british tv comedies I’m looking forward to watching in the uk

8, February 2009

peep show – series 5

I LOVE Peep Show! It’s funny and wrong – like a modern day Men Behaving Badly.

When I visited the UK mid last year I asked all the TV industry types I met with what their favourite comedy was and the response came back unanimous – Peep Show. The next day I went out to HMV and bought the series 1 to 4 box set.

Video: Peep Show – Series 5 – Episode 1 – Part 1

What makes the show so great is seeing and hearing everything from the perspective of the series’ two perpetual flatmates, Mark and Jeremy (played by David Mitchell and Robert Webb of That Mitchell and Webb Look fame).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “untitled“, posted with vodpod

As you can tell I’m big fans of Mitchell and Webb but big ups go to Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong and Andrew O’Connor who created the show and have written for it across all five series. I aspire to one day write as well as these funny buggers.

I’m now HANGING to see series 5 and hope Channel 4 have it on constant repeat when I arrive in London next week. If not, it’ll be back to HMV for me.


A friend in Netherlands put me on to this show. I found clips of it on YouTube, watched one and then had to watch every other one I could find. It’s a show with a simple premise that is extremely well executed.

Produced by Hat Trick Productions (who made Father Ted, The Kumars, Drop the Dead Donkey), Outnumbered is the story of, you guessed it, a young liberal minded South London couple outnumbered by their kids.

The interesting thing is it’s billed as a partly-improvised sitcom. The kids are encouraged to be as natural as possible, so you’d assume this is where a lot of the comedy comes out of. From what I’ve seen there’s great structure and rhythm to the comedy, which indicates there is still a strong sense of story and direction guiding the show, not to mention great comic timing and interplay by the two parents, Pete and Sue (Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner).

I can’t wait to watch an entire episode. It will be my way of vicariously experiencing what all my “married with children” friends and relatives no doubt go through every day but without the need to have kids of my own.

gavin & stacey

Made by Steve Coogan’s production company Baby Cow Productions, Gavin & Stacey scooped up 5 out of 9 nominated awards recently and is considered one of Britain’s best new comedies. The link to the clip below is from the last episode of the first series when Gavin and Stacey’s series long romance culminates in their wedding.

Video: Gavin & Stacey – Series 1 – Episode 6 – Wedding

The creators,  Ruth Jones and James Corden (seen in the above linked vid as best man and maid of honour, as well as in the video below), play the friends of Gavin and Stacey. You might also recognise in the above video Rob Brydon (the whinging wedding guest) who is also a series regular on the show and has, it seems, been in every other British comedy Ive ever watched.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Gavin & Stacey: Double Date“, posted with vodpod

The BBC has already screened two series and it has just recently been confirmed that there will be a third and maybe final series still to come. Without seeing an entire episode I haven’t been able to judge what it’s like but I hope the show delves into all that absurd ridiculous stuff that can only come out of committing your life to someone and then having to live with that person every single day of the rest of your life.

the inbetweeners

A group of sixth form friend. Not quite kids, not quite teenagers. They’re the Inbetweeners.

Brilliant simple concept.

By comedy outfit, Bwark Productions, this series apparently captures all the awkward funny moments every boy experiences growing up – Adrian Mole for the Y Generation. From what I can tell it seems to be sitting somewhere in between (excuse the pun) Skins and Peep Show in terms of subject matter and humour but for a younger crowd.

The show started out broadcasting on E4, Channel 4’s digital channel, but did so well that they also started playing it on Channel 4 as well. The show also boasts a nice online sites, blog and a site where you can watch episodes online – all to help younger viewers discover and connect with the show. Obviously it’s worked. The show is now two series in and was voted the “Best New British TV Sitcom 2008” by the British Comedy Guide website.

I remember these years of my life well and feel I can really relate to the nerdy embarrassing antics of the inbetweeners. I can’t wait to be squirming on the couch thinking, “God, was I really that bad?!”

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