I thought I'd add this phenomenally popular TV series to the list of interesting & successful British media offerings, largely because I'm fairly certain it would never be aired on any US TV channel; it's one of the most avidly-watched TV series here still, it features authentic North-West English actors & accents, & is bloody good, basically.
It centres on a dysfunctional North-West English 'family', all living on benefit, petty crime, drugs & alcohol & existing in a sink estate somewhere in a fictional area near Manchester. Loads of fun in prospect already, I hear you chortle.
Its tone is essentially 'black comedy', something I think Americans don't get over there too much on TV, & which has nothing to do with race, as all the participants are white, as we don't have any black people in Burnley. Comedy in pathos/bathos with no sentimentality, as we don't do sentimentality here either.
It's incredibly well written, keenly observed, accurate to a fault & produced with a veracity born of personal experience by the writer/executive producer, Paul Abbott.
Abbott was born in my home town of Burnley, & I've met him, & can attest to the accuracy of his portrayal of contemporary life for the underclass in North-West English towns, after Margaret Thatcher virtually declared war on us up here in the early 80's, & won. I know the witch is a kinda folk-hero to Americans for some reason, but, believe me, she devastated whole swathes of the country north of the 'Home Counties' & is the one person I would wish......no, I'm non-political here, so I won't continue.
To cut a long story short, I worked at a local college where Abbott was rescued, at age 15, & placed in a class of similarly-socially-deprived kids in danger of sinking into drugs, violence, crime, etc., having been excluded from school because of their challenging behaviour. He was mentored by a teacher there, a friend of mine, Claire: a woman of infinite patience, resilience, understanding & skill, who turned his life round in 12 months.
I taught for a couple of years in Year 11 excluded kids classes at the college (ages around 14/15), & can attest to the mental & physical exhaustion it induces, but she battled through it.
She somehow persuaded him to take up writing as a hobby, as she recognised his gift & he went on to become one of the most successful British screenplay writers.
A few years ago he hosted a reunion/thanks kinda party at the local club near the college in Barrowford, where me & Claire were among the many guests, & he personally acknowleged the debt he owed to Claire in a very touching way. A sound chap he is.
The series might not be to everyone's taste, as it's very socio-realistic, & exhibits the peculiarly skewed British humour, adult themes (You have to be a 16+ ((our age of consent here)) to watch the clips on Channel 4's website & it's aired on TV after our 'watershed level of 9.00pm here), but I know davec at least is interested in authentic British stuff that doesn't make it across the Atlantic.
I may be bonkers but at least I'm British.