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TV shows to banish the January blues

TV shows to banish the January blues

Treat yourself to the best binge-worthy TV series, from new comedy like The Rehearsal and Avenue 5 to the classic Friday Night Dinner

By Kat Romero, Writer

Christmas and New Year are now distant memories. Gone are the gold of the twinkly lights, the silver of the baubles and the red of your flushed cheeks after one too many ports. And in their place, the January blues.


It's cold, dreary and miserable. So staying in is the new going out, the couch is the new club and a fleece blanket draped over your lap is the only style statement you need to be making.


Plus, Virgin TV has an exciting selection of shows for you to get stuck into whenever you want – and you’ll find them all in Box Sets > Beat The Blues. From brilliant British sitcoms to brand new comedy from the US, it’s all just a click away.


So settle down, get cosy and beat the blues with your friend and ours: fantastic telly.


Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything

Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sky Comedy

Let's face it, anything with Sheridan Smith in it is guaranteed to be TV gold. And we cannot wait to get stuck into this fab new series that sees the star reunite with Two Pints Of Lager creator Susan Nickson. Sheridan is Rosie, a woman in her late thirties who is a high-functioning addict but barely holding on to her job and personal relationships. After an embarrassing display at her brother’s wedding, she decides to go cold turkey.


Hold The Front Page

Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sky Max from Wednesday 4 January

Josh Widdicombe and Nish Kumar team up for this show that explores the weird and wonderful world of local news. In each episode, the comedic duo will work on a different local newspaper as they attempt to infiltrate the local community and bag the biggest scoop in the hope of getting it on the front page – relying on their wit and charm to get the stories, as well as the help of some celeb friends.



Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sky Comedy

You might have thought Hollywood had stolen Martin Freeman (Black Panther) from us for good, but this comedy blends the best of British humour and heart. Paul (Freeman) and his wife Ally (Daisy Haggard, Uncle) are a married couple balancing the strain of full-time careers and parenting their young children. The show perfectly encapsulates parents’ twin ability to be prepared to die for their children and simultaneously feel like killing them – all while dealing with the impact parenthood can have on a marriage.


Agatha Raisin

Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sky Max

The quirky crime drama stars Ashley Jenson (Ugly Betty) as the sharp-witted, high-flying PR executive who turns amateur sleuth. Having grown tired of the fast pace of London life, Agatha heads to the countryside for a life of calm and tranquillity. But things turn to chaos when she’s falsely accused of murder and must become a detective to figure out the true perpetrator and clear her name.



Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sky Comedy

This hilarious sitcom from the producers of People Just Do Nothing and Stath Lets Flats follows the exploits of paramedics in south London. Wendy (Jane Horrocks) is an upbeat northerner is partnered with tough-acting loner Maleek (Samson Kayo). The pair start out like chalk and cheese but the intensity of their jobs soon see them lean on each other and form an unlikely friendship.


Avenue 5

Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sky Comedy

Hugh Laurie may be a bona fide national comedy treasure over here but across the pond, American audiences were shocked to discover that the star – who is most famous for his serious role as Gregory House in House – is British AND funny. Who’d have thought it? In this sci-fi comedy set 40 years in the future, he plays Ryan Clark, captain of space cruise ship Avenue 5 which is on an eight-week jaunt of the solar system… until things go wrong.


The crew, including Lenora Crichlow (Being Human) and Zach Woods (the US version of The Office), must deal with angry passengers and technical difficulties. Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in Frozen, is on board as the slippery billionaire entrepreneur bankrolling the space-tourism disaster.


The Cockfields

Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > GOLD

After Life stars Joe Wilkinson and David Earl created and star in this brilliant British sitcom following the lives of fortysomething Simon (Wilkinson) as he tries to negotiate normal life – including a relaxing holiday and a birthday party – despite the antics of his wacky family, including mum Sue (Sue Johnston, The Royle Family). Wilkinson’s After Life co-star Diane Morgan is Simon’s girlfriend Donna in the first series, although he’s engaged to Esther (Susannah Fielding, This Time With Alan Partridge) in the second.


Party Down

Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > LIONSGATE+

This US comedy is about a crew of cater waiters who are out-of-work actors, writers and comedians all waiting for their big break. Henry Pollard (Adam Scott, Parks And Recreation) is an aspiring actor but is recognised constantly for his role in a beer commercial and is so sick of his line “Are we having fun yet?” quoted to him by partygoers that he’s thinking of quitting the biz.


Each episode is set at a different function, ranging from a high-school reunion to an awards ceremony celebrating the porn industry, and the cast includes Martin Starr (Spider-Man: Far From Home), Ken Marino (Wanderlust) and Will & Grace’s Megan Mullally. After more than a decade away, it’s returning for a hotly anticipated third season this year – so for now you can enjoy the first two on LIONSGATE+.


The Rehearsal

Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sky Comedy

This US docu-comedy offers people something most of us would love: a chance to rehearse a difficult conversation or situation before it plays out in real life. With the help of sets and actors, Nathan Fielder helps ordinary people practise for life’s biggest events. A big believer that playing for every variable allows a happy outcome each time, Fielder is determined that nothing in life should be left to chance.



Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sky Comedy

Tim Minchin stars as down-on-his-luck musician Lucky in this Aussie comedy, in which he attempts to honour his dying mother’s wish by driving a piano across the country. Chaos ensues when he his car is flagged down by a teenage girl (Milly Alcock) who turns out to be a fugitive on the run. Unsurprisingly, she ends up bringing endless drama to Lucky’s life but the pair form an unlikely bond.


Friday Night Dinner

Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > All 4

This comedy classic ended in 2020 after almost a decade on our screens. Adam (Simon Bird, The Inbetweeners) and younger brother Johnny (Tom Rosenthal, Plebs) cannot help but revert to childlike ways when they head home for Friday Shabbat dinner with long-suffering mum Jackie (Tamsin Greig, Green Wing) and bumbling father Martin (Paul Ritter, No Offence). Every actor shines in this sitcom but the late Paul Ritter’s depiction of Martin and his hilarious mishaps will always be a firm favourite. Lovely bit of squirrel…


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Image credits: Avenue Five © 2020 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and all related programs are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.