Enjoying a British comedy is like understanding an entirely new world. Their jokes are different and they make fun of things that many people would not see as funny. Once you begin to understand the lingo and the social commentary, though, it’s easy to laugh your butt off. Not all British comedies have had the luxury of becoming popular across the pond. In fact, most of them don’t. That being said, we are glad that we have had the luxury of experiencing a lot of their content thanks to Netflix.
10 The IT Crowd
The IT Crowd is one of the older shows on this list, making its debut in 2006 and officially ending in 2013. It starred a then-relatively-unknown Chris O’Dowd and Richard Ayoade as IT consultants at an office. The show accurately covers the mundane life of an IT expert in an office and their not-so-great life at home.
It’s full of social awkwardness and frustrating, yet easily fixable, IT-related problems. The number of times that the solution was to turn the PC off then on again will make anyone crack up. O’Dowd is at his best in this comedy and we might even go as far as to say this is some of his best work.
9 Scrotal Recall (Lovesick)
Originally called Scrotal Recall but changed to Lovesick to attract the attention of the American audience. This show follows a man who is diagnosed with an STI and is forced to look up his past lovers to find out who he got it from or who he could have possibly given it to. Each episode focuses on a new woman who either hates him to his core or just never got over him. He is on this journey with his two best friends; Luke and Evie. Evie is secretly harboring a crush on our protagonist but she is also engaged to a guy who we can all see is 100% not right for her.
8 Bad Education
Not every teacher is inspiring some are just there for the paycheck. This is the case with Alfie he is probably the worst teacher in the British school system. He is a bigger kid than the kids he teaches and sometimes they have to keep him in check. He is constantly on the verge of getting fired or having to hide a situation that could become a huge catastrophe. The show has 19 episodes spanned over 3 seasons and in 2014 it was adapted into a made for TV movie. You can watch the entire series on Netflix and at only 30 minutes an episode it’s easy to binge.
7 The Inbetweeners
This coming-of-age dramedy ran from 2008 to 2010 about four suburban friends just trying to make it through high school. The Inbetweeners deals with everything from crushes, failing classes, not being invited to parties, and one particularly rough scene that involves someone throwing up in someone else's face. The half-hour comedy is relatable and even ended with two hilarious movies that were surprisingly just as good as the show (this is hard to do).
An American version of the show was created but failed to tap into the American market. Don’t worry, you can still enjoy the original on Netflix this cult classic will always have a place in the British comedy world.
Borderline came about at the perfect time. Since Brexit began, a lot of things have undergone change - and a lot of people have needed a laugh. This comedy about co-workers in a fictional airport hits at all the jokes and politics surrounding border control and the crazy things they see in an airport while working there.
There are already two seasons with a third in the works because, let's be honest, there is so much more material to cover. Some people are even comparing it to The Office, and that's a glowing comparison. For those who enjoy politics and comedy, Borderline is probably the best thing to watch.
5 Chewing Gum
Chewing Gum follows a woman in her early 20s who is having a sexual awakening. After being taught her entire life that being sure of her herself and her body is bad, she comes out of her shell and realizes that she has a choice in what she believes. The main character, Tracy Gordon, is a bit different and has an interesting way of expressing herself. However, we can't help but laugh when seeing sexuality through her virgin eyes. She attempts to lose her virginity and over a span of two (possibly three) seasons, she makes a number of mistakes that many people can relate to whether they want to admit it or not.
This comedy-horror focuses on two girls who are basically forced to become friends so they can fight off evil zombies together. Fortunately, this is not the typical zombie TV show - it isn’t only about them trying to stay alive because zombies are among them. It is also about being young women who have to keep part-time jobs, live a normal life, date, and go to school. The girls are unaware of just how many demons they come across every day. Being “seers” they can identify demons and are able to murder them, but not all of them. This show gets pretty funny and out of control. There is only one season so far but Netflix acquired the rights in 2018 so we can assume there is more to come.
3 White Gold
White Gold is about the world of window sales. Doesn’t sound too fun, right? Wrong. The people selling the windows are some interesting characters. It stars Ed Westwick, Joe Thomas and James Buckley (both of Inbetweeners fame).
The hoops these people have to jump through to sell some windows is insane and Westwick is supposed to be the team lead. The cast is rounded out by Westwick’s wife and the company secretary who is always there to keep these three fools in check. Her comedic timing is on point and they never have a quick enough comeback for her smart-aleck remarks.
2 A Young Doctor’s Notebook & Other Stories
One thing that can be frustrating about British comedies is that they normally don’t last long. The British know when to pull the plug, but they always leave us wanting more. This is the case with A Young Doctor’s Notebook & Other Stories. Starring Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe, viewers follow Hamm and Radcliffe as they portray the same doctor in different years of his life, and all the hijinks that take place in their hospital. The show is based on a collection of short stories by Mikhail Bulgakov who was a doctor, playwright, and writer. The jokes are subtle yet ahead of their time.
1 Sick Note
Rupert Grint is the last person on earth that we would associate with faking a disease. Yet, here he is in Sick Note playing a character named Daniel who is a compulsive liar... and his latest lie could be the end of him. His life is basically garbage and on top of it, he is diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Things begin to look up seeing as everyone has compassion towards people with any kind of cancer. Unfortunately for Daniel, he was misdiagnosed. Instead of being honest and being happy that he has a clean bill of health, he runs with the cancer diagnosis and, well, let's just say he isn't the greatest guy.