From Peaky Blinders to Peep Show, these are the programmes you should be watching over the coming weeks.
Like many, I am taking full advantage of all the box sets made available by All4, BBC iPlayer and Netflix. I have always loved a good TV series and constantly re-watch things that are, in my opinion, timeless. These particular programmes have become especially useful in these testing times, either to give me the pick up that I feel everyone needs, or some much-needed excitement. Whether it be on a break from work or just out of sheer boredom, this list of 'oldies but goldies' and recent programmes should help you to power through the pandemic.
Oldies But Goldies
Set in a Parochial house, on a remote island off the West coast of Ireland, Father Ted follows the trials and tribulations of three Catholic Priests, and their housekeeper Mrs Doyle. The show first aired 25 years ago but the humour definitely stands the test of time. It’s an absolute classic, and if you are intrigued by the life of Irish Priests, there are three hilarious series to sink your teeth into on All4. This is a must watch if you need to brighten up your day.
This side-splitting sitcom never gets old, even though it's now 17 years since the show started. Starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb, Peep Show follows the very different lives of Mark and Jez - two lifelong friends who share a flat in South London. Watching their shenanigans unfold, proves for a great watch and a great laugh. With nine series available on All4 and Netflix, it is certainly a great thing to stick on whilst having your lunch.
Gavin and Stacey
Gavin and Stacey is another fab British sitcom I would highly recommend. Set in Barry (South Wales) and Billericay (Essex) the show follows the love story of Gavin and Stacey, as well as the relationships and experiences that come about through their two very different families meeting. At points it will leave you slightly emotional, but most of the time you'll be in tears of laughter. The soundtrack has a cracking selection of noughties tunes, which definitely adds to the overall viewing experience. Since it started in 2007, I have watched its three series and Christmas specials countless times and if you haven’t yet, this is the perfect time to. All episodes are on BBC iPlayer.
Summer Heights High
What I would call a hidden gem, Summer Heights High is a mockumentary set in an Australian high school following Ja’mie King, Mr G, and Jonah Takalua - all of which played by the talented Chris Lilley. It is very very funny, and although the show has been around since 2007, its 8 episodes only became available on BBC iPlayer in the past few years. The comedy is a must see if you’re ever feeling a bit low; you'll be howling with laughter from the very first minute.
This fantastic coming of age drama has been around since 2007. Following a group of sixth formers in the lovely city of Bristol, whose lives become increasingly difficult because of their wild nature, the show sees three groups of teens battle through their adolescence with some questionable antics. It will make you laugh, cry, and want to be a teenager again. It is undeniably one of my faves and its 7 volumes have to be on your list of things to watch in lockdown. All episodes are on both All4 and Netflix.
Set in the latter years of the troubles in Derry (Northern Ireland), Derry Girls is about four Catholic teenage girls, one English boy and their life growing up in very difficult times. Their friendships, family and school life provide some great laughs as they experience the problems of being teenage girls in challenging times. You can watch all episodes on All4 and the first series on Netflix.
Set in the Cotswolds, this Mockumentary follows cousins Kerry and Kurtan Mucklowe, as they navigate their lives in a small village, with very little going on. This show has had me in tears - at times because I was feeling sorry for the characters, but 99% of the time you will be laughing at them. For me there is something weirdly comforting about watching this programme, and their short episodes make it an easy and certainly enjoyable viewing. If you haven’t yet, you really need to, and if you already have, why not give it another watch and relive the laughs? All series are on BBC iPlayer.
Dangerously Good Dramas
Based on the amazing book by Sally Rooney, Normal People observes the unique relationship between Marianne (an outspoken loner) and Connell (a quiet, but highly popular boy) as they go through their intricately linked lives in Ireland. The show is emotional and at points risqué, but surprisingly real and at points relatable. It will give you butterflies and break your heart. But I and many people I know, could not recommend it enough. All 12, half hour episodes are now on BBC iPlayer.
This very dark comedy thriller will certainly keep you on the edge of your seat. The show follows an investigation of a sassy psychopathic assassin, Villanelle (Jodie Comer), conducted by the unassuming MI6 worker, Eve (Sandra Oh), which certainly reveals a bit more than Eve bargained for. The investigation soon leads to both of them becoming obsessed with each other, but in very strange and unexpected ways. It will certainly have you hooked and is like nothing you will have watched before. The first 2 series and the first few episodes of the third, are on BBC iPlayer. A new episode is released on iPlayer every Monday, and I can assure you, it will make your Mondays a lot more exciting.
My Mad Fat Diary
Before Jodie Comer’s amazing performance in Killing Eve, she was in My Mad Fat Diary. This is yet another great coming of age drama, set in the late 90’s, that I loved as a teen, and have re-watched many times since. It explores Rae Earl who has spent her summer in a psychiatric hospital, and is soon going to start sixth form. You see how she has to rebuild her life as a teenager, and as you probably guessed, all the things that come with that, such as friendships, boyfriends etc. The 3 series of this I love, and it presents a really raw portrayal of how difficult this life point can be. All episodes are on All4.
I was a little behind the trend of Peaky Blinders, but as soon as I watched it 2 years ago, I have been hooked. The drama is set at the end WW1 in Birmingham and follows the Shelby family and their gang the Peaky Blinders. The story centres around Thomas Shelby (who is the boss of the Peaky Blinders), and his somewhat questionable business ventures, which leads him to come to the attention of the British government. The series has a perfect mix of typical gangster antics, action, romance and politics. Trust me, once you open the pandoras box that is Peaky Blinders you won’t be able to put the lid back on. You can enjoy all five series on Netflix.
The Nest, which is on BBC iPlayer, explores the interesting journey of surrogacy - interesting because a very wealthy couple employ an 18-year-old care leaver to do it. This drama will keep you guessing, as new things keep coming out of the woodwork. The five episodes are perfect if you need a programme to watch in the evening, although I doubt your mind will be at ease after watching this. Regardless it is a class drama and also includes Sophie Rundle - who also plays Ada Shelby in Peaky Blinders.
Something To Make You Look Forward To Lockdown Being Over
Race across the World
These 2 great series see couples racing across continents to win £20,000 - travelling to checkpoints with the amount of money it would cost to get a one-way flight to the final destination. This is such a great programme to watch because it helps you list all the places you want to visit when the world is up and running again. Series one documents the couples travelling to Singapore, whilst the second sees the contestants make their way to Argentina. It shows the highs and lows of travelling, and the race element makes it a very exciting watch. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it in the evening with my loved ones. Both series are available on BBC iPlayer.
BY DAISY HAMPSON