Sherlock. If you were a fan of House, books about Sherlock Holmes or the recent Hollywood movies about the famous detective, you should definitely give this series a chance. Every episode is about movie-length, which causes it to only have 2-3 episode seasons with long hiatuses. However, the wait is worth it, as the young actor playing Sherlock truly breathes new life into the complicated and eccentric character. His friendship with John is the catalyst for the show, which explores their backgrounds and the basis for their mutual loyalty. The cases they take are modernized and very intriguing, and the mental processes that Sherlock uses to solve mysteries are shown in a unique fashion.
Doctor Who. If you haven't heard of it, start out by watching the 1st and 2nd season of the most recent version of this show (the show also aired in the 60s and 70s). Dr. Who is played by new actors regularly and each new Doctor brings a new unique personality to the show. I'm not a huge fan of the first doctor in Season 1, but really got dragged into the series in the second season. Fans of science fiction, fantasy or people craving something different will love this show. The show is a phenomenon that even has an annual convention for its fans.
The IT Crowd is a British sitcom that recently aired its last show after a long hiatus. It is about the IT staff of a large company, which consists of two young nerdy guys and their new female manager. It puts me in fits of laughter every time, even after I've seen an episode many times. The characters end up in ridiculous scenarios filled with misunderstandings. I would argue that the biggest nerd on this show, Moss, is more lovable and hilarious than the Sheldon character on the Big Bang Theory, but find out for yourself. Just leave some time when you start it, because I can't imagine wanting to turn it off after watching the first episode.
Orphan Black is about to begin its second season, which can be watched on BBC America. I'd describe this as a mystery/thriller. It is dark and there are many twists. The coolest thing about this show is that the star actress plays numerous characters, and each one is as complex and unique as the next.
Below are some trailers, openings, and scenes from the shows above to help get you started. All of them are on Netflix and the three dramas still air on BBC America.
I am definitely not an expert on British television, so I'm sure that I'm missing out on some great titles, but hope that some of you find a new favorite in this short list. To give credit where credit is due, I'll admit that Chris had to convince me to give these shows a try, despite my skepticism of the premises, and that I'm really happy that I took his word for it.