Need a new box set to binge on?
From the hottest Netflix dramas, to beloved 90s sitcoms and unmissable thrillers, these are television series that have given us catchphrases, crushes and got us through hard times.
If you haven't watched any of them, start tuning in now to some of the best box sets to watch and wave goodbye to your social life for the foreseeable future.
The Get Down
Baz Luhrmann has been working on this high-energy, high-drama musical for 12 years - and it shows. Set in the late 70s, the series chronicles the inception of hip hop. It follows a wannabee DJ, Shaoline Fantastic, his wordsmith, Zeke, and his ambitious love interest, Marlene, as they try to overcome the tumultuous political climate in the Bronx to make it as music stars.
DON'T MISS The incredible DJ battle scene in the finale will have you up and dancing.
The cast of Cold Feet have just returned to our screens after a 13 year hiatus and we're welcoming them back with open arms. Its funny and poignant portraits of modern life and love saw it win over the nation the first time round, and the new version is just as addictive.
DON'T MISS When Rachel and Adam meet in episode one.
Orange is the New Black
Piper Chapman is just your average 30-something living in New York until she finds herself facing a 15-month sentence for transporting a suitcase full of drug money for her then girlfriend, an international drug smuggler, ten years ago.
OITNB has pulled in record viewings for it's sensitively-told and gripping personal stories about the inmates, not to mention the camaraderie and corruption of prison life.
DON'T MISS A Whole Other Hole, season 2, ep 4.
Suspense-filled Mr Robot follows computer programmer Elliot who is a cybersecurity engineer by day and a vigilante hacker by night. When he's recruited by a group of underground hackers, it becomes his mission to help take down corporate America. Bonus: Rami Malik is very good looking.
DON'T MISS Hidden Process, season 2, ep 10.
If you haven't seen Stranger Things on Netflix, where have you been? The nostalgia-inducing 80s drama about a spooky town where kids are going missing, boasts an epic soundtrack, Goonies-esque levels of camaraderie and sci-fi twists to leave you on the edge of your seat.
DON'T MISS When Joyce manages to communicate with her son Will via the fairy lights she's strung up in her living room.
This off-beat black comedy was written by Judd Appatow of Knocked Up fame. Maverick Mickey and cautious Gus strike up an unlikely friendship after Gus is dumped, and then more. But will they, won't they? That's the question.
DON'T MISS The ultimate awkward date between Gus and Bertie.
The X Files
Two FBI special agents – one a sceptic, one a believer – trying to find the truth in unsolved paranormal cases. Whether Mulder and Scully were dealing with Arctic ear worms or stretching genetic mutants, it was unmissable midweek TV back in 2001, so we were overjoyed when it returned for more in 2016 after a 15-year hiatus.
DON'T MISS Series 4, when Mulder finds out who may have killed his sister.
Queer As Folk
Following the lives of two gay men, Vince and Stuart, living in Manchester on a diet of sex, clubbing and drugs, and 15-year Nathan who falls in love with Stuart. We still love you Stuart Alan Jones, despite season 2 being so short.
DON'T MISS Falling in love with Stuart, despite his many, many flaws.
Lena Dunham has been lauded for her raw portrayal of a group of 20-somethings haplessly searching for success in New York. It's final series is imminent, so will Shosh, Jessa, Hannah and Marnie find their place? We'll have to wait and see.
DON'T MISS The one where sweet but neurotic Shoshanna accidentally gets high in season 1, ep 7.
This feel-good series follows mother-daughter duo Lorelai and Rory as they navigate life and love in the sleepy town of Stars Hollow.
DON'T MISS Four brand-new 90 minute episodes recently landed Netflix.
A mysterious blogger spills on every intimate detail of this group of privileged Upper East Siders lives, as well as Lonely Boy, Dan, and sister Jenny from Brooklyn. Also, look out for Blair and Serena's seriosuly covetable wardrobes.
DON'T MISS Queen B become a real-life princess, season 5, ep 13.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Kimmy Schmidt escapes from a cult after 15 years (it's funnier than it sounds) and decides to make a go at life in New York. Her wide-eyed enthusiasm is counteracted by her hilariously egotistical housemate - street performer Tituss and the two become unlikely friends.
DON'T MISS The moment we realise who the Reverend is actually played by.
Master Of None
Aziz Ansari's perfectly observed comedy drama follows an indecisive actor named Dev in his search for love and success. No prizes for guessing things don't always go to plan.
DON'T MISS Ladies and Gentleman, ep 3, where Dev embraces feminism for the first time.
My So-Called Life
The sullen heartthrob musician (Jared Leto), the coming-of-age protagonist (Claire Danes) and the rebellious best friend. It had the epic lovelorn storylines of Dawson’s Creek flanked by Nineties grittiness. The original teen drama.
DON’T MISS The cliff-hanger of the last episode. Claire Danes kyboshed series two, so it ends, abruptly.
What starts as a guilty pleasure has become a full-blown addiction. The series follows county music stars, Rayna James and Juliette Barnes, as they negotiate the highs and lows of their professional and personal lives. In a town of music hopefuls, almost every cast member contributes to the soundtrack, which is rather damn catchy...
DON'T MISS Sparks flying between Rayna and Deacon throughout their on/off relationship.
The neighbouring New York apartments, the lack of 9-5, even with Fat Ugly Naked Guy in the mix, we all wanted to be part of the Friends' crew. 12 years on it's still the most quotable show that ever was and it taught us exactly what it means to be 'ON A BREAK'. For this, Friends will always top our best box set list.
DON’T MISS The One With The Prom Video, season 2, ep 14.
The Mindy Project
Mindy Kaling is brilliantly funny as Mindy Lahiri, an ego-centric OB/GYN living in New York and looking for Mr Right. Don't be fooled by Mindy's celebrity obsessions and often inappropriate behaviour; she is a strong, successful woman that runs circles around her male colleagues.
DON'T MISS Mindy's enviable wardrobe will encourage you to brighten up your own.
This series follows the adulterous, martini-fuelled antics of Madison Avenue advertising execs. You'll grow to love Peggy and loathe Pete, but Mad Men would be nothing without the deeply troubled, dangerously charismatic, creative genius Don Draper and the magnetic, steely-minded Joan Holloway (pictured).
DON’T MISS The lawnmower scene in season 6, for some rare black humour.
Nothing takes the edge off a Sunday evening like the pure escapism of Downton. The gowns, the houses, the massive sweep of the story arcing through generations of the same family. Yes, it’s a bit like a theme park version of history, but the ride is simply charming.
DON’T MISS Dame Maggie Smith’s tart tongue as she goes head-to-head with - well, everyone - but especially her frenemy played by Penelope Wilton.
The Bluth family are ruined and eldest son Michael has the task of pulling them back from the brink. Unfortunately the brink is where the rest of them seem happiest. Whip-smart one-liners and surreal mania redefine the family sitcom.
DON'T MISS Any of Uncle Gob’s (Jobe) magic shows.
Parks and Recreation
A US government official building a new park is not a riveting premise for a comedy, but add a series of mishaps (an accidental shooting, a controversial penguin marriage), characters written with affection and TV’s most iconic tache and we're sold.
DON’T MISS When intern April’s eye-rolling apathy begins to melt for a certain someone.
When a show kills off a main character in a deep fat fryer in episode two, it’s clear that you’re onto something special. The terrorist plots, moral dilemmas and big-budget blasts made Spooks a worthy, but more cerebral UK rival to muscle-bound US imports like 24.
DON'T MISS Carter’s explosive self-sacrifice in series 7. Swoon.
David Duchovny (post X Files) was diagnosed with sex addiction, but here he is playing a heavy-drinking, drug taking, sex-seeking novelist with writer’s block, struggling to get his estranged wife and daughter back on side. Dysfunction plus debauchery makes this a joy.
DON’T MISS Duchovny’s sexual scrapes. Funny. In a dark way.
Game of Thrones
Warring noble families fight for the Iron Throne (the seat of Kings in the Seven Kingdoms). Comedy, sex, murder, incest, treason, dragons, flesh eating zombies...you name it, Games of Thrones has it.
DON’T MISS Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in any scene.
Try looking at Anna Paquin without hearing the words “Sookie is mine” after this. Slick, gnarly and outrageously dark, this is the sexiest vampire show you’ll ever see (thanks mostly to Alexander Skaarsgård). Watch it in the dark.
DON'T MISS Eric Northman. Period.
Sex and the City
You know the plot – four single 30-somethings in NYC – so here are some more reasons why SATC is genius: Big vs Aidan, Samantha's sassy one-liners and a walk-in closet we would live happily ever after in.
DONT MISS The finale. It was everything we wanted for our four fictional BFFs and more.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
In anyone but Joss Whedon’s hands, a show about an ex-cheerleader saving the world one vamp at a time would never have worked. Instead, he cleverly uses horror as a metaphor for growing up and creates a fiercely loved heroine.
DON’T MISS Emmy-winning episode Once More, With Feeling, season 6, ep 7.
House of Cards
The BBC original in the Nineties was brilliant. But the US reboot relocated the political thriller to Washington and added Kevin Spacey as its dastardly Democrat, and Robin Wright as his eco-activist wife. Let the high-powered scheming and back-stabbing begin…
DON’T MISS Every time Spacey talks to camera. Shudder-inducing.
The beauty of this Emmy hoovering US comedy is that it’s so darn relatable. As tender as it is toe-curling, it follows the dysfunctional lives of father/ step-father/grandfather/new father Jay Pritchett and his extended family in mockumentary style.
DON’T MISS Adopted toddler Lily learning to swear, series 3.
Six Feet Under
When your family business is a funeral home, you can expect things to get a little dark and twisted. Enter Nate, David, Claire and Ruth Fisher, whose lives are steeped in death as they procrastinate life. Quirky, wry, macabre and profound, this is where Dexter (Michael C Hall) cut his teeth.
DON’T MISS The intense season 5 finale. Drama at its best.
JJ Abrams’ finest work to date? Discuss. Fringe – a slicker, more bonkers X-Files starring Pacey – has FBI agent Olivia Dunham, mad scientist Walter Bishop and his son Peter (hello again, Joshua Jackson) delving into the paranormal.
DON’T MISS The bizarrely cute but crazy Walter. And his science lab. And his cow.
It was widely assumed Alec Baldwin’s career was on the slide. Then came Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, on life behind the scenes of a fictional Saturday Night Live-style TV show, and Baldwin the comedy genius emerged. Coupled with Fey’s Liz Lemon they’re a dream double act.
DON’T MISS The various cameos – Al Gore pops up twice.
One of the greatest TV duos of all time, drunk and deluded Pasty and Eddie are the anti-role model for Edina's sensible daughter, Saffron. With an Emmy, three BAFTAS and a plethora of other awards to its name, Ab Fab's timeless comedy will never go out of style.
DON'T MISS: The endless banter.
The award-winning sitcom follows the lives of dysfunctional flatmates Mark and Jez. Never again will you get such insight into the minds of two hapless losers.
DON'T MISS Seasonal Beatings, series 7, ep 5.
Gavin & Stacey
Tidy. What’s occurring? Gavla. G&S could have its own Catchphrase special…Essex boy meets Welsh girl, the BAFTA-winning show follows the relationship of Gavin and Stacey, from long-distance dating to marriage and babies.
DON'T MISS Nessa's wedding, series 3, ep 6.
The mockumentury follows the day-to-day lives of a group of office workers. Laugh or cringe, Brent has earned his place in the nation’s consciousness.
DON'T MISS The Christmas kiss.
The Thick of It
Armando Iannucci’s dark political satire: novel swearing at its best. The show is billed as the modern answer to Yes Minister, highlighting the struggles and conflicts between politicians, spin doctors, civil servants and the media.
DON'T MISS Malcom Tucker's fowl mouth.
There's no case Olivia Pope and her 'gladiators' can't crack, and nothing or no one they can't make disappear. This political drama about a former White House Communications Director who runs a her own crisis management enterprise definitely delivers on its namesake.
DON'T MISS You Got Served, ep 5, season 5.
Brothers & Sisters
Dealing with the fallout of their dead dad’s secrets, the improbably good-looking Walker clan (five siblings including Calista Flockhart to Balthazar Getty) make the Kardashians look like amateurs.
DON'T MISS Rob Lowe as Senator Robert McCallister. West Wing, why did you ever let him go?
The Walking Dead
The focus in The Walking Dead is on a community rebuilding their lives after being ripped apart by the undead, not just, “Zombies! Run away!” This makes for compelling family drama, but with the added tension that at any time somebody might get their arm chewed off.
DON'T MISS Andrew Lincoln’s excellent southern drawl.
No-one matches Helen Mirren’s chain-smoking DCI Jane Tennison. She’s the original, brilliant-yet-flawed woman battling it out in a man’s world. Watching her career soar, while her personal life dissolves, is simply unmissable.
DON’T MISS Series four is one of the show’s darkest.
Diagnosed with terminal cancer, science teacher Walt decides cooking crystal meth (with help from ex-student Jesse) is the only way forward. But this isn’t the simple road to wealth he’d hoped. Cue twists so darkly addictive, you’ll need a stint in rehab.
DON'T MISS When Walt first dons that hat to become Heisenberg. Be afraid.
Dark whodunnit Twin Peaks opened up the Nineties in spectacular style. 20 years ago the show had us transfixed with a backwards-talking dwarf and cherry pie. It still holds that power.
DON’T MISS Sheryl Lee’s second coming. Freaky.
Michael C Hall plays serial killing psychopath Dexter with such a subtle level of black humour, that it’s become easy weeknight viewing. Who’d have thought it?
DON’T MISS The ultimate reveal, ep 12, season 6.
Essentially, this is a fictional take on executive producer Mark Wahlberg’s experiences as an upcoming film star, under the guise of Vincent Chase. It’s an ensemble cast but Jeremy Piven as Vince’s agent and Kevin Dillon as Johnny Drama are the stand-out acts.
DON’T MISS Episode 2, season 9. U2 starring.
Consulting Detective, Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) solves various mysteries in modern-day London assisted by his flatmate and friend, Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman), who has returned from military service in Afghanistan with the Royal Army Medical Corps. A quirky shelf staple handily split into six 90 minute standalone stories.
DON'T MISS Sherlock and John's first proper conversation in episode one.
Pride & Prejudice
The BAFTA- and Emmy-winning adaptation of Jane Austen's most famous novel, this is six hours of the finest period drama ever made.
DON'T MISS Colin Firth as Mr Darcy diving into a lake will never fail to make us hit the rewind button.
June 1956. BBC reporters and soulmates Bel Rowley and Freddie Lyon join a brand new current affairs programme and become involved in a dark and dangerous conspiracy.
DON'T MISS The Fifties threads alone are worth devoting a few nights in to.
Friday Night Lights
It’s hard to believe a drama about Texas high-school football can make you tear up (in a good way) every episode, but the fortunes of Coach Taylor’s team – underdogs on and off the field – have a knack of burrowing deep under your skin.
DON’T MISS Coach Taylor’s rock solid relationship with his wife Tami – best TV marriage ever.
This is England, ’86, ’88 and '90
It's hard not to watch Shane Meadows’ gritty but heart-warming tale of a misfit group of punks-turned-mods from behind shaking hands. The effect is visceral. Vicky McClure’s turn as hard knocks heroine Lol is one of British TV’s best ever.
DON’T MISS The harrowing scene between McClure and her on-screen father.
Three words: ER on heat. When the surgeons and interns of Seattle Grace hospital aren’t scrubbing in, they’re making out. Hot doctors are dubbed the likes of McDreamy and McSteamy and show creator Shonda Rhimes loves to kill off a character so by series seven it’s like the TV answer to Hunger Games.
DON’T MISS Owen and Cristina’s chemistry (from series 5). Their first kiss is a YouTube hit.
Never mind the jumpers. Or the wellies for that matter. Sofie Gråbøl’s portrayal of the brilliant, obsessive and isolated homicide detective Sarah Lund in the tense Danish series is one of the great performances of our time. Doggedly persistent, slightly mad, and you know she’s going to be wrong before she’s right. Watch with a pillow to hide behind.
DON’T MISS Season one, ep 18. We inadvertently saw it on our own. Petrified.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Larry David is confused. He doesn’t understand the intricate dance of modern manners and why he should conform. As a result he says what should remain unsaid and ends up paying for it. His pain makes for watch-it-through-your-hands hilarity.
DON'T MISS In season five, Larry adopts a racist ex-police dog.
New-Jersey based Italian mobster Tony Soprano struggles to balance family commitments with his world of crime. Widely thought of as the pinnacle of TV drama. Watch and believe.
DON'T MISS Pine Barrens, season 3, ep 11.
The Wire looks at the Baltimore drug scene from the perspectives of drug dealers and law enforcers. Persevere to episode six in order to tune into the accents, and you’re away.
DON'T MISS Omar Devone Little, the notorious stick-up man with a strict moral code.
The West Wing
Showing the inner workings of the Ferderal Governement, The West Wing won three Golden Globe Awards and 26 Emmy Awards. All you need to know about American politics. Or so we believe.
DON'T MISS Two Cathedrals (season 2, ep 22).
Follow along in real-time as each 24 episode season shows 24 hours in the life of Jack Bauer, a Counter Terrorist Unit Agent. Buy tinned food, bottled water, lock your doors and dig in.
DON'T MISS season 1, ep 1.
The Big Bang Theory
A group of nerdy friends have their eyes opened when a beautiful blonde moves in across the hall. Unlikely friendships blossom and both sides learn a thing or two about life.
DON'T MISS Shamy.
Looking for the holiday from Hell? Take a trip to Fawlty Towers where hotel owner, Basil, and his wife, Sybil, struggle to keep things running smoothly and Spanish waiter, Manuel, has a hard time taking orders.
DON'T MISS The Germans, series 1, ep 6.
The Doctor, a space and time-travelling humanoid alien explores the universe in his Tardis while working to save civilisations and help people in need.
DON'T MISS The blue police box, which was a common sight in Britain when the series first aired in 1963.
You might associate The Simpsons with after-school TV binging but this long-running series satirising the working-class American family is a timeless classic that is perfect for a duvet day.
DON'T MISS Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish, season 2, ep 4.
The premise of this cult teen series might sound far-fatched: Ryan is the boy 'from the wrong side of the tracks' who gets adopted by his youth attorney's well-to-do family; the Cohens, who also happen to live in the rich kid's playground of The OC.
But when the storylines are this good, who cares? Ryan is plunged into a life of private schools, pool houses and charity balls, and strikes up one of our favourite ever unlikely TV friendships with the Cohen's sarcastic, comic book-obsessed son Seth.
DON'T MISS All of the Chrismukkah episodes.
Eight men attempt to break out of prison. So far, so standard. Make one of them a pedophile, one a mob boss and one a seriously hot genius there to free his brother, Michael Scofield, and you have the most addictive show since 24.
DON’T MISS If you don’t gasp when Michael reveals his prison blueprint tattoo in episode 1, then nothing in life will surprise you.
Wisteria Lane: my favourite cul-de-sac of curtain-twitching, stiletto-toting neighbours where no plot line – no matter how absurd – is out of bounds.
DON'T MISS Edie’s electrocution; the plane crash; John Barrowman. We repeat, John Barrowman.
Hugh Laurie became the world’s best-paid, most-watched TV star with his turn as drug-addicted, sarcastic genius Dr Greg House. His life-saving diagnoses are like a medical Sherlock Holmes (the show teems with Sherlock references) and, naturally, his personal life is the sickest patient of all.
DON’T MISS Series 1, ep 21 when House’s ex begs him to treat her ailing husband.
When Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on to an island with a host of genius characters, addictive TV was redefined. Add black smoke and a sinister underground lab into the mix and you can’t help but jump on the conspiracy theory bandwagon headfirst.
DON'T MISS The flashforwards of season 3, ep 22.