Though network channels are gaining fewer and fewer award nominations as each year goes by, it still seems that their comedies are the most watched shows on television. The Big Bang Theory is not only the most watched comedy but was the most watched television series of the past year ratings-wise. ABC’s Wednesday comedy line up (The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, and Black-ish) also does extremely well ratings-wise. There are quite a few comedies that deserve more attention than any one of these shows. Now, it’s not that these shows aren’t good per se, but their success relies largely on tried and true techniques while there are plenty of different comedies are making brave, bold choices.
Of course, some of these shows feature elements that are more traditional. You’ll find a friends comedy on this list, a romantic comedy on this list and even a family comedy on this list. However, they all bring fresh voices and new perspectives to the tired genres, reviving what seemed a dying form of entertainment. Yes, some of these shows are very extreme and may not appeal to mass audiences, but they are so worthy of being checked out. Instead of watching Grandfathered (forgive me, Uncle Jesse), here are 10 television comedies that are dying for and worthy of your attention:
10. You’re The Worst
You’re The Worst is a refreshing take on a romantic comedy series. Jimmy, played by Chris Geere, is a self-obsessed, self-loathing writer living in L.A. He falls for Gretchen, played by Aya Cash, who is a self-destructive PR executive. They are more or less really, really bad people, who take advantage of others with no regard for the outcome. I mean, when the pair meet, Jimmy has just been tossed out of a wedding reception and Gretchen is taking off with a present for the bride and groom. On top of that, she’s a bit disappointed when she finds out that she stole a blender of all things. You’re The Worst features characters who are delightfully bad and kind of broken people when you really get down to it. It’s a romantic comedy that won’t make you queasy.
9. Jane The Virgin
While a tale about a virgin getting pregnant could easily slide into the realm of over dramatic, this show maintains a light-hearted humor that only keeps getting better with time. Gina Rodriguez, who plays Jane, won a Golden Globe in 2014 for her portrayal of the pregnant virgin. The premise of having a pregnant virgin may seem like a one trick pony, only viable for a season, but season 2 thrives even as Jane is no longer pregnant. The creative use of the narrator helps keep the show tonally as funny as the first season.
8. The Comeback
The Comeback aired in 2005 but was canceled after only one season. Thankfully, nine years later, the show was revived and aired in 2014. The series follows Valerie Cherish, played by Lisa Kudrow, who is a wonderfully has-been actress — Valeria Cherish, not Lisa Kudrow. Having fallen far from her fame, she attempts to revitalize her seemingly dead career but in doing so, goes through numerous humiliating experiences. Valerie is a character that the audience continuously feels bad for but simultaneously cannot stand, as she self-destructs in every attempt to get back on top of Hollywood. HBO has announced a third season but no air date has been set. Here’s hoping that they don’t make us wait another nine years.
7. Broad City
You already watch Broad City, right? This show makes the list because if you’re one of the 19 people who have yet to check out Broad City, you need to do so immediately. Broad City is a zany look at New York City through the eyes of Abbi Abrams (played by Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana Wexler (played by Ilana Glazer). Jacobson and Glazer started the show as a web-series before Comedy Central eventually picked it up. They bluntly talk about sex, masturbation, drugs and anything else that they feel like talking about. It’s like Girls but funny. If you need any more reason to watch: it has Amy Poehler‘s stamp of approval, as she serves as an executive producer. Like I said though, you’re probably already watching this because you’re smart.
6. Burning Love
Burning Love parodies The Bachelor and The Bachelorette in a hilarious take on the reality television dating genre. Even if you don’t know anything about dating shows in that vein, you’ll have plenty to laugh at with the stacked cast of comedians and actors like Natasha Leggero, Michael Cera, Kristen Bell, Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston and Ken Marino just to name a few. No, but seriously, just about every funny person working in Hollywood appears on this show. You’ll wish that this show had just as many seasons as the real version of The Bachelor.
If you’ve seen Michaela Watkins in just about anything, you’ve probably thought she was amazing. For much of her career, she’s been rocking supporting roles in film and guest roles in television. Well, Hulu was totally in agreement that she’s amazing and set her as the lead in Casual, a comedic look at a family going through some dark times. It explores the three members of the family at different stages in their lives – newly divorced, single and dating, and the confusion of adolescence. At times it is laugh-out-loud funny and at other times it is dealing with heavy topics but either way, it has a lot of heart.
4. Rick and Morty
Rick and Morty is kind of like watching a hilarious cartoon version of Inception, meaning it’s a trippy sci-fi show. This should come as no surprise since Dan Harmon, creator of Community, is one of the minds behind the show. Community would spoof many movie plots in the course of its episodes, which is similar to what Rick and Morty does as the characters travel to the weirdest parts of the universe. For example, in one episode Rick and Morty find themselves stranded on a planet that participates in a night similar to The Purge. Ricky and Morty also enjoys the added pleasure of being a cartoon and able to draw itself into whatever world it would like.
3. Scream Queens
A show about murders taking place on a college campus and centering around a bitchy sorority may not sound like the most hilarious idea, but the execution is perfection. This was a show that could have gone so wrong but it did so many things right and knew its tone of comedy right off the bat. Ryan Murphy’s dark, dark comedy takes no prisoners as it makes jokes about race, gender, disabilities, and almost anything else that could offend someone. Being that the show falls somewhere between Glee and American Horror Story, it never found the audience that the pre-premiere buzz had predicted.
2. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was originally developed by Showtime but after they passed on it, the CW picked it up so admittedly the show had to go through a makeover tonally. The comedy follows Rebecca Bunch, played by Rachel Bloom, who runs into her high school boyfriend on the streets of NYC. Her young love is moving to California so she quits her job, packs up her life and moves to California too. The question of if Rebecca is actually crazy is still out as she’s definitely a little unstable to say the least. The show doesn’t just rely on Rebecca’s outlandish antics to win the heart of her high school sweetheart but it is packed with supporting characters, all of whom are zany in their own ways. The cherry on top is the musical numbers, anywhere between two or three per episode, which are more or less ridiculous but so very entertaining.
1. Another Period
This show simply cannot be compared to anything else on television, as it is out of this world insane. This period piece takes during the Gilded Age and follows a wealthy family. Two of the daughters in the family, Lillian (played by Leggero) and Beatrice (played by Riki Lindhome) have one goal in life and that is to be famous. This show pokes fun at the idea of being famous for the sake of being famous all while the main characters live frivolously and drink cocaine wine. Whether you love the Kardashian clan or loath the Kardashian clan, you’ll appreciate this comedy.