Choosing the Best Box Sets for Christmas

Christmas is the time of year when it’s ideal to buy a friend or family member a box set. But typically, when someone loves a series, they already have the set, so what do you do? See our suggestions for box sets that are based on similar series, and surprise your recipient.

Here are our recommendations:

23550524_500x500_1Swap Game of Thrones for The Tudors

You can reliably guess that your friend is interested in history; great story telling and out of this world acting. The Tudors starts off by saying: “You think you know a story, but you only know how it ends.” And this is exactly how it proceeds, by re-telling the historical tale behind Henry VIII and his six wives. You may know that some were be-headed, some died and others were divorced, but The Tudors is so much more than that. It breathes life into the two dimensional characters we all think we know. With four series to catch up on, this will be on box set they’ll revisit time and time again.

51555406_500x500_1Swap Downton Abbey for The Paradise.

Set in Victorian times within Britain’s first department store, the story has many Downton elements. There’s the lowly shop girl Denise, who has to deal with power struggles, an emerging modern age and affairs. The episodes are full of romance, glamour, ambition and progress with a dark and mysterious, dark secret at its heart.

27727989_500x500_1Swap Agatha Christie’s Poirot for Sherlock.

Agatha Christie’s enigmatic, eccentric and highly intelligent detective Hercule Poirot is replaced with Sherlock Holmes, played impeccably by Benedict Cumberpatch. Set in modern day London, Sherlock is a contemporary take on the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories, much as Guy Ritchie’s films re-imagined him. Doctor John Watson is a returning soldier from Afghanistan; wounded and a bit of a lost soul. Here he meets Sherlock Holmes by chance and together they embark on solving some truly devious crimes.

18449521_500x500_1Swap The Wire for The Shield.

The Wire is set in Baltimore, and deals with the many facets of the drugs trade, from the view of the politicians, the police, the dealers and the media. The Shield is another tough-talking US cop show, this time set in Los Angeles. There is a corrupt strike team which are at the centre of every episode, led by the politically ambitious Detective Vic Mackey. Each plotline focuses on gritty caseloads, and feature a brutal kidnapping, homicide, and gangland warfare.

40849977_500x500_1Swap The Vampire Diaries for True Blood.

Change the character of teenager Elena Gilbert and her non-ageing vampire brothers Stefan and Damon, in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, for the Louisiana waitress Sookie Stackhouse, complete with telepathic powers, whose life changes forever when 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton steps into her diner.

37360550_500x500_1Swap Southpark for The Family Guy.

With great episodes that include the pilot episode where Brian and Stewie are fraught with angst as they travel back in time, or the one where Peter tries to prove he’s a member of the British Royal Family, or how about when Quagmire tries to get it on with Meg? Includes cameo voice overs from such celebrities as Cate Blanchett, Ricky Gervais, Ellen Page and Ryan Reynolds.

All images courtesy of Play.com.

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