Whether you’re in the thick of a gruelling 9-5, or at the height of exam season, stress will always be an unwelcome guest. But who said adulting was easy? Thankfully, streaming services will always be there in times of trouble, and there’s always a thriving crop of
British comedies on Netflix to stream. So whether you’re in the mood for something new or you’re after some classic British sitcoms and sketch shows, Netflix is the place to go.
A comedy pick-me-up is always a good shout when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and Netflix has amassed quite the library of new and old British comedy goodness recently. Recent additions like
Sex Education, The End of the F***ing World, and Man Like Mobeen are definitely ones to catch up on, but there’s a chance you may have missed the likes of Absolutely Fabulous or Peep Show along the way. That’s only scratching the surface, but there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. Below are a handful of shows to calm your stresses with the pure unadulterated joy of British humour at its best. So whether you’re after a new show or just want to rewatch some classics, pour a cuppa, sit down, and indulge in the best of British comedies on Netflix.
A sitcom filled with addiction and self-destruction sounds like it might be light on the jokes, but when you Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley into the mix, it’s downright hilarious. PR agent Eddy (played by Saunders) and magazine fashion director Patsy (Lumley) relish in their fashion industry success just a tad too much, often blowing their money on alcohol and other pleasures in an attempt to relive their glory days.
They end up in dire situation after dire situation, accompanied by ludicrous consequences, which will lift your spirits above and beyond where you started out.
Watch on Netflix
Dark comedy more your thing?
After Life is the perfect series for you. Created by Ricky Gervais, After Life follows newspaper writer Tony who is dealing with the recent death of his wife to breast cancer. To cope, he decides to take on “a gruff new persona in an effort to push those away trying to help”, by saying and doing what he wants without thinking about the consequences.
a second series coming this April, there’s no reason for you not to dive into this witty and emotional series. Watch on Netflix
The beauty of British comedy is its intrinsic relationship with the nation.
The IT Crowd is a perfect example, where one phrase — “ Have you tried turning it off and on again?” — is relatable no matter where you live in the UK. We all know where it’s from, and we’ve all spent nights marathoning the show to oblivion on All 4. Who knew a group of ITV nerds could steal our hearts, including a vampiric Noel Fielding? Watch on Netflix Anderson/Associated Newspapers/Shutterstock
Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders ruled the late '80s and early '90s with their sketch series, proving that yes, women are witty, hilarious, and damn right genius, too.
Often spoofing cultural moments, as well as contemporary TV and film,
French and Saunders paved the way for future female sketch comedians, whilst also cementing their careers — and legacy — in British comedy. Watch on Netflix
Everyone loves a teen comedy, and
Sex Education delivers on that front. It’s also a show that successfully traverses the awkward sexual awakening all teens experience, and the problems they’d much rather keep to themselves (in a very British way, ofc).
Sex Education “finds the sweetness in the awkward and under-discussed parts of human sexuality” and has its fair share of drama, it’s an absolute delight to watch — and is thankfully returning for a third series in the near future. Watch on Netflix Derry Girls has been on the top of my comedy list since it first debuted, and I’m so happy to see it gain the recognition it deserves. From it’s stellar female cast to the hilariously unique writing and setting, it’s hard to put the comedy of Derry Girls into words. It’s one of those series you just have to see for yourself because just writing the lines that these girls come out with doesn’t do them any justice. Watch on Netflix
One comedian you should totally be following right now is Guz Khan. The dude has me
in hysterics whenever he does stand-up, and the same goes for his sitcom Man Like Mobeen. And as if luck would have it, the third series recently dropped on BBC Three.
Annoyingly, the third isn’t available on Netflix at the moment. But the first two are ready and waiting, with series three (hopefully) following soon after.
Watch on Netflix
The surreal adventures of Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding were a once-in-a-lifetime journey that hasn't been replicated since. There's no roundabout way to describe
The Mighty Boosh — I can imagine it's what you would see after taking some kind of psychedelic. It'll certainly take your mind off work deadlines or exams, that's for sure.
Nevertheless, it was (and still is) a staple of British comedy culture, one that has certainly outlasted itself.
Watch on Netflix
The perfect show to follow
Bad Education, Fresh Meat follows a group of freshers navigating the complexities of uni life. Y’know, partying, maintaining relationships, and trying not to succumb to the pressures of endless essays and exams. Fresh Meat sadly came to an end in 2016, but don’t let that prevent you from falling in love with the show. Especially since it’s got Jack Whitehall in yet another education-related role… I’m beginning to spot a theme here. Watch on Netflix
Ever wondered what Olivia Coleman could bring to a surreal comedy?
Flowers does just that, through the misadventures of a rather eccentric family intertwined with surreally dark humour. Starring Julian Barrett ( The Mighty Boosh), writer and creator Will Sharpe combines British and Japanese comedy seamlessly in Flowers, making it one of the most unique sitcoms on the platform. Watch on Netflix
'Monty Python's Flying Circus'
When Netflix announced it would be
uploading the entire Monty Python collection to stream, Britain collectively rejoiced. Probably best known among millennials for their films The Holy Grail and Life of Brian, their foray into television with Monty Python's Flying Circus is definitely the group's best work. If you want to laugh until your sides hurt, half an hour of Flying Circus will certainly do the trick.
This list isn't even breaking the surface of Netflix's catalogue of comedy, so go on, get to it — relish in that British humour!
Watch on Netflix
This show needs no introduction, and is probably one that most UK households have seen at least once since it debuted in 2007. But since the nation is still reeling over last year’s Christmas special, what better time to relive
Gavin & Stacey to its fullest.
Whether or not the series
will actually return for a fourth series remains to be seen, but at least there’s plenty of content to enjoy in the meantime. Watch on Netflix
'The End of the F***ing World'
There’s a reason why everyone is raving about this show, it’s just
so cool. From the American road trip aesthetics to the pretty messed up storyline, everything about The End of the F***ing World screams good television. It’ll have you in stitches one minute, and in tears by the next.
It’s the perfect companion show to
Sex Education too in terms of setting. Both are deffo based in England, but the settings look so otherworldly that it’s become part of the charm of both shows. Watch on Netflix