Six of our favorite Christmas gift boxes
While the blockages throughout 2020 were a cause of immense frustration and inconvenience, they were softened slightly by a truly exceptional TV.
Writers and showrunners couldn’t have predicted the captive audience they would show their content to, but we should all be grateful for their work.
Being able to binge on a cabinet has been a rare comfort for people who have been on leave, who are isolating themselves, protecting themselves or simply not allowed to see friends, colleagues and relatives.
And for millions of people, the coming holiday season will see televisions providing much needed distraction and companionship.
Here are six of the best boxes available to watch this Christmas:
The second series of Lenny James’ brilliant urban drama Save Me was released in April, with all of the original characters reprising their roles.
British drama doesn’t get much more gritty than a story of a kidnapped kid from an inner city, but it doesn’t get character-driven or immersive either.
Course of action. Platform: Netflix / iPlayer. Number of sets: 5
Line of Duty’s complex tale of police corruption has attracted some of Britain’s best acting talent, and the season five finale was the most-watched TV show of 2019.
Belfast backdrops and compelling interrogation scenes are among the highlights of a drama that combines action and intrigue without sacrificing plausibility along the way.
The crown. Platform: Netflix. Number of sets: 4
Despite growing criticism in the press for its stories of Charles and Diana, The Crown remains one of the best boxes on affairs of state – both literally and metaphorically.
The fourth series was released in November, focusing on the 1980s, with all the exquisite details of the period and socio-political references that its devoted subjects have come to expect.
Chernobyl. Platform: Sky / NOW TV. Number of sets: 1
There are only five episodes of HBO’s Sky and Chernobyl, but if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out on a schedule that will leave you in turn shocked, enraged, and elated.
It has won numerous international awards for its gruesome portrayal of the Soviet nuclear disaster, becoming the highest rated TV series of all time on IMDB.
Black mirror. Platform: Netflix. Number of sets: 5
Charlie Brooker’s dystopian take on the future of mankind has consistently proven prescient in his portrayals of fanciful prime ministers and the ability of technology to assess human behavior.
The interactive episode Bandersnatch remains a highlight of the British drama, allowing viewers to direct a storyline that systematically ends in disaster for its main protagonist.
Download. Platform: Amazon Prime Video. Number of sets: 1
While American films tend to dominate British screens, the sheer quality of domestic dramas means there is only room for one American series on our list.
However. Upload deserves to be included for its witty writing, engaging acting by a bunch of relative strangers, and – like Black Mirror – irreverent take on a tech-fueled near future.