Best Boxsets to binge on BBC iPlayer during lockdown

It’s several months into lockdown now and we’re beginning to reach that point where we’ve exhausted our Netflix lists; watched all those DVDs on our shelves and recorded episodes that we were intending to (or am I dated for doing that still?).

One resource which I don’t think is talked about enough is BBC iPlayer. I, for one, probably frequent the site equally as often as I do Netflix at the moment and they’ve got a great selection of TV boxsets to dig your teeth into. In addition to their newer shows, they’ve brought back some of the much-loved series from recent years, meaning that you can either watch something new or re-live your favourite classics. It’s all available on iPlayer.

To help you get started, I’ve picked out a selection of my favourite shows which are available to stream right now.


Normal People

Normal People tells the story of students Marianne and Connell, both from the same hometown, as they progress from secondary school to university. The show follows their intertwining love lives over a number of years and reflects how one person can shape so much of another’s life. The show is a book adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel of the same name.

Normal People is taking the world by storm right now. Every time I go online I seem to be barraged by people raving about it and it’s with good reason too. I’m watching it with my mum right now and it’s a battle to tear my eyes off the television each night after a couple of episodes in an attempt to avoid bingeing it – I’m not too sure if we’re going to last!

Killing Eve

In the spy-action thriller, Killing Eve, starkly intelligent Eve and Villainelle fight in a continuous battle of cat-and-mouse as each tries to out-smart the other. Revolving around the couple’s obsession with one another as Eve attempts to hunt down her adversary and bring her to justice.

Killing Eve is now on its third season and all three are available to stream on Player so there’s no need to worry if you haven’t yet seen the previous two. The hype surrounding it definitely isn’t for nothing and it’s guaranteed to keep you on the edge of yourself throughout!

Clique

Clique is a British thriller also set at university, this time in Scotland. Holly is just starting university with her childhood best friend, Georgia, but when Georgia joins an elite clique her behaviour changes. Concerned for her friend, Holly tries to investigate this exclusive group and, as a result, gets caught up in the drama of their world.

Merlin

Merlin is a fantasy drama based on the legendary tales of Merlin and King Arthur. It starts off when the two of them are young men; Merlin coming to Camelot for the first time, both yet to discover their respective destinies and completely unaware of one another. It tells the growth of their relationship and also features the rest of the characters in the legends, such as Guinevere, Morgana and Lancelot.

This one feels like a complete blast from the past as the first episode aired back in 2008 (feels like another lifetime ago!) back when I was still in primary school. What I love about Merlin is that it’s enjoyable for all ages; as a kid, I loved the magic and fantasy aspects, however now that I’m an adult I’m able to pick up on details that I may have missed before, such as character dynamics and relationships.

Looking For Alaska

Miles “Pudge” Halter starts boarding school in the hope that it will grant him perspective on the deeper meaning of life. There he forms a firm friendship group with other outsiders and begins to fall for one of them, Alaska Young. Looking For Alaska is a drama based on the novel of the same name by John Green.

I’m not normally one to binge watch TV shows in one sitting but Looking For Alaska was one of those rare occasions in which I did. I found the characters easy enough to relate to, in terms of their search for identity and purpose and they read as more than your typical “likeable, easygoing teen highschooler” trope that populates our screen so often.

Bad Education

Bad Education is a British sitcom created by Jack Whitehall who plays incompetent history teacher Alfie Wickers who is just as much of a kid as his students but is loved by them regardless.

Jack Whitehall is a great comedian with amazing stand-up content, but it was through Bad Education that I was first introduced to him. The show is such an easy watch and is hilarious throughout. Whether it be Alfie’s failed attempts to impress fellow teacher Rosie who he’s got a crush on, or his class’ comedic reenactments of various battles, each episode won’t fail to make you laugh out loud.

Miranda

Miranda is a British sitcom starring and written by comedian Miranda Hart. It follows Miranda’s everyday life as she gets herself into countless awkward situations, laughing at her relatable social ineptitude, especially when it comes to her love life. The show is incredibly down-to-earth and it’s impossible to not laugh at the bizarreness of it all.

Miranda Hart is a comedian I value for not only for her jokes but also her realness, using her comedy to highlight important issues such as breast cancer awareness and mental health. Whilst I do love to watch a re-run of the show and do so every now and then, her Instagram is also a great source of entertainment as well.

Outnumbered

Outnumbered is a comedy about the life of the Brockman family, made up of parents, Pete and Sue and three children, Jake, Ben and Karen. The sitcom portrays the mundaneness of daily life in a hilariously relatable fashion and can be easily enjoyed by all the family.

What’s so great about Outnumbered is the improvisational dialogue from the three kids whose lines, especially Karen’s, are downright hilarious in how honest they are in child-like thought and curiosity. Growing up it was a show I regularly enjoyed and, re-watching it now, I’m able to laugh at the parents’ exasperation and moments that I previously didn’t appreciate in my younger years.


Which of these shows have you seen before and which are you planning to give a watch?

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