Winter days are the best days to stay in and watch films and series. When we think of TV series it's often American shows that come to mind, but the UK has silently been on a hot streak in the past few years when it comes to excellently produced television programs not named Doctor Who. The makers of these original series have a distinct personal vision expressed through technical competence and original concepts, resulting in home screen freshness. Mix that with good acting, handsome cinematography, dope music scores and fly British accents, and you got some of the best that tv entertainment has to offer these days. What's more, most of them have a low season/episode count and don't get milked the hell out of for multiple seasons with fillers. Here are some favorites you can catch via TV, DVD, Netflix, torrent etcetera. I'm not going into details too much as they are best watched knowing as little as possible about each.
LUTHER (BBC One)
Idris Elba (The Wire, American Gangster, Prometheus) has been killing it in the grimy crime drama Luther. The series follows the cases of troubled yet brilliant detective chief inspector John Luther (Idris Elba) who has an unrelenting approach to solving serial killings. John is a highly charged emotional man who is not above stretching the law to solve a case or save a life. From the opening credits to the end of season two, Luther is a fast-paced mystery presented with many plot twists and insights into the human psyche. Also, Alice is THE baddest bitch. The series is currently 10 episodes deep, spread over 2 seasons. season 3 is on its way sometime this year and will contain 4 more episodes.
BLACK MIRROR (Channel 4)
Black Mirror is an Emmy award-winning series created by the infamous Charlie Brooker. The dark drama series taps into the contemporary unease about the current modern world, with the stories having a "techno-paranoia" feel. Brooker describes his creation as follows: "each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they're all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes' time if we're clumsy." There's no real order, each episode is stand-alone and can each be viewed as seperate disarming, suspenseful and satirical films. Season 1 is out there and the final of the second season is airing the 25th.
SHERLOCK (BBC One)
Equally great is Sherlock, a contemporary update of the famed British detective who now uses modern-day technology to solve mysteries with a little help from from his homie Watson. The series stars the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes who assists the Metropolitan Police Service in solving various crimes. Although the series depicts assorted criminalities and perpetrators, Holmes' beef with his archnemesis Moriarty is a recurring theme. The first 2 seasons of the series (6 episodes total) have concluded with a cliffhanger of epic proportions and season 3 is in the making, but no airing date has been announced as of yet. Running time for each episode is about the same as a full-length movie, so in the meantime there's plenty to watch.
UTOPIA (Channel 4)
Utopia is a dark six-part conspiracy thriller written by Dennis Kelly (Spooks, Pulling). The compelling story follows a small group of people who find themselves in possession of a manuscript of a cult graphic novel called "The Utopia Experiments", which is rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the last century. This leads to their lives imploding brutally as they are being pursued by a shadowy and murderous organisation known only as 'The Network', which they must dodge to survive. The series is coming to an end as I write this entry and will be released as DVD/blu-ray on March 11.