We’re several weeks into lockdown. You’ve read the Internet to the very end, rearranged all your furniture several times, alphabetised your sock drawer, and you’re still at something of a loose end. Time to hit the streaming services, seeing as how they’re all burning multiple holes in your pocket every month.
However, calamity: none of them appear to have the exact content you’re looking for (well, not without lots of fiddly VPN stuff, or trying to change the settings to fool them all into thinking that you’re in an entirely different country). It isn’t even like you can simply pop out and pick up a DVD or Blu-ray of what you want instead, as the shops are all shut, or it might not even be available in the first place.
It’s a situation that you might well have come across since the end of March. Suddenly, you have a hankering to blast your way through some TV series while you’re stuck in self-isolation, but what you want isn’t there, and it’s an itch you can’t scratch. No doubt you’ll have a few shows of your own that you’d desperately like to have on demand: here’s just a few such examples of telly programmes which really should be available at the touch of a button.
With the recent passing of Tim Brooke-Taylor, what better time than now to catch up with the comic exploits of those Super Chaps Three? Well, unless you’ve invested in one of the DVD sets from Network, then you’re bang out of luck. The closest we’ve got to The Goodies being online was on the late, lamented BBC Store, when they put out a selected number of episodes for sale.
However, with that having bitten the dust a couple of years back, it’s currently physical media all the way if you want to catch Graeme, Bill and Tim in action. Perhaps the best hope might be either BritBox or BBC iPlayer putting some out as a tribute – you’re unlikely to get a full run, as some of the individual stories are decidedly un-PC, and might just raise a few eyebrows (as well as some blood pressure).
We can live in hope that somebody will see sense, and give us a chance to see the trio do anything, anywhere, anytime we want. Just be careful not to die laughing like one poor viewer did.
READ MORE: Millennium – TV Rewind
Created by Terry Nation, the man who gave us the Daleks in Doctor Who, Blake’s 7 was pitched to the BBC as “The Dirty Dozen in space”. Looking for a story all about a ragtag band full of rogues, renegades and rebels taking on a totalitarian regime? Well, forget about Firefly or the forthcoming series on Disney+ about Rogue One’s Cassian Andor: Blake’s 7 is just what you’re looking for.
And if you’re relying upon streaming services, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing: looking for it. Despite the proliferation of different outlets now, it seems there’s still no space (pun not intended) for this TV sci-fi classic. If you don’t have the DVDs or haven’t got any of the official licensed audio drama productions with the original cast from Big Finish, then you won’t be teleporting aboard the Liberator anytime soon.
With every attempt to reboot the property having fallen by the wayside, our best hope for seeing Blake’s 7 online now is for the original 52 episodes to be picked up by either BBC iPlayer or BritBox.
The TV series which not only launched Bruce Willis’ career, but had also revitalised Cybill Shepherd’s, Moonlighting is fondly remembered by viewers for its rather offbeat, manic and unconventional style, straddling the genres of detective show, romance, drama and comedy. One memorable story – ‘Atomic Shakespeare’ – transplanted the regulars into a period retelling of The Taming Of The Shrew, with iambic pentameter intact.
It’s just the sort of programme which would benefit from being seen by a modern audience, as it was not only ahead of its time, but would reveal more detail by being able to pause and rewind on demand bits which may have passed the audience by back on its broadcast in the 1980s. Sadly, not only is it not available to stream, but the DVDs are also no longer for sale (at least not without paying through the nose to get secondhand copies).
Perhaps this is one mystery even the Blue Moon Detective Agency wouldn’t be able to solve. Fingers crossed someone at Netflix or Amazon Prime Video realises it’s criminal that we can’t spend our evenings moonlighting with the duo of Maddie Hayes and David Addison.
The Kids In The Hall
“I’m crushing your head.”
Those four words are rife with meaning for anybody who happened to watch an imported comedy show which was buried away late at night on Channel 4 in the late 1980s. The Kids In The Hall – named after a Canadian comedy troupe, consisting of Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson – ran for five seasons, plus a movie – Brain Candy – and an eight-part mini-series, Death Comes to Town.
In March 2020, it was announced that an eight-episode revival of The Kids In The Hall was to be made for Amazon Prime Video. However, the original series isn’t available for streaming in the UK (you can get it if you’re signed up to Amazon in the US, but the shows aren’t actually part of the Prime Video package, so you have to pay to watch them by the episode or season).
As the brand new series is going to be available exclusively on Prime Video, and the complete run of the original is only available as an import DVD set, let’s trust that Amazon does right by UK fans. Thirty Helens agree: it makes an awful lot of sense.
READ MORE: Space: Above and Beyond – TV Rewind
It’s Garry Shandling’s Show
“This is the theme to Garry’s show, the opening theme to Garry’s show, this is the music that you hear as you watch the credits.”
It isn’t if you’re trying to watch it online. Garry Shandling’s pioneering sitcom – which tends to be overlooked in favour of his later series, The Larry Sanders Show – hasn’t been shown on terrestrial telly in the UK for many years, and last got an airing on the now-defunct satellite channel Bravo. It feels long overdue that It’s Garry Shandling’s Show gets to have an outing on streaming services.
For some time, it was said that rights issues had blocked it from being possible. However, Amazon customers in the US are now able to at least rent or buy the first season through Prime Video, but there’s no sign of it for us Brits as yet. The complete run isn’t even out on DVD here, as we only got the first two seasons on Region 2, unlike America and Australia, so the availability of this comedy is no laughing matter.
Let’s just pray that there’s a fan somewhere out there who works for Netflix or Amazon Prime Video in the UK, and can give us the chance to see a stream of Garry’s show, a digital stream of Garry’s show, so then we can all watch It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.
Which shows are you desperate to binge watch but can’t find anywhere? Tell us in the comments below.