To TV or not TV? Top Shows to Watch with your Flatmates

By Alice Spencer

So Fresher’s is officially over. After two weeks of partying and making memories, some of which are slightly hazy and you wish you could forget, the work has started and the rest of your university life has begun. It’s likely a mass-gathering of germs from every corner of the nation has gifted many with an epic case of ‘Fresher’s Flu’. Equally likely is that you’ve blown a big chunk of student loan on Domino’s and drunken generosity. While it might seem like you’re ruining your social life at this stage of the game to stay indoors. Your health, your bank balance and, more pressingly, your 9am the next day are all screaming: ‘No!’

So how can you bond with flat mates without going out? The truth is, the answer might lie no further than a laptop and an admittedly fairly steep TV license. As we near the season of thick jumpers, we count down the top TV shows to watch with flatmates to stay cosy indoors, and to suss out the keepers from the ones you’ll probably only speak to in the kitchen for the rest of the year. Honestly, can you even be civil to someone who doesn’t love Mel and Sue?

1. ‘The Great British Bake Off’
By now the chances are you’re already a bit tired of takeaways. It seems one post-Mercy kebab too many means all the clothes you brought with you back when you were healthy are just that little bit tighter, and you’re really, really starting to miss mum’s cooking. The limited facilities in Halls rule out becoming a master chef. Under such circumstances, it seems reasonable to compromise and bow down to the kitchen prowess of others.

Whether you enjoy baking yourself or not, ‘Bake Off’ will get the whole flat together. Putting the obvious brilliance of Mary Berry aside, you’ll be amazed at how involved people can get about cake. Like, really involved. Like the person who didn’t shed a tear saying goodbye to their parents full-on weeping when Nadia won kind of involved. Because, while leaving your childhood home is no biggie, pies and puds are serious business, right?

2. ‘The Apprentice’
Sometimes university feels like an impossible struggle between keeping fit and healthy, keeping up with work and trying to maintain some kind of social life. And yet, more often than not, we manage to spectacularly fail in all three.

But rather than dwell on how those degrees we’re paying for are still actually happening, why not focus instead on the complete ineptitude of others? Lord Sugar’s batch of big-headed wannabes are back: clear your Thursday evenings for a solid hour of boardroom bickering and some pretty sassy put-downs from the big man himself.

Despite the fact no one in the flat has ever had any experience in business, you guys know exactly what those dummies are doing wrong and have no problem saying it. Watching on a laptop on a table that’s still sticky from Malibu spillage two night ago, you guys have got your lives sorted.

3. ‘Strictly Come Dancing’
Put away the frying pan, because here’s the ultimate Sunday morning hangover cure.
OK, so we were never seriously going to demand you stay in on Saturday night. You’re at university: why pretend you’re at home with your parents and your Nan when you’re not? But you can still catch up on a bit of ‘Strictly’ on Sunday morning when your head is thumping and work seems impossible.

To all appearances cringey and clichéd, now we’re older and wiser we can see how truly brilliant ‘Strictly’ is. At university when everyone has an opinion, it makes politics a bit more digestible to see Ed Balls doing the Samba in a canary yellow suit. Digestible, or it makes you slightly nauseous.
From the wacky themed dances to the spray tans and sequins, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ is always a crowd pleaser. You might want to turn the volume down a bit when you first wake up though.

Image from the Radio Times

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