We are undoubtedly living in the golden era of television. The number of quality shows on offer has significantly increased over the past decade, making it a great time to be a television fanatic. Comedy, as a genre, has greatly evolved in this period as well, with a large number of shows covering concepts and ideas that have never before been explored. Television shows have no doubt gotten bolder and more expressive in their content. Here is a list of the best comedy shows we have seen over the past decade:
There is nothing quite like Louie on television right now. It is part dark comedy, part drama, part surrealist and thoroughly artistic in its overall concept and execution. Louis C.K has a great comedic mind that forces us to examine humorous elements in even the most absurd situations, making this a truly unique show.
Most television stars struggle to break away from being typecast into a particular role after being an integral part of any great show. Julie Louis-Dreyfus knocked this problem out of the park with a stellar performance on Veep that is aptly supported by a competent support cast and a crisp script.
Is there a show more Meta than community? I highly doubt that. Community managed to create a quirky setting inside a community college and transform it into a madhouse of infinite possibilities. It derives its strength from a thorough understanding of popular culture and uses it to showcase and invert many stereotypes.
There have been many family-based television series that have come before ‘Modern Family’ but none of them share the charm and straightforwardness of this hilarious series. The family members themselves are well-cast and the dialogues and situation are truly original.
The Adventures Of Rick And Morty
This animated gem comes from the creator of ‘Community’ and has managed to captivate the imagination of many sci-fi/comedy fans within a single season. The show has received amazing critical acclaim and it thoroughly deserves every bit of it. Dark, funny, insightful and surprising, ‘The Adventures of Rick and Morty’ manages to perfectly highlight the strengths of animation as a medium.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Last week tonight is the perfect blend of information and entertainment, swinging rapidly from either side of the spectrum based on the issues being covered. The show has become an instant hit and has played a major role in highlighting some of the truly pressing issues of our time. The delivery by John Oliver himself is captivating and it is clear that he deeply cares about every topic the show boldly tackles.
Sterling Archer is one of the greatest spies in the world, but he is also a selfish, self-absorbed alcoholic with mommy issues. This premise has held up greatly over the six seasons so far, purely because the action and humor in ‘Archer’ is unparalleled. This show is a one-liner/zinger machine that will keep you hooked with the most absurd observations while everything around goes ‘Boom!’.
Parks And Recreation
Any mockumentary-based television series relies heavily on its casting to keep the show interesting and relevant. The recently concluded ‘Parks and Recreation’ nailed this part, which made the show an absolute thrill to watch from start to finish. With the likes of Amy Peohler, Aziz Ansari and Chris Pratt exercising their funny chops in a warm and delightful environment, it is no wonder that this show has developed into an absolute fan favorite.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Dark comedy managed to really hit its stride this past decade and one show managed to quickly become its poster child. ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ managed to change the very definition of funny by making us laugh using elements like ‘dying hooker’ and ‘constant backstabbing’. These quirky elements continue to remain the cornerstones of this game-changing dark comedy.
This was probably the first great ‘mockumentary’ series to captivate America and a major part of the credit goes to simple act of casting Steve Carell as the unbearable Michael Scott. He is probably the only person to be able to transfer the annoying idiosyncrasies first captured by Ricky Gervais in the British version of this series. An amazing support cast ensured that the show would live to see two more seasons even when Steve Carell left after season 7.
Another great adaptation of a U.K series, ‘Shameless’ used shock-and-awe to keep the audience hooked over many seasons. ‘The Gallagher’s’ are the toughest family on television right now and watching each member of the family evolve, and in some cases devolve, makes for an entertaining ride.
Iiana Glazer and Abbi Jacobsen first made waves on YouTube by creating a web series that portrayed the lives of two young, free-spirited women living in New York. Their humor and observations were so spot-on that they quickly received a chance to create their own show on Comedy Central, where their idea continues to grow and shine week after week.
The Big Bang Theory
This is probably one of the last great sitcoms that continues to entertain and captivate the audience after nearly a decade of runtime. What makes this series so beloved across the world is its charming cast of lovable misfits that have managed to navigate through this world despite their fair share of weaknesses and quirks. Add to it a street-smart penny that managed to change the group dynamic substantially, and you have yourself a hit series.
This is one of the youngest shows in this list but has quickly become a favorite across America. This series comes from the creators of ‘The Office’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’, proving once and for all that no one sees and understand the beauty of office dynamics quite like them.
The IT Crowd
This is the only British show on this list but deserves a mention purely because of the hilarity and absurdity prevalent in its short four-season run. The IT crowd sees two IT nerds fighting a newly-appointed superior who has no idea about the IT industry whatsoever. The fact that she is also a women and the IT department is run by two nerds, adds greater depth to this dynamic.
Casting David Duchovny as Hank Moody was the genius move that gave Californication the soul and angst it needed to keep the series interesting. Watching a great writer struggle to find his way through life and love while battling his inner desires became so much more believable when its lead actor shares similar inner demons. Californication is a fun and distorted ride with an underlying love story that is surprisingly sweet and well scripted.
There has never been a show that managed to capture the fanaticism of sport quite like ‘The League’. Watching this band of selfish and manipulative people fight and claw their way to the top of their league standing makes for a light and highly entertaining series.
‘Party Down’ is the only series in this list which was cancelled after two seasons. This doesn’t take away from the hilarity it delivered and the absurdness behind the construction of each ‘paryt event’ in the show. Cancelling Party Down was a sin, especially after it was wonderfully cast and managed to easily deliver on some compelling dark humor.
Key and Peele
The resurgence of sketch-comedies can be largely accredited to great work done by Key and Peele. The longstanding SNL was beginning to dwindle but the energy and innovation of ‘Key and Peele’ managed to shoot some life into this dying genre. Even President Obama was down with Key and Peele’s famous sketch, ‘Anger Translator Luther’.
Punk’d had a long run on television because it is always fun to see people being pranked. Impractical Jokers took this concept to the next level by adding a cast of four hilarious guys who will stop at nothing to pull off a prank that has been assigned to them. They are also charming and quick-witted which actually makes this show a terrific watch.