Ever since BBC Three went digital, it’s been absolutely killing the game with its programmes. From comedies to documentaries, there’s a plethora of content on there that you should definitely be watching, and we’re here to give you the best bits!
I remember when BBC3 was a bit of a strange, mystery, promoted by Aardman-esque strange slugs that were very different to its more serious counterparts. I was only 10 when it launched, but I distinctly remember my Dad allowing me one day to watch a new comedy he’d seen in the evenings, as a treat as it was a little bit risque (but I think it largely went over my head)…that comedy was Little Britain. And we all know how that turned out.
From there, BBC3 was the channel for my generation. From the silliness of Little Britain and The Mighty Boosh, to the iconic Gavin & Stacey, BBC3 gave us everything we needed. Whether it was a surreal trip with Noel Fielding, or a candid chat with Lily Allen (DO Y’ALL REMEMBER HER SHOW???), or an education into the darker side of life with hard-hitting documentaries, it had it all.
Last year, when I heard that it was going online only, I was devastated. I thought it was a huge mistake. Once again the powers that be just NOT understanding the younger generations, we don’t want to watch Bargain Hunt (well. not all day anyway). I was furious…But recently, after examining the CRAZY GOOD content, I’ve realised it may have been the smartest move of all.
Not only is the content BANG ON for the BBC3 audience, it feels like it has complete creative freedom to do/say whatever it pleases. It no longer has those pre-watershed restrictions, nothing is too taboo, and the content feels fresh and unexplored. So please, allow me to introduce 5 things that you can currently watch on BBC3 Iplayer RIGHT NOW. TOTALLY FREE. Outrageous.
1 – Clique
A brand new drama based around two freshers who get drawn into an elusive and intriguing clique of older female students, who all seem to have mysterious secrets surrounding the famed internship that many other uni students are desperate to get onto. A lot of bad feminism swirling around in this drama, but it’s intensely gripping and seems to completely know what it’s doing. Although I can’t remember uni being as exciting and dramatic as this (aside from a cheating boyfriend but what you gonna do), it definitely highlights the dangers of getting sucked into a world you totally don’t understand, and how uni isn’t always the experience you think it’s going to be. Definitely check this one out – episode 1 + 2 available now.
2 – Sex, Drugs and Murder: Life In The Red Light Zone
A documentary series giving a voice to sex workers who run the streets in Leeds, where there is the only legal red light district in the UK. I was completely unaware this existed, and to see these women out there night after night is of course heartbreaking. But underneath the drug addictions, prostitution and desperation are women who are merely victims of circumstance. Bought up in broken homes, abused, and underneath it all you can see so clearly that all they’re trying to do is survive in a world that didn’t give them much, and they just want to be loved. They’re funny women with demons that require help and understanding, so good on BBC3 for offering them the chance to be heard.
3 – People Just Do Nothing
Admittedly, the only comedy on here at the moment (what can I say, I love my dark shit). People Just Do Nothing is a mockumentary (although you’d be forgiven for thinking it is totally real) following the lives of Kurrupt FM, Brentford’s biggest pirate radio station. Very ‘The Office’-esque, I can’t say much happens in the series, except for the fact it’s just pure brilliance. Whether it’s the fact that lead Garage MC Grindah is completely delusional that his child is not his, or Chapbuddy G’s iconic one liners (‘Gucci. Girls. Girth’), the whole thing is pure perfection. British comedy at its absolutely finest. You’d be a fool to not watch this. (And also…the Kurrupt FM gang slayed festival season last year, so are they starting to actually become…good?!)
4 – Anything with Stacey Dooley in it…
Stacey Dooley has been a regular on BBC3 for a while now, covering everything from extreme terrorism to the sex trade. But since BBC3 went digital, it feels like she’s gone harder. The subjects are more taboo than ever before, covering ‘anti abortion camps’ in America, and a secret, hushed underworld in Canada where indigenous women are being murdered and not reported. Stacey’s diplomatic approach to difference is commendable, and her calm tone allows us to see both sides to any story. It is to her credit that she puts herself at the heart of all the scenarios she’s thrown into, despite her own moral beliefs, forcing us to see a world outside of our own echo chambers. Our Luton girl, keep doing you.
5 – …and anything with Reggie Yates in it, while you’re at it.
So it’s no surprise that Mr. Yates is on this list. He’s been gracing my TV screen since the early Disney days, and he’s grown into quite the young man. His documentaries last year surrounding homosexuality in Russia and also the darker side of the fitness world were eye opening, and again like Dooley his calm and considered manner in any situation (which are often uncomfortable and would leave normal people running for the hills) provide excellent TV as he coaxes exclusive interviews out of the weird and wonderful people of the world. His recent series on Australia tackles hidden issues such as drugs and racism, and he has another series coming up based in Iraq. He is getting to the heart of matters we need to hear about, and it works so well.
So get off Netflix + support BBC3, lord knows it’s worth it.
What are you watching on BBC3? Want to write a review? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org