Recent research showed that almost half of the nation (47%) watches TV to unwind.
At the same time, 2000 participants voted for the best UK TV shows – violent drama Peaky Blinders and sex, magic and battle Game of Thrones are the top choice.
Psychologist Dr Miranda Justo Núñez, gives her expert insight on why fantasy wins over reality when it comes to relaxation.
Brits’ TV Habits: The nation prefers watching violent drama to unwind, study reveals
A new study by Currys revealed Britain’s TV viewing habits as well as the UK’s favourite British TV shows. The study asked 2000 participants to choose their favourite British TV show as well as 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 come as a surprise, as two violent dramas took the top spots when it came to 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
Game of Thrones
I’m a Celeb, Get Me Out of Here
The final came down to two hyper-violent dramas and the winner, according to the British public, was the period crime drama Peaky Blinders, which beat Game of Thrones very 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, part of the genius of these programmes is that they continue to grapple with very “human” issues – such as love, power, and loss – despite their fantastical backdrop.”
When asked, the British public what they valued most in a TV show, 1 in 5 said ‘powerful acting’ and nearly a third chose ‘mystery’ – both qualities which are seen in Peaky Blinders.
Only 1 in 10 Brits admit to binge-watching TV shows
With all of the streaming services available, binge-watching became 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 1 in 5 (19%) still prefer to watch their TV episodes live.
However, the majority (25%) consume 2-3 episodes per sitting and only 1 in 10 admit to binge-watching TV series when possible.