Now that Independence Day is over, maybe you want to spend some time in what was once our mother country, the mighty UK. Whether you're a new Anglophile or you've loved all things British for some time, there are some definitive TV series from Great Britain that you may want to watch.
Fortunately, Netflix carries a lot of great British series, including some that aren't available anywhere else in the U.S.
Some of these series are possibly new to you, while others might be old favorites. However, one thing is certain: there is no better way to spend the long summer U.S. television summer hiatus than watching television that hails from the UK.
Here is our guide to some of the best British television series now available on Netflix.
One of the newest additions to Netflix's streaming service is Residue, a science fiction horror story from the UK. The series begins with a strange explosion in the heart of London that leaves a huge dead area in the middle of the city. It picks up many months later, with this area now being a quarantine zone, but weird things begin happening in the city, weird things that have people committing suicide in weird ways. One photographer discovers a horrific secret, something that the explosion released that now terrorizes the city.
Residue also stars some familiar faces for Game of Thrones fans: Iwan Rheon and Natalie Tena.
Black Mirror holds a mirror (pun intended) up to modern life, looking at how technology, particularly social media, affects us. It's slightly futuristic and very disturbing, and if you can get through the first episode without puking a little in your mouth, you'll definitely want more (although you'll probably keep watching anyway). This one is definitely not for the kids, but it speaks volumes about the problems we face in connecting online and disconnecting in our real lives.
Each of Black Mirror's episodes is its own separate story, so you'll see a variety of guest stars in the first season, including Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Lenora Chrichlow (Being Human), Tom Goodman-Hill (Humans) and Tuppence Middleton (Sense8).
If you've watched both series above, you're probably wanting to scrub your brain clean with some comedy, and it doesn't get much funnier than The IT Crowd. This series became so popular that even Americans often use its catchphrase, "Did you try turning it off and on again?" This is British humor at its finest, including some very random moments (including the goth living in the supply cupboard) as well as some great nerd humor.
When it comes to television, one thing Britain does better than anyone else is period drama, and Call The Midwife is an excellent example of that. The series tells the story of a group of young midwives who live and work in East London just after World War II. It's often heartbreaking, but also uplifting, so if you plan on a marathon session of this series, don't forget to bring the tissues.
Speaking of period dramas, The Paradise takes place within a late 1800s London department store, back when the concept of department stores was a relatively new one in London. It follows the lives and loves of those who work within the store. Unfortunately, the series only saw two seasons in the UK, but both are available to watch in the U.S. on Netflix.
When Sherlock's first episode aired, no one knew who Benedict Cumberbatch was. However, after that first episode of him portraying the world famous detective who lives on Baker Street, Cumberbatch became a household name. Watching this series reminds us why: the actor is brilliant as the over-thinking, analytical and often emotionless detective. This series co-stars Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) as Sherlock's sidekick and partner in crime solving, James Watson.
Most Americans know Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow from Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight movies, but here, Murphy portrays a member of an Irish criminal gang in the time just following World War I. The story centers on the famous Peaky Blinders gang, so it's not just another costume drama, but something based on events that happened in UK history.
Luther is the drama that gave us exposure to Idris Elba, who plays the title role in this series about an angry detective. John Luther is an interesting character study, a man obsessed by his work to the point that he's often dangerous. According to the show's creator, Neil Cross, Luther is a cross between Columbo and Sherlock Holmes.
The Bletchley Circle isn't just any mystery series: for starters, it takes place in 1952 and tells the story of four women who work as codebreakers. They grow frustrated with how they're treated in an official capacity, so they work together to solve complex crimes themselves. To keep their cover, the women tell their husbands that their meetings are for a book club. The series takes its cue from history, based on the stories of women who really worked in intelligence at Bletchley Park as part of Britain's World War II efforts.
After a deadly flu wipes out much of the human race, those who survived the outbreak must figure out how to carry on. However, surviving in a world gone mad isn't easy, especially when there's a possibility of government conspiracy, at least with what's left of the government. These aren't zombie killers, though, just ordinary people who must face life in a world without laws, police or society. It's sort of like The Walking Dead but without the zombies, which means that the conflicts faced are often human vs. human.