Sometimes I become obsessed with things. (And maybe by obsessed, I mean consumed.) I’ve had several phases. There was the dress up phase, lasting ages birth through… well I don’t know that I’ve really gotten over that one yet. There was the musical stage which started around 5 and I haven’t seemed to move past that either. Thankfully I have moved past my fourth grade summer obsession with American Gladiators. Then I discovered boy bands. I have made a conscious decision to never get over this. (Or bubble gum pop in general.) I have also discovered that I love boy bands from different countries. (You’re welcome for this video. They’re the Korean Menudo. Awesome. ) I also enjoy a good Asian Drama (Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese…) and this obsession comes in phases.
But there is one love in my heart that has never left. It started when I was 14 and it only grows the older I get. I love British things. And people. Not so much the music, unless we’re talking the British Invasion of the 60’s and Elton John (I’m not ashamed.)
Let’s face it. Where the Brits have a pretty good monopoly is in the TV arena. (Put down your pitch forks, you know this is true.) So because I don’t want to delve into anything too serious for a Tuesday, I’m giving you my top 5 fave British shows.*
If you follow me on Pinterest, or you’re friends with me on FB, Twitter or in real life, this is not a surprise. Mainly because I’ve been flipping out over the season premier (happened last Saturday. Oh. My. Word. So good…). I’m not a sci-fi girl by any stretch of the imagination. I had friends trying to make me watch this for years. And I resisted. Then last summer seasons 1-5 appeared in Netflix and I was hooked. It’s got great writing, the special effects get better with each season and did I mention the writing? Holy moly. Complex story arcs, engaging characters who are loveable and fallible. The writers engage the audience and don’t treat them like they’re stupid. Give it a chance (especially push through the first season and get to David Tennant).
What do I say about this series? Granted it’s only 2 seasons, which are comprised of 6 episodes (each an hour and a half long). But it’s. So. Stinking. Good. Benedict Cumberbatch (in the running for best British name EVER) and Martin Freeman are Holmes and Watson. It’s a modern twist on timeless stories. If you’ve not read the series, I would highly recommend them. Then watch this series to see how the writers and directors pay homage to some of the great stories, and work in details from some of the shorter ones. Again – very tight writing, gorgeous direction and an amazing cast. It’s a show that demands attention because everything means something. No line, no moment is wasted. Brilliant. (That, and I love me some Benedict Cumberbatch, I won’t lie.)
What would my favorite list of British TV shows be without a period piece? I love this show. Granted, I thought season 2 was a bit of a mess, but you know, what can you do. It has Maggie Smith in it (Professor Minerva McGonagall for all you Harry Potter nerds), a wonderful cast of quirky characters and it’s staged in a beautiful castle. It spans time before WWI and looks to be heading into the 20’s and 30’s with the start of season 3. If you love period pieces, drama, romance and a bit of humor, check out the 1st season on Netflix.
Probably one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. For real. You have to like British humor, however. It centers around 3 friends, one of whom owns a used bookshop. One is a neurotic former accountant, and the other is a former knick-knack shop owner. It’s slapstick, it’s a bit low brow, and I watch it when I need a pick-me-up. If you don’t want to watch all three seasons, at least watch season 1, episode 3: The Grapes of Wrath. It is my favorite episode.
It’s a spy drama that lasted 10 years. (Granted, it’s a bit anti-American in some places, but considering the history between the two countries, I do not find this surprising.) Several actors got their start, or career boost from this show. It’s complex, I love the story arcs and it’s emotional. Or in the same vein as most TV reviews, I could tell you it’s “gritty”. You definitely fall in love with these characters and then they ruin your life. It’s good if you like tension, action and not sleeping.
So what are you watching, British or American or something else? What do you look for in your TV shows? Anyone have anything good to recommend for me to watch?
(Thanks to Sarah over at Accidental Okie for the inspiration of this post. Check out her blog for more awesome posts about TV, food and life!)
*This is subject to change at any moment.