I thought to compile a list of some TV dramas that are similar to/might be enjoyed by those who like Home Fires. I’ve broken it down into periods but some do overlap so I have put them under the category they first start off in.
Okay folks listen up! I see a lot of posts going around about shows that more people ought to watch and let me tell you that if there’s one show you need to watch it’s the BBC’s 2007 series JEKYLL. (Also NBC’s Kings but hopefully you all know that already.) Jekyll is a moden-day retelling of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, in which the marvellous James Nesbitt plays both Dr Tom Jackman, the protagonist attempting to understand and ultimately cure his “condition”, and his terrifying alter-ego Mr Hyde. Michelle Ryan plays a psychiatric nurse studying Jackman and Hyde, and Gina Bellman appears as Claire, Jackman’s wife.
Why should you be watching it? Well, if you’re a Sherlock or Doctor Who fan, then you might be interested to discover that this was one of Moffat’s earlier shows, and his style is pretty clear in it. You’ll definitely recognise a few lines of dialogue. If you’re not a Moffat fan, I’d recommend it regardless - it’s got all his whip-quick wit, but manages to ooze with a dark, ominous menace and has not sold out its depth in favour of shallow humour.
But the most important reason you should be watching it? James motherfucking Nesbitt, man. He's superb. He is totally convincing whichever of the characters he’s playing, despite their enormous differences. Everything about him changes, from his posture to his mannerisms to the fucking tone of his voice. The man’s a revelation. He’s weary and suffering and quietly likable as Jackman and utterly terrifying as Hyde. Just give it two episodes to persuade you at least.
I think the show is still available on Netflix, but if you don’t have that (or I’m mistaken) then here are links to each episode:
School is out for a few weeks (or you’re home for the holidays), and all of your current favorite TV shows will be on winter hiatus for a little bit, so right now is clearly the perfect time to start (and finish) a new series. Bless that Hulu Plus subscription. Hulu may not have as many original series as Netflix does, but they make up for quantity in quality. Hulu is low-key killing it in their original content department, also nabbing some hidden gems for exclusive streaming rights and amazing British series we otherwise wouldn’t be able to watch in America.
10 british shows you probably don’t watch (but you should)
so, i, though i’m british, could name you the smallest, most indie american shows. but i’ve been thinking recently about how there are so many british shows people outside of the uk/europe might not have seen and what a shame that is.
it’s a shame bc, well, these shows are iconic in britain and they are some of the best shows i have ever seen. and whilst everyone else was raving about downton, or doctor who, these well known, renowned shows got missed out. so, here. here’s a list. go watch them. go love them. then talk to me about them. happy watching!
1. Life on mars / Ashes to ashes
remember john simm as the master in doctor who? well we also know him as Sam Tyler in life on mars - a modern day police officer who, after a car accident, wakes up in the seventies. yep. A CRIME SHOW ABOUT TIME TRAVEL. the show is continued in ashes to ashes where a modern day police officer, after she’s shot, wakes up in the eighties. they are both forced to work with the iconic Gene Hunt, who is exactly what you would expect from a hard af 70′s northener. are they in a coma? are they back in time? you’ll just have to watch it. plus, they are named after david bowie songs, so
silk stars the incomparable Maxine Peake as Martha Costello, a defense laywer. a real, front line look into the british legal system with one of the most charismatic female leads. clever, classy and heartbreaking. Maxine Peake steals every single scene. also it has rupert penry jones doing stuff, so that’s always good.
3. silent witness
this is iconic because it’s been going on for 20 years - but don’t worry, it’s small seasons. but god do they pack a lot in. it focuses on a team of forensic pathologists who use their skills to help the police. smart, dark at times, this is classic british high brow drama. it’s famous. but you don’t have to watch it from s1 if you don’t want - you could skip to s8 where we meet the arguably more well known team of leo, harry and nikki - nikki is played by emilia fox, who is of course, a queen among mortals.
4. last tango in halifax
this is set in the yorkshire town of halifax and centers around two families that are brought together when celia and alan reunite and fall in love after sixty years. this is realistic, emotional, funny well done family drama. there is one scene in s1 that brought me out of a dark mood for like 3 days because the writing is just so real. it’s also set not far from where i live, so you get to see what northen england actually looks like now as opposed to in a medieval world…
oh my god, this show. somtimes cheesy, sometimes so cool - always and forever a favourite. this centers around a rag tag group of con men. but don’t worry, they have a code. they only con the people that deserve it. fun, slick, it did the pausing and talking to the camera thing way before house of lies. found family vibes all round, you will love these characters. one of which is played by jaimie murray, before she played a villain in every american sci fi show.
ok, so you probably know about this one. the beautiful, majestic, “mountain of a man” that is idris elba, solving crimes. but this one is different - he’t not just another maverick who’s just a bit annoying, or rude (side eyes every wannabe sherlock on tv) oh no. Luther pulls doors of their hinges with his bare hands, he lets killers fall from buildings. he has various goings on with a beautiful serial killer, you know, romantic stylez. and she’s brilliant too.
7. the fixer
an ex army sniper was sent to prison for killing the people that abused his sister - only he’s let out early to become, you guessed it, a fixer, or in other words, an assassin - for a secret group working with the police to take down crime. dark and gritty but it also comes with humour, found family vibes and of course, a little bit of romance.
8. strike back
richard armitage and rhona mitra being sweaty and attractive in the desert, need i say more? oh, really? fine. an elite group of ex military and special forces operatives working out of mi6. dealing with diplomatic situations overseas. basically a non stop action movie with quite good looking people in it.
9. peaky blinders
AMAZING OH MY GOD, the pretty much true story about the shelby family. one of the largest crime families in 1930′s birmingham. cillian murphy dealing with violence, ptsd, crime, women, spies. it’s breathtaking. also, helen mcrory bossing it up. MUST WATCH. addictive and gritty and clever.
10. being human
last but not least the have the original being human. yes they remade it, but can anything compare to the original? before he was running around in new zeland, and before they named his american counterpart after him (which we all thought was weird ok) aiden turner was playing a vampire in being human, who lived with a ghost and a werewolf. poignant, dark, hilarious and tragic. one of my favourite shows. somehow a supernatural show manages to capture something of what it means to be out of place, to be human more than half the ‘real life’ shows on right now. despite the cast change half way through, imo it remains just as good till the end. also they never excuse any of the vampire’s quite frankly shitty behavior, the way other shows will (side eyes tvd). examines the way we deal with addiction, violence and impulse control and what we can forgive.
This is one of my absolute favourites. It’s a dark fantasy
film focusing on a young girl in the civil war.
Como Agua Para
This is a sweet film that you can definitely relax to it
follows a young woman who wants to get married but is unable due to
family circumstances. She expresses herself through her cooking.
Todo Sobre Mi Madre-
This wasn’t a favourite of me but it wasn’t terrible. If you’re into
watching films with women having emotional crises’ then maybe this is
the one for you.
Habla con Ella-
mixture of drama, romance and mystery two men try and hold
relationships with two women who are in a coma.
definitely not for the faint hearted. El bola focuses on one of the
most serious issue in spain, domestic abuse. It follows a young boy
abused by his father and the friend he makes.
Diarios de Motocicleta-
Another of my favourites, this follows the adventures of a young Che
Guevara and his friend as they travel across south America.
Another one you
can relax to. A young woman comes home to find her mums ghost has
returned and a family full of issue she has to solve.
Y Tu Mama Tambien-
Another relaxing film which follows two teenage boys and an
attractive older woman as they take a road trip together.
The story of nine transgendered people in Puerto Rico.
Los Ojos de Julia-
Another one that’s not for the faint hearted. This is horror film
focusing on a woman slowly loosing her sight after her blind sister
commits suicide. But the reason why her sister committed suicide is
now trying to come for her.
Also, many films are
dubbed into Spanish which are worth watching if you’re struggling to
find a Spanish film you like. Personally, dubbed films annoy me as
the mouths move at a different time to the voices and also I swear
there are only three people that do the dubbing of all the films lol. Every voice is the same! Animated films work a lot better for dubbed films, so pick out your
favourite kids film and sit down and relax.
You guys have literally no idea how much TV I watch, do you? DO YOU??? A lot. A looooooooooot. Yeah, that’s impossible to pick just 5. Like, literally. So instead I’m gonna break it down into top 5 fave shows in separate genres/types.
(PS I’m really, really glad you liked Seven Psychopaths)
Top 5 Sitcoms:
1) Parks and Recreation
All I really have to do here to prove my point is read off the names of the actors. Just all of it. Also Ron Swanson. And April Ludgate. And Donna Meagle. And Ben Wyatt. And Tom Haverford. Okay now I’m just listing character names.
2) Flight of the Conchords
I’m just putting this here because I like Brett’s animal sweaters. Also because it’s hilarious and creative and they spontaneously break out into song in a way that I find more believable and compelling than Glee.
3) Community (seasons 1-3 being the golden age)
This is seriously the most ambitions comedy like….ever. Between their homage episodes, their stop motion episodes, they had a musical episode…ugh. Everything about it is incredible. And, as th
4) Better Off Ted
This show only made it two seasons but damn it was beautiful while it lasted. Witty, charming, quirky stylization, and Portia de freaking Rossi. Also it contains the sentence, “Do you ever feel like the ooplasm cultures are looking up at you, worshipping you like a vengeful god?” Which is totally what I did when I interned in a microbio lab. Lem and Phil = my lab nerds for life.
5) You’re The Worst
This show is of the mature variety so watch at your own risk, but it is very well developed. It’s about terrible people making bad decisions, but still allows them to be human and endearing. As a bonus it has one of the best depictions of clinical depression you will ever see.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Don’t Trust The Bitch In Apartment 23, Silicon Valley, The Office (seasons 2 and 3 only + the episode where they convince Dwight the company website because self aware)
Top 5 SciFi:
1) Misfits This show is also of the mature variety. Like 18+ if you watch it on Hulu. There’s murder, mayhem, swearing, sex, but it builds characters in a very real and interesting way, it’s unconventional and a hell of a lot of chaotic fun. The first two season are the best because my boy Nathan is there. Season 3 is also good. After that it goes downhill, but those first two seasons man…..Sigh…..Just so much amazing.
2) Doctor Who I went on a long rambling monologue the other day about how I’ve given up on Doctor Who, and I have for reasons I’m just not gonna get into. But that show started off amazing. Seasons 1-5 were great and I even like season 6 despite some reservations. Season 7 I didn’t care for and I haven’t bothered watching 8+. But those first seasons are amazing and whimsical and fun and nothing will ever take that away from me! You’ll pry it out of my cold, dead hands, Moffat!!!
3) Orphan Black Two words. Tatiana Maslany. Also Felix.
4) The 100 I honestly was not sure about this show. At the very beginning, I only kind of watched it. Early season one was kind oh meh for me. But it was fun and I liked the characters, so why not? And then holy hell did it get intense. I mean…AH. The science behind s2 is ridiculous of course. But the drama, OH THE DRAMA! And the characters. And the questions of moral relativity. Also Bellarke.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jessica Jones, Agents of Shield, Almost Human (oh this show that went away too soon….it had good acting and high production values and I was really, really into it and I kept wondering when season 2 would start, and lo and behold Fox cancelled it. The fuckers.)
Top 5 Fantasy/Supernatural
1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel Oh man this show. The characters. The growth of said characters. The banter. I do like to pretend that season 4 of Angel doesn’t exist sometimes, but beyond that….if cavemen and astronauts got into a fight, who do you think would win?
2) Merlin ACK! I love this cheesy, wonderful show with all its adorable characters, beautiful friendships and straight-up terrible CGI oh so much. Merlin is a perpetual ray of sunshine and his smile and face in general. Plus it’s outright hilarious.
3) Game of Thrones Okay, so I’ve sort of stopped watching this show for reasons, but it’s still epic and incredible in so many ways. Just don’t get attached to literally any of the characters ‘cause they all gonna die.
4) Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell So this is more of a miniseries than a show but HOLY HELL IT IS AMAZING. I mean it’s BBC so of course it is. But it’s such a magical fantasy, and I think I’m gonna rewatch it now. EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. The costumes and set are so beautiful, and I think I might be a little bit in love with Jonathan Strange.
5) Supernatural I also don’t watch this show anymore, but damn it’s awesome. Like seasons 1-5 were just beautiful. Seasons 4 and 5 are definitely my favorites. But season 6 had some of my favorite all-time episodes *cough* the French Mistake *cough*
HONORABLE MENTION: Grimm, Sleepy Hollow
*These dip into other genres
1) Psych This show. THIS SHOW. This show basically shaped my sense of humor as it is today. The wacky madcap fun of it all. The perpetual glee. This is one of the few shows that just didn’t go to that super dark place and remained about people just having fun and loving each other while solving crime. Honestly Shawn and Gus are my ULTIMATE BroTP forever and always. Like I think theirs is one of the best TV friendships of all time. It’s just so wonderful. It gave me stuff like ‘The Hammer of Jeff’ and has so much reference humor which is one of my favorite types of humor and I miss it so much.
2) Pushing Daisies I’m still so bummed about this show getting cancelled. Like for real. The stylization of it is incredible. How can something be so morbid and delightfully pastel at the same time? The characters all have such wonderfully wacky backgrounds and have I told you guys how much I love Emerson Cod? Bryan Fuller is a genius. He’s the same guy behind Hannibal and Dead Like Me, both of which I love, but this will forever be my favorite of his creations.
3) Brooklyn Nine-Nine (I FOUND ANOTHER PLACE FOR IT!) This show is so amazing too. I honestly wasn’t sure how a sitcom about cops would turn out, but this is genius. All of the characters are badass and amazing and they interact in such a fun way. I tried to think of a favorite dynamic, but it’s literally impossible.
4) Luther This show is such a tour de force in acting and drama I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s enthralling. It introduced me to Idris Elba who has more gravitas in the first knuckle of his pinky than most people do in their entire body. Shivers. Always shivers. It’s a very dark program, but so gripping and on the edge of your seat action….Plus there’s Alice Morgan played by Ruth Wilson (whose first role out of drama school was Jane Eyre and she CRUSHED IT). Just do yourself a favor and watch it.
5) Classic Law & Order (the Briscoe and Green era in particular) Okay, so I stopped watching Law & Order because it started getting super sensationalist. Every other episode was based on a celeb case and and I was all like, what happened to normal murders? Which is probably weird, but I missed the good old days. But classic Law & Order? AMAZING.
HONORARY MENTIONS: iZombie, Veronica Mars, Hannibal, The Good Guys (fun show, sad it only lasted a season)
Top 5 Miniseries
I’m giving up on the writing descriptions thing because it’s taking up a ton of time, but here you go.
1) Band Of Brothers
2) Jane Eyre (2004)
3) Terry Prachett’s Going Postal
4) Generation Kill
5) North & South (the Elizabeth Gaskell one)
I could likely go on, but that’s like 25 shows not including the honorable mentions.