I love British television shows. I think the PBS Masterpiece Classics are ingenious, and, in my eyes, the BBC can’t go wrong. There’s just something about British culture, history, and the beauty of its countryside that gets to me. The following TV shows are my absolute favorites. I’ve included one for every season so the binge-watching will never end!
Fall: Call The Midwife
Call The Midwife is based on nurse Jennifer Worth’s memoirs, which describe stories of London’s East End in the 1950s. The show features the nuns and midwives of Nonnatus House as they help to bring new lives into the community and work with families of all kinds. Call The Midwife is both heartwarming and heartbreaking at times, but I fell in love with its characters and the work that they do. I love watching this show when I’m curled up under a blanket in the fall. Aesthetically speaking, I think the sepia tones that color London and the rich emotions make me associate it with a season of changing leaves and family events that are special to me. Call The Midwife is on Netflix for you to enjoy.
Winter: Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey is one of my favorite shows of all time. Anyone who knows me, knows I become really attached to stories and characters. I just love the power of a narrative with people that one can love, empathize with, and learn from. Downton Abbey tells the stories of the upper and lower classes of the Earl of Grantham’s estate: the Crawley family and their employed servants. Beginning in 1912, the two classes become intertwined throughout the show, and both sides impact each other in profound ways. There’s love, loss, and laughter. Downton Abbey is a series that makes you feel and empathize with its characters. I consider it a winter show because of a very special moment (no spoilers) that happens during snowfall. Also probably because every Christmas my family and I would have a “stink day” on the 26th of December, where we packed together on my Gram’s pull-out couch like sardines to watch it. Downton Abbey is also on Amazon Prime, and the Downton Abbey movie (yes, MOVIE) is coming out in September 2019! I’m thrilled.
Spring: Doc Martin
Doc Martin is about Doctor Martin Ellingham, as he leaves surgery in London to become General Practitioner of a small English village called Portwenn. This British series is funny and ridiculously quirky, with lovable-yet-frustrating village characters. Everyone knows everything about everyone else, and they all are just a little bit wonky. Even Martin, who is a stern and awkward person, has his share of oddities. The show is mostly light, but there are definitely many suspenseful moments. The villagers of Portwenn get themselves into all kinds of trouble and injury, and it’s up to Martin to help them. Doc Martin is a spring show for me because of its gorgeous English countryside fields and seaside landscapes. It’s a fun watch and one I always go back to for comfort. Doc Martin was on Netflix and Amazon Prime, but unfortunately is no longer free on those platforms. If you are unable to pay to stream it, hopefully it will be back soon because it’s a really wonderful program!
Summer: The Great British Baking Show
The Great British Baking Show, duh. This is a must-watch, It’s the most fun and most heartwarming baking competition you’ll ever see! It’s an amateur baking competition, so the contestants are regular people who love to bake. Set in a tent in the English country, the show’s judges Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry and later Prue Leith have the bakers put their skills to the test in the heat of summer. Unlike the cut-throat, aggressive cooking competition shows produced in the U.S., The Great British Baking Show is about people who are passionate about baking and want to improve from great, established teachers. It’s a really lovely show; bakers will often help each other out and are all very supportive. I’ve seen it twice all the way through, and it inspired me to do a ton of baking over winter break. The Great British Baking Show is on Netflix (though the seasons are out of order from when they were actually aired in England), accompanied by The Great British Baking Show: The Beginnings, and The Great British Baking Show: Masterclass.
I hope you will check out these amazing British Television shows. It’s wonderful having several series to come back to, time and time again!
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