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Television has the power to whisk us away into new worlds while remaining rooted in our favourite armchair. While equally opening up expansive stories through episodic journeys that leave us gagging for more. In recent years this has led to a new golden age of TV, as our viewing habits have changed in an online world. So why not take a break and immerse yourself in some truly stunning TV. With our curated list of some of the top TV, box sets available now on streaming services, DVD or Blu Ray. Each one providing hours of entertainment in a range of genres, from comedy to drama and sci-fi. So grab the remote and your favourite snacks and enjoy our list of Top TV box sets.
United States – 2020 (Amazon Prime)
1 Season (10 Episodes)
Within the first 10 minutes, David Weil’s Amazon series sets out its unconventional stall. As a 70s family barbecue turns to slaughter on a guest realising her host is an ex-Nazi war criminal. Before being whisked back to New York City in May 1977; where we join three young men as they step out of a movie theatre, having watched Star Wars for the first time. Their conversations centring on the political dimensions of the Nazi-like Empire and the rebellion it has inspired. But, as events progress, the Nazi-like empire of science fiction may, in fact, be a reality; as we dive into a Tarantino inspired thriller about Nazi hunters in 70s America.
Mixing the realities of the Nazi atrocities during the Second World War with an action-thriller that equally plays fast and loose with characters may jar with some viewers. However, Hunters is addictive viewing that also carries a fascinating sub-text, speaking to the current march of right-wing politics worldwide. While at the same time dissecting racism and oppression in all its forms with a comic book-inspired landscape of heroes and villains. Its beautifully realised 1970s locations and costumes elevated by performances that grab the viewer’s attention and don’t let go.
We also love The Man in the High Castle
United Kingdom – 2019 – Present (Netflix)
2 Seasons (16 Episodes)
From the first episode, Laurie Nun’s comedy/drama shines with optimism and charm. The screenplay captivating the viewer’s attention while single handily reinventing teen drama. Here, laugh out loud comedy is combined with teenage life’s pure anxiety, echoing the late great John Hughes. The result a comedy/drama that continues to push genre boundaries as it swings from outrageous comedy to heartfelt emotion in the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, the adults who pretend to have all the answers are just as confused by the sex and relationships surrounding them as the teens. But, it is in its casting choices that Sex Education truly shines above and beyond any of its contemporaries. Asa Butterfield, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey, and many others embedding their characters in the viewer’s hearts. And as Sex Education embarks on its second season, one thing is for sure. This is a show that’s here for many years to come.
We also love The Inbetweeners and The End of the F***ing World
Queer as Folk
United Kingdom – 1999/2000 (Channel 4)
2 Series (10 Episodes)
Fancy a slice of genuinely groundbreaking television? Then look no further than the Channel 4 drama Queer as Folk. Now celebrating its 21st Birthday, Queer as Folk changed gay representation on TV and lit a fuse in public acceptance of LGBTQ+ culture. And while some aspects may now seem dated, Queer as Folk still shines with humour, power and sexuality. Its episodes filled to the brim with shocking, engaging and enthralling characters. While its sheer narrative power duly smashed the rainbow coloured glass ceiling. Russell T Davies sparked a global transformation in queer TV, with Queer as Folk USA, The L Word and many more given a greenlight. The years proceeding its release, a golden period of LGBTQ drama as a new millennium took hold.
We also love Looking and It’s a Sin
Generation War (Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter)
Germany 2013 (Arrow Films)
1 Mini-Series (3 Episodes)
How would a war directly affect your family and friends? And what does it mean to engage in a conflict where your values and beliefs oppose the pervading political ideology? These issues of morality, conflict, friends and family sit at the heart of Generation War. One of the best explorations of conflict and belonging ever produced for TV. Its episodes wrapped in unflinching bravery as it explores the effects of World War Two on the German citizens living under polarising Third Reich.
Generation War opens up the debate around politically ideology, personal belief and duty. While reflecting on the destruction war creates in personal, social and cultural identity. And if you find yourself questioning how intelligent and cultured people can be blindsided by political rhetoric and barbarism, then Generation War has done its job. Its story reflecting the complexity, hurt and anger of those consumed by conflict, hatred and holocaust.