8 Best British Shows on Netflix Right Now

Updated January 2, 2022 • Staff

Below are the top British shows that we recommend and that you can stream right now This list is for Netflix U.S.

You can also get the same picks for Netflix CanadaUK, India, and Australia. Missing your country? Let us know in the comments which ones to add.

Read also:
8.

Doctor Foster

This five-part BBC drama is a seemingly simple story of a woman who suspects her husband of infidelity. But, being crafted by a playwright, Mike Bartlett, the straightforward premise is falsely disarming and is quickly exploited into a much more complicated and dark story.

The lead character, Gemma, is played to jaw-dropping perfection by Broadcasting Press Guild and BAFTA-winning actor Suranne Jones.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Adam James, Bertie Carvel, Charlie Cunniffe, Cheryl Campbell, Cian Barry, Claire-Hope Ashitey, Clare-Hope Ashitey, Jodie Comer, Martha Howe-Douglas, Megan Roberts, Mike Bartlett, Navin Chowdhry, Neil Stuke, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Robert Pugh, Sara Stewart, Shazia Nicholls, Sian Brooke, Suranne Jones, Thusitha Jayasundera, Tom Taylor, Victoria Hamilton
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix
7.

Crashing

Phoebe Waller-Bridge became famous for her hit show Fleabag, but few people know about Crashing which she has also created and stars in, and which deserves just as much attention. She plays a girl who moves to London to be with her childhood friend, who’s already in a relationship and living with his partner and four others in an abandoned hospital. Waller-Bridge settles into the hospital as well, and the six twenty-somethings become property guardians of the hospital building.

Funny characters and excellent performances make this show dangerously bingeable.

Genre: Comedy
Actor: Adrian Scarborough, Amit Shah, Damien Molony, Jonathan Bailey, Julie Dray, Louise Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix
6.

Giri / Haji

This is an thrilling BBC/Netflix show and a Yakuza drama that takes place between Tokyo and London. About half of the dialogue is in Japanese and the other half is in English.

Yakuza families are no longer at peace when a boss’s nephew is assassinated in London. Trying to bring the culprit in without interference from the British police, a Tokyo detective is sent to the UK to try to find him. 

There is an undeniable appeal to seeing the world of yakuza unfold, but the show’s title, which translates to Duty/Shame is a reference to the detective’s own personal conflict: the suspected murderer he’s looking for is his brother. Ouu.

Genre: Thriller
Actor: Anna Sawai, Aoi Okuyama, Charlie Creed-Miles, Jamie Draven, Kelly Macdonald, Masahiro Motoki, Mitsuko Oka, Sophia Brown, Takehiro Hira, Togo Igawa, Will Sharpe, Yosuke Kubozuka, Yuko Nakamura
Rating: N/A
Go to Netflix
5.

Top Boy

The first season of this abrasive crime drama has four episodes, expect to watch them all in one take. The second season became even bigger than the first after being endorsed by none other than Drake, who pushed for it to go on after it was cancelled. Set amidst the drug-dealing, cut-throat gangs of Hackney, East London, and Jamaica, Top Boy revolves around the two drug lords Sully and Dushane, played by Kane Robinson aka grime rapper Kano and Ashley Walters. This is not a cliched, poorly acted gangster flick though, but a vividly shot, intricately written, and authentic drama with amazing characters. Striving for a certain realism and authenticity, it is also unsettingly violent. But in its realism, it trusts mature viewers to see things like they are and to live through the tough decisions people in underserved communities have to make every day. Think The Wire with a gritty UK vibe. If that appeals to you, Top Boy is for you!

Genre: Drama, Mystery
Actor: Ashley Walters, Geoff Bell, Giacomo Mancini, Kane Robinson, Kierston Wareing, Malcolm Kamulete, Nicholas Pinnock, Sharon Duncan Brewster, Shone Romulus, Xavien Russell
Rating: Not Rated
Go to Netflix
4.

Man Like Mobeen

At first glance, those who enjoyed Hulu's Ramy might be tempted to view this as the UK version of it. However, Man like Mobeen is a bit more street than Ramy and a lot more British. It's also not so much about being a good Muslim. Mobeen (Guz Khan), Eight (Tez Ilyas), and Nate (Tolu Ogunmefun) are three mates from Birmingham. Two of them happen to be Muslim but it's not a big deal. Except it is because of the way Western society sees them. Mobeen, the head of the group, takes care of his sister, Aks (Dúaa Karim), in the absence of his parents, trying to be a good guy, while also trying to escape his past as a drug dealer. In the first episode, a transaction to buy a laptop results in three SWAT teams closing in on them for no reason. (When Nate runs off, the police officer asks the others why he ran, and Mobeen says: “If I had to guess, I'd say it's because he's black.”) Much of Man like Mobeen is laugh-out-loud comedy, but there's a healthy dose of wokeness to be found here, too. Teenage knife crime (in the second season), the rise of right-wing sentiment, and the police's history of violence towards immigrants are effortlessly woven into gags. Very funny!

Genre: Comedy
Actor: Dúaa Karim, Guz Khan, Tez Ilyas, Tolu Ogunmefun
Rating: N/A, TV-MA
Go to Netflix
3.

Flowers

It starts off with a man failing at hanging himself from a fruit tree in a bleak-looking garden. Something this grotesque isn't usually the stuff of sitcoms. This is unsurprising because Will Sharpe's Flowers, produced for the British Channel 4, is not your usual sitcom. With a unique visual style, an extraordinary cast, and a dark, satirical script, it carves out a genre of its own. The always amazing Olivia Colman plays Deborah Flowers, the eccentric family's matriarch, and a music teacher. The man trying to hang himself is her depressed and unfaithful husband Maurice (Julian Barratt), who is a children's book author. They live in a ramshackle house with a Japanese butler, who barely speaks English, and their dysfunctional adult twins. Amidst all this glorious mess, Flowers is ultimately about mental illness and depression and is apt in pairing this disturbing reality with hilarity. Obviously, it is very dark. A bit too dark for comedy, and too mad for drama: truly original stuff.

Genre: Comedy
Actor: Adam Hedditch, Anna Chancellor, Caroline McQuade, Daniel Rigby, Harriet Walter, Julian Barratt, Leila Hoffman, Natalie Rose, Olivia Colman, Sassy Soupidis, Sophia Di Martino, Will Sharpe
Director: Mina Maniska
Rating: N/A
Go to Netflix
2.

People Just Do Nothing

A hilarious BBC/Viceland comedy about an underground hip-hop station and the unique characters that run it. Kurupt FM is lead by MC Grindah, a disillusioned but dedicated DJ. He is introduced in the first episode by his wife as someone who has been arrested before, but only for “silly little things” like “drug dealing and hate crimes”. His friend and manager is Chabuddy G, a “business” man who lives in the cybercafé he runs with his Eastern European wife he can’t communicate with, all while trying to start a company to import “peanut dust” (the last bits of peanut that remain at the end of a peanut pack). People Just Do Nothing is legitimately funny with quick episodes and even quicker seasons. The first one only has four episodes, so it’s a guilt-free yet amazing binge.

Genre: Comedy
Actor: Allan Mustafa, Asim Chaudhry, Dan Sylvester, George Keywood, Hugo Chegwin, Lily Brazier, Maria Louis, Olivia Jasmine Edwards, Ruth Bratt, Steve Stamp
Rating: N/A
Go to Netflix
1.

Sex Education

Pressured by the feeling that everyone is having sex except him, Otis (Asa Butterfield), like most teenagers, is very uncomfortable with sex, masturbation, and intimacy in general. In addition to the standard-issue teenage awkwardness, to make things worse, he grows up in a sex-positive household under the watchful eyes of his mother Jean, played by Gillian Anderson, who is a sex therapist. Obviously, the subject is omnipresent as are erotic art, oversized dildos, and coitus-craving couples all over the house. The twist comes when he transforms his tribulations into a business model by teaming up with bad girl Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) to counsel his teenage peers on sexual issues of all kinds. As you can imagine, uninitiated teenagers have a lot to offer in that department. Apart from its raunchy premise and explicit images, this is a hilarious, diverse, and warm teen comedy thanks, in particular, to the writing of playwright Laurie Nunn. Lauded by critics for its honesty, this future comedy classic will surely teach you a thing or two about sexuality yourself.

Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Aimee Lou Wood, Alistair Petrie, Asa Butterfield, Connor Swindells, Emma Mackey, Gillian Anderson, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Ncuti Gatwa
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix

More lists

That's all from us for the 8 Best British Shows on Netflix Right Now! For more, subscribe to the newsletter. It's ad-free, spam-free, and algorithm-free. You get two e-mails every week with the best of Netflix and Amazon Prime, and nothing else.