When the weather turns colder, it’s awfully tempting to rug up with a warm cuppa, then marathon some quality TV.
You may have already heard a lot about Netflix, but what about the all-Australian streaming service, Stan? Both services have a huge selection of current movies and TV shows, but one thing that sets Stan apart is a huge range of classic series, particularly from the BBC. It was a different time back then, when gritty bloodbath epics like Game of Thrones were unheard of, and sitcoms and comedies reigned supreme.
Just ten years ago, the only way to get your hands on these shows was by watching them on TV (if you were even home that evening) or buying pricey VHS box sets. Now, thanks to on-demand streaming services, you can watch them at your leisure. Binge them all at once or enjoy them little and often. Like fine wine, some shows just get better with age!
Stan subscriptions start at $12 a month with a 30-day free trial and if you have Fetch with a Mini set top box, the Stan app is already built-in so watching it on your TV is a breeze. We’ve rustled up a hearty selection of quality viewing from decades past, available on Stan. Here they are, in no particular order:
Fawlty Towers (1975 – 1979)
Inspired by the rude behavior of a real-life hotel owner, Fawlty Towers is a fictional hotel on the “English Riviera”, run by Basil Fawlty and his wife, Sybil. Fuelled by miscommunication, unreasonable guests and ludicrous scenarios, this small hotel is a pressure-cooker for disaster that will have you in stitches.
The Nanny (1993 – 1999)
It’s difficult to forget this bawdy sitcom staple from the nineties, mainly because Fran Fine’s voice will pierce into your memories. This makeup saleswoman from Flushing, Queens had us all rooting for her as she held the dysfunctional Sheffield family together and eventually won Mr. Sheffield’s heart, all while wowing us with outrageous nineties fashion!
Frasier (1994 – 2004)
If you like all the charm of affluent urbanites and kooky blue-collar parents in The Nanny but can’t stand Fran’s laugh, then Frasier is the show for you. Frasier began as a spin-off from the show Cheers (where Frasier Crane was a patron at the bar) and viewers quickly fell in love with the intellectual Crane brothers and their blue-collar father. The series was so popular that it ran for ten years!
Degrassi High (1989 – 1991)
Depending on how old you were in the nineties, Degrassi High (or Degrassi Junior High) was probably a huge part of your (or your kids’) lives. The dramatic series was renowned for tackling real-life issues faced by high-schoolers, from the everyday to the taboo. As we watched Degrassi’s diverse cast of relatable characters, many of us learned that we weren’t alone in our struggles, and how we could reach out for support from friends and family during difficult times. The Degrassi universe continues for the youth of the early 2000s with Degrassi: The Next Generation.
The Vicar of Dibley (1994 – 2006)
One of Britain’s greatest comediennes, Dawn French, brings The Vicar of Dibley to life in her role as Reverend Geraldine Granger, a vicar assigned to a small country village called (you guessed it) Dibley. In a time when the ordination of women was only recently allowed by the Church of England, The Vicar of Dibley is a heart-warming comedy that shows us exactly what kind of impact the boisterous Geraldine can make on the conservative small town’s church.
Friends (1994 – 2004)
Rachel, Ross, Phoebe, Joey, Monica and Chandler. Six friends, ten years and one perpetually reserved table at the local coffee shop. With their wildly different personalities, these friends encounter all kinds of mayhem in their personal quests to achieve success and happiness in urban Manhattan. No matter which friend was your favourite, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Ross was the worst.
Black Adder (1983)
It’s the series of misfortunes which spanned centuries; Black Adder follows the life of Edmund Blackadder, whose corrupt ambition constantly blows up in his face. Starring world-renowned comedians Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, and in later sequels, Hugh Laurie, if you haven’t already seen this hilarious comedy, it’s a must-watch. The misfortune continues with Edmund’s equally slimy descendants in Blackadder II, Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Goes Forth.
Seinfeld (1989 – 1998)
Last but not least, who could forget this world-famous “show about nothing”? Seinfeld is arguably one of television’s most quotable series; chances are that you and your mates have probably said “No soup for you!” or “Serenity now!” at one point. Together with his quirky friends George, Elaine and Kramer, Jerry Seinfeld explores the trivial matters that weigh heavily on our minds, like “What’s the deal with aeroplane peanuts?”.
What’s your favourite TV classic? Tell us in the comments.