Americans, what are your favorite British shows?


Upstairs, Downstairs
No, Honestly
Fawlty Towers
Prime Suspect
Absolutely Fabulous
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
The Duchess of Duke Street
South Riding

That’s just a small sampling of what I’ve seen, and I admit if I had to rank every show I’ve ever seen, which there are some good American shows, on the whole, the Brits definitely have a knack for the short season structure. About the only thing I can think of that Americans seem to do really well is the cartoon for adults, and I don’t mean pornography: I mean Home Movies, Daria, King of the Hill, Futurama, South Park, and on and on. I’ve never seen a non-kids cartoon from the UK, although that could be my ignorance.

Father Brown
Are You Being Served
Fawlty Towers
Absolutely Fabulous
Homes Under the Hammer
Escape to the Country
Miss Marple
Prime Suspect
Rising Damp

And lots more. I have to think.

Peep Show
Foyles War
Downton Abbey

In no particular order (save for the first show mentioned):

Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Ripping Yarns
Are You Being Served?
Top Gear
Doc Martin
Fawlty Towers
Two Fat Ladies
Any of Keith Floyd’s cooking shows
The Jonathan Ross Show
Red Dwarf
Doctor Who
…to name a few.

EDIT: Can’t forget The Office.

And Man Stroke Woman.

Hamish MacBeth
The Irish RM
Doctor in the House
Red Dwarf
and that thing with Francis Urquhart
ETA All Creatures Great and Small

The Vicar of Dibley
Call The Midwives

Honestly, I don’t get into more British shows because the seasons are so short and the odds of them doing more than a season or two (oh, I suppose I should say “series,” sorry) are so low. Why Brits put up with so many shows that are good but only have a handful of episodes is completely beyond me.

I’m sure there are more, but off the top of my head and in no particular order:

The Office
Gavin & Stacey
Little Britain
Life on Mars
I’m Alan Partridge
Peep Show

And of course Monty Python and Fawlty Towers.

Does Father Ted count?

Just remembered Nighty Night.

Damn, forgot Coupling, that was one well-put-together show.

And I can’t believe I forgot Mr. Bean!


**Toast of London

Holby City**

There’s others that we revisit, especially during the winter for tea time viewing. This past winter we went through Spaced, Black Books, Snuff Box. Garth Merenghi’s Dark Place, and Nighty Night again. The In-Betweeners was fun, and every once in a while we’ll dig out Mighty Boosh and Mongrels. Series 1 of Modern Toss. There’s a bunch of others; if Mr Boods is flicking around idly, he’ll watch an old **Sweeney **or Minder, and sometimes Dad’s Army. Sometimes we’ll watch **University Challenge.
He watches way more TV than I do; I’ve seen and enjoyed a number of the programmes in this thread, but simply don’t have the time to revisit the same things repeatedly these days.

Because in general you have maybe one or two people writing them, rather than a huge team of writers. It’s knackering.

And as I get older I find I like the short seasons much more. Time is too valuable to be investing 20 odd hours a year in a TV show. Sometimes I will see old shows that I used to watch religiously each week and I am horrified at the time I spent on them. I find now that I am very quick to give up on long form series and am happier with stuff like Fargo, True Detective and The Returned.

All of the above! Well, whatever is shown on our PBS station.

Years ago, I ADORED ‘Poldark’, ‘Upstairs Downstairs’, ‘Dutchess of Duke Street’.
Today ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Call The Midwife’, which are very enjoyable but not as much as the former.

I watch two episodes of ‘East Enders’ every Sunday. We are 5 years behind current episodes and there is no way we can catch up, according to PBS (which is constantly threatening to take it off unless we the public keep paying up). I’ve watched ‘East Enders’ for at least 20 years now.

I listed by age of show not my order of preference. I think almost all know of the first 4.

Doctor Who
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Fawlty Towers
Red Dwarf
Black Books (lesser known but awesome Britcom)
Coupling (Really strong Britcom, one of my favorite sitcoms ever)
IT Crowd (Some eps were awesome but about half were just generic sitcom fair)
Sherlock (Perfection in a small sampling)

Not as good, but good:
Jekyll Steven Moffat wrote the 6 episodes, 2007

It’s funny, as Mr Boods, who is British, likes American shows way more than I do. We’ve been working our way through Parks and Recreation since February, and it’s like a million series long. The only positive side is how short the actual episodes are.

That said, Casualty has been running since the 1840s (if you can find it on youtube, the episode where Charlie has a confrontation with Florence Nightengale is amazing) and Holby started shortly thereafter, but long-running stuff like the soaps (with The Archers being the champions; Magna Carta is so long because part of the document is in fact a script from the show) are going to have many different writers over the years anyway.

Uncle clocks in at 30 minutes as a BBC programme; P & R (or anything off Channel 4, such as Black Books, Toast, etc) are much shorter to give way for the adverts. I swear I don’t think each episode of P & R is more than 20 minutes long…

Monty Python (goes without saying)
Are You Being Served?


Ever since I’ve seen this show, I’ve had a hankering for Stilton. The actress who played Janice, his wife, was, IMHO, the most beautiful actress on TV, on either side of the pond.

Come on, sing it with me:* Serious, serious profession. Serious, serious profession.*

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy both a radio and tv show
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Fawlty Towers

Being Human

Green Wing.