With all the great American-made television out there, it’s easy to forget to check out what our friends across the pond have going on. After all, they did give us classics like “The Office”, “Absolutely Fabulous” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”. So let’s take a quick peek at the five best shows the Brits have going on now, before we have a chance to take all of the credit.
Look Around You
You know those cheesy educational films your teacher made you watch on those days when there was nothing to do or she was too hungover and needed to sit in the dark for awhile? Well Look Around You is a brilliant parody show that both mocks and celebrates these poor attempts at edutainment. Tim and Eric (of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job) have made it known their love for this show, which probably had something to with Adult Swim picking it up. For a taste, check out the first episode right now:
The IT Crowd
You may never have heard of Graham Linehan, but in the land of the Spice Girls, he’s the king of British comedy. The IT Crowd is his latest TV hit, and it follows the exploits of three corporate IT support employees. Nerd references abound, including nods to Atari, comics and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. DVDs of the show are currently unavailable in America, but plenty of clips and full episodes are available online:
Did you enjoy the movies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz? Then you’ll probably like Spaced, the TV show that launched the careers of the boys behind these two comedy classics (Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright). The show is largely about twenty-somethings hanging out and figuring out what they want to do with their lives. Lots of pop culture references, comic book discussions and drug use make this a must see. DVDs of the show were recently released in America and of course a bunch of it is online.
Co-created by Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, this sketch show debuted in 1998. Simon Pegg (of Spaced) also stars in Big Train. If you like surreal British sketch heavily influenced by Monty Python, Big Train is for you. You can buy both seasons on DVD. A bunch of sketches are online as well:
Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place
This show was featured on Adult Swim, so you’ve probably heard of it. If not, you suck and I feel bad for you. The show spoofs those bad sci-fi shows of the 1980s, complete with terrible special effects, awful acting and ridiculous plots. I could go into it more, but really you just need to watch it.