Here are five comedies (in no particular order) that cheer me right up and also make me laugh so hard I could cry:
UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
Titular character Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) is probably the cheeriest person on earth, who coincidentally should be the angriest. Kidnapped as a child by the delusional Reverend Wayne (Jon Hamm), Kimmy was kept in an underground bunker for 15 years. After her miraculous rescue, she decides to move to New York City and catch up on everything she missed.
I love all of the ridiculous characters on this show; namely Kimmy (duh), her self-absorbed boss Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski) and bestie Titus Andromedon (Titus Burgess), an aspiring Broadway actor. The mishaps this crew get into along with landlord Lillian (Carol Kane), will have you rolling on the floor in laughter. More than being funny though, Unbreakable has a lot of heart. Kimmy Schmdit is one of the most inspiring characters Netflix has created. My favorite episode is Kimmy Goes to Court (Season 1, Episode 12). I dare you not to laugh (or sing along with the catchy opening theme song). The second half of the final season airs on Netflix next year, with a movie possibly to follow!
Superstore: Many of us know what it’s like to work at a crappy job we hate. As a matter of fact, it’s basically a rite of passage. Amy (America Ferrera) helps manage a local superstore called
Wal-Mart Cloud 9 and works with some of the most lovable idiots you could ever meet. There’s her bumbling boss Glen (Mark McKinney), aggressive assistant manager Dina (Lauren Ash), and loyal cohort Jonah (Ben Feldman).
If you like The Office, you’ll probably be able to appreciate this series as well. I don’t know what it is about shows set in the workplace, but it almost seems like the jokes write themselves. Season 4 airs this October on NBC!
MY NAME IS EARL
My Name is Earl: Earl (Jason Lee) is a ne’er do well who has been up to no good his whole life. After a freak accident leads to his understanding of karma, Earl decides to create a list of all the things he has ever done wrong. Each episode chronicles him tracking down the person he mistreated/duped/robbed and attempting to make things right. Earl often has the assistance of his dim-witted brother Randy (Ethan Suplee), friend Catalina (Nadine Velasquez), ex-wife Joy (Jaime Pressly), and her new husband Darnell (Eddie Steeples).
This is probably one of the most offensive series ever created. I really doubt that it would be greenlit in 2018 so it’s a good thing it premiered back in 2004. No joke is off limits and political correctness is obviously not a top priority for these characters. Even still, Earl and gang have a lot of heart and learn some important lessons along the way.
Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) is a detective extraordinaire with just a few teensy little problems. He’s afraid of crowds, heights, and milk, he cannot shake hands without using a wipe immediately after, and the very thought of germs often paralyzes him. His OCD doesn’t stop him, although it does often slow him down. Working with a nurse Sharona (Bitty Schram), local police captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) and half-witted lieutenant Randy Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford), Monk keeps the streets of San Francisco safe by bringing an array of colorful murderers to justice.
Unhappy partners, jilted lovers, greedy businessmen, and one hip-hop producer are no match for the brilliant detective. Even in later episodes, when Sharona is replaced with an assistant named Natalie (Traylor Howard), the show continues on with its usual antics, growing less somber and producing bigger laughs. My favorite episodes are Mr. Monk and the Rapper (Season 6, Episode 2) and Happy Birthday Mr. Monk (Season 8, Episode 9). This is another show with a memorable opening theme song!
Community: What happens when seven adults from all different walks of life form a study group at a community college? Pure comedy. And lots of it! Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) is the leader of this ragtag group of humans; he’s joined by Annie (Alison Brie), Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown), Britta (Gillian Jacobs), Troy (Donald Glover), Abed (Danny Pudi) and Pierce (Chevy Chase). Supporting characters played by Ken Jeong and Jim Rash also provide big laughs, with their antics often causing problems for the group.
I’m not sure what I love the most about this series. It could be the slightly insane, yet lovable characters, or the fact that it’s extremely meta, but most likely it’s because Community defied all of the spoken (and unspoken) television “rules”. Take for instance the episode shot entirely in stop-motion animation (Season 2, Episode 11), or the episode presented just like Law and Order (Season 3, Episode 17), with a near-identical opener to the procedural drama.
Community has been off the air for a few years now, but I frequently go back and watch re-runs on Hulu. It’s also responsible for some of the most iconic GIFs and memes ever created. It’s that good!
What are some of your favorite TV series? They can be old, new or even a recent reboot. Let me know in the comments down below! Also, I might post a list of TV dramas next. Stay tuned.