Across the Pond with Beth Smith
British TV, despite popular belief, is not just the well-loved TV show Downton Abbey. It’s a range of genres not dissimilar to American TV, I just feel that the sense of humour in British TV and American TV is different. I have tons of TV shows to share, but these five shows below are by far my favourite – I’ve watched the likes of Doctor Who and Sherlock but as they are popular and well known in the US and around the world I thought I’d share my favourite TV shows from the UK that you more than likely don’t know about and you NEED to see them.
Humans is back on UK Channel 4 on Wednesday and I’m so excited that I’m finding it really hard to contain myself! Humans is a present day parallel universe kind of show where the modern world lives with human like robots called ‘synths’ that are used to help with everyday life. Synths are used as house help, nannies, and sales assistants, the list is exhaustive… filling everyday human roles and helping to make life a little easier for actual human lifeforms. But what happens when humans go too far with science and the rise of cyborg-like life? Do humans take advantage of robot lifeforms? What does it matter if they’re robots, can they feel?
Humans features some deeply disturbing themes and thought provoking episodes about modern day reliance on technology – but what happens when that fails?
Starring wonderful British actresses Gemma Chan (who is also in new film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and Katherine Parkinson (a wonderful, established British actress starring in The IT Crowd, Pirate Radio, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and west end live shows in London) you shouldn’t give Humans a miss. I’ve never really been into Sci-fi films or TV but I was hooked on Humans from the start with all the dramatic twists and turns and the real life consideration that maybe one day we will have assistant cyborgs living amongst us.
After a quick bit of research, fear not my American friends, you can find Humans on AMC – You don’t have to miss out on sci-fi drama that is worth the attention anymore!
The I.T Crowd
Comedy, catchphrases and closure is what you get with The IT Crowd.
The IT Crowd is a little like The Big Bang Theory with all the technical science and computer jokes that you maybe don’t understand but the show is definitely more risqué, cheeky and to me it’s simply more relatable and real life.
Starring Katherine Parkinson, Richard Ayaode and Chris O’Dowd The IT Crowd is a show you can watch over and over again without getting bored and I promise you, you will laugh at the same jokes time after time. Things said on the show will become daily catchphrases and the show comes full circle thanks to the release of a final episode! Running from 2006 to 2010 and then a final one off episode to bring the show to a close in 2013 the show is still well loved after its end.
A US version of the show was once upon a time in the works featuring the same plot, incredibly similar characters and script with a different cast starring Rocky Carroll, Jessica St Clair, Joel McHale and a reappearance of Richard Ayaode. The pilot was filmed and the pilot took a huge nosedive, the show remake was unfortunately not a patch on the original.
Miranda Hart is a British comedian with a large imagination, honestly I sometimes feel like Miranda’s silly sense of humour and her crazy antics would make her my spirit animal. Miranda is a BBC TV Show that’s popular with families and is currently on the UK Netflix (I always have it saved in my list to re-watch because her sense of humour never gets old)
Miranda tackles topics such as the struggle of being a tall woman, a plus sized lady and finding a date and clothes. She also takes on the more relatable subjects of being in love, your parents constantly sticking their nose in your love life and wanting you to get married and let’s not forget her talks about being awkward. (We’ve all been awkward somewhere or done something super embarrassing – don’t lie to me, you know what I’m talking about)
Light hearted, easy to watch and an odd look into British life Miranda is something you should be watching (disclaimer: Miranda is not a representative of ALL British life, probably just mine to be honest with her love for tea, biscuits and cake…)
Call the Midwife
Britain is full of history, I mean the place has been around for so long, which leaves my home country open for a lot of period drama TV shows. If you enjoy Downton Abbey I can confidently say I feel you’ll fall in love with Call The Midwife.
Call The Midwife is a period drama set in 1950 based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. Jenny is a 22 year old midwife in post war London. Jenny and her midwife team live in a convent for nuns where she works with nurses like herself and nuns trained in the medical sector.
It’s a beautiful TV show that features love, very cute babies, drama and history. What more do you want?!
Miranda Hart shows her diversity as an actress as she stars in this TV series alongside popular names such as Vanessa Redgrave, Helen George and Judy Parfitt. The BBC show has been running since 2012 and is still ongoing. Worth a watch if you like historical drama and while not always historically accurate, it’s only television!