Best British TV Shows 2012

Why Do The British Make Good TV Shows?

This article was written in response to SimeyC asking a great question in the answers section.

"What are the best shows on British TV. What makes them so good?"

Like most Western nations, when it comes to TV shows, Britain has a mixture of good and bad; TV in the UK at the moment is overrun with reality TV.

But there is still much to admire on British TV, we still make great TV shows but perhaps not often enough.

This hub, I hope, will answer SimeyC's question by giving examples of the best British TV shows and trying to suggest reasons for their success.

British TV shows are enjoying something of a renaissance of late with 2012 being one of the best years for some time - Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs and Luther all kept British bottoms on seats and 2013 looks like being another great year for British TV.

Sherlock - the wonderful Benedict Cumberbatch
Sherlock - the wonderful Benedict Cumberbatch
The cast of Downton Abbey - Britain's most successful TV drama of 2011 ans 2012.
The cast of Downton Abbey - Britain's most successful TV drama of 2011 ans 2012.

Best British Drama


Sherlock (2011 & 2012)

Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman is one of the most innovative TV dramas of recent years on British television.

The writers of the show took an enormous gamble when they decided to remake Sherlock Holmes again. Sherlock Holmes has an amazingly popular following and most of us know our Sherlock through actors like Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett, delivered in the correct timeframe.

The latest Sherlock TV incarnation though, made in 2011, brought Holmes up to date and had him solve his crimes using all of the tools at his disposal in the modern age.

It could have failed miserably but it didn't. It was a huge hit, winning many BAFTA Awards and also being a popular release when it came out on DVD.

Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect as Sherlock Holmes but he is made better by his wonderful sidekick, Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson. Freeman is all restraint to Cumberbatch's energetic, clever, charismatic Sherlock.

In its second series, shown in January 2012, the final TV episode, Reichenbach Falls was watched by 7.9 million viewers, that represented a third of all people watching TV that night, pretty good! In its three episodes, it never had less than 6.5 million viewers.

It is a well-written, well acted TV show which has all of Sherlock Holmes' best stories brought up to date, it shouldn't work but it does. I highly recommend it.

Which is your favourite?

See results without voting

Best British Period Drama - Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey is written by Julian Fellowes. Julian won an Oscar for his period drama, Gosford Park and this should have shown us what he was capable of creating in this genre for the TV.

Downton Abbey has enjoyed huge success with its two TV series to date. Fellowes copies the same format as Upstairs Downstairs, with the 'help' downstairs and the landed gentry upstairs both leading separate but occasionally overlapping lives.

Surprisingly, it turns out that the downstairs segments are not filmed in the same place as the upstairs sectors so the upstairs and downstairs casts only see one another in scenes they are in together - I think this is a rather clever conceit because when you watch Downton Abbey, you are completely taken in with the idea that they're all together at the same time.

The period in which Downton Abbey is set is perfect too - the first series covers the period leading up to the First World War; Britain at peace and all is well with the family then it is all turned upside down in the second series, Britain at war, Ireland on the verge of independence, woman's emancipation is full flow and those below stairs begin to doubt their rather lowly place in the world.

Fellowes is an accomplished film and TV writer and his plot lines are wonderful.

Every week, viewers are tuning into more drama, above and below stairs. There are lots of cliffhanfgers and some great love stories.

The acting is great, the writing is great and the locations look fabulous.

Downton Abbey returned to British TV screens in September 2012 with Series 3; loyal viewers sent it to the top of the British TV ratings again thanks to great story lines and a real rear-jerker episode. No more on this subject because I would hate to spoil it for US and Canadian viewers.

Downton Abbey found itself in a pitched battle in Christmas 2012 with the BBC's runaway success show in 2012, Call the Midwife.

Originally scheduled to run at exactly the same time on ITV and BBC, they 2 TV channels have agreed to stagger them and not put them in direct competition with one another!

This is great news for fans of both of these wonderful TV shows - they can watch both!

I watched both TV shows during the Christmas break and think that Call the Midwife just edged it!

Keith Lemon - loved or loathed?
Keith Lemon - loved or loathed? | Source
Malcolm Tucker - the 'Caledonian Mafia', don't get on his bad side!
Malcolm Tucker - the 'Caledonian Mafia', don't get on his bad side! | Source

British Comedy - Miranda

Miranda Hart is the star of the eponymous 'Miranda' a show which should not be a hit but it is. For many years, British TV sitcoms have tended not to have laughter tracks; the Royle Family really changes the way British comedy was made but Miranda bucks that trend.

Miranda is a big girl; she is tall and she is certainly not the slimmest lady on TV. She is somewhat clumsy and Miranda Hart has made this clumsy, oafish girl a hit because she plays her like a real person. We don't laugh at her, we laugh with her. The other characters in the show play stooges to the wonderful Miranda Hart. The laughs come out of her failures and minor successes. The farce is really good. You laugh out loud when you watch Miranda - it doesn't try to make the comedy clever, it is written just for the laughs and this has bucked the trend lately.

Miranda surprised British audiences in 2012 with a 'serious' acting role as Chummy in Call The Midwife. She showed in that British drama that she is not a one-trick pony and went on to win a Best Supporting Actress Award at the TV Choice Awards.

British Stand-Up


Other good comedy on British TV lately has been provided by the many great stand up comedians we have - I would pick Sarah Millican and Jimmy Carr as amongst the best live.

Both Jimmy and Sarah have also made successful transitions to TV; Sarah has her own show and appears regularly on one of British TV's most popular daytime TV shows, Loose Women and Jimmy appears as a regular panellist on a variety of shows but also hosts the great comedy quiz show, 8 out of 10 Cats.

Celebrity Juice


And we excel at TV comedy panel shows - in 2011 and 12 there can be only one winner - Celebrity Juice, presented by a (fake) presenter, Keith Lemon. His script is very, very naughty and he gets away with a lot of dirty stuff, hidden in double entendres. He also recently starred in a movie.

Other popular and well-made panel shows include Loose Women (daytime TV), Have I Got News For You (political satire quiz show) and QI, with Stephen Fry in the hot seat as host as excellent and acerbic as ever.

The Thick of It


For me though, the absolute best comedy on British TV was 'The Thick of It', a political comedy which goes behind the scenes of the British government, giving us the really nasty and crazy stuff that politicians and spin doctors are involved in. It has THE best baddie in a comedy show, Malcolm Tucker - the man is an evil genius but boy can he curse!

I would have included a video but I dare not for fear of being banned by Hub Pages, you have never heard so much, no holds barred swearing. Malcolm Tucker is known by his colleagues as 'The Caledonian Mafia', a Scotsman with the foulest temper in history but a spin doctor and political genius par excellence. I heartily recommend a visit to You Tube to see him in full flow - please ensure your head phones are plugged in!

American TV recently made their own version of The Thick of It called VEEP, starring Julia Louis Dreyfus.

Best British Wildlife TV Shows

David Attenbrough continues to make amazing TV shows.

Among the best TV wildlife shows over the last two decades have been Life On Earth, The Living Planet and Trails of Life.

Attenbrough doesn't make the touchy feely stuff where every animal is cute enough to put in your basket and bring home. He shows the earth in its real form - sometimes beautiful, sometimes cruel but always fascinating.

Other great natural history TV shows include 'Coast' which concentrated on Britain's varied coastline but covers geography, geology, history and archaeology and Big Cat Diaries a fascinating TV show showing a month in the life of African lions and tigers.

The BBC put a huge amount of money from their budget into natural history TV shows and most of the best on TV are on the BBC's channels. Viewer numbers are always high.

Coronation Street
Coronation Street
Emmerdale
Emmerdale
EastEnders
EastEnders

Best British Soap Operas

In Britain, we do like our soap operas.

Eastenders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale are our three most popular TV soap operas.

Coronation Street has been on British TV screens since the early 1960s.

Emmerdale has been around since the early 70s (as Emmerdale Farm) and EastEnders is the new kid on the block; its first episode was shown in 1985.

We don't do soap operas like the USA - not for us the lives of the rich and famous, not for us Dallas or Dynasty.

For some strange reason we prefer our TV soap operas to be about people who seem, on the face of it, to be a bit like us - except of course, they're not like us at all; all of their neighbourhoods have murderers, shoplifters, drug users etc etc but they all still like a pint in the Old Vic or the Rovers Return or The Woolpack....just like the rest of us.

Soap Operas in Britian would probably seem a bit odd to people in other parts of the world but I think we find it easier to empathise with shows which try to model themselves on the public (good and bad) and that makes viewing a bit more addictive.


Historic British TV

Best BritishTV Period Drama - Adaptations of Classic Novels

Well, the British TV professionals are pretty good at adapting classic novels for TV and we spend a lot of money on them.

Whilst the movie version of Pride and Prejudice was a huge hit making many millions of dollars at the cinema, it was not a patch on the BBC adaptation of the same Jane Austen story by the BBC in 1995.

It starred Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle as Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett and was an enormous critical success which went on to sell many millions of copies on DVD and reappears, even now, on satellite TV.

There have been some cracking adaptations over the years. You can read about some of them on another of my hubs about Charles Dickens Books to Film.

Jane Austen has been a popular novelist when it comes to adaptations for TV. As well as Pride and Prejudice, we have also seen Emma, Persuasion , Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park adapted to good effect for TV.

I think we're good at reproducing Britain in the past because we're British, simple as that and there always seems to be an audience for historical dramas.

Two of the most popular shows in recent years have been The Tudors, which whilst not based on a novel is certainly based on one of England's greatest soap opera families and Call The Midwife, set in the period immediately after WW2.

I will be back with more about great British TV soon - some stuff on the sixties and seventies and also the 1990s.

You can also read my individual sitcom articles by clicking on my profile.

More by this Author


Best British TV Shows Now Comments 65 comments

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK Author

Juana - many thanks for your comment - check out my other Best of British hubs - Call The Midwife has its very own hub - it is one of my favourite TV shows at the moment, total class!


JuanaF 3 years ago

Excellent selections here. I couldn't agree more.

But now you'll have to revise your post because now we have Call the Midwife. :) It is FABULOUS!!! What make it so is the strong connection among the midwifes and the nuns at Nonnatus House. Plus, Miranda Hart plays Chummy and she's terrific, so loveable and endearing!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK Author

Maralexa, I think everyone is looking forward to Benedict as the Star Trek baddie - they've released publicity shots to whet our appetite, looking forward to it. Thanks so much for your comment.


Maralexa profile image

Maralexa 3 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock is one of the best yet! And, yes, Freeman's Watson does add significantly to its success. I look forward to seeing Cumberbatch in the new Star Trek. Great hub. Thanks.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK Author

Deborah, have you seen the Christmas special yet?......Oooh, you're in for a shock!


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 3 years ago from Iowa

I just started watching Downton Abbey in the last month or so and got all caught up in time to watch the season 3 finale when it first aired in the U.S. this past Sunday. Aarrgh!! I won't give away any spoilers but I barely slept Sunday night. I don't know if I'll be able to watch season 4.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK Author

Maria, Tracy Ullman is a Cockney, Sarah Millican is (like me) a Geordie! But I expect we all sound the same to Americans and others from around the world :o)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK Author

Mary, thanks for reading. Glad you like Downton Abbey!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Oh Sarah is funny and I love " your voice". She actually reminded me a bit of Tracy Ullman... I will be on the lookout, Jools...!


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

I'm not familiar with these shows except Downtown Abbey, that is a good show. I watch that one when I think to turn it on. I watch very little TV.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK Author

Audrey, thanks so much!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK Author

MAria, many thanks for your comment - if you can go to You Tube, you should check out Sarah Millican who talks like me! She is hilarious. Miranda has sort of made farce and slapstick popular again over here, she is comical but is also a serious actress, also starring in Call The Midwife.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

Great list!!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Jools,

You have never steered me wrong with music and I think your TV recommendations are similarly excellent.

Like so many, I am only recently, but heavily, hooked on Downton Abbey. Maggie Smith has to be the coolest ever...well next to Shirley!

I appreciate reading about the other shows, will try to look up...especially the comedies, like Miranda.

Voted UP and across the board! Hugs, Maria


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

Downton Abbey for me as well please!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK Author

Tracy, many thanks for reading and commenting - we are all Downton Abbey addicts in this house and I also love Call The Midwife which really touches me, the characters in that are also 'popping' out of the screen and the setting of post-WW2 Poplar in London looks so authentic that you would swear it existed like that now.


Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

Tracy Lynn Conway 3 years ago from Virginia, USA

I only just began watching Downton Abbey and it didn't take long for me to be completely drawn in. Part of the magic is that I feel as though I know these characters, they seem to pop out of the screen. Great run down of British television here!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Alecia, many thanks for stopping by. At the moment the third series of Downton is on TV and has millions watching it every Sunday.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I've heard of Downton Abbey, Sherlock Holmes, and EastEnders. I haven't watched them but they seem interesting and very different than what's popular in the states. Had fun reading this Jools!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Oceansider, Hi! Many thanks for your comment - I can see from reading it that you are a keen British TV viewer and it is nice to see that Wallander has had cross over success in the USA. If you like Ken Branagh, I urge you to watch 'Shackleton' if you get the opportunity, it is very, very good. The Firth/Ehle version of Pride and Prejudice will remain my all time favourite, thanks to the scripts by Andrew Davies which stick to Austen; often using a lot of her own dialogue but are punchy and witty too. Benedict Cumberbatch has more recently appeared in another excellent period drama called 'Parade's End', worth looking out for if you get a change :o)


oceansider 4 years ago

Hi Jools99,

Thank you for your well written article about British T.V....I enjoyed reading it very much.

I have seen the new Sherlock Holmes and liked it a lot.....Benedict Cumberbatch also had played in the movie Amazing Grace, with Ioan Gruffud as William Wilberforce (the man who fought to abolish slavery way back in the 1700's), and Benedict played his close friend who then became Prime Minister.....Also, I loved Downton Abbey and so did my daughter.....My very favorites are Masterpiece & Masterpiece Mystery. Also, "Wallender", the Swedish detective....this is on Mystery...that's a good one too!

Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth will always be one of my all-time favorites.....I have seen it so many times because it is a beautiful story...the relationship between Mr Darcy and Lizzie is wonderfully portrayed. I also love watching British period pieces....sometimes from the 1700's, 1800's, or circa WWII...they are very excellent....I've never been disappointed.....Voting this up, interesting, useful!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Cyndi, thanks for stopping by to comment. This hub is my most viewed ever so I' glad you liked it. Thanks for the tweet- I should tweet more really, I never use it except to look at funny stuff.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Can I go to the UK just to see some of these awesome shows you mention?!? They sound awesome! I love the fact that there are adaptations from Jane Austen's work, too. Then there's Sherlock - we recently had a show here called "House" who was a doctor, but his character was based on Holmes and his other doctor friend was "Wilson," a play on Watson. :) Love this! Voted and tweeted.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Michelle, glad you liked it, many thanks for your comment :o)


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Like Linda, I've not heard of these shows....but the details here were fantastic. I remember two from some time back...Allo Allo and Mind Your Language...I bought the whole series and spent and entire day watching!! Thanks for the great write up!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Barry, I don't watch many of the quiz shows but I love Sarah Millican and I watch Keith Lemon to see how much he tries to get away with.

Many thanks for your comment.


barry1001 profile image

barry1001 4 years ago from North Wales

Good read, voted up. I think Britain can do decent shows, but they are sadly few and far between. Most UK output I see nowadays seems to be soap operas or god forbid - the bane of British television; reality TV. And as popular as 'Downton Abbey' is, its the one genre I cannot stand; the costume drama.

Thank god for British stand up and shows like 'Peep Show' and 'The Thick Of It', although I think the comedy panel show is a tired looking format and is running out of steam.

British comedy but American Drama for me.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

James, I have only seen off episodes of Sharpe and Hornblower; they are often on Sky so I should really take the time to see more. Thanks for your comment!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Keith, many thanks for the visit - you will love Miranda!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Kelley, thanks for the comment :o), glad you liked it.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Daisy, many thanks for your comment, I appreciate it :o)

I think only the truly popular stuff over here transfers to the States - just as well, there is some dross on TV over here as well as the good stuff.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Nell, many thanks for your comment. Keith Lemon is certainly an acquired taste isn't he? Miranda is a hoot!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

So many of these I like, but I can't stand that Lemon guy! he drives me insane! lol! but Miranda is really funny, did you see her at the Jubilee concert? hilarious! great list, cheers nell


kelleyward 4 years ago

Great hub Jools! I love British comedy... Take care, Kelley


JKenny profile image

JKenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

Hi Jools, great list. I'm a great lover of nature documentaries myself, especially David Attenborough. At the moment, I'm loving Springwatch. I've got a couple move historical shows to throw in there. The Sharpe series starring Sean Bean and the Hornblower series with Ioan Grufford- both totally awesome shows that you can escape into.


KDuBarry03 4 years ago

I think I'll get myself the first season of Miranda, get a bag of chips, soda, and just have a grand old time :) That show looks hilarious! I never heard of some of these shows and movies before; definitely something to consider ;) Thank you for your great details! Voted up

-KD


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Julie,

Thanks for publishing this very informative article. I haven't seen any of these programs...I don't known if they're shown in the United States. It was nice learning about them via your Hub.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Daisydayz, thanks so much for your comment - I used to watch 'Casualty' back in the day but I didn't keep up with Holby City, I should give it a whirl. My daughter loved Inbetweeners, I think it might be a bit young for me :o)


daisydayz profile image

daisydayz 4 years ago from Cardiff

Downton is a big hit! Its brilliant! On the soaps I actually think the long running medical dramas are better at the moment - casualty and Holby City! Never miss an episode. British stand up is great although I'm actually not a fan of a lot of the comedy series at the moment. Inbetweeners and Mirander are good though!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Audrey, many thanks for your comment!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Still love Sherlock Holmes and Mystery! Nice!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Brightonbreezy, thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment, I appreciate it.


Brightonbreezy profile image

Brightonbreezy 4 years ago from Brighton, UK

I really loved In The Loop, which was the film spin-off from The Thick of It. Will try to find the series on DVD for cheap later. Anyone know any similar shows I may enjoy?


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Tina, many thanks for your comment! Yes Downton Abbey is a very good show and Sherlock is well worth a look if you get the chance.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Deb, thanks for commenting - you will definitely love Downton Abbey, it is compulsive viewing with great characters both above and below stairs. Pride & Prejudice remains a favourite of mine, ideal for a sick day :o)


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

I love the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I first got it on VHS tape, but have since upgraded to DVD. When I have a sick day, I'll spend the day in bed and watch the entire thing. I've never seen Downton Abby, but many friends have told me I'd like it. I'll need to find the first season on DVD because I can't get into a series in the middle.


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden

My absolute favorite of these is Downton Abbey and I have seen every episode so far! Apart from that, I don't watch TV so much but you did a great job describing them and I am now interested in watching Sherlock. Thanks for the tips on what to watch on TV, I enjoyed reading this!

Tina


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Hi Tallulah! Thanks for your comments - I find Celebrity Juice more shocking than enjoyable but it does have some funny moments in amongst the more shocking stuff. Downton Abbey wins for me hands down for more recent TV - it got better as it went on.


Talullah profile image

Talullah 4 years ago from SW France

I can't say I like soaps or Celebrity Juice (neither are my cup of tea), but I like all your other choices! I agree that we are brilliant at adapting the classics! An entertaining hub!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Rob, I leurve Idris Elba! I thought he was brilliant in The Wire and was so chuffed to find out he was British, you would never have guessed, his American accent was so good. And I'm ashamed to see I haven't seen Luther - I will try to watch out for it the next time it's on. Thanks for commenting.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Hi Steve, thanks for your comments - I'm not a soap watcher either but I do love comedies and period dramas, shame there's so much dross out there keeping it company.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England

Interesting hub Jools, I've enjoyed the new BBC series of Sherlock, clever stuff. I have them on Blu-ray.

I've also been re-watching David Attenborough's Planet Earth, amazing photography! Who would have expected a great white shark to leap out of the sea like that? Three tons of fish in mid-air with a seal in it's mouth, whoa!

That's about it, I don't watch the soaps.

Voted Up and Interesting.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Lesley, thanks for your comment. I watch TV over the top of my laptop most of the time so I sort of 'half-watch' a lot of things. I do make time for my favourites though and having a Sky+ box helps cos i record everything and watch it all later.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Hi Jools; My current favorite British TV show is "Luther". I think its the best cop drama to come along in years and Idris Elba is an incredible actor. He deserved his Golden Globe win. Great show.

Rob


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Jools, I seem to watching less and less TV these days, I am not into soaps but do like a good documentary.

Miranda is hilarious! she is one funny lady:-)

Many thanks and voting up.

Best wishes Lesley


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Bob, yes, there are some kernels amongst the chaff and there is a hell of a lot of crap as well. We have just gotten Sky F1 HD cos hubby decided he could not stand the idea of not seeing it this year. I think we have far too much news (crap) and too much reality TV (double crap).


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

I switch the TV off, and as all the hideous, screeching British "estuary accents" cease, i feel as if I have just inhaled the pipe of peace.

Yes, there are some kernels amongst the chaff, but TV has got considerably worse except in one respect that I can think of. The engrossing photography that brings wildlife into our living rooms with us...marvellous BBC documentaries and the only justification for the licence fee.

Sports has left the five "earth" channels and is all on Sky now (even F1, bastards!)

Mostly a lot of mediochre rubbish really.

Bob


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

I think I may have seen Murdock Mysteries on Sky TV Flora, definitely recognise that name. I used to like Going South which was probably a US show but had a mountie as its main character. And after seeing Shipping News, I would have thought some kind of adaptation of that would make a good soap opera :)


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Canada does have some comedies and dramas, yes. Usually our Canadian content involves American shows filming here with Canadian crews, but there are exceptions. We had a show called Corner Gas which was a half-hour comedy very much about regular people. It ended a couple years ago. And there is a mystery drama show about an RCMP set in the time of Sherlock Holmes called Murdock Mysteries.

As for soap opera type shows, we don't have the daytime ones either, but we do have evening ones-or have had. We had a show called Davinci's Inquest that changed into Davinci's City Hall which was based upon former Vancouver Mayor Gordon Campbell's career-not to be confused with the man of the same name who used to be run British Columbia's government. Talk about confusing.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Flora, I sort of have you to thank for this hub as you suggested I go looking for the question in the answers section and I did! Colin Firth's shirt scene in P & P is a classic moment of British TV and I never get tired of seeing it. I used to watch a lot of wildlife programmes when I was a child but I just watch the highlights programme now - changing tastes I suppose.

Does Canada have any soap operas and comedies?

Thanks for your comment.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Judi, Sherlock and Downton are both great but I recorded them on Sky Plus and then watched them through the week when there was nought else on TV. I love Downton Abbey, can't get enough of that sort of thing. Sherlock grows on you once you get used to it being modern.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Ah Sunshine, Benny Hill - I loved it too. Me and my friends were teenagers when he was at his best and many a happy hour was spent reciting lines from his shows in the school yard - he was a hoot!


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Glad to see the latest in your series of hubs on British television. There is indeed some shows still onthat are not reality-tv. I've seen some of Downtown Abby, but I have missed some of it-busy. I've yet to see the BBC reboot of Sherlock. I am a major fan of Jeremy Brett, and I must say that while I've seen dozens of actors portray Holmes and Watson, and some I really admire like Plummer/Mason in Murder By Decree, nobody quite measures up to Brett before the last series of 6 episodes when he was very ill. However, I will have to try watching this new series just to check it out. I can get BBC shows a couple years behind on channels like PBS and The Knowledge Network (the latter is where we get Downtown Abby).

I love David Attenborough.

I am a fan of Eastenders and Cornation Street.

I love Colin Firth's version of Pride and Prejudice. As soon as I saw the miniseries, I became a fan of his-I hadn't actually noticed him before. I've seen quite a few other adaptions of Austin's novels and Dicken's novels straight from Britain.

I love British television. I look forward to the next in the series.


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 4 years ago from UK

It's a sad state of affairs and a reflection of my HubPages activity, but I haven't seen Sherlock or Downton Abbey. I think Miranda is an absolute scream and enjoy Sarah Millican's stand up too.

Voted up!


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Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I never heard of these shows, but you did them all justice with your details! Enjoy your shows. One of my favorite british shows from way back was Benny Hill. He was soooo funny!

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