You got through the chill – now here comes the rain. Staying in and cuddling up with a TV box set is the only way to deal with February, so hang up your wellies and take it easy this month.
Thank goodness for catch up on Freeview Play and apps embedded in your Smart TV. From sword-slinging Lotharios in The Last Kingdom to alien-bashing teenagers in Class, there’s a box set for everyone. Queue ’em up and settle in until Spring.
The Last Kingdom
More than just a cross between Legolas and John Snow, main character Uhtred grows into a truly conflicted, fascinating character over the course of The Last Kingdom. Adapted from the Bernard Cornwell novel, this historical drama ticks many of the same boxes as Game of Thrones – notable gore, excitement and political intrigue. Well worth cancelling plans this weekend.
Be quick – The Last Kingdom box set will start to disappear from iPlayer this Sunday (5 February).
10 Years of Skins
Believe it or not, it’s been 10 years since, Tony, Chris, Effy and the gang drank, smoked and partied their way onto British TV. These Bristolian miscreants captured the imagination of a generation – even spawning off an American adaptation.
In celebration, Channel 4 have a box set with all seven seasons available to watch online (along with a host of other great shows).
Spawned from a parallel universe where Jackanory is made for adults, Crackanory showcases comedians, actors and actresses (including the late Carrie Fisher) spinning delightfully twisted tales. Enjoy Jack Dee recounting the tale of Twitter troll ‘Dazpants80’ and Dara Ó Briain telling the story of a Roman slave helping his master to finish his latest work.
With the fourth season currently underway on Dave, catch up on all the past episodes on UKTV Play.
After witnessing a murder, incongruous flatmates Rhona and Leanne are placed into witness protection. Far from reinventing themselves elsewhere, the pair are thrust deep into the criminal underground they tried to escape.
Inspired by James Corden and Matthew Baynto’s The Wrong Mans, Witless might just be one of the best BBC Three comedies in years.
Ever wonder what happens after the Doctor leaves a planet, city or school after an episode of Doctor Who? The latest Doctor Who spinoff Class is set at Coal Hill School in Shoreditch (where companion Clara was employed as a teacher). Centering around a typical group of misfits, flung together to save the world, the characters are written with a level of depth that preserves them from being the usual stereotypes.
When new boy Charlie turns out to be an alien refugee, hiding on Earth to escape his demonic persecutors, the gang all have a role to play in themselves safe. Not shying away from violence and death, Class operates on a level of maturity much closer to Torchwood than Doctor Who.
Shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
Of course, there’s plenty to satisfy your binge-watching needs on Freeview Play, but if you’re looking to gorge yourself even further, perhaps it’s time to supplement your viewing with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Most Freeview Play TVs come with Netflix and Amazon apps built into their Smart features, so for a few pounds a month it’s easy to top up your viewing.
Check out a couple of our picks below.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
The first of 2017’s set of Netflix blockbusters is a new, serial adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Featuring Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, and an especially adept cast of youngsters playing the Beaudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, this adaptation succeeds in many areas where the original film failed. With a carefully styled aesthetic at the hands of Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands production designer Bo Welch, A Series of Unfortunate Events is visually stunning.
As Robert Lloyd of the LA Times put it, “I have no complaints, only praise. The only question is whether to savour or to binge.” We only see one option.
With more layers of plotline than you can shake a stick at, Sneaky Pete passed Amazon’s test after the pilot debuted back in 2015. The full series hit the internet in January to widespread critical acclaim.
Sneaky Pete follows the story of Marius Josipovic (Giovanni Ribisi), a criminal released from prison who adopts the identity of his cellmate to escape his old life. Needless to say, that life catches up with him in the form of Vince Lonigan (Bryan Cranston), the boss of a grifter gang Josipovic used to run with. Facing a new set of problems in the life of his adopted identity, Pete must find a way to reconcile his past, present and future.
Sneaky Pete picks up pace as it goes along quickly weaving itself into a tight story with cracking performances from its large cast. Stick with it past the first few episodes and you’ll be sofa-locked in no time.