The best shows to watch in a weekend

Blog > What to watch
3 Nov • 6 min read

The best shows to watch in a weekend

There’s nothing we love more than those rare weekends where the stars align and you realise you can dedicate some serious time to watching great telly. Add in a comfy chair and some tasty snacks and you’ve got everything you need for an unforgettable weekend.

When these weekends come around, the hardest challenge is often figuring out what to watch. Sure, you could carry on with that show you’re only halfway through and still have multiple seasons to go. But that’s not always fulfilling. And while movies have their place, you don’t want to just watch a random string of films with no connecting tissue.

No, what you need is a weekend-size box set. A few seasons of self-contained joy; enough episodes for you to sink your teeth into, but not so many that you’ll reach the end of your weekend before the end of the show.

Finding that perfect box set isn’t easy, so we’re here to help -so whether you’re looking for some light comedy or an intense drama to sink your teeth into, the four shows below will help your weekend pass in a flash.

The perfect weekend box sets

Gavin and Stacey

Possibly the most heartwarming comedy of the last 15 years - Gavin and Stacey has something for everyone. The romance at the heart of the show will melt even the stoniest heart, while Rob Brydon’s Uncle Bryn is a comedy creation for the ages.

And we can’t forget the incredible role played by Larry Lamb - the head of the Shipman clan is not only the perfect straight man watching the craziness around him with wry resignation, but also the emotional rock for his tribe - it’s a performance we’ll never tire of watching.

It’s available on iPlayer and last year’s Christmas special was the perfect icing on the cake.

Number of episodes: 21

Total watch time - a little over 11 hours, perfect for filling a rainy Saturday/Sunday.

No Offence

If you loved Shameless, this is the show for you. Paul Abbott has created a cop show that could only have come out of the UK and it's brilliant. Part comedy, part no nonsense look at policing, there’s a lot to love about this cancelled before its time gem.

There’s three seasons waiting for you, and with each tackling a different case you’ll not be left wanting at the end. We don’t want to spoil a second, so all we’ll say is this - it’s potentially Abbott’s finest work to date and the showcase Joanna Scanlon always deserved.

Number of episodes: 21

Total watch time - 16 hours, so this is the perfect show for you to spread across the whole weekend and watch a season or so a day.

This is England

It’s not the easiest watch on this list - but the three mini series - This is England 86, 88 and 90 capture growing up in the 80s in all its rawness, beauty and occasionally brutality. You’ll cry, you’ll gasp and you’ll occasionally laugh, but most of all, you’ll never want to look away for a second.

For anyone who lived through the decade - either as an adult navigating a rapidly changing world or a teenager trying to make sense of life, it’s an absolute must watch.

You can find all three mini-series on 4oD, so what are you waiting for?

Number of episodes: 12

Total watch time - 10 or so hours, perfect for stretching over a couple of evenings, though be warned, you’ll be desperate to watch the next episode the second you’ve finished the current one.


If you’re like us, you’ve probably never heard of this one. But, wow are we glad we discovered it. Cardinal is a crime show in the finest tradition of Scandinavian classics like The Killing and the Bridge, but set in Canada.

It’s one for all of us who enjoy watching rugged detectives solve tricky crimes against the backdrop of beautiful, stark landscapes and some personal intrigue and trauma. It’s a slow burn to start, but as you work through the show it becomes a compelling, compulsive drama that you’ll be telling friends and family about the second you finish it.

Number of episodes: 24

Total watch time - 16 hours, so you’ll want to set aside a whole day and the evening before for this one, but trust us, it’s worth it.

None of these take your fancy? Or maybe you just want something a little more recent? Don’t forget that with a Manhattan T3 or T3-R you can go back through the last week of shows to catch up on your favourites or discover your next obsession. Find out more here.