We’re heading into the eighth week of quarantine and I’ve decided that I definitely need a laugh and I’m sure lots of you could do with one too, so I’ve made a list of my five favourite British comedies that are bringing me so much joy during lockdown.
I remember watching this as a kid and not really understanding what was going on whilst my mum was falling to bits next to me. Having now watched it as an adult, My Family has become possibly my favourite British comedy series of all time. It follows the life of Ben and Susan Harper (Robert Lindsay and Zoe Wanamaker), a miserable dentist and his long suffering wife, as they navigate middle class Britain and the various mishaps often caused by their three mischievous kids, Nick, Janey and Michael. The humour in My Family is incredibly dry, the writing is so witty and it never fails to make me laugh no matter what mood I’m in. One of the most iconic British series of the 2000’s. All seasons are now streaming on BBC iPlayer.
The IT Crowd
The IT Crowd follows the story of an unlikely group of friends working in the IT department of a London office complex. Moss (Richard Ayoade) and Roy’s (Chris O’Dowd) work lives are thrown into turmoil when new manager Jen (Katherine Parkinson) joins the team, despite the fact that she has blagged the interview and knows absolutely nothing about computers. The trio cause various workplace disasters over the course of the series, but you absolutely can’t help but love them, especially Moss who might be my favourite comedy character ever written. All seasons currently streaming on Netflix.
I. Love. This. Show. Everything about Miranda makes me smile, she is so completely loveable, her comedic timing is perfect, she is the most awkwardly relatable woman in Britain and her writing is fantastic. Miranda Hart plays herself in this bumbling middle-class British comedy and her cringeworthy debacles really do make you want to scream at the TV but run to save her from herself at the same time. She is incredible and that’s all I have to say on that. All seasons are currently available on “what I call” Netflix (you’ll understand that joke when you watch the show. It’s funny, I promise).
This series is possibly the most accurate depiction of what it is like to attend secondary school in Britain that I have ever seen on TV (Sex Educations really got it wrong). It is disgustingly crass and completely embarrassing for all involved, but somehow you still love it. Will, Simon, Jay and Neil are four cringe-worthy teenagers trying and desperately failing to fit in to the cruel world that is sixth form. The situations they end up in are beyond ridiculous, but the show writing is so brilliant and the distinctive characters of the four boys are so well put-together that you find yourself glued to the screen patiently awaiting their next social disaster. All seasons are currently available on All 4 for free.
Made in the mid 1970’s, John Cleese’s Fawlty Towers has become a household classic over the years. I will admit that some of the humour hasn’t aged particularly well bearing in mind this series was created nearly fifty years ago when society viewed things very differently, however I can set aside my personal views whilst watching it and enjoy it for what it is: bloody good fun. In this series, neurotic hotel owner Basil Fawtly (played by John Cleese who wrote the show) somehow manages to throw every situation he encounters into complete disarray and suffers some sort of mental breakdown in every episode, usually as a result of his own impatience and incompetence. It is absolutely outrageous, but I fondly remember Christmases with my family literally crying watching this show and so it’s made it to my list. If you are easily offended, don’t watch it. You’ve been warned!