Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations

Three Quirky English TV Shows Worth Watching

Home > Everywhere > Lists | Comedy | Television
Published September 8th 2013
Three Quirky English TV Shows Worth Watching

Black Books, Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey
Copyright Big Talk/Channel 4


Let me first say, I do like American and Australian TV shows; I enjoy a good sitcom and appreciate Australia humour, but in the last few years I've discovered I really enjoy English comedies. They're quirky, different, a little bit wrong and hilarious.

Below are three particularly quirky TV shows I think you might enjoy if you find English humour even remotely funny. I always like learning of new (to me at least, even if they were made years ago) TV shows and would love if you gave your suggestions below.

Dirk Gently

Based on the book of the same name by Douglas Adams (writer of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Dirk Gently stars Stephen Mangan (Dirk Gently) and Darren Boyd (Richard McDuff).

Dirk Gently
Copyright BBC/ITV studios


The series wasn't long lived with a total of fours episodes, but memorable and complex enough to watch many times to pick up new things.

Dirk Gently is bumbling, slightly manipulative, self centred and it's unclear whether he is a genius or a conman.

Dirk follows a principle that everything is connected and one event in life is linked to another no matter how different and remote the two situations are.

Dirk Gently
Copyright BBC/ITV studios


Low on money and locked out of his refrigerator by his cleaner (long story), Dirk is reunited with an old university buddy, Richard McDuff.

Together, the two set out to solve cases through the 'interconnectedness of all things'. They chase down leads, eat chips, chase down some more leads and try not to get themselves killed.

Dirk Gently
Copyright BBC/ITV studios


When Dirk isn't sure what to do next or where to go, he follows the person who looks like they know where they are going because this will take him 'not where he wants to go, but where he needs to be'.

As I said, this series is short lived, but hilarious, over the top and surprisingly clever. As with the book, the situations Dirk and McDuff find themselves in and the clever ways everything is in fact connected often leaves you thinking 'why didn't I realise that earlier'.

Sure, Dirk's methods are questionable, his total lack of ethics towards his clients is unfathomable, but he is funny and strangely endearing.

Dirk Gently
Copyright BBC/ITV studios


The series is occasionally played by ABC but can also be purchased on DVD.

The IT Crowd

Ever think about the IT guys at your office? Ever spare a thought for them and wonder, 'how do they feel when I call them to my desk because my computer isn't working and then I completely ignore them?' Ever stopped and thought 'was it rude for me to place a coffee cup on the IT guy's back while he was under my desk fixing my computer?'

The IT Crowd
Copyright TalkbackThames/Channel 4


Welcome to the world of IT at Reynholm Industries; home of
'sexy people doing very little work and having affairs' (to quote the boss of the company).

Jen Barber (Katherine Parkinson) may have embellished a little on her resume and said she was a computer whizz. She is shocked and completely out of her depth when on her first day at Reynholm Industries she discovers she's the new head of IT which is all the way down in the basement.

The IT Crowd
Copyright TalkbackThames/Channel 4


Roy and Moss work down in the basement, happy to do what they want and not answer the phone for as long as possible.

Roy (played by the hilarious Chris O'Dowd) is in no rush to deal with those who don't know how to turn their computer on and answers the phone with the standard IT instruction we've no doubt all heard before 'have you tried turning it off and on again'.

The IT Crowd
Copyright TalkbackThames/Channel 4


Moss (played by the equally funny Richard Ayoade) is the classic nerd; high pants, thick glasses and a shy attitude. Sometimes he lives life on the edge and even tells those 'ploppers' how it is.

Will Roy and Moss be able to handle a new manager coming in and taking over? How long will it be before they learn she knows nothing about computers?

The IT Crowd
Copyright TalkbackThames/Channel 4


The IT Crowd is hilarious, crazy and the characters are loveable.

Black Books

Black Books stars Dylan Moran (as Bernard Black) and Bill Bailey (as Manny Bianco) and centres around a little bookshop.

Black Books, Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey
Copyright Big Talk/Channel 4


Manny is tired of working as an accountant and extremely stressed. He enters the book shop, 'Black Books' in a mad rush one morning wanting to purchase the Little Book of Calm.

His life changes when he accidentally swallows the Little Book of Calm. Through a series of unfortunate (and hilarious) events, Manny finds himself working at Black Books.

Black Books, Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey
Copyright Big Talk/Channel 4


Irish Bernard is obnoxious, rude, self centred, and thinks wine and cigarettes are a meal. He is a 'filth wizard' and has wasps in his pizza box he was saving for later.

Black Books, Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey
Copyright Big Talk/Channel 4


Along with his friend who owns a shop next door, Fran (Tamsin Greig), Bernard, Manny and Fran strike up a friendship (of sorts) and hilarity is the result.

Dylan Moran's dry sense of humour and arrogance is a great contrast to Manny's easy going attitude and desire to please.

Black Books, Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey
Copyright Big Talk/Channel 4


Unfortunately all of the series I have listed are no longer produced, however can be bought on DVD to watch over and over and over... you get the idea.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  11
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? Try something different - watch some lesser known English comedies and be pleasantly surprised
Your Comment
Articles from other cities
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions