25 of the Best British Sitcoms
August 25, 2020
Image Credit: BBC
There’s been so many great British comedies over the years and sometimes it feels like some of them have gone under the radar; left undiscovered. This is unacceptable.
Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace
A sitcom that is only 6 episodes long but has gone down in history as a hidden cult-classic. Garth Marenghi is a horror writer that filmed a horror series in the 80s; unfortunately, it didn’t make it to TV. Garth has dug the footage up to share it with the world. It’s a wacky, surreal, poorly shot and poorly acted (on purpose) TV show. Featuring a hilarious performance from Richard Ayoade as Dean Learner.
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play a version of themselves. Steve is asked by The Guardian to write an article about dining out at posh restaurants and he chooses Rob Brydon to go with him on the trip. Their conversations are about film and TV, rivalry banter about their careers and arguments about who does the better impressions of Michael Caine.
Phoneshop follows the staff of a mobile phone shop on the high street. Chris is the “new guy” and he’s getting a hard time from the other two salesman; who are a bit more gangster then he is.
The Thick of It
Set behind the scenes in the British political system. The team are constantly in hot water and trying to prevent some sort of media nightmare. Peter Capaldi plays Malcom Tucker, who shouts and swears more than Gordon Ramsay.
Life’s Too Short
Warwick Davis is a real life actor that has played roles in many big films such as Star Wars and Harry Potter. In Life’s Too Short he plays a twisted version of himself that isn’t quite happy where he has ended up. The film roles aren’t rolling in, his marriage is falling apart, his accountant is awful and his new assistant isn’t very good. Written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the creators of The Ofiice and Extras.
People Just Do Nothing
A mockumentary about some chavey types living in London and running a pirate radio station. The problem is they are not as cool as they think they are and certainly can not rap as well as they think they can.
Dan Ashcroft (Julian Barret) writes an article about hip idiots and gains a lot of new fans. Unfortunately, all his new fans are the hip idiots he wrote about. The worst of which is Nathan Barley, who becomes involved with his sister, making him impossible to avoid. A great cast including Richard Ayoade, Noel Fielding, Ben Wishaw, Matthew Horne and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Gavin and Stacey
The only thing James Cordon has ever been funny in. It almost makes you like him. Gavin (Matthew Horne) falls in love with a girl called Stacey (Joanna Page), the problem? Gavin lives in England and Stacey lives in Wales. James Cordon plays Gavin’s best mate and somehow manages to be hilarious; completely carrying the entire show along with Rob Brydon, who plays Stacey’s Uncle, Bryn.
The Royle Family
The Royles are a family that mainly sit in front of the TV drinking tea and smoking cigarettes. A classic quaint British sitcom with interesting three dimensional characters including Jim Royle, one of the classic British comedy characters.
Plebs follows 3 young men living together in ancient Rome trying to have a good time. Marcus really wants to get it on with the neighbour, Stylax is just trying to get laid and Grumino is their slave; who is a bit dim and doesn’t really do much of anything. The series has an Inbetweeners vibe; which is a good thing.
Bernard Black (Dylan Moran) is a grumpy, wine-drinking, chain-smoking man that owns a bookshop but hates having customers and selling books. Reluctantly, he hires Manny (Bill Bailey), a happy-go-lucky hippy type as his shop assistant.
Andy (Mackenzie Crook) and Lance (Toby Jones) are a couple of detectorists (which is the name give to people that like metal detecting). They dream of one day finding gold while dealing with the trials of life.
Him & Her
Him & Her is about a lazy couple, Becky and Steve, living together in a flat. The couple just want to chill out in their flat but are constantly being visited by Becky’s sister Laura and their neighbour, Dan, played by Joe Wilkinson.
Rick Spleen (Jack Dee) is a grumpy comedian who has been reduced to doing corporate gigs to make ends meet. Jack Dee is brilliant but my favourite thing about Lead Balloon is the daughter and her boyfriend; who are always looking stoned and trying to get enough money out of Rick to buy drugs.
Probably the most interesting British sitcom in recent years. Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) is a woman living in London trying to deal with life. Adapted from an award winning play.
Only Fools and Horses
Del Boy (David Jason) and Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst), are two street dealing brothers from a poor part of London trying to become millionaires. One of the classic British sitcoms that spans over 20 years.
The Inbetweeners are four guys at school that are neither popular, nor losers, they’re in-between. We follow them as they try to get laid, get drunk, engage in top banter and have a good time.
Simon Amstell is a real person that hosted the popular British quiz show Nevermind the Buzzcocks and famously quit the show. In Grandma’s House he plays a version of himself that has just quit the show and is searching for something to do next with his career. It’s a quaint sitcom with an amazing cast including Rebecca Front and Linda Bassett.
A camera crew follows two cousins, Kerry (Daisy May Cooper) and Kurtan (Charlie Cooper), living in rural Britain to see what their lives are like. Heavily inspired by The Office, Kerry and Kurtan have become legendary British sitcom characters; the funniest sitcom England has seen for quite some time.
Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais) is an extra that has dreams of being a proper actor. With the worst agent in the business, played brilliantly by Stephen Merchant, things aren’t going too well. 12 very strong episodes with undoubtedly the greatest Christmas special of all time.
I’m Alan Partridge
Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) is one of the greatest British comedy characters ever. Alan is a failed television presenter that has moved to radio and isn’t very happy about it. He is desperate to get back on television and to acquire the respect he believes he deserves.
Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) and Howard Moon (Julian Barret) hang out with Naboo, a shaman, and Bollo, a talking ape. Every episode they go on some kind of wacky and surreal adventure.
Peep show is a sitcom about two twenty-somethings living in a flat together. Mark (David Mitchell) is a sensible guy with a normal job and Jez (Robert Webb) has dreams of being a musician but isn’t very good at it.
A sitcom about two friends, Tim (Simon Pegg) and Daisy (Jessica Heinz), living in a flat together. Spaced has an amazing cast and is brilliantly directed by Edgar Wright, who is almost Kubrick-like in his approach. This sitcom really is as good as The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End.
The Office is the sitcom credited with changing comedy across the world. It’s about an office manager, David Brent (Ricky Gervais), that thinks he is a lot cooler then he actually is. He is always trying to show off in front of his staff and failing miserably. With an amazing cast including Martin Freeman and Mckenzie Crook, The Office is one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.