Skins is far from being your typical over processed teen television show, giving a grittier outlook on teen life. It doesn’t shy away from controversial topics such as drug usage, mental illness, homosexuality, and eating disorders. Unlike the weaker, water downed American version, the E4 show uses real looking kids and real-life scenarios to give an insight to teenagers. The cast changes every two series, so the stories never get old or boring. Currently on its third generation, it’s continuously challenging the normal idea of what teenage television should be. It’s on hiatus at the moment, but has been commissioned for a sixth season. It’s available both as discs and instant streaming on Netflix.
Being Human is a supernatural drama airing on the BBC, not to be confused with the feeble American remake, which pales in comparison to the original. Starring Aidan Turner, Russell Tovey, and Lenora Crichlow, it was originally about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost all living together in Bristol. The plot sounds nonsensical, but instead has great insight into humanity, and what it means to be human, as the roommates try to blend in to normal society while fighting their animal instincts. It has comedy, drama, horror, action, and originality. The previous third season moved the show to Barry Island, Wales, and introduced a whole new set of characters and problems. Series four is due in early 2012. It’s available as discs through Netflix.
The IT Crowd is a sitcom which airs on Channel 4. The plot is simple: it follows the trials and tribulations of the IT department at a large company. Chris O’Dowd is a slacker technician with a penchant for geeky t-shirts, Richard Ayoade is a genius with no social skills, and Katherine Parkinson is their boss, who knows nothing of the information technology field but is good at lying to get her way. The show focuses on their hilarious shenanigans, mostly in their basement office, but also as they interact with other employees and in social situations. A fifth season has been ordered, but no date has been released yet. It’s available both as discs and instant streaming on Netflix.
Misfits is a comedy-drama appearing on E4. It follows five early twenty-somethings as they complete court mandated community service. They get caught in an electrical storm and all develop special powers including invisibility, telepathy, and immortality. They have to deal with evil probation officers, other people’s powers, and of course, love. Originally starring Robert Sheehan, Iwan Rheon, Lauren Socha, Antonia Thomas, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, it’s currently in between seasons. It will be returning for a third series, without Robert Sheehan, but the date has not yet been announced. It’s not on Netflix at all, so you’ll have to get creative to watch it, but it’s definitely worth the trouble.
Doctor Who is a long running science fiction drama airing on BBC. It was relaunched in 2005 after being off the air for sixteen years. The show follows an eccentric alien Timelord, The Doctor, who travels through space and time in his time machine, known as the TARDIS. With his companions in tow, he explores space and time while facing foes and saving civilizations. The Doctor currently in his 11th incarnation, played by Matt Smith, who travels around with his companions, played by Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. It’s currently in the middle of its sixth season, and seasons one through five are available both through discs and instant streaming on Netflix.