By Heather McLaughlin
Channel 4 has long been regarded as the coolest television channel of the famous five. Over the years, it has brought shows to our screens which are daring (Skins/Shameless) revolutionary (Big Brother/Drug Live) and at times, borderline bonkers (Big Fat Gypsy Weddings!!).
On it’s launch date back in 1982, Channel 4 vowed to provide an alternative to the mundane, repetitiveness of it’s neighbouring channels. This is a value it has stayed true to, by continuously seeking out fresh, new original shows to ensure their viewers have plenty of variety.
The recent success of German spy thriller Deutschland 83 is a prime example. Bridging the gap between UK audiences and foreign dramas, the story follows an East German border guard who goes undercover to spy on NATO and the West.
When it aired on Channel four last month, it broke television history as the highest-rated subtitled drama to date. Rumour has it that the writers have plans for a Deutschland 89, to end with the wall coming down.
Whilst we await it’s return, here are some other Channel 4 exclusives to help provide your escapism until the Summer months arrive…
1. The Aliens
From the same team who brought us the award winning Misfits comes ‘The Aliens’. It is set in a world in where aliens have made home on Earth, but face discrimination from their human counterparts who keep them segregated and oppressed despite their obvious similarities. Channel 4 have ramped up their promos for this one, with fake ads and broadcast ‘hijacks’, depicting the slogan ‘Alien League: Fight Human Oppression’. This clever marketing ploy has definitely worked in creating interest and curiosity in the show, and TV bosses will no doubt be hoping to recreate the success of recent sci-fi hits such as Humans and Utopia.
Handpicked in conjunction with Channel 4’s new foreign-language streaming site, Walter Presents, Spin is French TV producers take of House of Cards. This six-part political thriller opens to the assassination of the French president, and documents the aftermath of destruction his death leaves for France’s political network. Very poignant in light of the Paris attacks last November, Spin perfectly captures the tension in the still present in France’s air just now.
3. Fresh Meat
This old favourite recently returned for a 4th series. Just because we’ve seen it before doesn’t mean that we should overlook this for the coming of age brilliance that it is. Set in the confines of a Manchester flat housing six students from six very different walks of life, this comedy is sharp, witty and very relatable; not only for those who have lived in halls, but anyone who has experienced the highs and lows of shared accommodation
4. Kaboul Kitchen
Another pick from Walter, this time a comedy. The show revolves around a restaurant owner, Jacky, and his popular Afghan eatery. Jacky is cash hungry and won’t think twice about screwing his fellow man over to score a pretty penny. He is in for a reality check however, when his daughter joins him in Afghanistan to do humanitarian work and he soon finds himself tangled up in a whole host of dangers. The show broke ratings records in France and was recently named fourth on The Hollywood Reporter’s most promising series