The Obsession: British TV Series

Friday, September 18, 2015

There's something so charming and cozy about curling up on the couch, with a blanket and cup of tea, catching up on my favorite British TV shows. I admit, this may be due to the fact that I'm a complete Anglophile (Did you see the 2012 Olympics?!) , but I also have a great appreciation for well written TV.
Ever since I watched the first episode of the 2005 Doctor Who reboot, I was sucked into the majestic world of British television. Now, I'm from the US so I don't have a true Brit's idea of what British television fully has to offer, but I have been completely immersed in what is widely available to American viewers. 
Through hours of Netflixing and scanning BBC America, I've come to find my favorites and each is definitely worth a watch. I bet some of you will probably read this list and say "Why isn't (insert name of another fantastic British TV show here) on the list??" My short answer is, I probably have yet to watch it. I mean, British TV series can go on for many many seasons. Give a girl some time! To give you a feel for my taste, I love historical dramas, and modern shows with a solid dose of wit. 

With that said, onward to my suggestions, in no particular order!

1. Call the Midwife
Photo: BBC
I know I said "in no particular order", but Call the Midwife is definitely at the top of my list. It's everything I want for a nice cozy night in. It's a sweet, sentimental, period drama originally based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. Its story line follows the lives of a group of midwives living in East London during the 1950's and 60's.

All the lead characters are absolutely charming and it's such a beautifully done show. The relationships formed between the characters are also so sweet and heartfelt as well. I find it hard to watch just one episode! Don't be fooled by the sound of period drama either; even though it's set in a rough time period in the history of London, there are plenty of comedic moments to balance out the show and keep the mood light and cheery.

I would recommend it to anyone who loves period dramas, but I will warn you that there are some graphic moments given the nature of the topic of the show (it is all about women who help deliver babies).

Seasons 1-4 are currently available on Netflix for your watching pleasure.

2. Land Girls
Photo: BBC
After I delved into the land (no pun intended) of sweet and simple period dramas, I stumbled upon Land Girls in the depths of Netflix (can you spot a trend yet?). Unfortunately, Land Girls is only three seasons long, but I think it went long enough for the viewers to gain a little bit of closure. Land Girls was actually commissioned by BBC to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII, and it follows four different girls who are members of the Women's Land Army during WWII in England

Once again, due to the nature of the topic, Land Girls is a teensie bit darker than Call the Midwife, but it's far less graphic and similarly, it has just the right amount of comedy. I would recommend it to anyone who takes an interest in WWII or would be interested in knowing more about the Women's Land Army. 

All three seasons are also available on Netflix.

3. Doctor Who

Ah, my first true love. You never forget your first love do you? This is the show that started it all; the show that fueled my undying love for the land of Britain and the adorable dogs called corgis and plenty of hot tea. Additionally, I grew up watching science fiction with my dad and this show is just my cup of tea. It's exciting and hilarious and just all around wonderful. 

There is something so breathtaking about the world that was created by this show. The following the show has is absolutely astounding and I am proud to say I was alive to watch the beginning of the reboot. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Doctor Who is essentially a show about a time traveling human-looking alien who soars around space and time in a blue police box to save civilizations and people in need.

If you take anything away from this post, take this: WATCH THIS SHOW.
Recommended for everyone everywhere. 

All seasons up-to-date are now available for viewing on Netflix and pretty much anywhere else you can find TV online.

4. The Bletchley Circle
Photo: PBS
I understand not everyone is into feel good stories of the past or mysterious space men. So, if you're looking for a show with a bit more grit and suspense, but still remains a period drama, The Bletchley Circle is just for you. It follows four women (I know there are five pictured above, just watch the show) who used to work as code breakers at Bletchley Park during WWII. These women are strong, cunning, and smart as a whip. There's definitely a theme of girl power in this series.

I do have to say this show kept me on my toes the whole time though. This would probably be the darkest of all my suggestions and it is definitely classified as a mystery drama. Unfortunately, it's really not funny, but the suspense is addicting. If you like crime shows or thrillers, or take interest in code breakers (Hello, The Imitation Game!) this would be your best option.

Unfortunately, it only has two seasons and we are definitely left with some major plot cliff hangers, but all two seasons are currently available on Netflix.

5. Sherlock
Photo: PBS
Last, but not least we have another crowd favorite. Featuring the amazing work of the ever so charming duo of Martin Freeman as Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock is taking the world by storm. 

I'm not going to lie, I haven't been following this show religiously and I missed a season here and there, but I know from the few episodes I've seen that this show it also so worth it! Not only is this modern take on Sherlock Holmes smart and thrilling, it features two of Britain's finest actors at their best. Once I catch up on my queue I am sure to jump right into this.

Recommended to lovers of the classic favorite Sherlock Holmes, or fans of Mr. Freeman/Mr. Cumberbatch. Seasons 1-3 available on Netflix. 

UP Next: Downton Abbey
Photo: PBS
There is so much buzz over this series and it's not even HBO! It's not on Netflix, but if you have Amazon Prime, which I highly recommend you get a free trial of if you're a college student, it just popped up to watch the entire series of for free on Amazon Video. 

 It looks so dramatic and classy! I can't wait to see if I like this series. I know quite a few people who have taken an obsession to it.

 Now if you don't mind me, I'm going to go brew a cuppa and start a new episode!
 - ML

Let me know, are you obsessed with any British TV shows? What should be on my must-watch list? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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