40. 'The League of Gentlemen' (1999-2002)
Created and performed by quartet of Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson, The League of Gentlemen takes place in the cloistered, fictional Northern English village, Royston Vasey. The limited geography of the setting provides good excuses for the odd characteristics and creepy habits of the inhabitants to emerge. Though narrative filaments connect regular characters with the village's strange happenings, the LoG's three seasons are written as a series of linked sketches; often dark and disturbing, the best sequences combine elements of childrens' nightmares, pathos and laughs. "We always knew we needed a balance," Pemberton told a crowd at Phoenix Cinema in London in 2007. "It's meant to be primarily a comedy show, and if you go too far down the line of making it a genuinely creepy horror film, you've got to always remember to have the gags….You need a little bit of light and dark."