The Best British Shows You Should Be Watching

Photo: Courtesy of ITV/Masterpiece.
The British are coming — and you're de-freaking-lighted.
Tell us if this sounds familiar: Sunday nights are reserved not for football or the latest Game of Thrones or Homeland or whatever show everyone else is obsessed with at the time. That's the night you settle down for Masterpiece with a mug of tea and a stack of cookies you've taken to calling biscuits.
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Your Netflix history reveals not repeat viewings of Stranger Things or Orange is the New Black, but rather Black Mirror and The Crown binge-watches. You've also considered sending a gift basket to the genius there who created the nifty section devoted to British TV shows.
You not only know who Nicola Walker and Olivia Colman are — you can name half a dozen of their respective IMDB credits. Idris Elba isn't Stringer Bell; he's DCI John Luther. Benedict Cumberbatch isn't Dr. Strange; he's Sherlock Holmes. And Dame Maggie Smith is a fucking rock star.
We hear you. To help you on your quest, we've rounded up the British shows, old and new, that have invaded our TV screens. If anyone asks, that's why we speak like Madonna now.
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Skins (2007-2013)

A warning: You might experience major FOMO watching this show about a group of British teenagers getting up to no good. While Skins broaches typical teen show topics — pregnancy, eating disorders, divorce — it couches everything in real, vivid, amazing relationships. It's simply the best teen show of all time.
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Wolf Hall

Based off Hilary Mantel's acclaimed novel, this BBC miniseries focuses on a very specific chapter in royal history. Henry VII (Damian Lewis) wants to marry Mary Boleyn (Claire Foy) desperately, but must team up with his political enemy, Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance), to overcome opposition to the marriage.

Move over Game of Thrones. Wolf Hall features 102 named characters.
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Fawlty Towers

Long considered the best British sitcom of all time, if not the best show, Fawlty Towers centers on an inn in the "British Riviera" in Torquay, and the cast of characters who keep, and visit, the inn. Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) is the rude owner, who clashes with his bossy wife, the Spanish waiter, and the chambermaid who struggles with all these...personalities.
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Courtesy of ITV
Midsomer Murders

Like Doctor Who, Midsomer Murders is one of those British shows that has been around for just about forever. The show revolves around Tom Barnaby's efforts to solve murders in the idyllic (but not really!) town of Midsomer. It's like a quainter version of Sherlock.

Catch Midsomer Murders on PBS.
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Courtesy of Channel 4
Catastrophe

You've heard this one before. Ad exec goes to Dublin on a business trip, has love affair with a local, girl gets knocked up, girl moves to Boston to raise the kid with a virtual stranger. Wait — maybe you haven't heard this one before.

Catastrophe is a transatlantic, highbrow version of Knocked Up, and it's now on Hulu for your viewing pleasure.
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Courtesy of Channel 4
National Treasure
This four-part British miniseries tells the true story of a beloved comedian accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in the 1990s. You'll recognize Robbie Coltrane from his role as Hagrid in Harry Potter. Coming to Hulu on March 1, this film will resonate with Americans, having just witnessed Bill Cosby's fall from grace.
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Photo: REX/Shutterstock.
Lewis
Broadcast as Inspector Lewis in the U.S., this old-school detective show ended its 9-season run in 2015. A sequel to Inspector Morse (and precursor to Morse prequel Endeavour), the drama sees Kevin Whateley and Laurence Fox solving crimes among the spires of Oxford. The cases may not have you on the edge of your seat, but you'd be surprised how invested you can become in figuring out which Oxford don is guilty and whether or not Lewis and his forensic pathologist will ever snog already. Consider it a solid binge-watch option.

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox
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Photo: ITV/REX/Shutterstock.
Unforgotten
Now in its second series, this crime show sees two detectives (Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar) tackling cold cases involving several potential suspects. If you like Walker (Last Tango in Halifax, River) half as much as we do, you'll watch.

Watch it on Amazon Prime.

Pictured: Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar
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Photo: Ray Tang/REX Shutterstock.
Doctor Who
The best part of Doctor Who is that there’s no need to go back and watch every season if you want to dive in...now. Every few years, the Doctor “regenerates,” meaning a new actor takes over the role. The 12th doc is currently played by Peter Capaldi, though who's to say how long this Time Lord will last?

Watch it on Netflix Instant.

Pictured: Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman
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Photo: Laurence Cendrowicz/Wall to Wall South Ltd.
Secrets of the Six Wives
This one's for the history buffs. Historian Lucy Worsley digs deep into the stories of King Henry VIII's six wives, adding a feminist perspective that makes it all feel very fresh.

Watch it on PBS.

Pictured: Lucy Worsley
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Photo: Courtesy of Acorn/BBC.
Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution
If you got sucked into last year's And Then There Were None, you'll be glad to know the BBC hasn't kicked its Agatha Christie habit just yet. Here, Kim Cattrall plays an older heiress at the center of a super-soapy court case. Expect twists from the queen of whodunits.

Watch it on Acorn TV beginning January 30.

Pictured: Kim Cattrall, Andrea Riseborough, Toby Jones, Billy Howle, and Monica Dolan
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix/Dave King Photography.
Chewing Gum
Tracey Gordon is a 24-year-old virgin devoted to two supreme beings: Beyoncé and God. This must-watch show follows her quest to embark on new experiences, even if they conflict with her religious upbringing.

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: Michaela Coel as Tracey
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Image: Courtesy of BBC.
One of Us
Two neighboring families are torn apart by a vicious murder, but the killer may be closer than they think. Juliet Stevenson of Truly, Madly, Deeply stars, and you'll recognize Laura Fraser from Breaking Bad and season 2 of The Missing.

Watch it on YouTube.

Pictured: Joanna Vanderham, Julie Graham, Juliet Stevenson, John Lynch, and Joe Dempsie
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Photo: ITV/REX/Shutterstock.
Victoria
ITV's new period drama centers on the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign, complete with political intrigue, an unrequited crush on her handsome prime minister, and truly incredible gowns.

Watch it on PBS beginning January 2017.

Pictured: Jenna Coleman and Rufus Sewell
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Image: Courtesy of BBC.
Doctor Foster
Suranne Jones won a Bafta for playing a GP whose picture-perfect life is shattered when she suspects her smug little husband of having an affair. Do not watch this if you're about to get married, by the way.

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: Suranne Jones with Bertie Carvel
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Image: Courtesy of BBC.
New Blood
This BBC One crime show relies heavily on the comedic charms of stars Mark Strepan and Ben Tavassoli, both of whom provide some mild crush material. Look for Mark Addy and Anna Chancellor in supporting roles.

Watch it on BritBox in 2017.

Pictured: Mark Strepan and Ben Tavassoli
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Photo: Ben Blackall/Netflix.
Paranoid
This new addition to Netflix isn't the great British crime procedural you'll ever watch, but it scratches the itch. Indira Varma (Luther, Game of Thrones) heads up a team of detectives investigating the death of a popular doctor in a perplexing case that has links to Germany.

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: Lesley Sharp
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Image: Courtesy of BBC.
Last Tango in Halifax
Two 70-something former classmates reconnect on Facebook, then decide to get married before they've even finished their tea. What follows is a Yorkshire version of Step By Step, with new stepsisters Gillian (an independent, tough-talking farmer) and Caroline (a prissy headmaster who's just come out) struggling to bond despite their differences. Also, is it just us, or is homophobic Celia the absolute worst?

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: Anne Reid, Derek Jacobi, Nicola Walker, and Sarah Lancashire
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Photo: Courtesy of Acorn TV.
The Level
Karla Crome stars as a young detective who's investigating the murder of a Brighton businessman with ties to the crime world. One complication: She was a witness to the man's murder, but can't tell anyone. Look for Downton Abbey alum Rob-James Collier as a fellow detective and potential love interest.

Watch it on Acorn TV beginning December 12.

Pictured: Karla Crome
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
River
Stellan Skarsgård is riveting as a London detective grappling with the recent murder of his partner. The fact that he continues to see and hear said partner is quite the complication.

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: Nicola Walker and Stellan Skarsgård
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Image: Courtesy of BBC/Starz.
The Missing
This crime series takes a troubling plot (the sudden disappearance of a child) and shapes it into a compelling drama full of intrigue and heartache.

Watch it on Amazon Prime.

Pictured: James Nesbitt, Frances O'Connor, and Tchéky Karyo
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Image: Courtesy of BBC.
Silk
Maxine Peake is captivating as a barrister whose personal life is a bit of a shambles, but man, is she fierce in the courtroom. Sit back and celebrate the girl power.

Watch it on Amazon Prime.

Pictured: Neil Stuke, Maxine Peake, and Rupert Penry-Jones
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Photo: Courtesy of Acorn.
Close to the Enemy
Jim Sturgess, Alfred Molina, Phoebe Fox, Alfie Allen, and (yas) Angela Bassett star in this World War II drama involving a captured German scientist and a London hotel with links to military intelligence.

Watch it on Acorn TV beginning November 14.

Pictured: Phoebe Fox and Jim Sturgess
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Photo: Coco Van Oppens Photography.
Undercover
Sophie Okonedo delivers a powerful performance as a human rights advocate and lawyer whose picture-perfect family life is not all it seems. Adrian Lester plays the husband she shouldn't be trusting, while Dennis Haysbert is the death row inmate she's determined to save.

Watch it on BBC America from November 16.

Pictured: Sophie Okonedo
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
The Crown
Netflix's new drama about a young Queen Elizabeth will make a royal-watcher out of us all. Claire Foy plays the lead character, who must suddenly go from devoted wife and princess to determined monarch. Look out for John Lithgow as a surprisingly convincing Winston Churchill.

Watch it on Netflix beginning November 4.

Pictured: Claire Foy
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Photo: Courtesy of Channel 4.
Crashing
Still going through Fleabag withdrawals? Check out Phoebe Waller-Bridge's other 2016 sitcom, in which a ragtag group of Londoners call an abandoned hospital home. Waller-Bridge plays Lulu, an irresponsible but wickedly fun party girl whose sudden appearance threatens to undo her best guy friend's relationship.

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: Phoebe Waller-Bridge (center) with the cast of Crashing.
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Photo: Courtesy of BBC America.
The Living and the Dead
Expect goosebumps courtesy of this six-part thriller about a Victorian psychologist who experiences supernatural occurrences in his rural community.

Watch it on BBC America from October 27.

Pictured: Charlotte Spencer and Colin Morgan
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Photo: BBC/Todd Antony.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke's 2004 novel inspired this much-lauded 2015 miniseries blending magic and mysticism with British history. If fantasy and the Napoleonic wars are your bag, you've found a winner.

Watch it on BBC America.

Pictured: Bertie Carvel and Eddie Marsan
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Courtesy of New Pictures for Channel 4 and MASTERPIECE
Indian Summers
Julie Walters headlines this glitzy drama about British socialites vacationing in the Indian state of Simla during the British Raj. Expect intrigue, passion, and the odd bit of colonial-era casual racism.

Watch it on PBS.

Pictured: Julie Walters as Cynthia Coffin
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Brian J. Ritchie/TalkbackThames/REX/Shutterstock
QI
This "Quite Interesting" quiz show features a panel of comedians and special guests who poke fun at current events. Alas, the beloved Stephen Fry has stepped down as host, but frequent panelist Sandi Toksvig should prove to be a more than capable replacement.

Watch it on Hulu.

Pictured: Outgoing host Stephen Fry
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Studios.
Fleabag
The BBC's best new comedy is headed to Amazon this month, and it's a must-watch. Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes and stars as a Londoner struggling to keep her cafe afloat, her passive-aggressive stepmother from annoying her to death, and her sex life exciting. Think of it as the new Girls, but so much better.

Watch it on Amazon beginning September 16.

Pictured: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
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Image: Courtesy of Acorn TV.
The Secret Agent
Toby Jones headlines this three-part adaptation of Joseph Conrad's 1907 spy thriller. Anyone up for some old-school intrigue about Russian spies and anarchists?

Watch it on Acorn TV from September 12.

Pictured: Toby Jones
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Image: Courtesy of BBC America.
The Hour
Billed as a sort of British Mad Men, this drama centered on a news program circa 1956. Alas, the stellar cast and dreamy period costumes couldn't fetch it more than two seasons.

Watch it on Amazon Prime or BBC America.

Pictured: Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai, and Dominic West
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Photo: Showtime/Photofest.
Episodes
Running on both Showtime and the BBC, this comedy is set to wrap next year with its fifth and final season. Fun fact: Matt LeBlanc won a Golden Globe for playing himself as the lead in a British writing team's sitcom.

Watch it on Showtime and Amazon Prime.

Pictured: Tamsin Greig, Matt LeBlanc, and Stephen Mangan
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Photo: PBS/PhotoFest.
Poldark
Have scythe, will seduce. This remake of the '70s hit stars Aidan Turner as the hunky British soldier who is prone to doing farmwork sans shirt.

Watch it on PBS and Amazon Prime.

Pictured: Eleanor Tomlinson and Aidan Turner
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Photo: Courtesy of Acorn TV.
Agatha Raisin
Ashley Jensen of Extras and Ugly Betty fame plays the titular character in this new series, about a retired PR pro who turns to solving crimes in her sleepy Cotswolds village.

Watch it on Acorn TV from August 1.

Pictured: Ashley Jensen
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Photo: BBC/Photofest.
Absolutely Fabulous
Now that Eddy and Patsy have hit the big screen, it's time to go back and savor their most hilarious, over-the-top moments. It's been a good ride, sweetie darling.

Watch it on Hulu.

Pictured: Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley
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Photo: Courtesy of Tiger Aspect.
Ripper Street
Matthew Macfadyen, of Pride and Prejudice fame, plays an inspector cracking down on crime in London's East End soon after Jack the Ripper's reign of terror has ended. We knew Darcy could be dark and gloomy, but this takes the cake.

Watch it on BBC America from July 28.

Pictured: Clare Foster and Matthew Macfadyen
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Photo: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock.
The Royle Family
Honor the recent death of writer and actress Caroline Aherne by binge-watching this late '90s comedy about a low-income family in Manchester. Think Shameless without the sex, or Roseanne with thicker accents.

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: (Bottom, left to right) Caroline Aherne, Ricky Tomlinson, and Liz Smith; (Top, left to right) Ralf Little, Sue Johnston, and Craig Cash
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Photo: Courtesy of ITV.
Doctor Thorne
Tom Hollander (The Night Manager, Rev) plays the titular role in this period drama written by Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes and adapted from the Anthony Trollope novel. Suckers for a good star-crossed romance will find plenty to clutch their hearts over thanks to the passionate pining of Thorne's penniless, illegitimate niece Mary and dreamy heir Frank.

Watch it on Amazon Prime.

Pictured: Stefanie Martini, Tom Hollander, Harry Richardson, and Rebecca Front
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Marcella
This Netflix newcomer is soon to be your favorite binge-watch. Anna Friel stars as a former detective who returns to the force to track down a serial killer from her past. Further complicating matters are her messy personal life and a series of violent outbursts and blackouts that make her question her own actions.

Watch it on Netflix beginning July 1.

Pictured: Anna Friel
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Photo: Courtesy of (C) Des Willie/Lovely Day Productions & ITV for MASTERPIECE.
Grantchester
James Norton of War and Peace and Happy Valley fame changes course to play a crime-solving vicar in this drama set in 1953. The cases are more tame than terrifying, but Norton's affable manner wins out.

Watch it on PBS and Amazon Instant Video.

Pictured: James Norton
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Photo: Courtesy of Acorn TV.
Raised by Wolves
We could simply tell you that this semi-autobiographical sitcom was written by the genius Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl) and her sister Caroline and leave it at that. It also happens to be hilarious and follows two sisters raised a rather radical single mother.

Watch it on Acorn TV beginning June 20.

Pictured: Alexa Davies and Helen Monks as Aretha and Germaine Garry.
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Photo: Courtesy of Channel 4.
Top Boy
Ashley Walters stars as drug dealer Dushane in this Wire-esque drama about life on an East London council estate, while Malcolm Kamulete plays Ra'Nell, a local kid just trying to stay out of trouble. Oh, and Drake's a fan.

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: Ashley Walters
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Photo: Courtesy of Participant Media.
Fortitude
Stanley Tucci and Michael Gambon star in this intense drama about an Arctic community rocked by the murder of one of its most prominent citizens.

Watch it on Pivot and Amazon Prime.

Pictured: Michael Gambon and Richard Dormer
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Photo: Courtesy of (C) ITV Studios for MASTERPIECE.
Mr. Selfridge
If you can push Ari Gold to the back of your mind, you'll get carried away by Jeremy Piven's portrayal of retailer Harry Gordon Selfridge and his luxury department store, Selfridges.

Watch it on PBS.

Pictured: Jeremy Piven
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Photo: Courtesy of Channel 4.
My Mad Fat Diary
This E4 dramedy, which ended its three-season run in 2015, tackled body image and mental health as it followed 16-year-old, 224-pound Rae fresh off her release from a psychiatric hospital. Set in the 1990s, the show had a My So-Called Life feel, with issues like eating disorders and homophobia also being addressed.

Watch it on Hulu.

Pictured: Sharon Rooney as Rae
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Photo: Sundance TV/Photofest.
The Honorable Woman
Maggie Gyllenhaal won a Golden Globe for her gutsy portrayal of Baroness Nessa Stein, a British woman overseeing a charity that strives to keep the peace in the West Bank. A string of crimes threatens to unravel a painful secret from her past, with political intrigue and shady motives at every turn.

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: Maggie Gyllenhaal
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Photo: Cliff Hide/LNP/REX/Shutterstock.
Endeavour
Fans of Inspector Morse will love this prequel, which follows the opera-loving sleuth as a rookie circa 1965. Those not familiar with the original series will still get hooked on the chilling murder plots (a serial killer inspired by operas, a missing teen) and the awkward charm of lead Shaun Evans, who has a whiff of Eddie Redmayne in My Week with Marilyn about him.

Watch it on PBS and Amazon Video.

Pictured: Charles Babalola and Shaun Evans
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Photo: Rex/Shutterstock.
Gavin and Stacey
Long before Carpool Karaoke, James Corden was Smithy, the beer-swigging, takeaway-guzzling best friend to this comedy's romantic male lead, Gavin (Mathew Horne). Corden and co-star Ruth Jones created the hit sitcom, and both are hilarious as the sidekicks to an Essex bloke and Welsh girl who embark on a long-distance relationship.

Watch it on Hulu.

Pictured: Ruth Jones and James Corden
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Photo: Courtesy of Acorn.
Cold Feet
This late '90s/early '00s ITV hit has been described as a British Friends, possibly because Ross' second wife (Helen Baxendale) starred in it. Really, though, it's more about relationships and the challenges of adulthood.

Watch it on Acorn.

Pictured: Helen Baxendale, Hermione Norris, and Fay Ripley.
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Photo: Courtesy of Red Productions LTD.
Call the Midwife
Season 5 of this heartwarming drama, now set in 1961, just got underway on PBS. The show follows midwives tending to the needs of a diverse East London community.

Watch it on PBS.

Pictured: Emerald Fennell, Helen George, and Charlotte Ritchie.
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Photo: Courtesy of BBC 2.
Line of Duty
Season 3 of this gripping police drama just got underway in the U.K. Follow the British equivalent of Internal Affairs as they investigate corrupt coppers. Lennie James, best known as Morgan on The Walking Dead, headlines season 1.

Watch it on Hulu.

Pictured: Martin Compston in Line of Duty.
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Photo: Des Willie/AMC.
The Night Manager
Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie headline this BBC adaptation of John le Carré's spy drama. Hiddleston plays a hotel manager who gets caught up in a murder linked to Richard Roper (Laurie, with his British accent intact), a tycoon with a sideline in arms dealing. Hiddleton's shirtless scenes and enigmatic persona have given U.K. audiences a bit of James Bond fever. Let's just say this is quite the 007 audition tape.

Watch it on AMC from April 19.

Pictured: Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine in The Night Manager.
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Photo: Courtesy of Acorn TV.
Detectorists
It may take a while to adjust to this comedy's slow pace, but it's worth it. Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones star as detectorists determined to unearth treasure in Essex. Unfortunately, it's mostly ring pulls and toy cars, but the banter and confrontations with rivals dubbed "Simon and Garfunkel" will have you chuckling appreciatively.

Watch it on Netflix (season 1) and Acorn (season 2, from April 4).

Pictured: Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones.
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Photo: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock.
Whitechapel
Fans of British history will fall for this crime drama set in London's East End. The first season investigates a Jack the Ripper copycat, season 2 moves on to gangsters taking after Reggie and Ronnie Kray, and so on.

Watch it on Hulu.

Pictured: Phil Davis, Rupert Penry-Jones, and Steve Pemberton.
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Photo: Courtesy Acorn TV.
Vera
Get involved, pet. Imagine your dotty British aunt solving crimes while wearing a mac and floppy hat and you've got Vera. Brenda Blethyn stars as the titular character, an eccentric yet razor-sharp DCI living in fictional Northumbria. Season 6 hits Acorn TV on March 21, so now's the time to catch up.

Watch Series 6 on Acorn TV from March 21.

Pictured: Brenda Blethyn and Kenny Doughty in Vera.
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Photo: Netflix/Photofest.
Hinterland
This police drama set in Wales was the first BBC show to appear in both Welsh and English (yes, actors filmed their scenes twice). With each episode running 90 minutes long, stories tend to drag, but the culprit's identity is always a surprise.

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: Richard Harrington and Mali Harries in Hinterland.
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Photo: Charlotte Graham/REX Shutterstock.
Happy Valley
The second season of this award-winning drama just got underway in the U.K., but U.S. fans can sink their teeth into the first season on Netflix in the meantime. Set in West Yorkshire, the series follows a police sergeant investigating her daughter's suicide and the kidnapping of another young woman. Are the cases linked? Find out for yourself.

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley.
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Photo: Courtesy Red Production Company Ltd.
Prey
Sink your teeth into yet another compelling British crime series. This BAFTA-nominated drama follows a detective sergeant trying to solve two murder cases involving a fellow officer and a prison guard.

Watch it on BBC America from February 25.

Pictured: Rosie Cavaliero in Prey.
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Photo: Courtesy BBC.
Luther
Idris Elba's recent SAG win for playing London detective John Luther was yet another reminder of how good this crime drama is. The two-part fourth season, which aired late last year, shows Luther teaming up with a new partner (Rose Leslie of Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey fame) and sinking his teeth into a new mystery. As always, gory, spine-tingling scenes ensue.

Watch it on Netflix and BBC America.

Pictured: Idris Elba in Luther.
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Photo: Courtesy Mammoth Screen.
And Then There Were None
A group of strangers gets picked off one by one in this adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1939 mystery novel. Look out for a star turn by Emily Blunt look-alike Maeve Dermody, prepare to drool over Poldark's Aidan Turner's towel-clad body, and make a note to never, ever accept an invitation to visit a remote island when you don't know the hosts one bit.

Watch it on Lifetime this March.

Pictured: Sam Neill and Aidan Turner are featured in And Then There Were None's stellar cast.
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Photo: Courtesy BBC/Laurie Sparham.
War and Peace
Paul Dano, Lily James, Gillian Anderson, Stephen Rea, and the U.K.'s new crush James Norton star in this dramatization of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel. The magnificent, snowy sets, stunning costumes, and steamy plots (oh, that cunning Helene) are bound to kickstart a new passion for Russian literature.

Watch it now on Lifetime, History Channel, and A&E.

Pictured: Paul Dano and James Norton in War and Peace.
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Photo: Ed Miller/WTTV Productions Limited.
You, Me and the Apocalypse
This sci-fi dramedy may have a familiar American cast (Rob Lowe, Jenna Fischer, Megan Mullally, etc.), but its dark sense of humor is British to the core. The quirky show, which follows people around the world as they deal with the fact that a comet is about to wipe out Earth, premiered in the U.K. last September. Now it's ready to make its U.S. debut.

Watch it on NBC from January 28.

Pictured: Jenna Fischer in You, Me and the Apocalypse.
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Photo: Courtesy Acorn TV.
Midwinter of the Spirit
Though it can be a bit campy at times, this thriller sees a country vicar and exorcist-in-training dive into the world of solving murders. You'll recognize costar David Threlfall from his work in the original Shameless and Hot Fuzz.

Watch it on Acorn TV from January 11.

Pictured: Anna Maxwell Martin and David Threlfall in Midwinter of the Spirit.
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Photo: Courtesy BBC America.
London Spy
Consider this one of the sexiest spy thrillers of all time. Ben Whishaw stars as Danny, the boyfriend of the mysterious Alex, played by your future crush Edward Holcroft. Part love story, part whodunit, this drama is ideal for anyone who fancies an agonizing cliffhanger and a steamy sex scene.

Watch it on BBC America from January 21.

Pictured: Ben Whishaw and Edward Holcroft in London Spy.
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Photo: Courtesy Channel 4.
Fresh Meat
Consider this sitcom the uni-bound lovechild of The Inbetweeners, Peep Show, and Undressed. It’s what happens when six strangers are forced to live in a house (because their dorm assignments didn’t work out), and things start to get real. Or rather, a funnier, more sharply timed version of “real” written by some of the best comedy writers BBC’s Channel 4 has on staff.

Watch it on Hulu.

Pictured: Joe Thomas and Kimberley Nixon in Fresh Meat.
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Photo: Courtesy BBC.
The Fall
Gillian Anderson was supposed to be The Fall’s star attraction, but it’s Jamie Dornan’s show from the moment the camera first zooms in uncomfortably close on his impassive, inscrutable face. When Dornan took over for Charlie Hunnam in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, our inner goddesses couldn’t help but rejoice. Why? As Lena Dunham put it on Twitter, “I'm a monstrous @JamieDornan1 fan. Wasn't allowed to be attracted to him on The Fall bc he played a sexmurderer. 50 Shades is my big chance!”

Not that Christian Grey is free of flaws and depravity… He’s just not a straight-up serial killer terrorizing Belfast.

Watch it on Netflix Instant.

Pictured: Gillian Anderson in The Fall.
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Photo: Courtesy E4.
Misfits
A group of juvenile delinquents with ASBOs (or anti-social behaviour order — who says TV never teaches you anything?) acquire superpowers from a freak hailstorm while doing court-mandated community service. This isn’t The Avengers, though. Think more along the raging hormone-fueled lines of Skins (the U.K. version, obviously) with the additional perks that always come with superhuman abilities. Game of Thrones fans will recognize Theon Greyjoy’s torturer Iwan Rheon as Simon (except here, he’s an unlikely hero), and if you caught The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, you’ll recognize Robert Sheehan, who played Clary’s friend Simon, as the cheeky Nathan.

Watch it on Hulu.

Pictured: The cast of Misfits.
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Photo: Courtesy BBC.
Sherlock
You’ve probably heard about this one in the form of someone saying, “No, you don’t understand… you HAVE to watch it.” For the uninitiated, you’ve most likely deduced this Sherlock is a modern adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s shrewd sleuth (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and his right-hand man, John Watson (Martin Freeman), and their case-cracking exploits. And, to that, we say, “Elementary, my dear reader.”

Watch it on Netflix Instant and PBS Masterpiece.

Pictured: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman
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Photo: Courtesy Channel 4.
Black Mirror
If George Orwell were alive today and making TV shows, this sci-fi anthology series is what he’d produce. Created by satirist Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror has been compared to The Twilight Zone — if Rod Sterling’s freaky allegories were grounded in possible realities. Robert Downey, Jr. has already snapped up the movie rights to the third episode, “The Entire History of You.” So, yeah, you want to get in there. Now.

Watch it on Netflix.

Pictured: Bryony Neylan-Francis
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Photo: Courtesy BBC2.
Never Mind the Buzzcocks
This was the music panel-show U.S. networks have never quite managed to pull off. The show sadly ended last year, but it's still worth a watch online. If you want to get the good stuff, search YouTube for the Simon Amstell years (series 19 to 22) or go vintage with host Mark Lamarr (series 1 to 17).

Watch it on YouTube

Pictured: Phil Jupitus and Noel Fielding get dolled up with their fellow panelists.
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Photo: Courtesy BBC America.
Broadchurch
If the constant cancellation and resurrection of still-kinda-blah The Killing has left you wanting more from a whodunnit drama, watch Broadchurch. Just like The Killing, the show begins with the mysterious death of a child — this time it’s a young boy named Danny Latimer. We’re soon introduced to detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) — who are not just tasked with finding the murderer and motive, but are victims of the crime as well — along with the rest of the town’s quintessentially English eccentrics. After a very, very talked-about first series, season two will air in Britain next year. FOX adapted the show for American airwaves as Gracepoint, starring Tennant and Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn.

Watch it on BBC America On Demand.

Pictured: Olivia Colman and David Tennant in Broadchurch.
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Photo: Courtesy Sky1.
Moone Boy
Really, the fact that the adorable cop from Bridesmaids (Chris O’Dowd) is the star of this series should be enough to send you to Hulu ASAP. But, if not, allow us to heap on some more appealing details. O’Dowd created and co-wrote the series, which is adapted from a comedy short he penned about the adventures he had growing up in a small Irish town with an imaginary friend. Also, there are animated doodles involved — because really, what show about a boyhood imaginary friend would be complete without some illustrated flourishes?

Watch it on Hulu.

Pictured: Chris O'Dowd and David Rowle in Moone Boy.
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Photo: Courtesy UKTV.
Top of the Lake
This one is also known as the other show for which Elisabeth Moss was nominated for an Emmy this year. Set in New Zealand and somewhat similar to Broadchurch in terms of structure (a central mystery is introduced in the first episode, and then twisted additional storylines snake outward from there), it has Moss playing a detective who returns to her hometown to care for her sick mother. She then gets tasked with helping track down a pregnant 12-year-old who’s gone missing after trying to commit suicide at the beginning of the series.

Watch it on Netflix Instant.
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Photo: Courtesy Channel 4.
Gadget Man
If Top Gear, Bill Nye: The Science Guy, and Wired magazine had a baby, it would grow up to be Gadget Man. Host Richard Ayoade, who was Daily Show correspondent John Oliver’s writing partner at Cambridge, has the most acerbically droll delivery of classically understated British wit you’ll find. For example, he starts every episode with a bit of introduction, then says “So, before ado is in any way furthered, let’s tool up and get down to business.” Splitting up classic phrases in posh ways while talking about ridiculous gadgets is apparently the way into our hearts.

Watch it on Acorn TV.

Pictured: Richard Ayoade
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Photo: Courtesy BBC America.
The Graham Norton Show and The Jonathan Ross Show

You know those interview clips you’re always seeing on entertainment sites where, say, Benedict Cumberbatch does a Chewbacca impression for an amazed Harrison Ford, Will Smith raps the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song and then is joined by Alfonso Ribeiro and son Jaden to do the “Apache (Jump On It)” dance, or Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock recreate the iconic piano-dancing scene from Big? Those all come from these two geniuses.

Watch Graham Norton on BBC America, and Jonathan Ross on YouTube.

Pictured: Graham Norton
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