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7 bite-sized series for your lunch break

7 bite-sized series for your lunch break

With After Life renewed for series 3, feast your eyes on these other snackable series that you can digest in 30 minutes or less

By Laura Rutkowski, Staff Writer

For the first time ever, Ricky Gervais is breaking his “two seasons and a special” rule, with The Office, Extras and Derek all following that format. The demand for a third series of After Life has been so great that Netflix has given the people what they want and renewed the show. Gervais previously said he would only write another series “if he felt it was wanted”, but he told fans that this is definitely “the last one”.


Gervais is the king of the half-hour show, so to celebrate the good news about After Life, we thought we’d serve up some more series recommendations that know how to keep it short and sweet for a WFH lunchtime treat…


1. Dead To Me

Find seasons 1 & 2 on Netflix

With series 2 recently landing on Netflix after one hell of a cliff-hanger ending in season 1, you’ll blow through this in no time. Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini expertly play gal pals Jen Harding and Judy Hale. They meet in a support group after Jen’s husband is killed in a hit-and-run, with Jen’s hardness and Judy’s sweetness perfectly balancing each other out. With razor-sharp wit and dark humour, Dead To Me is both ridiculous and uplifting.


2. Dave

Find it in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

What’s so brilliant about Dave is that rapper and comedian Dave Burd, who goes by the stage name Lil Dicky, plays himself and then essentially pokes fun at his own story. Lil Dicky burst onto the YouTube scene in 2013 when his song “Ex-Boyfriend” went viral. The Guardian calls this new series an “ecstatically painful cringe-comedy”, with plenty of… inappropriate (to put it mildly) jokes to go around. Fictional Dave’s goal is to become known as one of the best rappers of all time – with the real Dave loving every minute of it.


3. Homecoming

Find it in Apps & Games > Prime Video

The Golden Globe-nominated series returns for season 2, starring Janelle Monáe, on 22 May, so now is the ideal time to catch-up. Based on the podcast of the same name, this psychological thriller follows Heidi Bergman (Julia Roberts), a caseworker at Homecoming, a facility that helps soldiers reacclimate to civilian life. When she leaves and takes a job as a waitress, her decision is questioned by the head honchos – for good reason.


4. Back To Life

Find it in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

In this stand-out hit from Daisy Haggard, she plays Miri Matteson, who has just been released from prison after serving an 18-year sentence. It’s going to take a lot of rebuilding and reflecting to find her feet again in the real world. For a well-needed chuckle, watch some Back To Life, then get back to work, and eagerly await for series 2. 


5. Russian Doll

Find it on Netflix

This show stacks a lot into its 25-minute episodes, which is why Russian Doll is a fitting name, among other reasons. From the talented minds of Amy Poehler, Natasha Lyonne, and Leslye Headland comes an eerie tale of déjà vu, with Nadia (played by Lyonne) dying and reliving her 36th birthday (“Sweet birthday baby!”) over and over again. A new season has been announced, so get ready to binge once more!


6. The Office

Find seasons 1 & 2 on Netflix

Let’s take it all the way back to one of Ricky Gervais’ finest: The Office. Despite it only spanning 14 episodes, its lasting impact will live on in sitcom history, not least because it is infinitely quotable. David Brent walked so Michael Scott could run.


7. Modern Love

Find it in Apps & Games > Prime Video

Each one of these love stories – and by love we mean “sexual, romantic, familial, platonic, and self-love” – is inspired by a personal essay from The New York Times’ “Modern Love” column. A raft of famous faces (and various directors) each tell a different story, set against the backdrop of the Big Apple. “When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist” and “Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am” are particular highlights.


How to watch Netflix with Virgin TV

If you have a TiVo® box or Virgin TV V6 box, powered by TiVo®:


Press home on your remote

Select Apps & Games

Select All Apps 

Select Netflix


If you’re already a Netflix subscriber, you can also access the app through Search & Discover or by pressing Red on channel 204. Just sign in with your existing login and start watching. And you’ll only have to log in the first time you use it. 


If you’re new to Netflix, then you’ll need to subscribe to use the app. The easiest way to do this is by going to You can also subscribe using the Netflix app in Apps & Games.


How to watch Amazon Prime Video with Virgin TV

Prime Video is available to all Virgin TV customers with a V6 box, powered by TiVo®. Simply sign up to Amazon Prime Video via their website, and you can log in on the box. And because Prime Video is fully integrated into TiVo®, you can search without even going into the app. Just select Search & Discover from the Home menu and type in the name of the show or movie you’re after.

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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.

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

Netflix: Netflix subscription required at extra cost.