Have you already watched all five episodes of It’s A Sin? Don’t panic: from comedy shows such as Catastrophe to nostalgic throwbacks including The OC, Channel 4 is the home of many, many iconic TV series. Here are the best ones to stream on All 4.
How’s your entertainment consumption in lockdown going?
Already devoured the most talked-about dramas including Bridgerton and I May Destroy You? Overdone it on the BBC classics like The Vicar of Dibley and Gavin & Stacey? Tried to find your zen with Netflix’s Headspace Guide To Meditation? Feel lighter after a marathon of 30-minute comedies like The Good Place?
You’ve also likely already worked your way through Channel 4’s new Russell T Davies drama, It’s A Sin. The five-part series about a group of gay friends during the Aids crisis has already accumulated 6.5 million views on All 4, which makes it the streaming platform’s most-watched show ever.
It’s hardly surprising that the show is arguably the most successful series of the year so far. After all, Channel 4 is the home of so many original and iconic titles. So if you’re looking for the next show to binge, you might want to log into your All 4 account.
We’ve rounded up just some of the best ones for you…
Best Channel 4 boxsets to watch during lockdown
It’s A Sin
For those who have yet to watch It’s A Sin (what have you been doing in lockdown?), the series follows Ritchie, Roscoe, Colin, Jill and their LGBTQ+ friends who live at the Pink Palace in London during the 80s Aids crisis. It’s hilarious, heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measures. It also has an absolutely banging soundtrack that will make you miss the days of dancing and snogging in clubs.
And if you like It’s A Sin, you might also enjoy…
Queer As Folk
Set in and around Manchester’s gay scene during the late 90s, Queer As Folk was also written by T Davies. It documents the lives and loves of young gay men Stuart, Vince and Nathan.
Before Fleabag, there was Crashing. Phoebe Waller-Bridge wrote this six-part series about a group of 20-somethings living together as property guardians in a disused hospital, keeping the building safe in exchange for cheaper rent and a strict set of rules. She also stars main character, Lulu.
My Mad Fat Diary
Based on the novel by Rae Earl, My Mad Fat Diary follows the story of 16-year-old Rae, who has a lust for life and love but struggles with body image and mental-health. Recently released after spending four months in a psychiatric hospital,she joins school and makes a new group of friends. Jodie Comer also stars as Rae best pal, Chloe.
Sure, you can watch the American version of Shameless on Netflix. Or you can go back to where it all began, on Manchester’s Chatsworth estate, to reacquaint yourself with the dysfunctional Gallagher family. The incredible Anne Marie Duff and James McAvoy star in this award-winning gritty comedy by Paul Abbott. It follows the story of Frank, who is the useless and drunk father of six kids. Fiona, played by Duffy, is the oldest daughter who finds herself having to look after everyone.
Tracey Gordon, a religious, Beyoncé-obsessed 24-year-old Londoner, is fast to find out that the more she learns about the world, the less she understands. The brilliant Michaela Coel wrote the show and won a Bafta for her performance as Tracey.
Father Ted is the beloved 90s sitcom about three priests –Ted, Dougal and Jack – living on Craggy Island, a remote island off the west coast of Ireland. Written by Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan, it’s laugh-out-loud funny and has a nostalgic feeling that we can all appreciate right now.
Bizarre but hilarious, Green Wing is a Channel 4 comedy throwback (it really was genre-defining). The series was created by the same team behind the sketch show Smack the Pony, and stars acting legends Tamsin Greig, Olivia Colman, Sally Phillips and Stephen Mangan.
Who doesn’t like The Simpsons? Even if you’ve seen every episode 20 times before, there’s something comforting about our favourite cartoon family and their one-liners. It’s also weirdly emotional at times (this writer has been known to cry at certain episodes). So even if it’s on in the background, stick on your favourite episode and have a chuckle.
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Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney are at their absolute best in this award-winning comedy. Catastrophe follows the story of Sharon, who becomes pregnant after a fling with American visitor Rob. Despite hardly knowing each other and living in different continents, they decide to have the baby and bring him up together.
Watch all 24 episodes of Catastrophe here.
And if you like Catastrophe, you’ll also enjoy…
This Way Up
Comedy-drama This Way Up was written by and stars Aisling Bea, with IRL friend Sharon Horgan on executive producer duties. Bea plays Áine, who has had a nervous breakdown, and now teaches English as a second language in London. Horgan plays her protective elder sister, Shona. It’s of course very funny, but there are also a lot of tender, emotional moments to treasure.
This Is England
Shane Meadows fans: this is for you. This Is England 86, 88 and 90 are spin-off series from the original hit film. They follow loveable skinheads Lol, Woody, Shaun, Trev and the rest of the gang as they navigate their troubled lives. Vicky McClure absolutely shines as Lol.
Watch all 12 episodes of This Is England here.
All together now: “Californiiiiaaaa!” Yes, many millennials out there will remember tuning into T4 on a weekend for a weekly dose of teen drama The OC. It follows the story of not-so-bad boy Ryan who is taken in by the lovely (and incredibly wealthy) Cohen family. He falls for the troubled girl next door, Marissa, which we all know spells trouble.
Watch all four series of The OC when it lands on All 4 in January.
The chokers, the scrunch-dried hair, the double denim, the 90s soundtrack: Derry Girls is the hilarious and nostalgic Bafta-nominated series that we’ve been obsessed with since it first aired over two years ago.
Following teenagers Orla, Clare, Michelle and Erin (as well as The Wee English Fella, James) navigating school, family and friendship during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, creator and writer Lisa McGee calls on her own experiences of growing up in Derry to give the show its authenticity and humour.
Watch all two series of Derry Girls here.
The Great is a satirical star-studded drama that gleefully describes itself as the “occasionally true story” of Catherine the Great, charting her rise from outsider to the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. It stars Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, who have each received award nominations for their sharp and very funny takes on the roles.
Images: Channel 4
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…