Detectorists

Detectorists (2014-2015) is a TV show directed by, written by, and starring Mackenzie Crook, who you’ll recognize from The Office and Pirates of the Caribbean. It has so far run two seasons, totaling 13 episodes. Season 1 is currently on Hulu and Netflix. Both seasons are on DVD (region 1 and region 2), Acorn.TV, and Amazon Instant. Andy and Lance…

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

Beware, here be spoilers. Sherlock: The Abominable Bride has everything a Sherlock fan could possibly ask for. Moffat and Gatiss have really outdone themselves this time. It’s like they caved and said, “All right, give them everything they want. It is Christmas, after all.” It has Victorian garb and dialect (“the game is afoot”) for…

An Idiot Abroad

What is it? An Idiot Abroad (2010-2013) is Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s TV show starring their friend and former radio producer Karl Pilkington. Pilkington is not an actor or comedian but is nevertheless found (somewhat unwillingly) hosting a travel show. The series thrives on Pilkington’s unintentionally hilarious and unique outlook on life. The show ran three…

W1A

W1A is the sequel to the hit series Twenty Twelve. It has run two seasons, totaling 8 episodes. It is currently available on Netflix and DVD region 2/PAL. If you thought the London Olympics was a shambles in Twenty Twelve, just wait until Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) gets to the BBC. After a much-needed and wildly unsuccessful vacation…

Getting On

What is it? Getting On (2009-2012) is a comedy hospital TV show written by and starring Jo Brand, Vicki Pepperdine, and Joanna Scanlan. It ran for three seasons, totaling fourteen episodes. Where can I see it? It was until recently available on Hulu but isn’t anymore. There is a region 2/PAL DVD if you have a…

Extras

What is it? Extras (2005-2007) is a sitcom created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, starring Gervais, Merchant, and Ashley Jensen. Like all Gervais’ shows, he quits while he’s ahead, just two seasons and a Christmas special, totaling thirteen episodes. Where can I see it? It comes in a nice boxed set on DVD (region 1/NTSC).…

Sean and Jon Go West

What is it? The Real Man’s Road Trip: Sean and Jon Go West is a two-part TV mini-series, a travel documentary starring comedians Sean Lock and Jon Richardson, the team captains of 8 Out of 10 Cats. Where can I see it? It’s a little hard to track down. It’s on Vimeo for the time being,…

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Thick of It

*There is some swearing in this article, as is appropriate.   Don’t let the article title fool you. There are more than 50 facts in this list. I’m sure you’ll find at least ten you didn’t know before. 1. The Thick of It is the modern Shakespeare Aside from perhaps science fiction, which has popularized words like…

Orphan Black Season 4

We need to talk about Beth In the season 1 premier or Orphan Black, Beth Childs jumped in front of a train. We knew that Beth was a cop, and we knew that she knew that she was a clone. We didn’t know what drove her to make that fatal jump. Now, in a season 4…

Teaser: Brass Eye

Brass Eye is Chris Morris’s 1997 current affairs television show spoof, which uses real public personalities like Noel Edmonds and Bernard Manning as commentators on “serious” issues like weasel fighting and the latest street drug: (urinal) cake. Brass Eye is available on DVD (region 2, PAL) and also occasionally pirated onto YouTube. Amid these real life people…

Teaser: Houdini & Doyle

Guest post: Jerry Peterson Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini were, in real life, friends. But the friendship ran aground when Houdini debunked a Boston medium/spiritualist whom Conan Doyle greatly admired. That story is told in Christopher Sandford’s 2011 book Houdini and Conan Doyle: Friends of Genius, Deadly Rivals. Knowing that, or at least the…

Doctor Who: Hell Bent

After a disappointing season 8, Doctor Who season 9 was fairly impressive. Though still held together with the same flawed logic and last minute cop-outs that acted as the adhesive for Doctor Who plotlines since Hartnell’s slapdash episodes, season 9’s Hell Bent refrains from dressing up the Doctor’s revenge in action and adventure–something that brought down previous finales–and instead…

Hyperdrive

What is it? Hyperdrive is the 2006-2007 sci-fi comedy television series by Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley. It ran two seasons at six episodes each. Each episode is half an hour. Where can I see it? All episodes are available on Vudu, iTunes, and Amazon Instant. There is also a 2-season DVD box set (region 2/PAL) that includes commentaries, video…

The League of Gentlemen in Doctor Who

If The League of Gentlemen had been born a person, rather than a sketch show, it would be a college graduate by now. You may remember the rumors last year that The League of Gentlemen would return for its twentieth anniversary, but while a return of the show someday isn’t out of the question, co-creator Reece Shearsmith put the kibosh…

Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle S3

Now on Hulu! I hate Twitter. It’s like a state surveillance agency staffed by gullible volunteers. In season 3 of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, highbrow comic Stewart Lee tackles concepts like UKIP’s racist statement that if Bulgarians are so smart, they should stay in Bulgaria and make it better there, rather than moving to England.…

Plebs

Plebs (2013-2014) is Sam Leifer’s sitcom about three young men in ancient Rome. It stars Tom Rosenthal, Joel Fry, and Ryan Sampson. It’s available on Hulu, DVD region 2/PAL, and Blu-Ray (non-US). In ancient Rome, the commoners were called the Plebeians. They were the working class, compared to the elite patricians. Although the time of Rome that…

Jam

What is it? Jam (2000) is Chris Morris’ dark comedy sketch show starring Amelia Bullmore, Julia Davis, Mark Heap, Kevin Eldon, and David Cann. It ran one season, totaling six half-hour episodes. It is based on the three-season radio show Blue Jam, which contained many of the same sketches. Where can I see it? It’s on DVD (region 2/PAL),…