MI-5/Spooks: do not get attached to anyone, it is not worth the tears that come later. Think 24 with more spies, and much hotter spies at that with great accents and lots of seasons and almost all of them, even the later ones, with better stories than most. Back when A&E actually stood for Arts and Entertainment, I came across this show while channel surfing. The very first episode had quite possibly the gruesomest death scene ever seen on non-premium cable and once I got over my initial shock I was hooked. I still won’t go near a deep fryer though.
Miss Fisher Mysteries: While their mysteries take place in the roughly same era, Miss Marple and Miss Phyrne Fisher could not be anymore different. Phyrne is sophisticated, a feminist, sexually active AND single. Back in Australia after spending a long time in Europe, Miss Fisher becomes a private detective with a gorgeous wardrobe, lots of boyfriends and an extremely loyal, not too judge-y strict Catholic maid/companion. Stylishly fun.
Spiral (Engreneges for you French speakers): Sure, it is a typical Law & Order type of cop/legal system procedural but it’s in French so that alone makes it way cooler than average. That being said, it is still 99% better than any cop show I have seen in the US other than The Wire and Homicide. I seriously could not wait for series 4 and even tried to watch it on the show’s website but four years of French and I still need subtitles (not available on the website, drat). Laure Berthaud is the typical career obsessed cop we have seen many times before but Caroline Proust does such a good job it does not seem like it. Add in some scruffy colleagues like Gilou, the fuck-up, and Samy the hot, is-he-legit-or-not love interest, and you are in. Totally binge-worthy.
Tell No One: Umm, I pretty much tell EVERYONE to watch this movie. Even people who are afraid of FOREIGN films get sucked in quickly. Years earlier, Dr. Beck’s wife was murdered and he was the prime suspect but never charged. Eight years later he gets an email showing her obviously alive. I get all tingly just thinking about it! Once again it is in French (although the book it was based on is American, go figure), there are subtitles but it won’t matter as you will be handsomely rewarded with one of my all time faves of the last few years. PS: Paris, I love you. Call me.
Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter: this one comes from Sweden, so there are still subtitles but by now you should be used to it. Annika has quite possibly the best hair on television since Jennifer Aniston/Rachel Green left the airwaves, and is an investigative reporter with two children, a not-so-supportive boyfriend and I would totally want to be friends with her if she was real.
Black Books: it’s like Fawlty Towers, but set in a quirky bookstore owned by Bernard Black, a guy who really doesn’t want to sell anyone a book. His best (only?) friend Fran owns the shop next door and in the first episode he gains an employee/roommate named Manny. Not many episodes so very easy to watch and laugh, a lot.
Green Wing: while it may be set in a hospital the patients barely ever factor into it. It is quite possibly one of the weirdest shows I have ever seen but I loved it. Fran from Black Books is one of the leads and I am not entirely sure how to even describe it other than it’s bizarre, and wacky, and funny and not like anything I have ever seen before.
IT Crowd: Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson star as two computer geeks and the woman hired to be their boss who knows absolutely nothing about computers. This is laugh out loud funny and once you watch it you too will be familiar with FriendFace, how to break the internet, and the replacement number for 999 (Brit speak for 911).