Despite the call of the sun and green grass, we occasionally find ourselves looking for a new television show to binge over summer. Mostly on those days you need to unwind after being outside all day or, of course, those long rainy days. However, between the plethora of summer activities, some television shows can be quite a long commitment, which can fall by the wayside by the time the fall TV schedule is up and running.
My solution: Pick a (completed) British television show.
With a few exceptions (Midsummer Murder, Poirot), many British television shows have a 2 to 4 year season lifespan. The seasons also are shorter, lasting 6 to maybe 9 episodes (more like a state-side mid-season show). This combination allows for consistent and solid content, and more often than not the desire for more (so often, I find myself wanting shows to end in the states).
Thus, instead of a film series for June, I bring you Brits to Binge. Four shows that you may not have heard of, but ones I can guarantee are perfect for your indoor summer downtime. First up, Green Wing (2004-2007).
In a conversation I recently said that I was not one for medical shows, and in a part that is true. I am not. However, Green Wing is the one exception, mostly because this off-beat, one-hour sitcom (a rare format unicorn) takes place in the fictional East Hampton Hospital and contains no medical storylines. Which is probably for the best, because though I love these characters, I am not sure if I would ever seek their medical assistance.
What to Expect / Why Watch:
A will they, won't they love triangle, over the top antics, a few more will they won't theys, meet-cutes, and personal competitions mixed with soap opera-style twists and turns. The story is connected through sketch-like scenes and sped up or slowed down moments, which is how my husband immediately knows I am watching the show.
All the characters are strong and well developed within this quirky medical environment, regardless of gender. Case in point - the character of Sue White (a fan favorite played by Michelle Gomez whose antics always seem to go rogue: sculpting a co-worker out of clay, dressing as a squirrel, casually adding a puppet to her daily routine, and more.
This show personally had me at some of my favorite Brits (in addition to Michelle Gomez):
Julian Rhind-Tutt (as the handsome ginger Dr. "Mac" Macartney who is a great surgeon, but also leaves room for shenanigans, especially when cheering up friend), Tamsin Greig (as the kind, awkward, Caroline Todd, who compared to her counterparts is the most normal), Mark Heap (as Dr. Alan Statham, a consultant radiologist whose affair with a colleague rules his day-to-day and makes him appear even more ridiculous in nature), Pippa Haywood (as Joanna Clore, Head of HR, but way more into her own personal problems, which allows her department to play hopscotch and other games during work hours), Olivia Colman (as Harriet Schulenburg, HR employee whose brain is constantly stuck in pregnancy mode), Stephen Mangan (as Dr. Guilaume Secretan, a Swiss-Brit anaesthetist whose actions are easily swayed by his egotistical nature, jealousy, and insecurities), Oliver Chris (as Boyce, a medical student who finds tormenting Dr. Statham his number one priority), Sarah Alexander (as Dr. Angela Hunter, the gorgeous one who apparently can do everything, which annoys Dr. Todd, especially since she is "nice nice nice nice nice"), Darren Boyd (as Jake, a complementary therapist who tries to assist the insane staff, but falls into one of the complicated love triangles), and Sally Phillips (Holly Hawkes, Mac’s ex who shows up at the wrong time) - to name a few! You also will find Stephen Merchant, Nick Frost, John Oliver playing guest bit parts that are surprising and delightful.
Here a few clips, which I hope will entice you. They include no major spoilers. If you like what you see below, you can find the complete series (2 seasons, 19 episode total) of Green Wing for free on Hulu. Do not forget to check back next week for the second installment, but until then happy binging!