Probably my all time favourite. It's a bit dark, very clever, and very funny. While the plot can sometimes seem a bit over the top, it feels more realistic than most sitcoms. The show is shot from the characters' point of view so it is as if you are watching the events through their eyes. Also you hear their thoughts which gives the show even more comedic value. There is no laughter track which adds to the sense of realism. I would strongly recommend all four series (I haven't seen the fifth one yet). I would give series 1,2 and 4 5 stars. I didn't enjoy series 3 quite as much although it is still very good
Peep Show - Series 1
(2003) Starring:Olivia Colman, David Mitchell, Robert Webb Director:Tristram Shapeero Certificate:
All six episodes from the first season of the Channel 4 cult comedy series, chronicling the private - and totally dysfunctional - inner thoughts of two twenty-something flatmates; Mark (David Mitchell) is a 50-year-old in the body of a twentysomething and Jeremy (Robert Webb) is a wannabe popstar. ..read more »
Dylan Moran stars as Bernard Black a grumpy Irish bookshop owner. Moran brings a lot of his on stage (stand-up) persona to the role although he is much more energetic in Black Books as there is a lot of physical comedy. Think Fawlty Towers meets Blackadder in the 21st Century in a London Bookshop. It's a good solid traditional style sitcom with extra quirkiness
Series 1 is equally good although it is slightly too old to make this list. This is probably the most successful comedy on this list so probably doesn't need any introduction. There is a whole disc of extras that comes with this which includes a spoof documentary on Alan's career
Alan Partridge - I'm Alan Partridge - Se...
(2003) Starring:Steve Coogan Director:Armando Iannucci Certificate:
The complete second series of the popular comedy that stars Steve Coogan as the eponymous 'hero' (!). 'The Talented Mr Alan' finds Alan bumping into his old teacher (who once caned Alan for having a chalk penis drawn on his blazer) at a petrol station. In 'The Colour of Alan' Alan has been asked to ..read more »
Set entirely inside a Manchester pub, this is simply brilliant!
Early Doors - Series 1
(2003) Starring:Christine Bottomley, Rita May, John Henshaw Director:Adrian Shergold Certificate:
All six episodes from the first season of the BBC2 comedy set in The Grapes, an old-fashioned Manchester pub where the daily life of the locals - among them jack-the-lads Joe and Duffy, beer-bellied landlord Ken and his police officer cronies Phil and Nige, miserable old git Tommy and single mum ..read more »
This can sometimes be a bit hit and miss but the funny and loveable characters will probably help you to overcome it's flaws. Catherine Tate is at her all time best in this show, and makes a great comedy duo with Dawn French. Bill Bailey makes many short appearances. It is also quite refreshing watching this as much of the show is shot on location in the stuningly beautiful Cornish coastal village of Portloe (St Gweep). Series 2 sees a new theme tune and intro and there is also a different actress playing the role of Holly. There is also no laughter track second time around which I think works better. I would have liked to have seen a third series of this but that looks unlikely considering the last series was broadcast in 2003.
A few years ago this was my favourite comedy on the box although I had not seen a lot of the other comedies in the list back then which I prefer now. Nevertheless this is still quite an original sitcom in terms of how the storylines are told. There is one episode that exists entirely in split screen i.e. there are two stories happening at the same time. This is perhaps the most unique episode although many others use similar little devices and there are some great plot twists which can be quite rare in sitcoms. Series 2 is probably my favourite, it also has more episodes than the other series. Series 4 sees one of the main characters depart which is a shame though it is still a good series and rounds the whole thing off quite nicely
Coupling - Series 1
(2000) Starring:Jack Davenport, Richard Coyle, Ben Miles Director:Martin Dennis Certificate:
First series of the Britcom about a group of six friends - three men and three women - and the ups and downs they encounter playing the 21st century dating game. In 'Flushes' Steve expresses his wish to date Susan. 'Size Matters' sees Susan invite Steve around for dinner. 'Sex, Death and Nudity' ..read more »
This is one of the craziest comedies I have ever seen. When it was shown on TV each episode ran for an hour though obviously it is a bit shorter on dvd because there are no adverts. There are 1 or 2 main storylines as well as irrelevant but funny sketches. There is also some interesting film editing used which is pretty cool. I thought series 1 was very original although series 2 seemed to be a bit too similar for my liking.
(1999) Starring:Julia Deakin, Jessica Stevenson, Simon Pegg Director:Edgar Wright Certificate:
Box set containing series one and two of the Channel 4 sitcom centring around comic book fanatic Tim Bisley (Simon Pegg) and aspiring journalist Daisy Steiner (Jessica Stevenson), an ill-matched duo who have been posing as a professional couple in order to retain tenancy of a North London flat. ..read more »
(2001) Starring:Peter Kay, Neil Fitzmaurice, Dave Spikey Director:Johnny Campbell Certificate:
The complete first series of Peter Kay's comedy series about a working men's social club. Impressario Brian Potter is willing to do anything to make a go of his club Phoenix Nights, and his band of loyal staff and regulars are all keen to pitch in as well. But somehow fate and drunken horses seem ..read more »