Admit it. You really don’t mind how lockdown life has changed your TV habits, do you? We get it: with more time spent indoors there’s opportunity to delve into the best boxsets from our current golden age of TV, guilt-free.
And while streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime serve subscribers plenty of binge-able shows, some of the best and most critically-acclaimed series are to be found on Sky Box Sets, available to Sky customers online, On Demand and through the Sky Go app.
Which boxset should you crack open first? Here are our top picks.
Horrifying, heart-wrenching and quite simply one of the best dramas produced in recent years, Chernobyl dramatizes the 1986 Ukrainian nuclear disaster and its aftermath at the titular power station.
Visually-stunning as it is gripping, its mesmerising ensemble cast including Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson, Jessie Buckley and Paul Ritter guide viewers through the tragedy – and the incompetence and Soviet culture of denial that caused it. Truly unflinching and unforgettable TV.
Watch Chernobyl on Sky Box Sets
A stylish and smart exploration into the humanity of AI, Westworld takes viewers to a colossally-vast Old West theme park where wealthy guests indulge their darkest desires thanks to a host of life-perfect automatons.
If that dystopian premise doesn’t draw you in, its stars will. As well as boasting the likes of Thandie Newton (Solo: A Star Wars Story), Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok), Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs) and Ed Harris (Apollo 13), all three seasons are helmed by Jonathan Nolan, writer of The Dark Knight and Interstellar.
Watch Westworld on Sky Box Sets
Game of Thrones
Sure, its eighth and final season divided fans and critics alike. But there’s no denying this fantasy epic – a story of seven warring kingdoms, based on the books by George RR Martin – was the world’s number one show for a reason. Not only does it create a fully-realised medieval world still unmatched in TV drama, but Thrones combines this with elegant storytelling and meticulously-plotted character arcs.
Throw in standout performances from the likes of Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey and you’ve got a show that will be fondly remembered for decades to come.
Watch Game of Thrones on Sky Box Sets
On the face of it, it may look like just another anthology crime drama, each season following different detectives solving a heinous crime. But there’s nothing by-the-numbers about True Detective.
Alongside pitch-perfect scripts and stories spanning decades, its A-list cast serve up jaw-droppingly good performances – season one’s Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, in particular. Despite a misguided dramatic turn from Vince Vaughn (yes, that Vince Vaughn from Dodgeball) in season two, True Detective is nothing but an acting masterclass.
Watch True Detective on Sky Box Sets
It’s hard to understate the importance of The Sopranos when it first aired in 1999. This expertly-crafted, well-acted character-led series showed what TV was capable of, turning the idiot box into an art form.
The late James Gandolfini undeniably played a huge part in this, his role as therapy-seeking New Jersey crime boss Anthony Soprano anchoring the drama’s moving and darkly comical tone. However, the writing is the real hero, gifting audiences sharp dialogue and thought-provoking, surprising and compelling storytelling simply not seen before or since.
Watch The Sopranos on Sky Box Sets
The Walking Dead
If you’re looking for a lengthy binge, here’s the show for you. Now in its 10th season, The Walking Dead envisions an Earth torn apart by a zombie apocalypse, the few of humanity’s survivors under constant threat of attack. It’s this world small-town sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) wakes from a coma to find, his family nowhere to be seen. And, as he soon discovers, it’s not the zombies (or “walkers”) that are the only threat: other survivors are just as deadly.
Watch The Walking Dead on Sky Box Sets
Rightly touted as a masterpiece of TV storytelling by most critics, The Wire tells a multi-layered tale of crime from the perspectives of law-breakers and police in modern Baltimore. Each ambitious series unfolds slowly, opening up a screen novel for viewers that climaxes in some of the most nail-biting scenes ever aired. Matched with stellar performances from Idris Elba, Dominic West and Michael K Williams, all five seasons are a must-watch for any TV viewer.
Watch The Wire on Sky Box Sets
We can pretty much all agree killers aren’t the nicest people. But what about a killer than only kills serial killers – could they ever be a good person? That’s the question posed by this crime drama that sees Michael C Hall play police blood splatter analyst by day and murderer of murderers by night. Compelling, elegant, yet unforgivingly campy at times, Dexter is both chillingly grotesque and darkly hilarious.
Watch Dexter on Sky Box Sets
The show that launched Kylo Ren himself Adam Driver into the mainstream, Lena Dunham’s semi-autobiographical series follows four 20-something women navigating early adulthood in New York City. More than a modern Sex and the City update, this critically acclaimed series has been praised for its realistic portrayals of sex, much-discussed explorations of gender politics and loving mockery of millennial angst.
Watch Girls on Sky Box Sets
After satirising the inner workings of the British Government in The Thick of It, comedy-writer Armando Iannucci turned his attention across the pond to the political machinations of The White House for this sweary American adaptation. Veep follows former US senator Selina Mayer as she finds out becoming Vice President of the United States isn’t quite what she expected – and instead of trying to leave a legacy is instead caught up in political games.
Watch Veep on Sky Box Sets
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Larry David’s post-Seinfeld success story, this long-running comedy series sees David once again tackle the minutiae of American daily social life. Hilariously meta and mostly improvised, David plays a fictionalised version of himself who routinely breaks social conventions, is often the victim of awkward misunderstandings and just can’t hide his annoyance of other people. The show’s many notable guest stars often play themselves too – look out for several of David’s old Seinfeld co-stars.
Watch Curb Your Enthusiasm on Sky Box Sets
Parks and Recreation
Created by The Office U.S. scribes Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, it’s no wonder that Parks and Rec went on to become one of the most widely acclaimed comedies on TV during its seven-season run. Following the comical misadventures of the Parks Department of a fictional Indiana town, the political satire was so good that it attracted a few real-life politician guest stars – including John McCain, Joe Biden and even Michelle Obama. Not to knock the regular cast, however – a who’s who of Hollywood, the show helped launch the careers of Chris Pratt, Amy Poehler, Aziz Anzari, Nick Offerman and Billy Eichner.
Watch Parks and Rec on Sky Box Sets
Another semi-autobiographical sitcom, comedy darling Tina Fey parodies the TV production process in this landmark comedy. Along with the likes of Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan, Fey stars as the wonderfully named Liz Lemon who must deal with arrogant bosses, unreliable actors and her own tumultuous personal life all while trying to make a successful TV show. Known for its manic pacing, heavy use of cutaway gags and high attention to detail, 30 Rock won widespread critical acclaim and several Emmys – and has one of the most satisfying finales in recent memory.
Watch 30 Rock on Sky Box Sets
The West Wing
The West Wing cast, Getty
Following the professional and personal lives of staffers in The White House – including Martin Sheen’s President Josiah Bartlet – Aaron Sorkin’s political drama is surprisingly contemporary and still holds up twenty years later. Winner of 26 Emmys and often cited as one of the best-written shows of all time, The West Wing not only proved that politics could work on television, but brought movie-level writing, acting and production to the small-screen for the first time and paved the way for the television we have today.
Watch The West Wing on Sky Box Sets
Jon Hamm as Don Draper – Mad Men _ Season 7, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Jaimie Trueblood/AMC
Still one of the coolest shows out there, Mad Men takes us back to the Swinging Sixties to follow the exploits of now-iconic womanising ad executive Don Draper. Chronicling the shifting political feelings of the decade as well as Draper’s personal and professional life, this stylish period drama is widely considered to have helped kick off the current Golden Age of television. Its talented cast certainly helped – as well as turning Jon Hamm into a household name, the show also featured The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Elisabeth Moss and The Chilling Adventure of Sabrina‘s Kiernan Shipka.
Watch Mad Men on Sky Box Sets
Another stylish corporate drama, Billions takes the seemingly impenetrable world of insider trading and hedge funds and somehow turns it into several seasons of compelling drama. Based on real-life events, Billions follows U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) as he attempts to prosecute hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod (Damien Lewis), whose money-making tactics aren’t entirely legal. Often praised for its hyper-realistic portrayal of financial crime, Billions is for fans of crime drama and economics alike.
Watch Billions on Sky Box Sets
Save Me Too – Lennie James Sky
Written by and starring The Walking Dead‘s Lennie James, this dark drama follows down-and-out Nelly who embarks on a tireless quest when his estranged daughter goes missing. Chock-full of British talent including Suranne Jones, Stephen Graham and Jason Flemyng, Save Me is a hidden gem in Sky’s schedules – we gave the latest series a five-star review.
Watch Save Me on Sky Box Sets
Richard Dormer in Fortitude (Sky, PJ)
Ever wondered how crime is solved in the Arctic Circle? Well, wonder no more thanks to this British take on the Scandi-noir, which makes full use of its isolated Arctic setting to up the tension in this psychological thriller. When the tight-knit community of Fortitude experiences its first murder, police officers suspect each other, temperatures plummet and secrets are unveiled…
Watch Fortitude on Sky Box Sets
Jim Carrey Kidding Showtime
Starring a perfectly-cast Jim Carrey, Kidding follows a beloved children’s television presenter who struggles to retain his sanity after a family tragedy. Featuring Carrey’s token manic humour – as television personality Mr. Pickles – but also allowing him to showcase his dramatic chops when Mr. Pickles’ family life implodes, Kidding pushes black comedy to its absolute limit.
Watch Kidding on Sky Box Sets
Boardwalk Empire (Sky, EH)
Directed by Martin Scorcese, starring Steve Buscemi and budgeted at $18million – and that’s just the first episode. Before Peaky Blinders came along, Boardwalk Empire proved that period gangster drama could work on the small screen – and did so in a big way. Through five acclaimed seasons, Buscemi’s Nucky Thomson schemed against mobsters and politicians alike, including a few real-life historical figures – look out for Stephen Graham’s Al Capone.
Watch Boardwalk Empire on Sky Box Sets
If you’re looking for something to watch on TV tonight or what to watch now then check out our TV guide.