9 amazing British TV shows American men need to watch

By 12.23.10  •  37 Comments
Amazing British TV Shows

Michael Francis McCarthy, Flickr

Are you all caught up on Dexter? Impatiently waiting for the new season of Mad Men to roll around? Tired of re-watching reruns of The Simpsons? Well, if you’re searching for a new TV show to get into, then it might be a good idea to seek out some lesser-known gems from across the ocean. For those unfamiliar with the world of British TV, here are some of the best British shows to check out.

Photo credit: Michael Francis McCarthy, Flickr

9 The IT Crowd
>If you are a fan of The Big Bang Theory, then you’ll almost certainly like The IT Crowd. The show revolves around a trio of IT support staff that operates out of a corporate basement. If you like computer jokes and geeky banter, then you’ve definitely got to check out The IT Crowd.

8 Peep Show
Peep Show is currently the longest-running sitcom in Channel 4 history. The show follows the exploits of two roommates -– unkempt, lazy Jeremy and straight-laced Mark. The show is known for its frequent point-of-view camera shots and voice-over of character inner thoughts. Fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm will find much to like about this show. (The entire series of Peep Show is available for viewing on Hulu.)

7 Black Books
Black Books is another classic British show available for viewing on Hulu. The show was written and directed by the same guy that created The IT Crowd. As such, if you’re familiar with that show than you’ll likely enjoy Black Books as well. The show follows Bernard –- a callous bookshop owner (called Black Books) -– as he attempts to generally shun society and fail at human interaction.

6 Spaced
Co-written by Simon Pegg (who has since gone on to make Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and other films), Spaced is a cult classic that is routinely cited as one of the best underground comedies of all time. If you like anything Simon Pegg has done here in the states, then Spaced is definitely worth checking out. It can be seen on Hulu as well.

5 Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace
Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is one of the funniest television shows I’ve ever seen. The show is a parody of cheesy, low-budget horror TV shows, and follows horror author Garth Marenghi as he looks back on his fictional “lost classic” horror TV series. Horrible dialogue, ridiculous special effects and poor camera editing are just a few tricks used to create hilarious results on this great British sitcom.

4 The Office
Yes, chances are you’ve heard of the British Office. Since the success of The Office here in the States, the original series has become one of the best-known British TV shows. This is the show that made Ricky Gervais a star, and if you haven’t seen it yet then you really need to get off your duff and get into it.

3 That Mitchell and Webb Look
If you’re a fan of sketch comedy, then That Mitchell and Webb Look is a MUST WATCH. The series stars David Mitchell and Robert Webb (who also star in Peep Show) and boasts some of the smartest sketch comedy to hit the TV screen since The Kids in the Hall. Some classic sketches worth mentioning include “Numberwang” and “Sir Digby Chicken Caesar.” (The first season of That Mitchell and Webb Look is available for instant streaming on Netflix. Head on over there and watch it now.)

2 Misfits
Misfits is essentially a teen drama version of Heroes. Though primarily targeted to teens, the show is smart and funny enough to find fans in older age groups as well. Following a freak storm, five teen delinquents are bestowed with supernatural powers. However, these slacker kids don’t go the usual route of using their new skills to become superheroes. Fans of Harry Potter and Veronica Mars will likely find a lot to like about Misfits.

1 Dr. Who
Dr. Who is perhaps the mother of all British TV shows. Though there’s plenty to love about the classic series, the revival that began in 2005 helps bring the show into a more modern era. If you’re a fan of sci-fi hits like Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then you really owe it to yourself to check out Dr. Who.

TAGSArbitrary RankingsDr. WhofeaturedListsMisfitsThat Mitchell and Webb LookThe OfficeTV

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