The streaming platform has added a foursome of late-90s and early-00s complete British series to keep us entertained during lockdown. And that’s not even the half of it…
If you were born and raised on British sitcoms like Only Fools and Horses, Ab Fab, Bottom, Fawlty Towers and Blackadder, you’ll already be fully aware that these are all on Netflix. In fact, rewatching them is half the reason you always take so long to catch up on the watercooler shows and new series… but you wouldn’t want to admit it.
Well, depending on how you look at it, we’ve got some good and bad news. If you still haven’t got around to Tiger King, you might as well forget it, because Netflix has just dropped some solid gold classics onto the platform.
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We’re talking The Vicar of Dibley, dinnerladies, Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. These much-loved shows from the late 90s and early 00s join an array of recent BBC, ITV and Channel 4 favourites including McMafia and SS-GB, series three of The Durrells and one-off TV movie Brexit: The Uncivil War, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Because just like the Spice Girls, Netflix knows what we want, what we really really want…
And if that reference was lost on you, that’s all the more reason to revisit. Have a look at what’s landed today.
THE VICAR OF DIBLEY
Ten points for knowing it was James Fleet’s Hugo who uttered the infamous Spice Girls line (although he wasn’t talking about Netflix, but another saviour – Jesus). All three series of Richard Curtis’ sitcom, starring Dawn French as female vicar Geraldine Granger, are now available to watch and rewatch, along with the special seasonal episodes. The Easter Bunny episode is a must-watch for this weekend, at least.
Come for the timeless laughs – like Hugo and Alice’s (the late Emma Chamberlain) wedding and that glorious puddle jump – stay for Geraldine and Alice’s touching sisterhood.
In the British TV sitcom world, dinnerladies is a delicious, hearty and warming slice of pie. An award-winning pie baked by the late, great Victoria Wood, no less. As well as creating, writing and co-producing all 16 episodes of this late-90s classic, Wood also stars as Bren Furlong, deputy manager of the Manchester canteen in which dinnerladies takes place.
LIFE ON MARS
If you haven’t seen it, this BBC series stars John Simm as a detective sent back in time to 1970s Manchester after a car accident. And it’s magnificent. Whenever we see something written about Life on Mars, it’s often accompanied by the modest words of “greatest British show of all time.” While that 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes can’t be wrong, now’s the time to draw your own conclusion.
In fact, with a third and final series reported to be on the way, now’s as good a time as any to make your way through all sixteen episodes.
ASHES TO ASHES
If you’ve caught up on Life on Mars and are already sad it’s over, you’ll definitely want to check out its equally acclaimed spin-off series, Ashes to Ashes. The sequel sees DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister) from Life on Mars joined by the inimitable Keeley Hawes as detective and psychologist DI Alex Drake.
The time, she’s the one doing the time-travelling, transported back to the 1980s after being shot in 2008. Find all three series on Netflix now.