15 British TV Shows You Should Be Watching

9. This is England, (Channel 4)

This is England is technically a group of different miniseries, but considering that most British television shows can be considered miniseries due to their small amount of episodes, it counts. Based on the 2006 film, which surrounded a young schoolboy pulled into the skinhead and apolitical, nationalist cultures, the TV version starts off three years later with This is England ’86.

In the show, a lot has changed. The misfit teens from the film who were only interested in having fun are grown up, and their lives are changing. Woody (flawlessly portrayed by Misfits star Joe Gilgun) is attempting to hold down a real job; his girlfriend Lol (Vicky McClure), is dealing with the return of her abusive father; and the film's protagonist, the now-16-year-old Shaun (Thomas Turgoose), is trying to keep out of trouble after being swayed by nationalistic and racist views courtesy of older skinhead Combo (Stephen Graham).

This is England is a rare case of a television series being better than the film it’s based on. Somehow, it’s able to remain both darkly dramatic and humorous at the appropriate times.

After that series' four episodes, This is England ’88 begins and consists of three episodes, set two-and-a-half years after the finale of ’86. Like the previous season, it features the main cast members dealing with the changing decade and the various, difficult issues in their lives. Though ’88 aired over a year ago (in December 2011), another season set in 1990 has been announced, though a production start date is unknown. Still, it’s happening!

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