Sherlock is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective series but with a modern twist. It started in 2010 and will be back in 2017 for series four. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock and Watson, Sherlock became an instant hit and has been licensed to 224 territories around the world – more than any other BBC programme. I originally watched Sherlock because iTunes gave away the first episode (A Study in Pink) for free as part of their “12 Days of iTunes”. After watching A Study in Pink, I then found the rest of series 1 and series 2 online and watched them all straight away. I remember thinking how beautiful the cinematography is and instantly being drawn to the camera shots. My favourite episode is series 2, episode 1 A Scandal in Belgravia.
Favourite quote: “I may be on the side of the angels, but don’t think for one second that I am one of them.” (Series 2, Episode 3)
Dexter is an American crime drama series that aired on Showtime from 2006 until 2013. The series centres on Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department, who leads a secret like as a serial killer. Seasons 1 – 4 are absolutely incredible. The storyline is gripping and the acting keeps you wanting more, however, I can’t say the same for seasons 5 – 8. I was quite late to jump on the Dexter bandwagon. I started watching in early 2013 and finished all 7 seasons just before the 8th aired on television in June. My favourite killer is the Trinity Killer. You will have to wait until season 4 but it’s worth it.
Favourite quote: “I can kill a man, dismember his body, and be home in time for Letterman. But knowing what to say when my girlfriend’s feeling insecure… totally lost.” (Season 1, Episode 2)
3. The Office
The Office started as a British mockumentary sitcom in the UK in 2001, however, the series has been sold to broadcasters in over 80 countries. The programme follows the day-to-day lives of office employees in the Slough branch of Wernham Hogg, a fictitious paper company. Nothing says British comedy quite like The Office. The Office will always be golden and it will take a lot to beat it. I find that The Office represents the embarrassing parts in all of our lives which helps us empathise in a way. I do enjoy The US Office yet I don’t think it could ever compete with the original.
Favourite quote: “People see me and see the suit, but they know I’m rock and roll through and through. You know ‘Live fast, die young’? Not my way. Live fast, sure. Too bloody fast sometimes! But die young? Die old.” (Series 2, Episode 3)
4. Peep Show
Peep Show is a British sitcom following the lives of Mark Corrigan (David Mitchell) and Jeremy “Jez” Usbourne (Robert Webb), two dysfunctional friends who share a flat in Croydon. The series originally aired in 2003 until 2015, making it the longest-running comedy in Channel 4 history. The dysfunctional relationship between Mark and Jez is definitely the highlight of the show. Jez even goes so far as to write out “JUDAS” in red meat on Mark’s bed after an argument. There are so many classic one-liners, you can almost always find a situation in life to use one.
Favourite quote: “Hitler promised not to invade Czechoslovakia, Jeremy. Welcome to the real world.” (Series 2, Episode 5)
5. The IT Crowd
The IT Crowd is also a British sitcom. The series is set in the London offices of Reynholm Industries and revolves around three staff members of the IT department: Maurice Moss (Richard Ayoade), Roy Trenneman (Chris O’Dowd) and Jen Barber (Katherine Parkinson). Roy and Moss always perfectly sum up how I feel about other people and social awkwardness in general. The show is full of brilliant one-liners, much like Peep Show. The IT Crowd will always be one of my favourites and I don’t think I will ever get bored of it.
Favourite quote: “People, what a bunch of bastards.” (Series 2, Episode 3)
6. The Mighty Boosh
British comedy troupe featuring Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding started off performing stage and radio shows. In 2004, a television show was aired in 2004 on BBC Three and continued until 2007. The Mighty Boosh is like a tiny look into Noel Fielding’s brain; bright colours, crazy characters and bazaar crimps. Every time I watch this, I feel like I’m on drugs but it is always brilliant.
Favourite quote: “I didn’t know what was happening, for days I was in a trance, but when I came to, there it was, like a fleshy maraca: a thumb of GIGANTIC proportions! “A miracle! A miracle!” I said. “You’re a true wizard, how can I ever repay you!?” And he said to me “Five hundred euros”. “FIVE HUNDRED EUROS!? YOU WON’T SEE PENNY ONE FROM ME, YOU SLAG!”. And as I raised my thumb up to smash his tiny skull in, I could see in his little insect face, I could see him thinking “Oh, I created that monster! I created that thumb, and now it’s killing me! My own beast and creation, killing me dead! The sweet irony!”. I think he was saying that, although it was a long time ago, and in hindsight, he could’ve just been shitting himself!” (Series 1, Episode 6)
7. Friday Night Dinner
Another British television sitcom for Channel 4. The comedy focuses on the weekly dinner experience of a British Jewish family, every Friday night. The show aired in 2011 and continued until July 2016. Friday Night Dinner is one of those shows that is so bad but so good. Martin is the half-deaf father of the family with strange habits such as eating out of the bin and walking around shirtless whatever the weather. Without Martin, this show would be awful but his whole character makes the show hilarious and I absolutely love it.
Favourite quote: “Shit on it.” (Every episode)
8. Him & Her
A BBC Three sitcom about a lazy twenty-something couple; Becky (Sarah Solemani) and Steve (Russell Tovey) who live in London. Him & Her will always be special to me as it reminds me so much of my own relationship. Becky and Steve are always having to deal with insufferable family members and friends and would much rather stay in and order a pizza. I love this show because it isn’t a typical lovey-dovey show about a couple’s romance, yet it is quirky and realistic. I have honestly watched this show about 5 times in the past year, I think that is it very underrated.
9. I’m Alan Partridge
A 1997 BBC sitcom that follows the life of Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan), a tactless and inept radio DJ based in Norwich, who has been left by his wife and dropped by the BBC. I’m Alan Partridge is another BBC comedy gold; every episode will have you crying with laughter. The show is very similar to The Office in that Alan and David Brent are unbelievable cringe-worthy and frustrating yet hilarious.
Favourite quote: “I know a cracking owl sanctuary.” (Series 1, Episode 2)
10. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
First Day of Camp is a 2015 satirical comedy made for Netflix. The series is a prequel to the 2001 film Wet Hot American Summer. Many of the original cast have gone on to high-profile work, such as Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Chris Pine (Star Trek), Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) and Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect). I would actually argue that this television series is better than the original film. The show is just so ridiculous and hilarious; you can’t help but laugh. The show features a song that was written for the film called “Higher and Higher” by Craig Wedren and Theodore Shapiro and I cannot stop listening to it. If you have Netflix, please watch this show right now, you will not regret it.
Favourite quote: “Douchebags are hygienic products; I take that as a compliment.”