The Six Best British Television Dramas On Netflix

05.05.15 4 years ago 52 Comments
For those of you who love a good British television series, and who don’t mind bleak television, Netflix is a very good source, and these British dramas stack up as well or better than most of the best dramas in America. I will note, however, that I did not include Happy Valley (of which I have heard very good things) or The Fall because I thought the Gillian Anderson series had an ultimately disappointing second season.

Here, however, are the six best British television dramas on Netflix:

The Honorable Woman (Watch Here): I won’t lie to you. Honorable Woman is a remarkably good, well acted and brilliantly crafted political thriller starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. But it is bleak, and one of the darkest, grimmest series I’ve ever watched. It immediately concerns a family business that provides fiber optic cables, but it quickly gets wrapped up in a grand conspiracy involving Israel and the Middle East peace process. There are a lot of deaths, there’s a lot of anguish, and there’s some very dark themes. It’s a great series — and maybe even an important one — but it is not fun to watch.

Broadchurch (Watch Here): The series, once the most tweeted about in the history of British television, may have lost some of its luster, thanks to a misguided American remake on Fox and a second season (not on Netflix yet) that wasn’t as well-received as the first. But that first season — starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman — was great television, if you’re into dark, heartbreaking murder mysteries. It involves an investigation into the death of a child, and it’s also incredibly grim television, as much of the focus is on the grieving family, although there is some fun to be had in trying to figure out the murderer (and there are some great twists along the way). It’s very much what The Killing on AMC aspired to be, but came up woefully short.

Sherlock (Watch Here): Not too much needs to be said about Sherlock here, where many of you have already given the three-season series a shot. It’s the best update of Sherlock you will see, and puts those Robert Downey, Jr. movies to absolute shame. The three episodes each season play more like movies, and though showrunner Steven Moffat got a little too cute with the series in the second and third season, it’s nevertheless remarkable television, chock full of Easter Eggs, great performances, incredibly witty writing, and great mysteries, even if the logic doesn’t always hold up to close scrutiny.

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