Let me paint you a picture. Dimly lit room, a young adult female surrounded by snacks and old socks. It is I, depressed and anxious Lucy. Bed-ridden with the recent diagnosis of Potential University Drop Out.
My time spent in self-isolation and death by chocolate biscuit allowed me to branch out my TV feelers and rediscover my love for television. Here is a list of my top 10 British TV shows. Know that this was 37. Also, know that it took me two hours to narrow it down. You’re welcome.
Oh, Benedict. Oh, Mr Arthur Conan Doyle, you wizard. Two of my favourite things with a high black collar and a stupid floppy hat. A twenty-first-century James Bond meets 14-year-old fanfiction about the dynamic duo we all know and love so very well. There is nothing 16-year-old Lucy loved more than wasting hours with my best friends not so silently lusting over the man with curls who loved the silly old soldier who never came home from the war. If you want to spend an evening with an obnoxious detective and his definitely not gay companion, then you’re definitely in for a fun night.
Let’s all be honest here, we’re still not over Freddie or the fact that Effie never found out or what happened with Sid and Cassie. Instead of emotional trauma, we all just wanted a fucking gateau and collectively wondered how no one caught an STD or actually passed their A levels. Even though a majority of our teenage years were nothing like Skins, we all had our questionable moments where we wanted to forget a few things or perhaps undo something, or someone. A little cliché but it hit’s home, one way or another, through either primary or secondary contact, we have all experienced something Skins brought to light.
3. My Mad Fat Diary
Finn. Ray. This series will always hold a special place in my heart. A lot of us, I’m assuming, can relate to almost every character – mental health problems affect many, insecurities even more so – meaning that the character development that you observe throughout the series feels almost personal. The pop culture references and the late nineties music also makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Would recommend this above many to anyone who wants to have a laugh or even a small emotional breakdown.
4. Doctor Who
Whatever age you are, at some point in your life you have to experience Doctor Who. You cannot fight it, it’s the law. Most recently, the programme has addressed racism, sexism and mental health problems, which are only a few of many topics that need to be discussed especially with younger audiences. David Tennant was my first and favourite doctor and thus will always hold a special place in my heart above any other because, let’s face it, none of us wanted him to go.
The Scottish detective with a smart mouth and a warm heart who regularly solves crimes with a glass full of whiskey. Did I hear you say badass? Arguably, the series went a little downhill after her first accomplice let, however over the last couple of seasons the reins have been gathered and dived back into the lake of deliciously gruesome crime drama that I love oh so much.
6. Call The Midwife
A post-war period drama I hear you scream. GIVE ME MORE. I am unsure as to my reason for loving this series, whether it is the fact it is based on a strong woman’s memoirs or the women that embody the powerful figures she illustrates for us so vividly in her words. Arguably, the last few seasons were a little fluffy due to be written outside of her book, but nevertheless, the characters they portray and the messages within them capture sisterhood and love beyond most programmes I have ever seen. To see powerful women, empower women and selflessly strive for better is very beautiful, especially in the times that we find ourselves in.
7. Scott and Bailey
A series full of banter and charmingly predictable stories that embody what it is like to be a working woman, encountering multiple personal and professional problems – i.e everyday life as a human being. Although the show seems a predictable been-there-done-that, it is, in fact, anything but – two women work hard to protect their friends, family and the public, whilst also trying to take care of themselves which is seemingly impossible as they always seemingly sacrifice something. Despite its arguably questionable quirks, the series is sweet, personable and very enjoyable.
8. Downton Abbey
You may have noticed a slight pattern here and it is that Lucy is partial to a period drama. My mother is to blame for this obsession however as one dark and stormy night we gathered around the TV to watch a new series surrounding a house set in the 1920’s and the consequential tales of a family and it’s staff. From then, I fell in love with the history, the patriarchal problems and the heartache that rattled through that house like the wind that would get through the single glazed windows.
9. 24 Hours in Police Custody
Real stories. Real people. Reeeeal fangirl over here. Another pattern you may have noticed is that I love me a crime drama or anything involving gruesome or gross weird things. This show has a little bit of all of that. From recent to past, almost every crime in the show ends up solved, nearly every tale as gruesome as the next and usually, incredibly sad, highlighting the fundamental issues we face towards different social groups in the UK. As a public service announcement – don’t watch if you can’t deal with closure, some stories will leave you a little mad.
10. Fawlty Towers
A golden oldie and oh how golden it is. The lead is an unlikeable ars yet we love him anyway, the other characters are equally as annoying yet we adore them still. Despite the series displaying cardboard cutout stereotypes and questionable ideas, the series is charming and downright hilarious in its nature. There is nothing I do not like about this series, except that it finished far too soon.
Fiction is a wonderful thing, I spent many a perfectly sunny day inside with a book on my knee. I’m glad I spent my childhood on the tops of trees with my nose in between the pages, they provided an escape in a world I found very hard. Some days I was a boy with a lightning scar, others an elf, sometimes even the angel of death. How lucky we are to transform into so many different people through books. What a world.