My love for books began at an early age. I can’t resist a powerful story, especially if it is filled with flawed characters who live lives with surprising twists and turns. On the other hand, characters living ordinary lives while trying to navigates everyday problems really pull me in. I connect with them, seek to understand them, and cheer them on in the midst of their trials.
While my love of books far outweighs my love of television, there are specific shows that I cause me to drop a bookmark in the pages I’m currently reading and flip on the TV (usually Netflix or Amazon Prime). For other lovers of stories, I wanted to share my list of all-time favorite shows that are well-worth some “flixing.” Today’s list focuses mainly on BBC shows (that’s the British stuff). I am a firm believer that the British might be better at story-telling filled with deep and complicated characters that viewers both love and hate. They also tend to be a little more family friendly, although not always. Some of these shows you may have heard of, others maybe not. I will say that EVERY one of them is worth the watch. Need something to do this weekend? Check out one of these greats.
Characters that Captivate (British Version)
1. Downton Abbey
Best character one-liners in a show – Dowager Countess of Grantham
Best Male Lead of a Love Story that the Parents Weren’t Happy About (Who wouldn’t break the rules of Aristocracy to be with him?)
Now, I realize that most people have heard of Downton. However, I do realize there are people who think: British Aristocracy isn’t for me. You would be WRONG! I am absolutely riveted by the lives of the Crawleys and their servants. The story-telling is intricate and compelling, BUT it is the characters that I love. From the dreamy and handsome chauffeur turned aristocrat Tom to the prim and proper grandmother Crawley a.k.a the Dowager Countess of Grantham, I love them all. What’s even worse are the characters that I hate — Mr. Barrow and Edith — often make me cheer for them and take pity on their pitiful selves. That’s is good writing!!! The stories from season to season tangle and untangle in delightful and often painful ways (note season 2 finale — so romantic — and then season 3 finale — I cried for days). I will say that you must push through several episodes of season 1 to get to know characters and be caught up in the story. I say by episode #3, you’ll be thoroughly hooked.
Available on Amazon Instant Video or DVD
2. The Paradise
Denise: beautiful, smart, and talented
Moray: a face of romance? or temptation?
Country girl Denise moves to the big city to earn a job as a shopgirl at one of the first department stores in London. It doesn’t take more than one episode to see the intrigue build in both the arenas of love and mystery. The dashing, yet brooding, Mr. Moray is full of ambition and a dark secret, yet his business genius drives him to turn The Paradise into a dream come true. Now that Denise has arrived, Moray has found a “champion” to help him with his dream. However, the beautiful and catty Catherine isn’t so happy with Denise’s arrival. Before long, Denise is tempted by the charm of the modern world and the possibly dangerous Moray.
Katherine, mean girl aristocratic style
There’s just so much fun in this show. The love story is powerful and imperfect. The mystery pulls the viewers in and keeps them returning to see if the truth will ever come out. It’s filled with characters that you hate yet you simultaneously cheer for them. You’ll be captivated by the store’s beauty and the concept of “department store shopping” when it first comes to the modern world. Romance, mystery, and shopping. . . what more could a girl ask for?
Available on Amazon Instant Video or DVD.
3. Call the Midwife
Jenny, Trixie, Chummy, and Cynthia are all midwives serving in the East End of London during the 1950’s – otherwise know as the slums of London. While the characters of the previous shows developed in the minds of a great storyteller, the characters of Call the Midwife are real. The show is based on the best-selling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth. Story lines center around different births, but find their power in the relationships the midwives build with their patients and one another. Each episode gives the viewer a reminder of the significance of motherhood and childbirth. While that is important, the characters are my favorite!!! Oh, how I love Chummy! When she arrives on the scene she brings laughter and joy as well as some awkward moments. Her character is priceless – -and based on a real person. After the season finale for season 3, I thought the show was over. But to my great surprise a fourth season will be hitting the airways soon! I cannot wait.
Available on Amazon Instant Video and DVD
Even if you are familiar with one of these shows, there might be one that you haven’t heard of, and I guarantee it will give you hours of viewing pleasure while satisfying that need for great story-telling. Disclaimer: These are not shows that your male significant other will enjoy. Plan for a date with just you and the TV. Happy Viewing!
If you’ve watched one of these great shows, share your enthusiasm below. If one has caught your eye, let me know which one, so I can share in your excitement.