Home Society & Culture Brits’ TV Habits: The Nation Prefers Watching Violent Drama to Unwind, Study Reveals

Brits’ TV Habits: The Nation Prefers Watching Violent Drama to Unwind, Study Reveals

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A new study by Currys revealed Britain’s TV viewing habits and the UK’s favourite British TV shows. The study asked 2000 participants to choose their favourite British TV show and answer some questions about their viewing habits.

When asked what their primary motive was for watching TV, nearly half (47%) of participants said it was to help them unwind, while a little less than a quarter (23%) said they watch TV to learn something. 

However, the viewing material they choose to unwind to may surprise them, as two violent dramas took the top spots for the UK’s favourite British TV show. 

In a series of knock-out rounds, pitting reality TV shows against drama, Brittons revealed that they would rather watch fiction. 

The top 5 British TV shows

  • Peaky Blinders
  • Game of Thrones
  • Sherlock
  • I’m a Celeb, Get Me Out of Here
  • The Crown

The final came down to two hyper-violent dramas, and the winner, according to the British public, the period crime drama Peaky Blinders beat Game of Thrones marginally with 50.04% of the votes.

Dr Miranda Justo -Núñez, a clinical psychologist working for the NHS, explains why fantasy wins over reality: “Fantasy TV is uniquely placed to evoke a sense of wonder – the realities depicted are designed to spark the imagination of the audience and can provide a true sense of escapism.”

“However, despite their fantastical backdrop, part of the genius of these programmes is that they continue to grapple with very “human” issues – such as love, power, and loss.”

When asked the British public what they valued most in a TV show, one in five said ‘powerful acting’ and nearly a third chose “mystery” – both qualities seen in Peaky Blinders.

Only 1 in 10 Brits admit to binge-watching TV shows

With all the streaming services available, binge-watching has become a new phenomenon. Now, you can easily catch up with a TV show you missed a few weeks, months or even years ago – Including watching all six seasons of Peaky Blinders in one go.

But, it seems that the public prefers the old “wait a week” format – showing that anticipation is a part of the experience as nearly one in five (19%) still prefer to watch their TV episodes live.

However, the majority (25%) consume two–three episodes per sitting, and only one in 10 admit to binge-watching TV series when possible.

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