What Are Your Favorite TV Shows From Abroad?

by Britni Danielle

I confess, American TV bores me.

While there is no shortage of shows on the air, I have yet to connect with any new(er) scripted shows like I have with those of the past. When I’m not watching the news (which is a lot), I spend most of my time watching Cosby, Law & Order, Girlfriends, Living Single, and Sex & the City reruns. Newer shows just can’t keep my interest. But there’s hope.

Last summer I discovered Britain’s hit drama Luther on Netflix and got hooked. I watched all six episodes in the first series (season) in a matter of a weekend and searched the internet to find a place where I could watch the second season before it hit America. I was blown away. The writing, the acting, and *ehem* Idris, were unlike anything that was on America TV, and apparently, I’ve been sleeping on the Brits.

Recently, I decided to give another British show a try. After hearing some people talk about it, I decided to check out Top Boy, which–from what I can tell–is sort of the British equivalent to the Wire.

Top Boy takes viewers inside one of east London’s estates (housing projects) and follows Dushane (Ashley Waters) and his friend Sully (Kane Robinson) as they try to become the biggest dealers on their block. The typical crew rivalry ensues which complicates things for Dushane and his boys, but what interested me most was the story of 13-year-old Ra’Nell who is left to fend for himself after his mother’s mental illness overcomes her.

Although you can’t watch it in the states just yet, thankfully the web has made it possible to view shows from around the world (watch it here). And in spite of watching only one episode, I’m totally digging Top Boy thus far, so much so that I stopped myself from watching the four-part series in one night. I want to take my time.

But how about you, Clutchettes and Gents…do you watch shows from aboard? Share your favs so we can add them to our list! 

  • Freebee33

    I think i’m gonna check out Top Boy, I like Luther a lot too, but I really like scifi shows like Bedlam (UK) a show about this guy who can see spirits and the way they died, the stories surround him and his roommates who live in this former mental institution that’s being renovated into an apartment complex. Also the UK version of Being Human is cool, like the US one too though.

  • Jess

    Dr. Who, Luther, Being Human, Bedlam…as u can you can see I love BBC America.

  • LemonNLime

    Un diner presque parfait (a cooking completion show) I was addicted to while living in France. Mistfits (UK) is a good one about these 20-something delinquents who get super powers. While I am not a fan of, in general, anything coming out of Asia, I watched a Korean drama called My Lovely Sam Soon and loved it. I’m gonna check out Luther this weekend…I can only watch so many Community reruns.

  • http://sownbrooklyn.wordpress.com Wanett

    I LOVE Coupling! I’ve also always been a fan of Keeping Up Appearances, most of their mini series (particularly the Austen ones) and I started Gavin and Stacey, too. I hate the new TV season and have a hell of a time remembering when anything comes on anyway. I got into Bones, Dexter and Fringe but sort of lost interest once the last season ended. I would like to get into Fringe again, though. And I have plans to watch Luther.

  • http://sugarcanemag.com Melissa

    Aything on BBC , The Night Garden and Rasta Mouse. I also like Suga.

  • Knitflick

    Spaced, The IT Crowd, Mad Dogs, Wire in the Blood, Sherlock, Being Human, Luther, The Office, QI, 10 o’Clock Live.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    they got TV in other countries?

  • BeNiceOrQuiet

    Im watching Misfits on Hulu and I am addicted. I am also a big fan of Skins and as far as late night, I watch Graham Norton on BBC America. I also just began watching Shameless and Coupling on Netflix.

  • Natalie

    The first two seasons of the British version of Skins…Best ever!

  • Reese

    1) Law & Order UK
    2) Luther

  • http://naturalgraceinlace.tunmblr.com Grace

    Sherlock. I had myself a little marathon and watched both seasons in a day. Except there’s only three episodes each :-/. I also love Misfits and Dr. Who.

  • Cia

    Def Law & Order UK, Downton Abbey (LOVE IT!), and there was this Brazilian show that used to come on about8 years ago called City of Men. There was even a spin-off movie of the same name. I usually catch shows from other countries late on Netflix but there are some good ones out there.

  • MarloweOverShakespeare

    Okay guys can somebody provide an index of sites (and other outlets) for free quality shows abroad? I mean besides Netflix and Hulu, which aren’t free but still great? I’m trying to catch up on these abroad “versions” of everything!

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    There is a L&O UK? Where the f have I been????

    Off to find this show…..

  • Marsha

    I love British television .Most of my faves have already been named. Coupling, Little Britain, The IT Crowd, Skins, Misfits . A show I loved that hasn’t been mentioned is Come Dine With Me, look into to it. The UK version of Big Brother is MUCH better then the US counterpart. I’ve heard Downton Abbey is amazing, gotta look into that. I’ve Dr. Who is another good show.

  • Brooklynista

    Oh yeah, I also hear a lot about Sherlock. I may check that out too.

  • Amber R.


  • Brooklynista

    This site’s being weird again and not posting my comment, at least not right away. So here’s the condensed version: Being Human UK (pure brilliance), Misfits (brilliance), Merlin (not as consistently great, but still awesome). I’ll be checking out: Sherlock, Luther, maybe Downtown Abbey (though WW2 era white aristocrats doesn’t interest me, but I’m willing to believe it’s as amazing as fans say it is).

  • Brooklynista

    YES! Those first two seasons were amazing. The scene with Chris and the baby – I’ll never forget that.

  • Marv

    I LOOOVE the UK’s Misfit’s …you can get it on Youtube!

  • ruggie

    -a guilty little pleasure on BBC called “Mistresses” that only lasted 3 seasons but the story lines were no joke
    -the UK version of “The Secret Millionaire”

  • apple

    Skins! It use
    To be misfits too but they really messed up this season

  • sunnywantshoney

    Definitely misfits. Amazing writing and acting.

  • Jai.E

    Misfits!!! :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carine-Normil/657673293 Carine Normil

    I Love Doctor Who

  • Msbettyjn

    Yes!!!! MISFITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best show ever! So sad it came to an end, well atleast all the good people are now gone…

  • Cami

    Top Boy looks interesting, definitely checking it out.

    Overseas shows:

    `-Misfits (Hulu) It’s been mentioned several times and deservedly so
    - Peep Show (Netflix) If you like that Odd Couple dynamic mixed with awkward situations, you might get some laughs out it.
    - The fall/ winter season I have an obsession with British Panel Shows. Nevermind the buzzcocks has been a favorite since the invention of youtube. Recently started watching 8 out of 10 cats and Would I lie to You
    - If you like journalistic thrillers, The British version of State of Play and The Hour (which was like the 50′s version of State of Play)
    - I’ve seen clips from The Shadow Line that look good and it stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, so I’m sold.
    - The UK versions of Being Human and Shameless are on Netflix
    - Rev. – (a comedy about a country reverend reassigned to an urban London church).
    - The Take – Tom Hardy in a family gangster drama, it’s on Netfix as well.
    - Finally, I have to admit, I did get into Downton Abbey and its soap opera drama.(Netflix)

  • http://graenewyork.blogspot.com Shari

    I love the UK’s version of Skins & Misfits is great too. I used to watch Secret Diary of a Call Girl, but it ended last year. My friend’s obsessed with Korean dramas.

  • Kacey

    I love British sitcoms. ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ is my all-time favorite.

    I also like the drama ‘Luther’. I too caught the first season on Netflix but, as I don’t have BBC America on cable, I haven’t seen the second season. I don’t think its on Netflix either. Anyone know where I can catch it on the web?

  • HowApropos

    Just got to watching Luther on stream and I love it! I will look out for Misfits.

    American television is indeed very boring. Ugh!

  • B.Payne

    Co-sign The Take with Tom Hardy…I just bought it and waiting on my copy to come in the mail now.

    Also, I’ve been watching “The IT Crowd” – a sitcom about the IT department starring Chris O’ Dowd (the police officer in “Bridesmaid”)

    International shows are a hit for me because they aren’t so saturated…at least not to American me, lol

  • modern lady

    Thank you all for the suggestions-I was getting tired of trolling Hulu and Youtube for reruns of cool shows.

  • http://blackgirlstravel.blogspot.com/ Boococo

    City of Men but I only have the first 2 seasons on DVD and the rest aren’t available on dvd in my region with subtitles.

  • http://nesheaholic.com LaNeshe

    I love Luther, Skins, Misfits, Sherlock and Doctor Who

  • Amanda

    I love Torchwood, Merlin, and The Fades. I like Lost Girl as well (a Canadian show)!

  • Jessica

    YESS!! I love misfits!

  • Emma

    Eastenders!!! The best soap ever! The Prime Suspects drama/mini series, Luther and many more!

  • DreamJ

    TOP BOY has me hooked… i cannot watch other episodes because I am in Spain!! -__- .. i hope this comes to America soon or something!

  • Bren

    I watched Skins with the original cast and loved it. Too bAd that there were only two seasons. I am also a huge fan of Spartacus and I used to watch degrassi.

  • edrina

    Glad to see this article. If you have Comcast Demand you can catch the 1st and 2nd Series with all episodes for Luther listed under BBA (British Broadcasting America).

    The re-imagined Sherlock Holmes, Downton Abbey, Torchwood and White Chapel just to mention a few.

    Comcast Demand also provide older Sundance and Independent Film Cinema movies free under “free movies”. This includes scandinavian, asian, french, spanish and other foreign movies.

    There is a treasure trove of entertainment that is refreshing and outside of the box.

  • Kit

    The Inbetweeners is quite funny; the humour is quite crude and very British.

  • Kit

    Peep Show is another funny one.

  • Kit

    Oh and also The Mongrels- very funny!

  • RC

    MISFITS !!!!
    Spy Myung Wol !!!

  • katieM

    Dr. Who, Torchwood, Primeval, anything BBC America. I love the sitcom Chef which airs on PBS in my city. As Time Goes By. I want to watch some of the new shows mentioned, but I don’t know where to find them besides Hulu and Netflix. My funds are too tight to indulge in those two places.

  • meme

    Misfits of course, UK Skins (way better than the US version), Phoneshop, Freshmeat.

  • MsMooreinDC

    Ha! I’m glad I’m not the only one watching Downton Abbey…my fav.

  • Rashell

    Being Human and Luther

  • Guest

    lol! not the only black girl watching downton abbey! wait here while i call my mother.
    on a serious note i am itching and counting down seconds till the season finale

  • http://www.DCAfterWork.com AlesiaMichelle

    I <3 Inbetweeners it is an English show and it is so good!

  • hstewart8

    Skins used to be my drug. Now Misfits is, it’s sooo good and addictive, kind of like a mix between heroes and skins. I’m amazed the writing is still so great on its third season. BTW City of Men (Brazil) was a GREAT GREAT show, it was about young people in the favelas (slums) living in rio. like seriously, if you can get your hands on it, watch it, and City of God, the film it spinned off of. They both were on netflix instant at some point, they may still be…

  • Jinx Moneypenny

    Are You Being Served?
    Keeping Up Appearances

    …clearly I’m an Anglophile, lol.

  • Girl

    This is exciting!! I love Downton Abbey and hearing other people say that just made my day lol

  • Laugh

    Misfits!!! LOVE that show! You can watch on Hulu.

  • Laugh

    Who doesn’t love Downton? Please plenty black people love that show and all I hear is rave reviews for it.

  • LST

    I love Luther! Cannot wait for the 2nd season to be available on Netflix. My mom put me on to Keeping Up Appearances, it’s so funny. But, the show that has given me so much life is Dance Academy. It’s an Australian show kinda like Degrassi, but centered around dance. It’s available to stream on Netflix. If you love anything dance related, like myself, you will love this show. It’s everything!

    There are great American TV shows, that I don’t know how many of us give a chance. Mad Men, Walking Dead, Breaking Bad. Basically anything on AMC, they are doing great work over there. And, does anyone watch Cougar Town? Marak Brock Akil wrote a few episodes and is a consulting producer. That show is hilarious!

  • http://blackgirlstravel.blogspot.com/ Boococo

    you guys should check out Hustle bbc really good

  • Bisous

    Inbetweeners is awesome, but more targeted towards teenagers. I still watch it in college though!

  • Bisous

    Sherlock and anything with Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant. Reichenbach Fall still has me in tears…

  • http://blazoningpens.blogspot.com Bisous

    I have developed a bit of a crush on the lead actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, mainly because of Sherlock. Once you watch Riechenbach Fall you may be in tears. I didn’t expect to like the show as much as I do it’s awesome!

  • 2cents

    I agree about AMC. HBO and Showtime also have great series (Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, Game of Thrones). Network television is so concerned about advertiser’s dollars that they aren’t willing to push things or be creative, which is why if one show is a success, you’ll see 10 others just like it. (Can anyone say Law and Order?)

  • Kay

    I don’t watch many shows but I love the movies from Nigeria and Ghana on Youtube

  • Mina

    Where can I watch Luther at online? I’ve tried Hulu but they don’t show it. The only non-American TV I watch is anime and Korean dramas.

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