5 TV Dramas you need in your life right now
If there’s one thing the Brits can do right, it’s a good drama. Gripping storylines, fascinating characters and captivating scripts, our terrestrial channels seem to have a constant cycle of exceptional narratives. So get your TV-binge pants at the ready – here are 5 dramas you won’t be able to get enough of…
British television has historically not been great at delivering the kind of sleek, aspirational and scandalous young adult television that the US has cornered the market on since the 90s. The US has Gossip Girl and 90210 – and we have Hollyoaks and Made In Chelsea.
BBC Three’s newest drama glistens with up-and-coming talent as it follows two best friends, Georgia and Holly embarking on their first year at university. The duo are quickly taken under the wing of a group of beautiful and mysterious older girls employed by the university lecturer professor McDermid, and they soon discover the shady, high-class world of McDermid’s female interns.
Another drama, refreshingly, with two lead female characters, The Replacement follows Ellen, a hugely successful architect who lands the contract of a lifetime at her beloved firm before soon becoming pregnant. Eager to find someone as determined as her, she hires Paula as cover. Delightful and gleaming with enthusiasm, Paula seems sickly sweet but the perfect fit. Ellen is desperate to get back to work although all her co-workers promise there is “no way she could ever be replaced”, but as the series progresses, Ellen and Paula’s relationship continues to deteriorate and so does Ellen’s relationships to the closest around her. The Replacement tells a relevant, shaded story about the modern day workplace and the fear of losing your position in the world, as well as how motherhood and pregnancy expose women to judgements from which men are shielded.
Rewind two years and the atmosphere surrounding the new series of Broadchurch was one of gentle hysteria. And with the arrival of the third series, the buzz certainly hasn’t gone away. Iconic duo Olivia Colman and David Tennant return to Broadchurch as the crime-solving double act, working in the small town which seems to have far more bad than good happening. For this series to work, the writers needed to take a different approach, and they did just that with a misjudged, tabloid-skewed rape story which reflects upon the harmful attitudes towards sexual assault and the harrowing effects it has upon the victim and their families. With a few new faces but all the familiar characters of the previous series, Broadchurch continues to keep us guessing up until the very last minute of every episode.
The Homeland seasons always begin with a bang, sweeping us into terror-related storylines, pulling us in with a few good curves and shocking betrayals to keep us guessing. True to form, Homeland Season 6 returned this year and follows Claire Danes as the troubled CIA operative who tries to balance her unsteady private life with her risky high-level job. Admittedly, this is the only series on my list which isn’t British, but it’s shown on Channel 4 so Homeland sneaks into this top 5. In other dramas we’ve seen, the female protagonist tends to get her rough sides sanded down. Not Carrie. She still acts as a force for good, but she’s stubborn and reckless as always.
Catastrophe is one of those unusual programmes where we can’t quite seem to pinpoint what genre it is. Of course, it is a hilariously filthy comedy; but at the same time it’s a deeply-affecting drama and you will genuinely come to feel for Sharon and Rob as they combat the challenges marriage, children, money and life throw at them.