Over the past few years, more and more TV shows have arrived which are every bit as good as many mainstream films. In this post, I will recommend some of those. You may know a few, and others will possibly be new to you. If you are outside of the UK, some of these are available using streaming services, or other online platforms. Quite a few will be shown (or have been shown) on BBC America. For those of you in Britain, they can usually be accessed via ‘Catch-up’ services, and watched as box sets at leisure.
This BBC historical drama stars the wonderful Tom Hardy alongside many famous faces, as well as the relative newcomer, Jessie Buckley, who is marvellous. The period detail is bitingly authentic, and locations are very convincing too. The complex tale involves a taboo subject, as the title suggests. In this case it is incest, but there is nothing distasteful shown. Often violent, at times surreal and magical, this is one of the freshest productions to have hit the screen in decades. The good news is that a second series is to follow.
Line Of Duty.
The recent series of this police drama concerning internal affairs investigators has just had this country on the edge of its seat with tension. A small cast composed of outstanding character actors, convincing police procedural, and just enough action to illustrate the story. These are the strengths of this show, which has now run into five series, with season six to follow in the future. With much of the story told in detailed interview situations, and an unflinching look at police corruption, this takes the UK cop drama to a new level.
Follow The Money.
BBC 4 is well known for highlighting some of the best European TV drama available, and this two-series thriller from Denmark is no exception. Following Copenhagen police fraud investigators looking into money laundering, is is a lot more exciting than it sounds, branching out into international drug dealing and arms smuggling as the story develops. The personal lives of the cops, and the intertwined relationships all combine to make it addictive TV, and perfect for binge-watching.
One of the most poignant yet funny series ever to hit the screens here, the magnificent Sophie Waller-Bridge writes and stars in this two-series programme from the BBC. Sexy, amusing, and also heart-breaking, we follow the exploits of cafe owner Fleabag, the men in her life, and her dysfunctional family members. Lots of swearing, some genuine tragedy, and the constant breaking of the fourth wall, as the actress talks to the audience through the camera. Packed with some of the finest British acting talent around, this is quite possibly one of the best things the BBC has ever commissioned. Sadly, there will never be a third series. Shame that…
This is well known around the world by now, but for anyone who has missed it, please do try to catch up. Period drama rarely gets better than this, as we follow the Shelby gang carving out a criminal territory in the Midlands of Britain, following WW1. A superb cast, wonderful script, and location filming all add to to making this one of the landmarks of British TV history.
There you have some to start you off, with more to follow later. If you have seen any of them, let me know if you agree. If you haven’t watched them, I respectfully suggest you have missed out.