The British know how to make great television, as illustrated in these five shows like “Misfits” that Anglophiles will adore. Free your xenophobic television from reruns of American shows by mixing in these slightly foreign shows that won’t require subtitles once you get through an episode or three.
The dead get barred from the afterlife, becoming twisted as time passes with no escape from the living. The angels serve as gatekeepers, but they become a bit overmatched when some of the dead, the Fades, find the secret to returning to a physical body. Luckily for them, a hero arrives in the shape of an awkward and nerdy guy and his best friend. “The Fades” tackles the grey area between good and evil with a bloody relish, providing great twists, a solid storyline and characters that will leave you wanting a second series. Much like “Misfits”, there are supernatural powers floating around as well as a large amount of friendship and betrayal. Paul’s deal with John in the fourth episode starts out as a mission of goodwill and snowballs into a hellish nightmare for Paul that manages to be brilliant.
Like in “Misfits”, heroes can become villains, and favorite characters can end up hated in “Psychoville”. Wallowing in both the strangeness of individual lives as well as the connections that draw these worlds together, this show combines comedy, horror and sucker punch type stories that will leave your face locked somewhere between shock and laughter. Lomax’s hunt to complete his collection of “commodities” heats up to a great twist in the episode “Jelly”.
Don’t build on burial grounds; don’t reuse insane asylums or serial killer cabins for anything other than bombing runs. These are the guiding real estate lessons people will never learn from, and so it goes for “Bedlam”, as Jed Harper’s uncle has turned an old mental asylum into condominiums. With a heavy dose of angry ghosts who like to reach out and throttle the living and the psychic connections Jed has to these spirits, this show is definitely spooky goodness. Watch the episode “Driven” not for the character development, not for the story progression, but to enjoy the weakest spirit of the series, as the resultant tire tracks and road kill will have you chuckling your way into Hell.
“The League of Gentlemen”.
A classic for Anglophiles, “Spaced” wraps the goofy, the strange and the wonderful around a core group like the kids in “Misfits”. With Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson and Nick Frost providing a ton of laughs on their own, you will get spoiled with the varied cameos and extras that pop in to hit you with a gut laugh or amusing tangential storylines. Just check out “Battles”, where Pegg gets to deal with his fear of dogs all while his neighbor Brian lives out his own painful dog based memories, and see if you don’t fall in love with “Spaced”.