I’m ready to talk about some bloody British shows! I have obsessed over what to watch on my instant queue many times only to realize the Brits have taken over Netflix instant (and thank goodness). Shows like Dr.Who, The It Crowd, Dowtown Abbey, The Office, Sherlock, and Spaced are just a few of the Brit programs that are being offered on instant. I decided to take advantage of the free offerings and discovered two of the most enjoyable series that I should have watched a long time ago: Sherlock and Spaced.
Sherlock is a modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective stories. In the series, Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his sidekick John Watson (Martin Freeman) solve unusual mysteries, just like in the Doyle stories. However, Sherlock adds its own elements of modernity. Holmes is a desensitized genius (some call a psychopath) and consulting detective who is completely antisocial and oblivious to anyone’s feelings. Watson is an Afghanistan vet who comes back from the war wounded physically and mentally (his walking with a cane plays a big role in his character development). Both men are completely isolated at the beginning of the series. It is only when Holmes and Watson agree to be flatmates that Holmes realizes he has found his new partner in solving crimes. The duo is hilarious together and has perfect chemistry which makes the running gay couple jokes all the funnier. The first season is only 3 episodes long, but each episode is like a mini-film running an hour and a half. This bite-size season is perfect—leaving the viewer wanting more while developing the story as a perfect segue into season 2.
Appealing to all things dorky, displaced, and young adult about me, Spaced won my heart immediately. It’s difficult not to love a series that stars Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes, but it is really hard not to love a series that is laced with witty quips and quirky young characters. Spaced has dark humor (darker and geekier than the Brit sitcom Coupling) and is more in the realm of Seinfeld ratherthan Friends. The show centers on twenty-somethings, aspiring comic book artist Tim (Pegg) and aspiring writer Daisy (Hynes) who pretend to be a couple in order to rent a flat that is “for professional couples only.” These flatmates develop a friendship (and maybe more) that revolves around their fear of facing adulthood. They are accompanied by a variety of friends: an emo artist, a lecherous landlady, and a war-obsessed crossing guard to name a few. The full two seasons of Spaced are on Netflix Instant which is my main issue with the series…there are only two seasons. I wish I would have gotten to see more of Tim and Daisy and their Brit sexual tension—a tension that is exacerbated by Scrabble and bad poetry (when you watch the series, you’ll know what I mean). I can say that Spaced has been the most relatable sitcom I have watched since I have been in my twenties.
So next time you are browsing around your Instant Queue wondering what to watch next remember: Go Brit or go home! I have no idea what that means, but you should definitely watch Sherlock or Spaced when you get the chance.