15 British TV Shows You Should Be Watching

5. Sherlock, (BBC One)

The story of Sherlock Holmes is an old one, but never has it been as present in modern pop culture as it is nowadays. First came the Robert Downey Jr./Jude Law film in 2009. That Guy Ritchie-directed flick did well, but, since it was, for the most part, a silly comedy, it can’t quite hold the same emotional depth as BBC One's Sherlock, which is set in modern-day London.

Starring currrent Hollywood hot-boys Benedict Cumberbatch (this year's Star Trek Into Darkness) and Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) as Holmes and Dr. Watson, respectively, it's an extremely engaging take on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic. Sherlock takes a lot of the same stories and villains, but modernizes them. For example, Jim Moriarty (Irish actor Andrew Scott), one of Sherlock’s most popular enemies from the books, is a huge part of the series.

While many modern crime shows can be lazily procedural (the latest American take on Sherlock Holmes, the new hit CBS series Elementary, is good but it does suffer from this issue), Sherlock manages to escape that rut with tightly written episodes and compelling plots. Sadly, each season only has six episodes total between, though a third season has been greenlit. Due to Cumberbatch's and Freeman’s now busy schedules, however, the next run might not make it onto the air until late 2013, or even early 2014.

But hey, look at it this way: That means you’ve all got a whole year to marathon this show.

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