18 British TV Shows You Didn’t Know You Need to Watch
I’m comfortable with several aspects of my identity. I’m black (and proud), I’m a woman (and proud) and I’m a millennial (and proud… to make people of older generations uncomfortable by my obsession with selfies). There’s one identifier, however, that I’m incredibly hesitant to speak of: I’m an Anglophile. An Anglophile is someone who is obsessed with British culture. Obsessed is a strong word, but I’m not going to lie, I’ve been interested in British pop culture since I was a kid. I blame watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks too much, and loving the Spice Girls and Harry Potter didn’t help either. Most of my favorite bands are British, I studied abroad in London, I can tell the difference between a Northern English accent and a Southern English accent immediately, and I probably know just as much about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as I do about Ronald Reagan, an actual U.S. president.
I don’t like the word Anglophile because it reminds me of pretentious people who think that the UK is flawless with a superior culture. It’s not. First of all, the UK has a nasty history (sup, imperialism?). Secondly, while there are plenty of things that the UK does better than, say, the U.S. (sup, free healthcare?), there are plenty of things that it just doesn’t (sup, bland food?). The UK isn’t a wonderland of tea and biscuits and sophistication; many voted to leave the European Union and then Googled, “What is the EU?” the next day. But there’s one thing that I will say that the UK often has a better handle of than the U.S.: television. Yes, British television shows are brilliant, especially in recent years. They’re daring, they’re entertaining and they’re perfect for binge watching because a single season is, like, 10 episodes, not 22. If you think that British TV is just Doctor Who or Sherlock or Downton Abbey — British shows that are, arguably, the most well known to Americans — then you’ve got a lot to catch up on. Check out this list of 18 British TV shows you didn’t know you need to watch. From teen comedies to intense AF dramas to old school classics, you’ll find something that grabs your attention: