Wait. Before you roll your eyes at the thought of yet another streaming service, the Britcom fans amongst you will want to know about what Seeso has on offer.
Seeso is NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises’ new ad-free, subscription streaming comedy channel.
If British comedies are your thing, Seeso has quite a list of shows (and with full seasons at that), some of which aren’t available elsewhere in the States.
Classic British comedy series, including A Bit of Fry and Laurie, the sketch comedy show starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, and BAFTA-winning Britcoms Fawlty Towers and The Young Ones and sketch comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
More recent shows, such as the Golden Globes-winning mockumentary The Office; BAFTA winner The IT Crowd; the surreal and hilarious BAFTA nominee The Might Boosh, plus Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, both starring British Comedy Awards nominee Noel Fielding; parody series Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, featuring Richard Ayoade and Matt Berry of The IT Crowd; sitcoms How Not to Live Your Life, Nathan Barley, Snuff Box, Count Arthur Strong, and Trollied; and comedy chat show Man to Man with Dean Learner.
Plus lots of Steve Coogan starring as Alan Partridge, in I’m Alan Partridge, Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge, Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, and Alan Partridge Specials.
Premiering this spring on Seeso in the US and Channel 4 in the UK is the dark comedy-drama Flowers, starring the multiple award-winning Olivia Colman (Broadchurch, Rev., Twenty Twelve, Tyrannosaur) and British Comedy Awards nominee Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh, Nathan Barley).
According to BAFTA nominee Will Sharpe (Dark Pond), the series’ creator/writer/director, Flowers “aims both to celebrate and challenge the traditional family sitcom format. The characters in this show are all trying to break free in some way. In part, it’s a comedy about the different ways of feeling trapped or alone and how difficult it can be to admit that’s how you’re feeling.”
Colman and Barratt play music teacher Deborah and illustrated children’s book author Maurice, the mum and dad of the eccentric and dysfunctional Flowers family. The pair haven’t divorced, but they are hardly what you would describe as being together in their marriage. Plus Deborah is doing her level best to keep the family together.
It’s a rather mad goal she’s set for herself at the creaky, messy, crumbling old house, where the Flowers live on top of each other along with Maurice’s ailing mum Hattie (Leila Hoffman, Bad Education, How Not to Live Your Life).
Deborah suspects Maurice of being in a secret homosexual relationship with his Japanese illustrator Shun (played by Sharpe). Maurice is fighting inner demons and dark secrets. And the couple’s maladjusted 25-year-old twins, Amy (Sophia Di Martino, Mount Pleasant, Casualty) and Donald (BAFTA winner Daniel Rigby, Jericho, Undercover), are both competing for the affection of neighbor Abigail (BAFTA-winning Georgina Campbell, Murdered By My Boyfriend).
Most of the family’s crises are self-inflicted, given their collective habit of not communicating, all of which is helped along to heartbreaking and unfortunate conclusions by their odd neighbors. And then there’s Aunty Viv, Deborah’s vivacious sister, played by none other than Anna Chancellor (Mapp & Lucia, The Hour). Needless to say, the Flowers’ struggles with love and life end up going to extreme and ridiculous places.
A production of Kudos (Humans, Utopia, Broadchurch), the six-episode, half-hour dark comedy-drama is produced by Kudo’s Naomi de Pear and executive produced by Kudos joint-CEO Diederick Santer. The series was commissioned by Phil Clarke, Channel 4’s Head of Comedy, in association with Seeso (Evan Shapiro, Kelsey Balance and Dan Kerstsetter).
In addition to the British series, Seeso has new comedies, exclusive shows, classic stand-up performances, and curated films, which are available to stream sans ads at www.Seeso.com and on streaming platforms, connected devices, and other distribution partners, for $3.99 per month. (Available in the US only.)
If you’d like to give Seeso a whirl before committing to a subscription, you can watch — ad infinitum and gratis — a selection of the service’s original content, clips, and sketches. New stuff is added every day, but none of the free selections will be the British shows. (Possible exception: Flowers.)
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