), Production values and the streaming services give access to even shows that we’d never have seen here otherwise. I love a good TV show, be it a comedy (I love Arrested Development and Scrubs) a Drama (The Wire, Breaking bad) or anything else. But there are some cracking British TV shows, in the past we’ve had Fawlty Towers, Monty Python, and plenty of Dramas that aren’t coming to me as I write this. But lately we’ve had some really good shows too. So this week I’m highlighting a few I really like, if you can track them down, give me a comment and let me know what you think.
I have not included some shows that are highly rated, but I am yet to see such as Fleabag, the crown, Downton Abbey and Line of Duty, but I have these to watch and if off interest to people I will do a review of them.
Honourable Historical Mentions:
Gavin and Stacy
Only Fools and Horses
What happens when a recovering Alcoholic American and a dysfunctional Irishwoman have a one-night stand, get pregnant and end up spending the rest of their lives together? TV Gold that’s what, this show is poignant at times, very dark and always very, very funny. It also features Carrie Fisher’s last role (she filmed this after Star Wars, I believe) and has a lovely tribute for her.
Idris Elba’s break out role. As detective John Luther who ends up joining forces with a psychopath serial killer to catch some truly horrific killers. A true anti-hero, Luthor is always on the verge of a breakdown and the show is truly scary and intense (I’ll never get a night bus again) and the twists are always hard to predict.
David Attenborough is a national treasure and this series of Natural History, is stunningly filmed showcasing just how beautiful and huge this world is. It is truly eye-opening to the impact we have on the world, and it is captivating TV.
A brilliant comedy looking at a dysfunctional friendship of two flat mates. So far so predictable right. The beauty is its shot with the inner monologues of the characters and the camera perspective is always through the eyes of one of the characters. It really is like you are spying on their lives. And it redefined how comedy was shot here. The two main characters are brilliant and has a truly great supporting cast too.
The Thick of IT
Before he was Dr Who, Peter Capadli was Malcolm Tucker, spin doctor and foul mouther machine of the Government trying to keep the clusterfuck of ministers and civil servants from constant fuck up. It’s so well written and seems so implausible, but it really does show the flaws of the government here. It’s full of memorable characters and remains one of my favourite shows and a show that still feels current.
This is England
If you do not know who Shane Meadows is, you should. A brilliant filmmaker, this series picks up where the film left off, looking as life for a group of characters between 1986 and 1990. Think Trainspotting in England. It will make you laugh, make you cry and challenge you, it tackles all the social issues and is utterly gripping because of it. Not just one of the best British Shows created, I’d argue it’s one of the best series ever. Period and very, very underrated.
The Great British Bake off
Literal, a show of people baking cakes. It shouldn’t work, but it does. You root for people, you get invested and suddenly think you are an expert on baking. It’s great escapist TV.
Full disclosure; I love Charlie Brooker. Since he was a columnist and an hilarious one at that. He is angry, ranty and cutting. He’s how I wish I was. This show is similar to the twilight zone, with five seasons now but a different cast and plot each series and some great casts. It’s proof that Britain can do deep, thought-provoking and engaging sci-fi, even lacking the US budgets of shows.