Friday, March 29, 2013

"Telly"

Whenever I tell people I watch a great deal of British shows on Netflix, they always ask me which ones. So, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites that you may (or may not) know.
Sherlock - If you know me in person or follow me on Tumblr, you've heard me talk about this one a lot. This is one of the BBC's most popular shows right now, and for good reason. It's a modern retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, with Sherlock played by Benedict Cumberbatch and John Watson played by Martin Freeman (the very same from The Hobbit). It is by far one of the most well-made shows I've ever seen - superb casting, story retellings, setting, cinematography, and chemistry. When people ask me for new things to watch, I always point them to this first.

Doctor Who - Most people have probably heard of this one as it's another one of the BBC's - and possibly the entirety of Britain's - most popular shows. It's a sci-fi/drama centered around a Time Lord who calls himself "The Doctor" (no one knows his real name, hence the title). He travels through time and space with companions in a spaceship that looks like a blue phone box called the TARDIS. It's hard to describe the show without it sounding completely mental, but it's actually quite good. I don't usualy like sci-fi but I love this one. Because it's been running since the 1960s, The Doctor has been played by 11 people thus far. It's not a show for everyone, but if you like sci-fi or good character chemistry, it's worth a try.

The IT Crowd - This was the show that started my love of British television. It's a comedy about a fictitious company's IT department, comprised of three members - a grumpy Irishman named Roy, an over-the-top nerd named Moss, and a technology-clueless woman named Jen - and the shenanigans they find themselves in at work. If you like British comedy, this is a good one.





Black Books - My friend introduced me to this one, and I have no idea how she found it, but it's another good quirky British comedy. Dylan Moran plays a cantankerous bookshop owner named Bernard whose favorite activities are smoking, drinking, and complaining about others. His hopelessly useless assistant, Manny, and his fellow alcoholic friend, Fran, round out the rest of the main characters. The plot mainly focuses the bookshop running into some sort of trouble and the hilarity that ensues from it. It's a bit odd, but I really enjoyed watching it.

Robin Hood -  This is a really cheesy family show based on Robin Hood and his band of men (and woman), but I still love it for some reason. The main draws of this show to me were the banter between the members, particularly with Robin's servant and everyone he encountered, and Richard Armitage. It was the first thing I had ever seen Armitage in so I like going back and watching old episodes and seeing how much his roles have changed since then. If you're into corny dramas and/or family shows, I recommend this one (Merlin is the same sort of show if you want to check that one out as well).

Spooks - All you need to know about this show is that you should not pick a favorite character because 95% of the time they die. It's an espionage thriller about a group of people working in Section D of MI-5 (the equivalent of the USA's FBI). It's full of famous British faces, including Matthew McFadyen, Raza Jaffrey, Peter Firth, Lara Pulver, David Oyelowo, Anna Chancellor, Keeley Hawes, and of course my favorite cast member, Richard Armitage. Any lover of crime shows will probably like this one.

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