Skip to main content

Get stuck into 2023’s finest telly

Get stuck into 2023’s finest telly

It’s been a stellar year for telly again – and this a year brings the opportunity to catch up on anything you missed, or watch your faves all over again. Here’s our 50 best box sets of 2023

By Rebecca Tanqueray, Feature Writer

The epic TV series come thick and fast these days – a searing drama here! A terrific comedy there! – and sometimes you need to carve out a chunk of time to enjoy them properly. And if you ask us, that’s what the festive season is all about. Eating until you can’t move, and telly.


We’ve picked a whopping 50 of the best series of the past year, all of which are available to binge now (or watch at a steady, sedate rate if that’s more your speed). Whatever you’re into, from action to comedy, from documentaries to period drama, you’re bound to find something to tickle your proverbial fancy here.


And in the unlikely event you’ve watched all these fantastic shows already, (a) congratulations, you’re winning at life and (b) why not take the opportunity to watch your favourite all over again? Alternatively, you can find a new fave with our round-ups of what’s out this month


For now, let’s dive in…


1. The Wheel Of Time

Find season 1 + 2 in Apps & Games > Prime Video

The epic fantasy adventure returned on an even more monumental scale than season 1 with big-budget battles, spectacular set pieces and a huge star-studded cast, led by Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl). Joining the fun this time are Meera Syal (The Kumars At No.42) and Ragga Ragnars (Vikings).


2. Party Down

Find seasons 1-3 in Box Sets > LIONSGATE+

The shambolic LA-based catering crew returned after 13 years and they’re as funny as ever. Starring Adam Scott (Parks & Recreation) as Henry “Are we having fun yet?” Pollard, alongside most of the original cast, season 3 intensified the cult-favourite status of this laugh-a-minute sitcom.


3. Colin From Accounts

Find season 1 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Written by and starring husband and wife team Patrick Brammall (Gordon) and Harriet Dyer (Ashley), this Australian comedy hit just the right tone as it charted the early, awkward days of an unlikely relationship involving inappropriate nudity and an unfortunate dog/car interaction. Honest, relatable and brilliantly funny, it’s not to be missed. Watch out for season 2, hopefully towards the end of 2024.


4. Boiling Point

Find series 1 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

A follow-up to the fantastic short film that came out last year, this miniseries ups the kitchen ante as Carly (Vinette Robinson, The A Word) battles to keep her new restaurant afloat. Expect high pressure – and not just for braising the ox cheeks.


5. I’m A Virgo

Find season 1 in Apps & Games > Prime Video

From American film director, rapper, writer and social activist Boots Riley (Sorry To Bother You) comes this unforgettable, surreal social comedy. Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight) plays Cootie, a teenage giant whose coming-of-age tales tell us more than a little about the political state of America in 2023. Think Gulliver’s Travels with bench presses and burgers.


6. Gen V

Find season 1 in Apps & Games > Prime Video

The first spin-off from the graphically violent superhero series The Boys, this is a gory, boundary-pushing ride from start to finish. The stars, this time, are the up-and-coming “supes” – college students who are the first generation to know where their superpowers have come from. Mind-bending, unsettling and darkly funny.


7. The Power Of Parker

Find season 1 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Set in 90s Stockport, this comedy centres on Martin Parker (Conleth Hill, Magpie Murders) – a self-made businessman whose have-it-all lifestyle is about to come crashing down around him. Co-written by and co-starring the brilliant Sian Gibson (Car Share), this is sharp-witted British comedy at its best. 


8. Nolly

Find it in Apps & Games > ITVX

This dazzling drama from Russell T Davies (Doctor Who, It’s A Sin) gives us the back story on Crossroads’ very own Iron Lady – Noele Gordon, played magnificently by Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown). With star turns by Mark Gatiss (Dr Who) and Con O’Neill (Happy Valley), it’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane that also comes with an important message about the power and control we have over our own lives.


9. Daisy Jones & The Six

Find it in Apps & Games > Prime Video

Based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s pandemic-hit book, this 10-episode series follows the highs and lows of an emerging rock band. Starring Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough (The Terminal List) in the title role, it’s a glossy and glamorous glimpse into the vagaries of the 70s music scene.


10. Everyone Else Burns

Find series 1 in Apps & Games > All 4

Think a fundamentalist Christian family preparing for Armageddon can’t be amusing? Think again. Starring Simon Bird (The Inbetweeners) as fanatical patriarch David Lewis and the fantastically deadpan Kate O’Flynn (Wanderlust) as his down-trodden wife Fiona, this apocalyptically funny romp is sure to convert you.  


11. Taskmaster

Find series 1-16 in Apps & Games > All 4

The ultimate comfort watch for our times, Taskmaster is perfect, escapist silliness and we can’t get enough of it. The 16th series put Julian Clary, Sue Perkins, Sam Campbell, Susan Wokoma and Lucy Beaumont to the test: there were giant ducks, homemade sausages and laughs aplenty.


12. The Cleaner

Find series 1 + 2 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Our favourite crime-scene cleaner-upper returned for another series of gruesome jobs, eccentric sidekicks and hilarious storylines. Written by and starring comedian Greg Davis, it’s also chock-a-block with A-listers, from Harriet Walter (Killing Eve) and Susannah Fielding (Death On The Nile) to Roisin Conaty (After Life).


13. Jury Duty

Find season 1 in Apps & Games > Prime Video

Take a fake televised trial, a jury of actors (including a very funny James Marsden as himself) and an increasingly ridiculous set of situations. Add to the mix an unsuspecting young citizen who thinks it’s all real. What do you get? Humour, warmth and one of the unexpected hits of the year. We’re intrigued to see how the makers will follow it up, now the secret’s out…


14. Beckham

Find it in Apps & Games > Netflix

A must-watch for fans of Mr or Mrs Beckham, this four-part docuseries makes for gripping viewing. Find out all about the man, the motivation and that infamous Alex Ferguson boot-in-the-face incident.


15. Beef

Find season 1 in Apps & Games > Netflix

This hugely entertaining emotional roller coaster of a comedy-drama is a cautionary tale for road ragers everywhere! The story centres around adversaries Danny (Steven Yeun, Minari) and Amy (Ali Wong, Always Be My Maybe) whose two worlds collide with life-changing consequences.


16. And Just Like That…

Find seasons 1 + 2 in On Demand

More incredible outfits, more salacious slap and tickle, more laugh-out-loud moments – plus a cameo from the much-missed Samantha (Kim Cattrall). This Sex In The City revival is just as much fun as the original and we’re delighted it’s here to say, with another season coming.


17. Brassic

Find series 1-5 in On Demand

Following the misadventures of charismatic Vinnie (Joseph Gilgun, This Is England) and his gang of up-to-no-good friends, this award-winning, critically acclaimed comedy returned for another irresistible series about life, love and larceny in a small Lancashire town.  


18. Rain Dogs

Find series 1 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Featuring another tour-de-force performance from BAFTA-winning Daisy May Cooper (This Country), this bleak, brutally honest black comedy by Irish writer Cash Carraway will have you hooked.


19. The Bear

Find seasons 1 + 2 now in Apps & Games > Disney+ or just say “Disney+”

Season 2 of FX’s critically acclaimed The Bear follows Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), Sydney (Ayo Edibiri) and Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) as they work to transform their grimy sandwich joint into a new restaurant. It’s a “Yes, chef!” from us.  


20. You

Find seasons 1-4 in Apps & Games > Netflix

Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley, Gossip Girl) is a fascinating combination of bookstore manager and serial killer. We’ve been following the journey of this seductive stalker since the series first hit our screens and we just can’t stop watching – especially in 2023 when the story moved to England for the fourth season.


21. Blue Lights

Find series 1 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Think you’ve seen enough cop shows? Think again. This tense, tightly written police procedural, set in Belfast and starring Sian Brooke (Doctor Foster), will keep you on the edge of your sofa.


22. Happy Valley

Find series 1-3 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

The long-awaited third and final season of this much-loved cop series did not disappoint. With a gripping storyline by writer Sally Wainwright and an unforgettable performance by Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood, plus a memorably creepy villain in James Norton’s Tommy Lee Royce, this is drama that delivers in spades.


23. Dead Ringers

Find it in Apps & Games > Prime Video

A reimagining of David Cronenberg’s 1988 thriller, this six-part miniseries brings it bang up to date. Starring a compelling Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) as twin gynaecologists Elliot and Beverly Mantle, it brings a fierce, feminist spin to the story. Visceral, creepy and darkly comic.


24. The Gold

Find series 1 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

In 1983, six men in a van made off with gold bullion worth £26 million in Britain’s biggest gold heist. This slick retro production, with a strong cast including Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Jack Lowden (Dunkirk) and Sean Harris (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation), tells the wild story of the robbery and its aftermath.


25. Good Omens

Find seasons 1 + 2 in Apps & Games > Prime Video

David Tennant and Michael Sheen played best friends who also happen to be an angel and a demon in the first season of this ambitious fantasy comedy, created by Neil Gaiman. After a Covid-enforced break (during which they won more fans with lockdown comedy Staged) more Good Omens arrived in 2023, and it’s as witty and whimsical as ever. Settle down for some heavenly high jinks.


26. Sex Education

Find seasons 1 -4 in Apps & Games > Netflix

We’re devastated that season 4 will be the last outing for this hugely popular teen show. Mixing great storylines and lovable characters with a humorous touch and, of course, plenty of refreshing raunchiness, it’s been top of our viewing list since it first hit our screens in 2019. Fingers crossed for a spin-off.


27. The Summer I Turned Pretty

Find seasons 1 + 2 in Apps & Games > Prime Video

Moody music, soft focus, awkward dialogue and a romantic upheaval in virtually every epidose – this is everything we want from a teen drama, and those teenage emotions only got more intense in season 2. Based on the bestselling books by Jenny Han, it’s a light, sun-drenched romance that may well prove addictive for the whole family.


28. Changing Ends

Find it in Apps & Games > ITVX

A top treat for Alan Carr fans, this six-episode, semi-autobiographical comedy tells the story of Carr’s early life in Northampton. As warm, charming and watchable as the man himself.


29. Champion

Find series 1 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Top Boy’s Malcolm Kamulete stars in this entertaining BBC drama, the first TV series from author Candice Carty-Williams (Queenie). Focusing on the musical and sibling rivalry between Bosco (Kamulete) and his sister Vita (newcomer Déja J Bowens), there’s all the fallout you might expect and some great original music to boot.


30. The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

Find seasons 1-5 in Apps & Games > Prime Video

This year brought the final season of this award-winning comedy drama following Miriam “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan, House Of Cards) as she breaks off her domestic shackles to try her hand at stand-up comedy in 1950s New York. We finally get to see the fruits of Midge’s hard work as she begins her TV – but the consequences aren’t all positive. A truly witty treat from start to finish. 


31. Top Boy

Find series 1-3 and Top Boy: Summerhouse in Apps & Games > Netflix

More gritty gang realism from the super-talented cast in the final chapter of this brilliant crime drama. Will the empire created by Sully (rapper Kano) and Dushane (Ashley Walters) survive? Immerse yourself in the drama to find out. This series has a bonus guest appearance from Irish star Barry Keoghan (Saltburn).


32. World On Fire

Find series 1 + 2 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

After the first series of this ambitious Second World War drama ended on a spectacular cliffhanger back in 2019, we spent four years on tenterhooks! The second series finally arrived in July and it was well worth the wait. Epic scale. Compelling storyline. Great cast, including Jonah Hauer-King (The Little Mermaid) and Lesley Manville (The Crown).


33. The Great

Find seasons 1-3 in Box Sets > LIONSGATE+

If you haven’t yet discovered this rich and riotously entertaining historical extravaganza, now’s your chance. It may be light on actualreal-life facts but it’s a complete delight, largely because of its mesmerising leading duo – Elle Fanning (Maleficent) and Nicholas Hoult (Renfield). Sadly, season 3 marks the final “huzzah” – but that makes it the perfect time to catch up (or put it at the top of your rewatch list).


34. Guilt

Find series 1-3 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

The third and final season of this contemporary thriller is as compelling as ever. Brothers Max (Mark Bonnar, Catastrophe) and Jake McCall (Jamie Sives, Annika) are back together but still pursued by enemies old and new. Will they be able to get themselves out of trouble? 


35. Black Ops

Find series 1 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

BAFTA-winning Famalam writer/actors Gbemisola Ikumelo and Akemnji Ndifornyen teamed up with writing duo Joe Tucker and Lloyd Woolf (Witless) to create this new comedy thriller about two hapless undercover cops. Fast-moving and irreverent, it’s never less than hilarious. And another series is coming!


36. Rabbit Hole

Find season 1 on Paramount+

“The deeper you go, the deadlier it gets.” Take Kiefer Sutherland (24), a spot of corporate espionage and a plot to bring down the US. Add star turns by Charles Dance (The Crown) and Meta Golding (Empire). What do you get? A seat-of-your-pants spy thriller that we can’t get enough of.


37. Funny Woman

Find it in On Demand

Based on Nick Hornby’s brilliant novel Funny Girl, this six-part comedy drama tells the story of 60s Blackpool beauty queen Barbara Parker (Gemma Arterton, Summerland) as she heads to London to seek fame and fortune. Nostalgic and heart-warming, sure, but with serious points to make about equality too.


38. Planet Earth III

Find Planet Earth series 1-3 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Almost two decades on from the first series, David Attenborough is back with another audio-visual spectacular showcasing the huge variety of animal habitats on this planet we call home. With footage of the natural world gathered over five years across 43 countries, it’s an incredible, awe-inspiring watch.


39. Beyond Paradise

Find series 1 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Death In Paradise comes to Devon in this cosy and comic spin-off. Starring Kris Marshall (Sanditon) as the accident-prone DI Humphrey Goodman, after his rerturn from the Caribbean island of Sainte Marie, it’s a charming watch – and even better, we’re getting more of it in 2024 (as well as another offshoot called Return To Paradise, set in Australia).


40. A Town Called Malice

Find it in On Demand

South London gangsters, sun, sea, sangria – what’s not to like? Just to be clear, there’s also murder and mayhem galore. Set on the Costa del Crime, this OTT drama with a banging soundtrack is sure to have you hooked, particularly if you’re an 80s pop aficionado.


41. Sister Boniface Mysteries

Find series 1 + 2 in On Demand

This light-hearted murder-mystery drama took the Father Brown formula and amplified it to give us an even more disarmingly sweet-faced but brilliant religious sleuth (Lorna Watson, The Wrong Door) – this one on a moped. Quirky and compelling.


42. Poker Face

Find season 1 in On Demand

Conceived by Knives Out director Rian Johnson as an homage to classic murder mystery shows such as Columbo, this new case-of-the-week series is a terrifically entertaining watch. It stars the brilliant Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll) as casino waitress Charlie Cale, who causes trouble at work with her ability to spot lies and hits the road in her Plymouth Barracuda, solving crimes as she goes.  


43. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Find season 1 in Apps & Games > Netflix

Saucy Regency romp Bridgerton got its first spin-off series in 2023 and it’s a goodie. We follow a young Queen Charlotte (India Amarteifio, Sex Education) as she rises to prominence and power and falls in love with King George. And those costumes…


44. The Fall Of The House Of Usher

Find it in Apps & Games > Netflix

Based on the Edgar Allan Poe short story, this gothic horror follows Roderick Usher (Bruce Greenwood, Gerald’s Game), the CEO of a corrupt pharmaceutical company. When his six adult children (from five different women) start to die in mysterious circumstances, he’s forced to face up to his shady past. A grisly and gripping hit from Netflix horror maestro Mike Flanagan (Midnight Mass, The Haunting Of Hill House).


45. The Woman In The Wall

Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

The brilliant Ruth Wilson (His Dark Materials) stars as Lorna Brady, a “fallen woman” forced to give up her baby and live in a Magdalene laundry in Dublin as a girl, and is now experiencing strange goings-on in her house. This six-part gothic-drama-cum-murder-mystery is unsettling and unforgettable.


46. Frasier

Find season 1 on Paramount+

After an absence of nearly 20 years, Frasier has returned with a new ensemble cast, including British national treasure Nicholas Lyndhurst (Only Fools and Horses) and Jack Cutmore-Scott (Oppenheimer). There are a few more grey hairs and a different location (Boston), but this has all the tight storylines and wisecracks you’d expect from Dr Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) and his farcical attempts to win at life.


47. The Gallows Pole

Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

In his first production for the BBC, writer/director Shane Meadows (This Is England) turns to period drama and reinvents the genre. Skilfully weaving together history, crime and the supernatural, he’s created something fresh, gritty and comedic. Leads Michael Socha (Being Human) and Sophie McShera (Downton Abbey) are captivating.


48. Bodies

Find it in Apps & Games > Netflix

This intriguing, time-bending murder mystery kicks off with a conundrum: four detectives discover the same naked corpse on the same London street in four separate years ranging from 1890 to 2053. Who is he? How did he get there? What does it mean? Does Elias Mannix (Stephen Graham) have the answers? Watch and find out…


49. Heartstopper

Find seasons 1 + 2 in Apps & Games > Netflix

When sweet teen Charlie falls for rugby jock Nick, it doesn’t look like a romance made in heaven. But their friendship develops into something more… The secomd season of this touching comedy drama, based on the graphic novel and webcomic series by Alice Oseman, develops the adorable characters and relationships to satisfying effect.


50. The Diplomat

Find season 1 on Apps & Games > Netflix

Perfect for fans of the much-missed The West Wing, this political thriller stars Keri Russell (The Americans) as the newly appointed US ambassador in London. As well as negotiating international crises, she has to manage her self-important husband, Hal (Rufus Sewell, Victoria). A smart, fresh and bingeable watch that’s already – hooray! – been commissioned for another season.


You might also like

TV channels: Channels, content and features available depend on your chosen package. Channel line-ups and content are subject to change at any time and to regional variations.

HD: HD TV set, V HD Box, TiVo box or Virgin TV V6 connected with HDMI cables required for HD channels. Number of inclusive HD channels depends on package.

Catch Up TV: Catch Up TV content available for up to 7 days or up to 30 days after broadcast, depending on content.

On Demand: Content available to view depends on TV package. Time limits apply for viewing chargeable On Demand content – see Once purchased, all chargeable On Demand content must be viewed within 48 hours. Premium channels and upgrades must be kept for at least 30 days.

Netflix: Netflix subscription required at extra cost.

Amazon Prime Video: Amazon Prime subscription required at extra cost. 18+. Click here for T&Cs. 

LIONSGATE+: LIONSGATE+ subscription required at extra cost.

Paramount+: Paramount+ subscription required at extra cost. TV 360 and Stream customers only.