Who doesn’t love British TV? Well, I don’t know all of British TV but most of what I encounter I greatly enjoy. Especially period dramas, comedies and book adaptations.
Here I’ll be discussing my Top 5 British TV Shows. Out of my list, only one to my knowledge is an adaptation, Call the Midwife, which is based on the memoirs of Jennifer “Jenny” Worth.
So here are my Top 5 British TV Shows, in no particular order.
As Time Goes By
As Time Goes By is a very character-driven series focused on a 43 year old romance between Jean Pargetter and Lionel Hardcastle. Jean and Lionel met as nurse and a soldier in the early 1950’s. They fell in love but were parted when Lionel was posted to Korea. How they lost touch for 43 years and the lives they led apart are only the beginning as these two individuals reacquaint themselves. It is a sweet, funny, kind and completely wonderful show.
Broadchurch is a mystery series. (3 of my top 5 are mysteries actually) It revolves around D.I. Hardy and D.S. Miller investigating a local murder. Alec Hardy is looking for a small town in which to make a fresh start and Ellie Miller is navigating the difficulty of a new work partner as her town is traumatized by the recent killing. It is a fascinating watch as mystery driven as it is character-driven with seaside beauty, sinister small town intensity and stellar acting.
The IT Crowd
The IT Crowd follows the lives of socially awkward Roy and Maurice “Moss” who are the IT dept. at Renholm Industries. Jen quickly becomes their supervisor who knows nothing about computers but may have the people skills needed to help Roy and Moss gain popularity. Hilarious is the word to describe this fast-paced and witty show.
This mystery series is, I believe, a spin-off or continuation of Inspector Morse in which the character D.I. Lewis (right) was Morse’s “sidekick.” Inspector Morse was based on a crime series by Colin Dexter of the same name. In Inspector Lewis, Lewis is now the main detective and D.S. Hathaway (left) is his “sidekick.” Each hour-long episode includes the solving of a murder and a slight diving into the personal lives of Lewis and Hathaway, both of whom are interesting individuals with unique knowledge.
Call the Midwife
Last, but far from least, is a fascinating series that takes place in the Lower East End in the 1950’s. It’s about midwives, nuns, mothers and fathers, teen parents, babies, children, a community, religion, life, love, struggle and so much more. This series beautifully balances all characters and subjects, showing diverse people, situations and issues and do not, I repeat, DO NOT watch if you can’t handle seeing labor scenes. Of course they aren’t the same as actually seeing a live birth (closest I’ve ever come are midwife/labor/pregnancy documentaries) but there is blood and fluid and a lot of screaming. So. Much. Screaming. It’s an intense show but it’s also heartfelt and humorous too. Plus, Vanessa Redgrave narrates! Love her voice.
All five of these British TV Shows are top notch and I would recommend if you need entertainment with humor, drama, great details, wonderful characters and superb acting.