Channel 4 boxsets: 10 of the best that you can’t watch on Netflix

Posted by for Life

From iconic comedy shows like Green Wing, to nostalgic throwbacks including The Simpsons, these are the shows you can only stream on All 4.

How’s your entertainment consumption in lockdown going? Already devoured the most talked about dramas including Unorthodox and Quiz? Overdone it on the BBC classics like The Vicar of Dibley and Gavin & Stacey? Cried your way through the latest episode of Gogglebox? Feel lighter after a marathon of 30-minute comedies like The Good Place?

Yep, there’s a lot of great stuff to get through and I bet we’re all doing a pretty good job of doing it. But if you’re looking for the next show to binge, you might want to log into your All 4 account.

Channel 4 has given us incredible boxsets over the years, and many favourites – Peep Show, Derry Girls, The IT Crowd – are available to watch on Netflix. There are also plenty of others that are only available to stream on All 4, so we decided to round them up for you.

Best Channel 4 boxsets to watch during lockdown

From the hilarious to the heartbreaking, here are the eight shows we think you’ll want to stream.

Crashing

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. 

Watch all six episodes of Crashing

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.

Shameless is available to watch on All 4.
Shameless is available to watch on All 4.

Shameless

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. 

Watch all 139 episodes of Shameless here.

Channel 4 boxsets: Chewing Gum.
Channel 4 boxsets: Chewing Gum.

Chewing Gum

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. 

Watch all 12 episodes of Chewing Gum here. 

Father Ted

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.

Watch all 25 episodes of Father Ted here.

Channel 4 boxsets: Green Wing
Channel 4 boxsets: Green Wing

Green Wing

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.

Watch all 18 episodes of Green Wing here.

The Simpsons

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. 

Watch select episodes of The Simpsons here. 

Catastrophe

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.

Watch all 6 episodes of This Way Up here.

Channel 4 boxsets: This Is England
Channel 4 boxsets: This Is England

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.

Images: Channel 4

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Hollie Richardson

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…