30+ Best British TV Shows of 2022

best british tv shows


It’s easy to get caught up in addicting American dramas like The Queen’s Gambit, The Undoing, or Big Little Lies, but true TV buffs often look across the pond for the juiciest programs to binge watch. There’s also a whole world of television out there that touches on everything from Queen Elizabeth’s early reign to home baking, so here’s a list of some of the best British TV shows available to stream right now.

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Bridgerton is a steamy, candy-colored adaptation of Julia Quinn’s much loved series of romance novels, which center around the Bridgerton family of siblings, and their quest to find love. To make things a bit more interesting, there’s an anonymous gossip columnist in town named Lady Whistledown chronicling the scandals and triumphs of 18th-century life.

How to watch: Bridgerton is available to stream on Netflix.

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Vanity Fair

We’re living in the era of the Hollywood remake, and one classic tale recently reimagined for the small screen is William Makepeace Thackeray’s 1847 serial novel, Vanity Fair. Olivia Cooke stars in the series, which tells the story of Becky Sharp, an orphan determined to improve her station in life—by any means necessary.

How to Watch: Vanity Fair is available to watch on Amazon.

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The Bodyguard

This political thriller starring Richard Madden (a.k.a. Game of Thrones‘s Robb Stark) captured the British imagination in 2018, and now it’s available to stream stateside. Madden’s character plays the titular bodyguard, who is assigned to protect a high-profile British politician. The show follows the pair as they navigate a particularly complicated political landscape.

How to Watch: The Bodyguard is available on Netflix.

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A self-destructive detective, Luther is skilled but emotionally impulsive when solving cases. Idris Elba’s iconic portrayal of the morose detective creates a drama that is both thrilling and unnerving.

How to Watch: Luther is available on Netflix.

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A Very English Scandal

Hugh Grant stars in this BBC docudrama about the Jeremy Thorpe scandal. Thorpe, played by Grant, was a British politician in the 1970s, who was arrested on charges that he conspired to have his lover, Norman Scott, murdered during a time of widespread homophobia in the United Kingdom.

How to Watch: A Very English Scandal is available on Amazon.

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The Miniaturist

When Jessie Burton’s novel The Miniaturist was first put up for sale, it prompted a bidding war between publishers. Now, the mysterious story of Petronella (Nella) Oortman and her doll house has been adapted into a three-part miniseries.

How to Watch: The Miniaturist is available on Amazon.

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More: The True Story Behind the Cabinet House in The Miniaturist



One of many royal period dramas on this list, Victoria centers around the young Queen Victoria in the early years of her reign. Season three, which premiered in January 2019, explored revolutions across Europe, and how Victoria’s relationships with parliament, her husband Prince Albert, and her people change after she has children. The show has been on hiatus, but fans are still hoping for a season four.

How to Watch: Previous seasons of Victoria are available on Amazon.

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Reminiscent of Shameless with its controversial story lines—think: dysfunctional families, mental illness, and adolescent sexuality—Skins follows the lives of a group of teenagers living in Bristol.

How to Watch: Skins is available on Netflix.

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The Crown

The Crown explores Queen Elizabeth II’s life from the 1940s onward, chronicling her early reign. In the forthcoming season 5, Imelda Staunton will replace Olivia Colman (who replaced Claire Foy) as England’s monarch, but until then, the first four seasons make for perfect binge-watching.

How to Watch: The Crown is available to watch on Netflix.

More: 12 Shows You Should Watch After Finishing The Crown


Ted Lasso

Now, I’m not sure if Ted Lasso actually counts as a British TV show, but it’s set in London, so we’ll allow it. This Apple TV+ series about an unqualified American football coach who is recruited to manage a soccer team, is more than its premise: it’s funny and sweet, and a welcome escape.

How to watch: Ted Lasso is available to stream on Apple TV+

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More: A review of season 1.


Men in Kilts

If you’ve already binge-watched every episode of Outlander and still want more of the Scottish landscape, consider tuning in to Men in Kilts, a new travel show hosted by Outlander‘s own Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish. The show follows the two actors as they take a roadtrip through their homeland, exploring Scotland’s history, culture, and traditions.

How to Watch: Men in Kilts is available to stream on Starz.

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More: An Interview with Sam and Graham


All Creatures Great and Small

Based on a much-loved book series by Alf Wight, the show follows James Herriot as he joins the fictionalized farming community of Darrowby Village and begins caring for its animals, and earning the respect of his eccentric, but ultimately kind-hearted employer, Siegfried Farnon. Come for the stunning landscapes and impeccable costuming, stay for a gentle story of slow-burning romances and sweet puppies and surprise birthday parties.

How to Watch: All Creatures Great and Small is available on Amazon Video.

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David Tennant isn’t just famous for his role as the tenth Doctor. In Broadchurch, he co-stars as DI Alec Hardy alongside Olivia Colman’s DS Ellie Miller. The show follows Hardy as he bickers with Miller while also trying to solve the case of an 11-year-old boy whose body washed up on the shore of a beach in a small Dorset community.

How to Watch: Broadchurch is available on Netflix.

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Sanditon is Jane Austen’s final, unfinished novel, adapted for the small screen. Written just months before the author died in 1817, the story centers around Charlotte Heywood, her unexpected trip to a posh coastal resort town, and her relationship with a handsome young man named Sidney Parker. Austen only finished eleven chapters of the story, but her original text has been extended into an eight-part miniseries. But be aware: this show will leave you wanting more, and a season two is not guaranteed.

How to Watch: Sanditon is available to stream on Amazon Video.

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Peaky Blinders

Set in 1919 Britain, this show centers around soldiers are returning home after World War I and gangs are fighting for dominance. One of the most prominent groups, the Peaky Blinders, is lead by war hero Thomas Shelby, who finds himself struggling to run a business while also leading a life of crime.

How to Watch: Peaky Blinders is available on Netflix.

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More: What we know about Peaky Blinders season 6.



Benedict Cumberbatch plays a modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective in Sherlock. Brilliant and eccentric, the show’s titular character takes viewers on a journey in each movie-length episode as he fights off devious criminals, like his nemesis James Moriarty, with a little help from his trusty roommate and confidant John Watston (played by Martin Freeman).

How to Watch: Sherlock is available on Netflix.

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More: Everything We Know About Sherlock‘s Rumored 5th Season


The Spanish Princess

The Spanish Princess starring Charlotte Hope as Catherine of Aragon, adapts Gregory’s The Constant Princess and The King’s Curse to tell the story of Catherine’s life and marriage to King Henry VIII. For fans of royal families and period dramas, The Spanish Princess is must-watch television. (It even features Laura Carmichael, a fan favorite for her turn as Edith Crawley in Downton Abbey!)

How to Watch: The Spanish Princess is available to stream on Amazon Prime and Starz.

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Black Mirror

Believe the hype on this one. Suspenseful and dramatic, this series is actually a collection of stand-alone episodes, often focused on techno-paranoia in a universe evocative of The Twilight Zone, and honestly, it’s as good as you’ve heard.

How to Watch: Black Mirror is available on Netflix.

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Doctor Who

A longtime favorite on British television, Doctor Who follows the travels of an extraterrestrial Time Lord. (It sounds strange, but it works, I promise.) In the show’s most modern reincarnation, Doctor Who is a woman—played by Jodie Whittaker—for the first time.

How to Watch: Doctor Who is available on Amazon Video.

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Contrary to the scrappy-sounding title, Fleabag is a hilarious and heartbreaking comedy that highlights what it’s like to be a single woman alone in a big city.

How to Watch: Fleabag is available on Amazon Video.

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The IT Crowd

Emmy-nominated The IT Crowd is a cult favorite. Exploring the lives of three IT technicians with conflicting personalities, the show takes viewers along on the group’s misadventures working together at the fictional Reynholm Industries.

How to Watch: The IT Crowd is available on Netflix.

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My Mad Fat Diary

Set in the mid ’90s, this show is a throwback in more ways than one. My Mad Fat Diary is funny and relatable, while also highlighting the reality of what it’s like to struggle with mental health issues and eating disorders in adolescence. (And yes, that is a young Jodie Comer featured in the series.)

How to Watch: My Mad Fat Diary is available on Hulu.

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Trust Me

This face may look familiar, but Jodie Whittaker plays a very different sort of medical professional in Trust Me. Forced to leave her job after whistle-blowing, she starts a new life in Edinburgh by assuming her best friend’s identity as a doctor.

How to Watch: Trust Me is available on Hulu.

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The Great British Bake Off

There is no feel-good reality show quite like The Great British Bake Off. Watch as amateur contestants crack jokes and will their pastries to bake to perfection. From Mel and Sue’s cheeky humor to Mary Berry’s delight at the mention of rum, this competition feels less cutthroat and more comforting than anything else.

How to Watch: The Great British Baking Show, as it is known in the States, is available on Netflix. (Though it should be noted that later seasons have new hosts and judges.)

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The A Word

Based on the Israeli series Yellow Peppers, The A Word is an emotionally honest and hopeful show that follows the Hughes family, whose world is completely changed when 5-year-old Joe is diagnosed with autism. As the family struggles to understand one other, they must pull together and work on their communication skills to help Joe.

How to Watch: The A Word is available on Amazon Video.

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When a lightning storm hits at a juvenile detention center, five young offenders with vastly different personalities develop superpowers that bring them together as they reckon with their newfound abilities.

How to Watch: Misfits is available on Hulu.

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The Hour

A spy-thriller series that keeps you on the edge of your seat, The Hour follows the lives of a 1950s television journalist, a producer, and a news anchor as the three become involved in a passionate love triangle—all in the midst of a mysterious murder investigation.

How to Watch: The Hour is available on Amazon Video.

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