If you ask me, this is prime box set watching season.
It’s cold outside. We’re all broke. Also, approximately three quarters in the world are down with some virus or other.
Luckily, it’s also the time of year when some of the best box sets become available. If you’re a Sky TV customer then you’ll know the brilliance that is Sky Box Sets. It’s a free archive of hundreds of box sets, available to stream for free, with the click of a button.
I’ve also included a few brand new shows that you can catch on Sky TV, Sky On Demand and in Sky Store.
So dive in to discover my favourite new shows and box sets on Sky TV for 2018. Whatever mood you’re in, something here should suit!
Six Feet Under S1-6
I remember when this show first aired in the UK. We were all a bit shocked and amazed at its dark humour and smart writing. Almost 20 years later, it still holds up, and makes for a brilliant watch.
In case you missed it, Six Feet Under is the story of a family of undertakers. Each show features a cameo character coming to a gruesome end. But really it’s a show about family bonds, grief, and sexuality. Clear a weekend, and dive right in on Sky Box Sets.
Peep Show S1-9
Oh my goodness, I’d forgotten how completely not family-friendly this show is until my 12-year-old walked in mid-episode. Needless to say, I was mortified with embarrassment within 20 seconds.
It’s raucous and awkward and very funny. Although I’m female, I think everyone can relate to Mark and his deep-rooted ability to say the utterly wrong thing at any given moment. It’s available free right now on Sky Box Sets.
Side note: do you have a favourite Peep Show moment? I think mine is when Mark says, ““It’s fine. Luckily we’re all English so no-one’s going to ask any questions. Thank you, centuries of emotional repression!”
Quoted frequently in our house.
Madam Secretary, S1-3
Once you get past how distracting beautiful Tea Leone still is (it’s unnerving), you’ll find Madam Secretary an involving watch. This show is a mix between Good Wife and West Wing, and almost as good as those shows. It’s available free on Sky Box Sets.
The story revolves around Elizabeth (Leone), who becomes Secretary of State and has to move to Washington with her family and take on all sorts of international intrigue. There’s plenty of action and some decent twists, and it’s lovely to see a show with a female lead that isn’t based around, “Ooh, a woman with a big job. How does her husband feel about THAT?”
Discovery of Witches
While studying at an Oxford library, a witch discovers an ancient manuscript that is filled with secret messages. AS you do. This would be exciting enough, except there’s also a vampire in town who would like to get his hands on it.
The book version of Discovery of Witches is a bit of a phenomenon, and now it’s been made into a TV show that’s showing on Sky One this month. If it’s anything like the books, it’s a bit Twilight, a bit Pride and Prejudice, and maybe a touch Dark Materials. I can’t WAIT, and it’s due to show on Sky One this year.
If you’re a fan of Outlander, then you’ll love Jamestown. This period drama is based on the notion of young women being shipped over to the New World to marry settlers and keep them civilised.
Although it’s made by the team behind Downton Abbey, the show has a lot more in common with a Western. There’s plenty of rough-around-the-edges men and women chafing against the sexism of the time.
The Good Doctor, S1
I used to absolutely adore House. The news that a brand new show was emerging from the same team was pretty exciting. And The Good Doctor totally lived up to my expectations.
Freddie Highmore plays an young doctor with autism, who moves to the big city to a specialist hospital. It’s Grey’s Anatomy with a more interesting lead character (sorry, Meredith) and enough schmaltz to make it a perfect Sunday afternoon watch.
If you don’t want to reach in and give Shaun a hug at least once an episode, you’re reading the wrong website, friends. The first 12 episodes are on On Demand now if you want to catch up.
First and foremost, Blackish is a family comedy. A really, really funny family comedy. It’s about a black family, but I feel like talking about the show as if it’s about race misses the point. If you love Modern Family, you’ll love this show EVEN more. Promise.
Although the show isn’t about race, there are some interesting conversations and as a Mum, I find it a great way to open conversations in our family. The episode about police brutality is a particularly excellent piece of writing.
It’s about how to talk to kids about racial inequality and institutionalised racism – but it’s STILL funny. You should absolutely, 100 percent be watching this show.
Big Little Lies
I’ve written before about how much I love Big Little Lies. I’ve watched it a second time since it became available on Sky Box Sets, and I love it just as much still.
Big Little Lies manages to be smart and snarky and intriguing and surprising. It’s gorgeous to look at, a visual love letter to the California coastline. But it’s the characters that stay with you. It’s not often that female characters on TV can be this complex. Reese Witherspoon’s Madeline is petty and controlling but she’s loyal and steps in to defend her friends. And I love her. So will you. Promise.
This is another show I’m loving watching from start to finish again on Sky. Season 7 is also available through Sky Box Sets. But the earlier seasons are by far the best.
This is the story of all-round kick-ass political fixer Olivia Pope, and her clandestine affair with the President of the United States. It’s sexy and cool and has Stevie Wonder on the soundtrack. What’s not to love?
Friday Night Lights, S1-5
Now available to buy and keep via Sky Store if you don’t already watch/own this show then please imagine me jumping up and down and shaking my fist at you.
WATCH THIS SHOW.
probably definitely one of the best pieces of ensemble drama television of the last 20 years. If you’re not completely devoted to Coach Taylor within 2 episodes, I’ll eat my own feet. Or something.
This thoughtful, beautifully shot drama is the story of a Texas football coach and his team. It’s about family, poverty, loyalty and dreaming big. You’ll love it.
Black Books and Phone Shop
I’m grouping these two box sets together because if you love one, you’ll love them both.
Black humour is very much the sort of thing I appreciate in January when the weather sucks, I’m broke and I don’t even have a decent holiday to look forward to.
Hurrah then for Black Books, the story of a borderline evil and misanthropic bookshop owner. And also praise be for Phone Shop, the story of an even bleaker mobile phone shop, and sales assistant Christopher.
Both sit-coms are dark, more than a bit awkward and really, really funny. Perfect for those days when you really, really hate your job.
So those are my Sky TV On Demand and Box Sets picks for 2018. Let em know yours in the comments! (I receive free Sky TV for the purposes of occasional reviews, but I only tell you about shows I know you’re going to LOVE!)
Want More Box Sets?
- 40 Box Sets to See Before You’re 40
- 40 Box Sets to See Before You’re 40 (Part 2)
- 40 More Box Sets to Watch Before you Die
- 40 More Box Sets (Part 2)