THE BLACKLISTLet’s face it – we are quite frankly spoiled for choice when it comes to television these days. Can you imagine what it was like when TV was first launched? There would have been such little choice that you might have had to resort to actually talking to your family or going outside to play. What an awful world that must have been.

These days there’s an endless amount of channels to choose from, but we all know that familiar feeling of flicking through hundreds and still finding nothing to watch! That’s where the genius of catch-up television comes in, and Sky have been boosting their on-demand service in recent times with some fantastic box sets of the best shows you might have missed. The only question is where do you start?

The Blacklist Season 1

Have you seen the recent Avengers: Age Of Ultron trailer? See that ridiculously scary looking robotic man who claims he has no strings? Well, the threatening voice behind Ultron is, of course, James Spader. The same James Spader who made a name for himself in numerous movies such as Sex, Lies and Videotape, Stargate and Crash, as well as the hit TV show Boston Legal alongside William Shatner. After watching Spader in Boston Legal for many years, it’s a huge change to see him in The Blacklist as an eccentric high-profile criminal in Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington. The Blacklist was one of the breakout hits of the 2012-13 season and with great reason – Spader is one of the most gripping and fascinating actors on television today, and if you’ve not see the show then you’ll want to catch up as soon as possible.

The Newsroom Season 1 and 2

If you’re an Aaron Sorkin show then you’re always going to get people’s attention. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up for debate. Such excitement and buzz surrounding a production is great, but the added pressure of expectation can sometimes result in disappointment. Sorkin is best known for The West Wing, a show that remains one of the most critically acclaimed shows in television history, and as such The Newsroom certainly came onto the scene with high hopes from everyone in the industry. Whether it matches those expectations is down to personal preference, but there’s no doubting that the performances of Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Olivia Munn et al are up there with the best. The show will be returning to our screens shortly for its third and final season, so it’s certainly worth working your way through the trials and tribulations of Atlantis Cable News as soon as possible.

The Tunnel Season 1

We are no strangers to the success of foreign TV shows, especially over the last few years. The Killing kickstarted a wave of new dramas coming out of the woodwork from various European countries to combat the traditional domination of US TV series. One such show was The Bridge, a Danish/Swedish crime series in 2011. A few years later Sky teamed with French network Canal+ to remake/reinterpret The Bridge and The Tunnel was the result. A tight, gripping and sometimes shocking 10-episode season resulted in strong ratings and high praise for the ideas and performances, especially of the two leads – Stephen Dillane and CaptureClémence Poésy. Gritty in nature and challenging from one episode to the next, The Tunnel manages to live up to its original and become a success in its own right. With another series potentially on the way, this is certainly one to watch.

Spartacus (The Complete Series)

While Spartacus’ story may be over now, there are many of you out there that never had the chance to watch the full journey. It’s one of tragedy – not only through the storylines in the show, but also at the loss of the original Spartacus Andy Whitfield. The first season saw Whitfield take the lead role and deliver a strong and popular performance, but sadly he was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma and passed away. From there, Liam McIntyre took responsibility for the role and did a stellar job of carrying on the work Whitfield had started. Both men are highlights of the series alongside other popular names like John Hannah, Craig Parker, Lucy Lawless and Jaime Murray. If blood, sex, gore and drama are what you’re looking for then Spartacus is definitely for you.

Justified Seasons 1-5

With the Timothy Olyphant-fronted show due a final sixth season in early 2015, there’s no better time to make sure you’re up to date with the tale of Raylan Givens. Justified is one of those shows, much like Sons Of Anarchy, that has managed to slip under the radar of a lot of the general viewing public. It has never quite hit the heights of ‘cool’ that shows like Breaking Bad did, but it’s a solid performer that features a stunning array of guest stars over its five seasons so far.

Set in eastern Kentucky, Justified follows Givens, a US Marshal, who is quite unique in the way he enforces justice. It’s a show that’s visually pleasing to the eye, as well as having an exceptional main cast who regularly put in some of the best performances on television. It manages to feel modern and classic all at the same time, capturing the essence of Elmore Leonard’s original novels which are well worth a read. If you’re looking for a new drama to fall in love with then Justified will surely keep you entertained from start to finish.

Justified Season 5 is exclusively on Sky Box Sets on demand now, with seasons 1-4 also available to catch up on. The Blacklist, The Tunnel, Newsroom and Spartacus can all be found as part of the on demand service also.