So you’re looking for a new TV series? I wanted to write all my recommendations down in one place, I have been known to send iPhone notes to friends full of TV shows and series that they might like so why not pop it all together for a blog post. I will break them down into categories; so if there’s something you don’t like simply scroll past. I wanted to try and keep my views on each show short, spoiler free and to the point. I have only recommended things I have seen, I wanted to avoid some of the slightly more obvious Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad recommendations but obviously if you haven’t seen either of those go and watch them!
If you like TV Drama’s that will make you laugh, cry, cringe or pull at your heart strings try:
This Is Us
Seasons: 2, 3 out in the US
Where: Channel 4 / Amazon Prime
I rave about This is us to absolutely everyone and anyone who will listen. This show has made me laugh one minute and had me bawling my eyes out at the TV the next. This is us follows three siblings of the same age throughout different chapters of their life, it always leaves me feeling warm inside; Mandy Moore is incredible and it is beautifully shot.
Big Little Lies
Where: Sky Atlantic
If the incredible cast doesn’t pull you in (Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and Alexander Skarsgard) then the cinematography and amazing soundtrack will. This is a dark mystery drama with witty one liners set in a rural California beach town. It’s highly addictive and thrilling – a great crime drama that will keep you on your toes. (Trigger warning: this show does contain scenes of graphic domestic violence)
My Mad Fat Diary.
Where: All 4.
I absolutely loved My Mad Fat Diary, I felt like it was a relatable easy to watch show that addresses body image and mental health struggles alongside self-harm, sex and relationships through secondary school. Every episode is from 16-year-old Rae Earls (Sharon Rooney) point of view who has recently been discharged from a psychiatric hospital. I really connected to the characters, a fantastic gritty British drama set in 1996. (Also stars a young Jodie Comer from Killing Eve)
Seasons 1, 2 in the making.
Sex Education is a comedy-drama series following socially awkward teenager Otis who has all the answers to sex advice thanks to his sex therapist mother. (Gillian Anderson) I already cannot wait for season 2 of Sex Education, it had me and my boyfriend cringing and in stitches, a hilarious witty comedy.
Seasons: 1, 2 in the making.
Where: Amazon Prime.
New Amsterdam is an American medical drama based on the book, Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital. This show has just the right mix of drama and feel-good without too much medical jargon. There’s some really interesting storylines with a great cast and characters.
Seasons 2, 3 in the making.
As someone who was never a huge follower of The Royal family, this show has certainly changed that. I didn’t know what to expect but I fell in love with this drama almost instantly. The Crown is a gripping drama filled with history, Clare Foy is remarkable. A Netflix Masterpiece, bring on season three!
Gavin & Stacey.
I have watched the entire series of Gavin & Stacey about three times. I first asked my boyfriend to watch Gavin & Stacey on Christmas Eve, as we couldn’t sleep, I didn’t really expect him to like it if I’m honest. However, he loved it and we watched the whole thing over the Christmas holidays. Gavin & Stacey fall in love, long-distance over the telephone their romance invites us into the world of ‘Nessa’ ‘Smithy’ ‘Pam’ ‘Mick’ and ‘Uncle Brynn’ Who I guarantee you will fall in love with. There is a new Christmas special airing December 2019 – maybe we will find out what happened on that fishing trip.
Suranne Jones is bloomin’ fantastic in Doctor Foster this show made me really connect with the characters. The show follows Dr Gemma Foster who’s life seems pretty perfect until her husband stars acting suspiciously. I preferred season 1, to season two but both worth a watch. Jodie Comer from Killing Eve and My Mad Fat Diary also makes an appearance, but you’ll have to watch it to find out why!
If you like catty, drama-filled binge-worthy reality TV shows try:
Seasons: 1, 2 in the making.
My boyfriend and I sat and binge-watched the entire series of this over a weekend, we were hooked. Selling Sunset is like ‘The Hills’ but with savage super-glamorous realtors selling nine-bedroom mansions for 40 million dollars. The show follows their personal and professional lives whilst providing you with all the drama you could ever need.
Where do I even begin with instant hotel?! This programme reminds me of a lot of channel 4’s ‘Four in a bed’ but with Australian accents and 100% more petty drama and cattiness. Instant Hotel pits Air BnB homeowners against each other. Each rental home has rated a score out of 10, based on house location, nearby attractions, value for money and the quality of nights sleep. The bitchy drama is off the chain in this series, not to mention someone is called Bondi, from Bondi… what more could you want?!
Where: Amazon Prime
UnReal is one of my most recent watches, after watching a lot of Love Island my boyfriend introduced this show to me. This show gives you a behind the scenes look at reality TV, it reminds me of ‘The Bachelor’ except it shows you behind the scenes of how producers can treat contestants. It is a drama it’s not a documentary it’s an easy watch if you don’t want something too difficult to follow, we watch a few episodes on an evening.
Seven Year Switch Australia
Where: All 4
Another Australian favourite of ours, playing on the words ‘ 7-year itch’ this show follows couples who’s marriages and long term relationships are at crisis point. They are all matched with a new person to live with for 14 days, which of course leads to crazy drama for some of the couples.
90 Day Fiancé
Where: Sky catch up (TLC)
90-day fiancé follows long-distance relationships as they live together for 90 days and have to get married in that time if they want to stay together or else their partners have to return to their home country! This show is full of age-gaps, language barriers and trust issues!
Teen Mom – OG, 2 and UK.
Seasons: 8, 8, and 5? I think!
Where: MTV / Sky / Now TVThe Teen Mom shows are a spin-off of MTV’s 16 and pregnant which I also used to love. I absolutely love following the girls throughout their journeys of parenthood and daily life dramas. Both the UK and US shows are full of up’s, down’s and drama galore.
If you like being kept on the edge of your seat try:
The Night Of
Where: Sky Atlantic / HBO
I won’t say too much with this one for fear of giving you too much information before you watch it but feel free to carefully google the premise of the show; This show sucked me in right from the very beginning it’s a mini-series with only 8 episodes but the story-telling is immersive and gripping each episode had me anxiously awaiting the next one.
Seasons: 2 (released Autumn 2019) 3 already in the making.
Where: Amazon Prime
Also known as Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. This show follows Jack Ryan, John Krasinski (Jim from The US Office yay!) as a CIA analyst as he uncovers suspicious financial transactions linked to terrorists. This show had us fumbling to click next the second an episode finished and we are seriously excited for season 2.
This series follows Police Sergeant David Budd (Richard Madden, aka Robb Stark from GoT) working for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. This show knows how to create tension, we were hooked from episode 1. I won’t give too much away but this is an addictive thriller.
Where: Sky Atlantic
This series follows the brave men and women following a nuclear power plant disaster in 1986. My boyfriend and I both agreed that the Chernobyl mini-series has to be one of the best series we have ever seen. Whilst fascinating it is incredibly harrowing after being unable to sleep watching the first episode before bed at night, I had to watch the rest of the series during the day! Absolutely outstanding.
Line Of Duty
Where: BBC / Netflix.
Line Of Duty is a British TV drama exploring the world of police corruption, through the anti-corruption unit known as AC-12. This show made me feel so many emotions, you will grow to love the characters and the catchphrases. By the end, you will have a newfound appreciation for waistcoats and your jaw will be on the floor whilst you shout ‘Mother of God’ at your TV screen. Gritty, funny and tense.
The Sinner with Jessica Biel caught me off guard completely it is a shocking, gripping psychological whodunit crime thriller. I recommended this to friends and they watched the entire first series in a weekend. The show is a little dark and gruesome with some shocking scenes (No spoilers but heads up don’t watch episode 6 with your parents or grandparents, it could get a little awks.)
The Handmaid’s Tale
Where: All 4.
The Handmaid’s Tale is an American Dystopian drama (based on the best selling novel by Margaret Atwood) is probably the darkest TV show I have ever seen, sometimes this show gives me serious anxiety with very hard to watch scenes, but I just can’t stop coming back for more.
Power is an American crime series produced by the rapper 50 Cent. It is full to the brim with crime, suspence, love and betrayals. This isn’t something I would normally watch but I’m so glad I did, I recommended it to some of my girlfriends and they love it also! Talk about some cliffhangers, this series will have you on the edge of your seat. I can usually see something coming a mile off in TV series, but not this one. Definitely worth giving this a watch.
If you like TV shows about crime and murder try:
Seasons: 2 with a third in the making.
Happy Valley is a dark British crime drama by the BBC starring Sarah Lancashire set in West Yorkshire, I first watched this series with my mum, we stayed up until 2:00 am to finish the first series! A realistic police drama that is well worth the binge.
Dexter was an old long-time favourite of mine, following Dexter Morgan a blood splat analyst for the Miami police forensics department by day, a serial killer by night. This could fall under the horror category if you’re remotely squeamish you may find this show a bit gory. Dark, witty and very twisted.
Seasons: 2, 3 in the making.
Where: BBC Iplayer.
I only recently jumped on the Killing Eve bandwagon and I was not disappointed. In fact, I became obsessed with Villanelle, (Jodie Comer from My Mad Fat Diary) from her beauty to her wardrobe, to her wit. Killing Eve is a spy-action thriller of cat and mouse between a spy and a serial killer. Full of dark humour, innuendos and incredible fashion.
A super gory psychological thriller with a heavy dose of cannibalism, brilliant psychologist Dr Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) unites with Will Graham (a criminal profiler) to create a crime catching duo with a twist. This series is visually outstanding, the CGI is incredible although not one to watch whilst you’re eating your tea.
Seasons: 1, 2 in the making.
Remember Dan from Gossip Girl? He just got super creepy. We meet bookstore owner ‘Joe’ who becomes obsessed with aspiring writer Guinevere Beck and will do anything he can to have her. Very eerie and unsettling, you’ll probably change your facebook password after watching.
Pretty Little Liars
Pretty Little Liars (based on the novels by Sara Shephard) is an American Mystery whodunit drama. The show follows the lives of Aria, Spencer, Hana and Emily after their friend Alison goes missing. I watched Pretty Little Liars from start to finish in real-time over the years. I really, really loved this show, I enjoyed almost every single character storyline! Suspense, drama, romance this show had me well and truly obsessed. I mentioned this series to two of my friends and they both binge-watched it as fast as they could. I just wish I had the option to do that instead of waiting every week for a new episode.
Renée Zellweger makes this show, whilst we did enjoy it, some of the episodes seem a little far-fetched at times but it’s still worth a watch. A cheesy American drama that is full of twists, turns and tension.
If you like spooky TV dramas that lean more towards the horror genre try:
The Haunting Of Hill House.
Seasons: 1, 2 in the making.
If you like a good ghost story this show is for you. Whilst I personally didn’t find it ‘scary’ some might and it definitely falls under the horror genre rather than a drama. Some of the episodes seemed a bit drawn out but it was a good show and we really enjoyed it.
American Horror Story
Seasons: 9, 10 in the making.
Each season of American Horror Story tells a different story with some of the same characters. In the first series, the show is about a haunted house, the second is about a medical asylum, and the third ‘coven’ is about witches etc. This show is definitely very weird and wacky but I love it. The show is morbid, twisted and you never know what’s going to happen that’s for sure, some seasons are tamer than others but every season had me gripped in it’s own unique way.
The Enfield Haunting.
Seasons: 1 mini series.
Where: Amazon Prime, Now TV.
The Enfield Haunting (with Timothy Spawl) is a three-part drama horror series about a haunted London council house with a family terrorised by a poltergeist in 1977-1979. I absolutely loved this gritty British drama, intelligent, compelling and super creepy.
Seasons: 3, 4 in the making.
I couldn’t miss this absolute Netflix Gem off the list now, could I? I remember when Stranger Things was first released, I sat and watched the first series on my iPad in almost one evening. Weird, wacky and wonderful. Full of 80’s nostalgia, with many subtle Stephen King references. 10/10.
This is probably one of the longest blog posts I have written in a while! I may add to this list at some point, I wasn’t sure how far down you guys will scroll as there is a lot of text in this post. If you have any series you want to share please let me know in the comments!