With the rise of platforms like Netflix and online streaming sites, there are now ways for people to be exposed to a variety of TV shows they were unaware even existed. We’re all aware of comedy shows like The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and New Girl but what about some of the shows that slipped through the cracks? What about the shows that are packed full of laughs and excellent comic timing that haven’t exactly shown up on the mass majority’s radar? Here are a few examples of brilliant comedy that may have passed you by:
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
There are few things that Will Forte touches that don’t turn to comedy gold, and The Last Man On Earth is no exception. The show essentially leads with the premise of: What would happen if you thought you were the last person on Earth, only to find there’s another person left that you can’t stand? One of the best parts of the show is how dark and realistic it can be – there’s no sugar coating and at times it shows you the bare bones of who people turn out to be when there’s no one left in the world. It’s a great twist on the typical apocalyptic scenario, and is full of sharp humour, excellent gags, and ridiculous situations. At the very least, watch it for the Margarita Pool and the game of fishtank bowling.
DON’T TRUST THE B- IN APARTMENT 23
This was a show that I avoided for a very long time as it didn’t seem like my cup of tea. Something about the sitcom-style promos and the show’s title and the general description of the storyline didn’t appeal to me at all. It was only recently, after forcing myself to watch an episode that I realised this show is a lot funnier and smarter than I gave it credit for. There is acerbic humour, captivating plot devices, and the comedic timing of the actors is perfect. Especially when it comes to James Van Der Beek who, armed with rapid-fire jokes, happily plays along as an exaggerated, ego-fuelled version of himself. The show only had two seasons, but it is definitely an underrated gem that deserved a lot more viewers.
MASTER OF NONE
Master of None has only 11 episodes, but luckily there are no filler moments. It follows Dev (or Aziz Ansari) as he navigates the ins and outs of the dating world and manages to be unbearably hilarious in the process. Master of None is incredibly witty, vibrant and poignant in parts. On top of this it somehow captures the amusing complexities of being a 20/30-something year old and being terrified of kids/dealing with getting old/realising your dreams/figuring out how to successfully maintain a relationship. If that’s not enough, Aziz’s real father plays himself in the show, and steals almost every scene he’s in. There is currently a second season on the way, and it will no doubt be just as hilarious as the first.
Have you ever sat there and thought “I love documentaries, I love SNL, I love Bill Hader, I love parodies, and I love Fred Armisen. But if only there were a show that combined all of my loves…”? Well I have amazing news for you – weirdly, that show does actually exist. Documentary Now is a parody series of faux documentaries, written by Seth Meyers and starring Bill Hader and Fred Armisen. They take on well known films such as Grey Gardens, The Thin Blue Line and VICE documentaries, and create faultless parodies with utterly side-splitting comedy and absurdly dynamic writing. The series is narrated by Helen Mirren, and Season 2 has only just started. There’s not much more I can describe without ruining it, so just get out there and watch it.
Before I watched it I’d heard a lot about Broad City as, even though it is still pretty underrated, it has quite a big cult following. I was reluctant to believe the hype so I gave it a miss for a long time, but I’m happy to say that I was wrong. So very, very wrong. Broad City follows the lives of Abbi and Ilana (who have the same names in real life, and are the primary writers of the show) through the mayhem of New York City and the hysterical situations they get themselves into, mostly while incredibly high. It takes a couple of episodes to get used to the personalities on the show and the plot lines at first, but once you’re hooked you won’t be able to stop watching it. Oh also, Hannibal Burress stars in it, and Amy Poehler’s the Executive Producer for the show – as if you need any more reasons.