5 Amazing British Television Shows That Not Enough Of You Have Seen

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I bet Paul Revere wouldn’t have been able to see this coming. What am I referring to, you ask? The influx of premium British television shows that seem to exist in abundance, for us all to pluck from as we see fit.  I am going on the record, right now, to say that I truly believe that some of the best television I have ever seen has been British in lineage. And the factors for this are many.

The main reason is that British TV is far less scrutinized and censored, so often times what we see will be ripe with sex and violence of the most uncensored kind. But that is not the selling point at all. As you will see from these five shows, no single element runs through them. A few of them are riotously funny in ways we have never seen before. A few of them are incredibly dark and deal with things that would be taboo to most American audiences. And mainly, you have shows that don’t pander. Shows that do not dumb themselves down for the sake of their audience. Shows that change the terms of what we are used to seeing on TV. Also, in a few of these cases, shows that introduced huge future movie stars to the world through British television.

And honestly, even if you hate British television because it makes you think of stuffy, uptight humor, YOU are the reason I am making this list. I promise (and you can hold me to this here) that every single one of you reading this right now will find at least one British television show on this list that you enjoy immensely.

And only Commies don’t like Spaced.

Comments (29)

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  1. Wilfred Roccosays:

    Yeah, the first two seasons of Misfits is one of the best TV show of this decade.

    Greetings from Chile.

    1. Remy Carreirosays:

      Greetings right back!

  2. Jamessays:

    I use to prefer Bottom to the Young ones which was a spin of where Richie and Eddie move out and get their own flat together.

    You can watch ’em free on Youtube if you do a search for “BBC Bottom”.

    Quick heads up though: They are as vile as they’re funny… Well worth it though 😉

    1. Remy Carreirosays:

      Will def check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. 7992says:

    I’m in the uk and have never heard of the fades, but there is so much better tv than the five you have picked out, not to say it isn’t a good list though, him and her and bad education are two brilliant bbc3 comedies, Sherlock of course, hustle was brilliant and ran for 8seasons, also check out it crowd, being human, inspector morse, inbetweeners and Friday night dinner, all excellent, in England, we don’t have tv for idiots

    1. Djangooooosays:

      Hmmm, I think Two pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps may beg to differ…

      1. 7992says:

        Haha lets forget about that, the only thing positive about two pints is it was a spring board for Sheridan smith, I can’t believe it ran for aslong as it did, I’ve just remembered my family two I take my comment back we make just enought tv for idiots

    2. LiamTsays:

      “we don’t have tv for idiots” – eastenders, corrie, jeremy kyle, big brother (was interesting the first season when they weren’t whoring themselves to be a celeb)…. 🙂

      1. Remy Carreirosays:

        Yes, and what about GEORDIE SHORE?
        WORST.
        SHOW.
        EVERRRRR!

    3. Remy Carreirosays:

      No, I appreciate the feedback. I only get to see what I seek out and am exposed to, so I will look these up.

      1. MIXTERsays:

        Please! you need to check out, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace!! Followed by its spin off, Man to Man, with Dean Learner.

        Also, Alan Partridge. Saxondale. And recently a new series called Cuckoo.

        Also, even though its Canadian, if you’ve never seen the entirety of Trailer Park Boys…. Get it done!!

  4. MrSatyresays:

    It’s been decades since I watched and loved The Young Ones, but if memory serves, each episode had some sort of musical performance by some popular group of the day, didn’t it? I distinctly remember Motorhead being on there.

    1. NocomplyUKsays:

      yeah this was definitely true of series one at least. If I remember correctly it was because the BBC’s budget for comedies was spent for the year so they got it made from the musical output budget, so they needed to have a band play to fill the requirements due to bizarre BBC rules.

    2. Remy Carreirosays:

      Well played, you know your stuff, as does the gentlemen who commented below you as well. Impressive.

  5. Sara Colesays:

    The Mighty Boosh is one of my favourite TV shows ever. So glad to see it on this list!

  6. Matt Donatosays:

    I can’t get away from The IT crowd. Favorite British TV show ever man. Peep Show is up there too. But these area all solid. Spaced for the win

    1. Remy Carreirosays:

      I have been saving IT for when TV hits a really bad spot, which it is bound to after BB ends.

  7. LiamTsays:

    i would also add blackadder (series 1 not so great, 2+ are masterpieces) and ‘the fast show’. 2 of my all time favourites. we also do stuff like mock the week and QI that are much funnier than anything on USA TV.

    1. Remy Carreirosays:

      Great show, and completely agree.

  8. Future Sailorsays:

    I have one word: Mangina.

    Okay, seriously though, this reads like a list of my favourite shows ever to be created. I mean you won me over with “Spaced” (dude, Tim prays to BUFFY I need say no more) and I genuinely thought you couldn’t make it better and then you went and did it. I am kinda cheating ’cause I AM British, but they’re just as underrated here (other than Misfits, my friends have seen none).

    And in the spirit of the other comments listing other amazing shows, I will add an honourable mention: Garth Marhengi’s Darkplace. It’s one of the biggest cult comedies of all time. It has only six episodes. A guy explodes in the first one.

    And, interesting fact, Julian Barrat from The Mighty Boosh was originally supposed to play Brian in Spaced.

    1. Remy Carreirosays:

      Hahaha, you win with MANGINA.

  9. Jane Glenistersays:

    PEEP SHOW. Best friggin UK comedy TV show. Ever.

    But you should also check out Father Ted and anything to do with Alan Partridge, and yeah the young ones were funny but Bottom (which was kind of a follow up in that Rik & Viv became Richie & Eddie Hitler) just goes waaay beyond TYO.

    FYI Ade Edmondson is currently on Celebrity Masterchef..I tweeted him and asked if he was going to be serving Vodka Margarine and Sprouts Flambe. Hahaha…but lost on you if you never watched Bottom.

    And as for “stuffy”… I object. I think that the element of our humour that you across the pond tend not to get is the sarcastic take-the-piss-out-of-ourselves and sometimes just plain wrongness of it.

  10. Danny Crainesays:

    I’m British love all of these bar “The Fades”, haven’t seen it yet. I think “15 Stories High” is one of the most underrated British comedies of all time. If you haven’t seen it, then check it out.

  11. majorcuntsays:

    Hi Remy,
    Im from the UK and had never watched misfits. Thanks so much for introducing it to me. I have a couple of suggestions for you to check.
    “mongrels”: Dirty version of the muppests, written by one of the “misfits” writers. Stick with it mate, it gets dark!
    “bottom”: viv and rik from “the young ones” sharing a flat as adults. better than “the young ones” though!
    “utopia”: A fucked up horror/thriller. Slice of fried gold my friend!
    “the league of gentlemen”: modern python, with a black heart.
    Hope you enjoy

  12. JBonkerzsays:

    The only shows I haven’t seen are The Young Ones and Fades. Definitely going to check them out. To note I thought it was a huge cop out the way they removed Nathan from Misfits. I understand what they were aiming for however it just didn’t work for me.

  13. CKT76says:

    I LOVE Misfits!!

  14. demoncat_4says:

    the only two on this list i have not seen is the fades and the young ones. and surprised garth maringeies dark place did not make the cut. mostly because of the old joke about the female lead having gone missing and presumed dead.and no doctor who or torchwood either

  15. zarqsays:

    it crowd ftw!

  16. Christine Silversays:

    Black Mirror should be on this list.

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