Streaming Television

Chase Away the Winter Blahs by Streaming These Notable British Sitcoms

Winter weather got you down?  I find the best way to fight the cold weather blahs is a good dose of British comedy. Sitcoms are a great antidote because they are short, efficient at lifting spirits and they’re brimming with chuckles and the occasional guffaw.

In aid of the communal mental health of British TV fans, I’ve compiled a list of stream-able UK comedy series. Each is celebrating an anniversary of sorts in 2018 and with this sort of variety you should be able to find one to suit your sense of humor. If you're unfamiliar with a particular show, test out the clips and see what tickles your fancy.

Finally Coming to Hulu: BBC Comedy 'The Wrong Mans'

It seems as though a year has gone by (and it almost has) since Hulu announced they were producing this particular new comedy in partnership with the BBC. Co-starring and co-written by James Corden of Gavin and Stacey fame and Matthew Baynton (Spy and Horrible Histories), this original series called The Wrong Mans is billed as a spy thriller within a sitcom.

Binge Watch Many of Your British Favorites: ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Sherlock’ and More are Headed to Hulu

Good news for fans of British television – we’re about to get even more online streaming options for many of our favorite shows! The Wall Street Journal reports that Hulu has closed a substantial deal with BBC Worldwide North America to add 144 different BBC titles to its streaming service within the next year. And “substantial” pretty much translates to “amazing” in this instance.

While this deal is non-exclusive (i.e you can find many of these titles in other places), high profile hits like Doctor Who, Sherlock, Luther and more are included. So far they’ve announced sitcoms like the ever popular Absolutely Fabulous, Twenty Twelve, and Fawlty Towers; dramas like Whitechapel and New Tricks; classics like the original House of Cards trilogy, and sci-fi hits like Life on Mars and Torchwood. While many of these programs are destined for Hulu’s subscription-only “Hulu Plus” platform, many will still be available for free streaming on its basic site.

Ricky Gervais’ 'Derek' is Coming to Netflix

When I say Ricky Gervais, what comes to mind? Attention seeking, somewhat delusional Wernham Hogg Regional Manager, David Brent from The Office ?

Or the always controversial, sometimes snarky, host of the Golden Globes?

If so, then prepare yourself for a whole other side to this edgy writer, director and comic. It's my pleasure to introduce you to the heart of Gervais’ most recent series, Mr. Derek Noakes, star of the comedy-dramaDerek, which is coming to Netflix beginning September 12.

Get your first look below - and learn more about why you should give this series a try.

Meet 'Moone Boy'

Martin Paul Kenny Dalglish Moone is a twelve year old boy who lives in Boyle, Ireland with his parents and a trio of older sisters. He has many of the same problems as most boys his age – the inevitable confusion of puberty, bullies at school, sibling tiffs. He also has a youthful naivety, a love of drawing and a vivid imagination.

This is the premise of Moone Boy, a sitcom I just finished watching this weekend. Originally broadcast in the UK on Sky1 last fall, the entire series is currently available in the States on Hulu – new episodes go up every Wednesday, or if you have Hulu Plus, you can stream the full series right now.

If you’re a fan of Chris O’Dowd, he is not only the co-writer and co-star but his childhood is the subject of this delightful semi-autobiographical series. If you’re partial to slightly surreal, coming of age comedy, you don’t need my encouragement. You’ve probably already watched it anyway.

But if you’re not sure if Moone Boy is for you, allow me to illustrate some if its more unique points.

New British Thriller The Fall with Gillian Anderson Already Streaming on Netflix

Americans won’t have to wait very long to watch Gillian Anderson’s latest project, the psychological thriller The Fall. In fact, you can watch it right now.

Popular entertainment service Netflix is already streaming the five-part drama – before it’s even finished airing in the UK! And since everyone you know has probably already gotten a Netflix subscription thanks to the return of Arrested Development, why not take the time to try out some excellent-looking British drama while you’re at it.

The five-part drama stars Anderson as DS Stella Gibson, a talented detective on the trail of a serial murderer named Paul Spector (played by Jamie Dornan) in Belfast. The story follows the police investigation, uncovering an intricate web of lives entangled by the killings.

Watch the trailer below.

British Soap Coronation Street Now Streaming on Hulu

Popular streaming site Hulu announced last week that they have officially acquired the popular, long-running soap opera Coronation Street for broadcast in America. The site started streaming the drama for free online as of January 15 and already has over twenty episodes available, with more to come. Affectionately referred to as Corrie by its fans, the soap chronicles the lives and loves of the residents of Coronation Street in Weatherfield, a fictional town based on a real place in Greater Manchester. The series premiered in 1960 and has been something of a British institution ever since.

Episodes are currently being posted about two weeks behind the UK timetable, which isn’t bad at all – though there are no current plans to add archival episodes to the mix.

Downton Abbey’s Rob Thomas-Collier was once a star on Coronation Street and other faces you may recognize who have appeared on the show in years past include Bernard Cribbins, Patrick Troughton, Kevin Whatley, Suranne Jones and more. (Even Prince Charles has made a cameo.) Celebrities ranging from Sir Anthony Hopkins to Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch have all admitted that they are addicted to the show’s twists and turns. That’s good enough for me!

This is the third British program that Hulu has contracted to offer to American audiences. The most recent seasons of The Thick of It and Misfits have both streamed day-and-date here in America. While, yes, we’ll have to adjust to still being a tiny bit behind on Corrie, the fact that Hulu’s experiment with putting UK programming online is clearly seen as successful business model for the video streaming site so far – well, that’s certainly something to be celebrated. Who knows what else we might see pop up there in the future. Keep your fingers crossed!

Are any of you Coronation Street fans? I might actually try it out for myself now that it's so easily available. (Though I suppose I am going to need to do some research on who all the characters are!)