Netflix still rules the roost when it comes to on-demand entertainment, even if Disney+ is soaring in popularity. But especially in the midst of an economy torn to shreds by COVID-19, feeling locked into a monthly subscription cost might not feel appealing if you’re wanting to watch the pennies. So on a happier note, Channel 4’s on-demand service, All4, has experienced a boom in content, and all of their box sets are available to watch for free. Both All4 and BBC iPlayer are known to be a good source of free films, but what TV shows should you watch? Here are 10 of the best All4 box sets to sink your teeth into for a welcome slice of free entertainment.
The West Wing (7 seasons)
Aaron Sorkin’s timeless political drama helped to shape television forever. The mixture of realist detail and idealist representation made for utterly fascinating TV, but the secret of The West Wing’s success was an impeccably written story, complete with the right doses of humour, and some extraordinary political depth. Sorkin cut his teeth for politics with this acclaimed series, a skill he has most recently tried to showcase again with The Trial of the Chicago 7. Remarkably, The West Wing more or less maintained its quality after he departed. With mesmerising performances and extraordinary levels of detail and accuracy, Sorkin’s series proved to be binge-worthy television before binge-watching was even possible.
Friday Night Dinner (6 seasons)
This increasingly popular sitcom, starring Simon Bird and Tasmin Greig among others, feels like a more refined, and less slapstick, successor to The Inbetweeners. Friday Night Dinner is less grotesque and more situational, but, if anything, even funnier. The glorious dynamic of the Goodman family – obviously close, but constantly getting on one another’s nerves – is complimented with down-to-earth dialogue that manages to capture elements of what every family must go through. All of the family are memorable without even really having to try, but the consistent highlight proves to be Mark Heap’s character Jim, a man terrified of his own dog and who has a very un-subtle crush on Jackie. It’s about as great as a British sitcom can be.