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I am from India. I am going to start my undergraduate studies in UK next year. I have grown up watching American series and so, I know a lot about them. However, I want to know more about the British culture before I go there. Can you suggest some television shows and movies that will give me a better idea about their culture? Thank you.

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closed as too broad by Incognito, James McLeod, Napoleon Wilson, Tom, Paulster2 Feb 22 '14 at 16:15

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

TV shows are not a very good tool to understand a different culture. Shows exaggerate and display caricatures mostly. –  his Feb 22 '14 at 11:17
Also questions that could generate too many possible answers are not good for the stack-exchange Q&A format - hence the "too broad" reason it was closed. –  iandotkelly Feb 24 '14 at 4:22
Its not too broad –  user41114 Feb 24 '14 at 7:49

2 Answers 2

Most scripted television shows will give you a caricatured view of British culture, but they could help to start you off. I would recommend a mix of genres so you get a broad idea of what people like and how the media represents British culture in different scenarios. I haven't included the more absurdist comedies because I don't think they would be useful preparing to live in the UK as a foreigner.

Sitcoms: Coupling, Gavin and Stacey

Teenage dramas: Skins, Misfits

Crime or detective show: Luther, Sherlock

Political comedies: In the Thick of It

Blackadder: A fantastic comedy show that places characters in a different notable historical setting every season. Slightly dated, but probably the most useful show described here to learn British history.

Those shows will give you a broad but incomplete range of what people like and are like in the UK, but I haven't recommended anything I don't personally watch. There's lots of more modern sitcoms; like Black Books, Green Wing, Spaced; that I hear are more in line with what British people watch. If you want a less edited view of the culture, I'd recommend panel shows like QI, reality TV, and interviews or news shows.

Finally, John Oliver's The Bugle is a really entertaining comedy news podcast. It's a good way to learn broad strokes of British politics and sport, as well as what (some) British people think about post-imperial Britain.

Obviously, an answer by a British person would be more helpful.

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In my quest to help you with your understanding of the UK I will give you a list of shows to watch at your convenience... 'The Office' (Original BBC version). The IT Crowd (Not the shit US remake). 'Spaced' (although this contains a huge amount of cultural references that you may need to look up). 'Brass Eye' (Controversial and daring, real British comedy at it's best). 'Blackadder' (Watch it and you will understand). 'Johnathan Creek' (The original nerdy detective guy). 'QI' (If you want to learn random facts and understand the British culture watch this). 'Smack The Pony' (Ladies are funny) –  user7829 Feb 22 '14 at 23:20
Please, add any suggestions to the body of the answer! –  vastra360 Feb 24 '14 at 2:20
I didn't want to just edit your answer at random, plus you have already edited your answer to include what I suggested. –  user7829 Feb 24 '14 at 7:37

Only fools and horses. Big brother.

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