The Funniest TV Shows to Watch on Netflix Right Now
These shows will guarantee laughs.
You've had a long day, and you just want to sit back on the couch and laugh a little bit. Netflix, as is so frequently the case, has you covered. The next time you feel like you're in need of a little comedy, binge one—or two, or seven—of these shows, a mix of Netflix originals (like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and BoJack Horseman) and acquired classics.
American Vandal (2017–2018)
The two seasons of Netflix's American Vandal—a mockumentary about teenage documentarians investigating the innocence of a classmate accused of vandalism (Season 1) and a different school's issues with a mad pooper (Season 2)—is much more than scatalogical plotlines might indicate. After the first couple episodes of Season 1, the phallic material fades into the background, allowing the show to satirize high school and today's criminal justice system in a meaningful way, and Season 2 offers more of the same. To pull it off, the co-creators studied true-crime titans Serial, Making a Murderer, and The Jinx for a highly bingeable blend of parody, homage, and addictive teen drama.
Arrested Development (2003–2019)
There's always money in the banana stand, and there are always laughs to be found in Arrested Development, Mitchell Hurwitz's sly, self-aware family sitcom. While the later Netflix-produced seasons occasionally devolved into discursive, indulgent meta-humor, the show's original three seasons established a freewheeling, insanely quotable comic sensibility that many of your favorite sitcoms—Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Community, Archer, Kroll Show—were influenced by.
Big Mouth (2017– )
Big Mouth is bound to make uncomfortable but, as it goes with many other adult-themed cartoons, that's kind of the point. The show sees creator Nick Kroll and his friends essentially hopping into an animated time machine to play much younger versions of themselves, adolescent tweens beginning to date, watch porn, and grapple with their emotions and sexuality. With a no-holds-barred approach and the freeing format of animation, the show tends to really go there (see: horny Hormone Monsters, singing Michael Stipe tampons, the Shame Wizard, an anxiety mosquito), placing it in the same taboo-busting league as Netflix's other animated adult comedies.
Billy on the Street (2011– )
It's a game show for people who think game shows are stupid! The frenetic Billy Eichner mixes celebrity guests, unsuspecting strangers, and wild one-off games to create a delightfully addictive and fast-paced show that doubles as a broad takedown of celebrity culture writ large. Come on, who wouldn't want to watch Rachel Dratch try to escape from Margot Robbie's Hollywood moment?
BoJack Horseman (2014–2020)
When you write it, it sounds strange: A cartoon about a talking horse is one of the funniest and most accurate representations of depression on TV today. But it's true. As you join the title character, voiced by Will Arnett, on his quest for Hollywood and personal redemption, you'll encounter killer visual gags, whip-smart dialogue, complex-as-hell characters, and genuine feelings—the kind that'll make you evaluate (and re-evaluate, and re-re-evaluate) your own life.
Call My Agent! (2015–2020)
Think of this as a French version of Entourage, but instead of a faction of bros' Hollywood misadventures, this spastic and funny series has a Parisian cadre of agents attempting to save their flailing business while confronting realities like sexism, ageism, and the gender pay gap in movies and TV. Call My Agent! (aka Dix Pour Cent—Ten Percent in English) finds a way to balance tabloid-esque fluff with sweetly emotional windows to the main characters, and splices in real French actors (and also Sigourney Weaver) with roles as caricatures of themselves.
Chappelle's Show (2003–2006)
Rick James. Clayton Bigsby. Tyrone Biggums. We may never know exactly why Dave Chappelle left these brilliant characters behind, becoming a comedy folk-hero in the process, but be thankful we even got to know them in the first place.
The Characters (2016)
Eight comedians, one episode each. Such talents as Lauren Lapkus, Natasha Rothwell, and Tim Robinson all get a shot to unveil their best—you guessed it!—characters in 30ish minutes. Each episode is a different flavor, making for a nice blend of surreal, dark, and simply side-splitting. There's something in here for everyone, and you'll have a good time passionately arguing with your friends about the MVP. (Spoiler alert: It's obviously John Early.) (Editor's note: No, it's definitely Robinson.) (Other editor's note: No way. It's Kate Berlant, you idiots.)
There's a reason Dan Harmon's community college ensemble comedy amassed a devoted cult following for its six-season run, despite it nearly always being on the brink of cancelation. The series focuses on a lovable study group of misfits played by both comedy veterans and those then just on the brink of breaking out—including consummate cool guy Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), lovable ditz Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), TV-obsessed Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), anxious genius Annie Edison (Alison Brie), tough-but-firm mother Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown), high school jock Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), and the baffling, bored, former CEO Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase)—as they navigate their way through Greendale Community College. It’s a sitcom that’s goofy and delirious, but forever a lesson in how to become a better person.
Unlike many sitcoms featuring young people who seem to have a remarkable number of resources at their disposal, Crashing centers on the relationships that develop among a makeshift community of young property guardians at an abandoned hospital. You'll see where Emmy-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge appeared ahead of Fleabag, and feel equally taken by the emotional woes that fill the time between partying. At only six short episodes, this lighthearted 20-something comedy definitely deserves a binge.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015–2019)
Many armchair critics tried to dismiss former YouTube sensation Rachel Bloom's CW series for what they presumed to be a sexist title—a notion she bites back at from the opening credits on. In fact, the series is quietly revolutionary, offering sharp yet subtle commentary about the way women treat each other and themselves, and casually featured one of the most diverse casts on TV during its run. CXG draws its rom-com antics from heroine Rebecca's compulsive behavior and past traumas, all while satirizing the conventions of musicals with song-and-dance numbers worthy of Sondheim. It's a downward spiral, for sure, but psychosis has never been this entertaining.
Dead to Me (2019– )
In Liz Feldman’s Dead to Me, Christina Applegate’s Jen starts off grieving the recent death of her husband, who was killed in a hit-and-run, by reluctantly attending group therapy. That's where she meets Linda Cardellini’s Judy, who's also grieving, and the two form an instant bond. But by the end of the first episode, it's clear that both of these women, whose chemistry is the kind of snarky friendship you crave in your own life, are hiding something. The 30-minute dark comedy moves effortlessly between registers, from lighthearted to deadly serious, with plot-turning twists thrown into every episode for good measure. If you enjoy watching adults say "screw it, I'm doing what I want," Dead to Me is definitely for you.
Dear White People (2017–2021)
Writer-director Justin Simien stretched his own feature debut and Sundance breakout, Dear White People, into a Netflix series and the result is even more cunning, tense, and consistently hysterical than the original. Race relations on the campus of Winchester University are boiling after a group of white students throw a blackface party, and each member of the Black student union reacts in his or her own fashion. Dear White People weaves through the perspectives of class leaders, local rebels, the college newspaper reporter, and Sam, host of the provocative "Dear White People" radio show (who also happens to have a white boyfriend). Familiar college-age behavior breathes life into the political and social questions, and Simien raises the stakes to heart-pounding intensity that sustains itself throughout the series. Dear White People is the most human show on Netflix, period.
Derry Girls (2018– )
Teen shows are often good for some laughs, but few are as goddamn hysterical as Derry Girls. The Channel 4/Netflix co-production about Catholic schoolgirls in the '90s living through the end of the Northern Ireland Troubles is all about their own, unfiltered teenaged troubles, and outright laugh-out-loud hilarious. The entire cast and their quirks are near perfect; after a quick binge, you'll find there's no other fictional crew you'd rather kick-back with.
Disenchantment (2018– )
Drop any expectations you might have had for Matt Groening's Netflix series, a bumbling fantasy set in medieval times. Though it might look like his others (duh: The Simpsons, Futurama), Disenchantment paces its jokes at the top speed of a horse-drawn carriage and exhaustively drags out to a maddening degree its first arc: trying to marry off the rebellious teenaged Princess Tiabeanie Mariabeanie De La Rochambeaux Drunkowitz (Broad City's Abbi Jacobson). But those who make it past the first two episodes shall be rewarded, as the misadventures of Princess Bean and her crew of misfits—the demon Luci (Eric Andre) and naive elf Elfo (Nat Faxon)—become more and more interconnected with Bean's cryptic, possibly occult-tied fate. Once your binge-watch quest gets to the even better Season 2, you'll find Groening has created a series that transmogrified into that rare beast of a TV show you could watch for seasons on end.
Documentary Now! (2015– )
IFC's Documentary Now! pokes fun at the precious self-seriousness of documentary filmmaking, thanks to SNL vets Bill Hader and Fred Armisen (and a regal Helen Mirren introduction). Docs in the show's crosshairs include everything from Nanook Revisited ("Kunuk Uncovered") to History of the Eagles ("Gentle & Soft: The Story of the Blue Jean Committee"), the latter a parody of an Eagles documentary that's pretty funny in its own right. Which is why the true brilliance of Documentary Now! comes less from imitation and more from the same sauce that makes any doc memorable: Human existence is fascinatingly absurd.
Everyone wishes they had a crew like Joan, Lynn, Maya, and Toni. While we may not get the luxury of embracing Joan's maternal instincts or the opportunity to laugh at Maya's sassiness IRL, the warmth and the hilarity of the series and its characters (including honorary girlfriend William) from Mara Brock Akil (Moesha, Being Mary Jane) makes us feel like we're part of the bunch. The beloved comedy is a riot of a sitcom and an update to the format with its multidimensional Black women characters.
Good Girls (2018–2021)
TV fans can't get enough of a good antihero. We've seen domestic types take a dark turn in shows like Breaking Bad and even given a comedic flair in Weeds, the latter of which is the same route that the moms-behaving-badly series Good Girls goes down. The show from Jenna Bans (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal) finds three mothers—sisters Annie (Mae Whitman) and Beth (Christina Hendricks) and their best friend Ruby (Retta)—who, under desperate circumstances, plan a robbery and plummet into a life of crime. It's a recipe for disaster for the suburbanites, and extremely fun to watch given the characters' likeability and the ways they're forced to navigate gender dynamics in a whole other world (see: working with the gang leader/eye candy Rio). While the first season gets off on a wonky foot, it's a rare, watchable network TV show that feels intended for streaming.
The Good Place (2016–2020)
In this sneaky afterlife comedy from Mike Schur (Parks and Recreation), Kristen Bell's deceased cretin Eleanor is erroneously given a berth in a Heaven-esque afterworld. Once the high-concept show gets past establishing its characters and premise, you'll enjoy watching her do whatever she can to avoid being found out and sent to the Bad Place, where she belongs, by her friendly neighborhood architect, Michael (Ted Danson), including forcing her "soulmate," Chidi (William Jackson Harper), to teach her everything there is about being a nice and good person. Pretty soon, it becomes evident that the so-called Good Place is a lot more complex than we’re first led to believe, but throughout it's made clear that watching the series will feel like you've been sent to TV Heaven.
It's odd that it took so long for someone to make a fun comedy about professional wrestling. Where Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler turned the plight of a washed-up grappler into a Sisyphean struggle in spandex, GLOW, which was inspired by a real life wrestling women's wrestling promotion from the '80s, takes a sunnier but still no-holds-barred approach. Community's Alison Brie excels as an actress who gets cast by a washed-up filmmaker (Marc Maron) to play the villain in the rag-tag operation, but, like producer Jenji Kohan's Orange Is the New Black, it's the side characters, like Britney Young's second-generation brawler Machu Picchu, who really help this canceled-too-soon show get over. It's one of the few pieces of pop culture that actually captures this "fake" sport's very real appeal.
Grace and Frankie (2015–2021)
Netflix users of a certain age have likely overlooked this dramedy from Marta Kauffman (Friends) and Howard J. Morris (The Starter Wife), about two septuagenarian friends (Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) who shack up together after their husbands (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) announce they're in love and intend to marry. With notes of The Odd Couple and The Brady Bunch—both couples have grown kids as equally knocked out by the news—Grace and Frankie is down-to-earth viewing that's rich with observational wit on the progressive notion of being true to one's identity, and the time-worn cliche that everyone gets older with age. If you've indulged in the low-key, picture-perfect comedies of Nancy Meyers (It's Complicated, Something's Gotta Give), give this one a try.
Happy Endings (2011–2013)
In a perfect world, this joke-a-second ABC sitcom about six neurotic best friends living in Chicago would have blossomed into a generation-defining, Friends-like hit. Instead, it was cancelled after three seasons. Was it too weird? Too manic? Was the world just not ready for "Elisha Cuthbert, sitcom star"? Now is your chance to find out.
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (2019– )
Without question, I Think You Should Leave from SNL alum Tim Robinson is Netflix's most successful sketch comedy series to date, and it gives both up-and-coming talent (Patti Harrison, Conner O'Malley, Kate Berlant, Brandon Wardell, Sam Richardson, etc.) and recognizable faces (Vanessa Bayer, Cecily Strong, Fred Willard, Andy Samberg, Steven Yeun, Tim Heidecker, etc.) a platform to flex their most deranged comedic muscles. The show features a series of short, hilarious sketches about just how offbeat ordinary interactions can be, and each episode, whether it be about a "best baby" contest or how much magicians suck, will leave you both uncomfortable and in tears.
I'm Sorry (2017–2019)
Andrea Savage is the type of person who says the kinds of unfiltered things nobody would dare say aloud, and thank goodness for that. The comedian created and stars in this TruTV series that's semi-based on her own experience as a mother and working comedy writer in LA. Although it only got to see two brief seasons before its cancelation, there's no shortage of uncomfortable situations to cringe through and dissect her neuroses. (Like, her 5-year-old might be a bit of a racist, and other suburban mommy drama). Even as Savage manages to shock you, she's the unfiltered best friend you wish you always had around.
The IT Crowd (2006–2013)
The traditional "three-camera" stage sitcom can be done well. Cheers, Seinfeld, and Frasier all mastered it. But by the 2000s, the notion of shooting comedy in front of a live studio audience was all but dead—at least in America. The IT Crowd, starring Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson as a lowly tech team residing in the basement of a major British corporation, proved there was still joy to bouncy dialogue and silly sight gags in a modern setting. Tremendously goofy and heartfelt, this show could easily replace hanging out with your actual friends.
Lady Dynamite (2016–2017)
Maria Bamford's semi-autobiographical, surreal spin on mental illness in Hollywood was a sleeper hit for Netflix. The comedian's self-aware hijinks share obvious DNA with Arrested Development: Mitch Hurwitz and Pam Brady are executive producers; there are sight gags, wordplay, and mockery of Los Angeles idiocy galore; and it features countless comedy-world cameos, extended fantasy sequences, and genuine self-introspection. It'll take you a few episodes to get invested, or even to wrap your head around WTF you're watching. But once you're hooked, you're hooked.
Love is about, you guessed it, love… even at its messiest. The show created by star Paul Rust, Judd Apatow, and Lesley Arfin is a slow-motion dissection of a romantic relationship that might not require such a level of scrutiny, but part of that realism of the show is what makes it so cringe-worthy, hysterical, and, well, lovable. The two protagonists Gus (Paul Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) are flawed, complex individuals—Gus being an insufferable "nice guy," people pleaser and Mickey struggling with addiction. Like many long-term love affairs, it's enjoyable and maddening at the same time.
Medical Police (2020– )
Fans of Adult Swim's cult spoof on medical dramas Children's Hospital had been asking for a reunion since the series ended in 2016. The answer came in Medical Police, an affiliated spinoff of sorts that puts Erinn Hayes' virus-obsessed Lola Spratt and Rob Hubel's surgeon Owen Maestro recruited by the government to tackle a global conspiracy that threatens to kill the world's population. More or less a spy thriller, Medical Police builds real-stakes tension without sacrificing the goofs and gags the original series was known for. Though many of the familiar faces recur more as bit parts than an essential players, most of the Children's Hospital cast is back, including Henry Winkler, Malin Akerman, Ken Marino, Lake Bell, Rob Corddry, Michael Cera, and Jon Hamm (but, sadly, no Megan Mullally as Chief), bringing together a group of people reliable for real laughs.
Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–1974)
If you have a hankering for absurdist British humor, Monty Python remains the cream of the crop. Their original sketch comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus is where it all began, and the skits laced with innuendos, surrealist bits, and shockingly highbrow references are always worth a rewatch—the "It's" man and Pepperpots will never not be funny.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return (2017) and The Gauntlet (2018)
Could a new crew of comedians revive the effortless magic of public access-born Mystery Science Theater 3000? Absolutely. With the nerdy Jonah Ray (The MeltdownWith Jonah and Kumail) locked in the new spaceship, once again backed by Crow and Tom Servo (but with new voices, Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn), spearheaded by former Daily Show head writer Elliot Kalan, and produced by original host Joel Hodgson, the new incarnation pelts jokes at late-night schlock and half-assed blockbusters with relentless force. There's a musicality to the jokes in MST3K: The Return, punctuating every bit of dead air in the godforsaken movie choices, and everyone is at the top of their game. Cry Wilderness, about a little kid who pals around with Bigfoot, stands up to any of the classic episodes.
Neo Yokio (2017–2018)
A truly strange concoction written by Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig that blends Adult Swim sensibilities with shōnen anime stylings, being produced by well-regarded Japanese studios Production I.G. (Haikyuu!!) and Studio Deen (The Seven Deadly Sins). As such, it's kind of an homage, kind of a tongue-in-cheek troll job of New York's old money snobbery with demon slaying on the side. The hero is Kaz Kaan (deadpanned by Jaden Smith), an elegant bachelor who's forced to participate in his family's legacy as magistocrats when he's not shopping or drinking caprese martinis with his boys Lexy and Gottlieb (voiced by The Kid Mero and Desus Nice), competing against his nemesis and Neo Yokio's most eligible bachelor Arcangelo Corelli (Jason Schwartzman), or giving commands to his mecha butler Charles (voiced by Jude Law). With its implausible voice cast, that includes Tavi Gevinson, Richard Ayoade, Susan Sarandon, Steve Buschemi, Kiernan Shipka, and loads more unexpected names, Neo Yokio's hysterical self-awareness brews a delirium that only the finest, sharpest original content can muster. Definitely don't skip its Christmas special.
Never Have I Ever (2020– )
Mindy Kaling and co-creator Lang Fisher pull off a delicate but ultimately worthwhile balancing act with their teen comedy Never Have I Ever. The show is an exploration of its heroine Devi's grief while also excelling as a sweet and goofy teen romance with plenty of boy drama to debate. Narrated with a hefty dose of absurdism by tennis great John McEnroe, Never Have I Ever follows Devi as she attempts to change her social status at school, even as she bats back the lingering sadness from the unexpected death of her father. Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, the previously unknown cast as Devi, is an absolute delight, and you'll find yourself debating whether you're Team Ben or Team Paxton Hall-Yoshida long after your binge.
New Girl (2011–2018)
Zooey Deschanel goes full-on "quirky Zooey Deschanel" in this 20-something buddy comedy, playing the new roommate in an apartment full of bros. With freshly dumped elementary school teacher Jess Day moving into the home of several men who would rather do the bare minimum than make their apartment/lives function, New Girl is the quintessential setup for clashing personalities, burgeoning relationships, and ridiculous "mess-arounds." The cast is hysterical, and the individual bonds between characters keeps you coming back to apartment 4D—as the show goes on, the classic will-they-won't-they that unfolds between Jess and her curmudgeonly bartender roommate Nick (Jake Johnson) will have you desperate to find space in Winston's galactic-sex-portrait-painted closet to move on in, too.
One Day at a Time (2017–2020)
One Day at a Time is a throwback family sitcom in a world that can be unkind to audience laughter, big comedic performances, and that stage-bound multi-camera look. This clever remake of Norman Lear's '70s hit about a single mother raising two teenage daughters is more charming and funny than many of its seemingly "edgier" peers. Anchored by a lived-in performance from Justina Machado (Six Feet Under), the show finds familiar laughs in the way generations clash and families wage war, but it's also culturally specific, socially engaged, and leisurely paced in a way that makes it stand out from your average CBS family show—or Netflix's own dire Fuller House. Netflix may have clumsily announced its cancelation on the platform, but the fan outcry didn't just point to the show's popularity; it got One Day at a Time a second (third?) life on Pop TV, until finally brought to an untimely end.
Russian Doll (2019– )
It sounds like an episodic spin on Groundhog Day: A cynical New Yorker (Natasha Lyonne) attempts to figure out why she keeps dying and being forced to relive her 36th birthday over and over. Co-executive producers Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland joined Lyonne to make a hit dark comedy, finally answering the timeless question of what happens if you repeatedly die and repeatedly wake up in an Alphabet City bathroom with a strange door during a party with Harry Nilsson playing. Lyonne's a gas to watch, as she falls down stairwells and cracks wise about her dilemma, but what starts off seeming like a humorous episode of Black Mirror turns into a profound and affecting meditation on trauma.
Santa Clarita Diet (2017–2019)
The series from Better Off Ted creator Victor Fresco gives the typical suburban family an undead twist. Unlike most shows about the struggle of surviving with zombies, Santa Clarita Diet is set up like a typical sitcom, with Drew Barrymore as the flesh-hungering monster and her husband (Timothy Olyphant) as a tireless zombie-pleaser trying to placate her in Little Shop of Horrors-like fashion. A 30-minute format establishes a laid-back pace with quirky jokes and an excessive amount of gore. Not for the weak-stomached.
Schitt's Creek (2015–2020)
Any time you have the chance to watch a comedic genius flexing the full range of her abilities, you should take it, and Catherine O'Hara flexes hard as Moira Rose in Schitt's Creek. The story of the formerly wealthy Rose family's struggle to adjust to life running a motel in a small Canadian town they bought for their son back in the early '90s gives her and co-star/series co-creator Eugene Levy ample material to work with. Also living with their grown children David (Daniel Levy, the show's co-creator and Eugene's real-life son) and Alexis (Annie Murphy), who still share a room in the motel—it's the perfect vehicle for the cast's whip-smart comedic instincts, while doubling as a roast of the extremely wealthy.
Sex Education (2019– )
Yes, the hard sell is right there in the title (sex!), but don't let the red herring boobs in the first 15 seconds of this British series fool you: Sex Education primarily deals with the complex emotions that accompany physical desire. Helping to parse through those feelings are the mother and son duo, one a licensed sex and relationships therapist (Gillian Anderson's Jean Milburn) and the other a gifted savant (Asa Butterfield's Otis Milburn) who can coach his peers through their issues even though he himself has bedroom problems. Peering into the intimate lives of the ensemble cast of high schoolers, there's something relatable, hilarious, and melancholy about each character without ever making them into a flattened type. And with the original score written by Ezra Furman, Laurie Nunn gave us a gem: This is easily one of our favorite Netflix originals.
Sister, Sister (1994–1999)
For many non-twins of the world, the idea of having a built-in best friend who was just like you was the ultimate fantasy. For '90s kids everywhere, the comedy Sister, Sister brought that wishful thinking to life, about a pair of identical twins played by Tia and Tamera Mowry who were separated at birth and coincidentally reunited as teenagers. As family comedies go, this one, anchored by the lovable performances by the Mowry sisters, their parents, played by Tim Reid and Jackée Harry, and even their pesky neighbor Roger (Marques Houston) ("Go home, Roger!"), is funny as it is wholesome, seeing two families come together to make one. One rewatch of an episode for nostalgia's sake and you'll be smiling ear to ear (and with the theme song stuck in your head).
30 Rock (2006–2013)
Tina Fey's workplace sitcom was so good for so long that it's easy to take it for granted. Since it went off the air in 2013, comedies have gotten stranger, more dramatic, and more formally ambitious. But have they gotten any funnier? We'd argue no. Between Jack Donaghy's Bush-era conservative zingers, Tracy Jordan's endlessly absurd one-liners, Kenneth's disturbing hillbilly antics, and Jenna Maroney's deranged celebrity narcissism, the show delivered perfect jokes at an exhilarating pace. What's more innovative than that?
Toast of London (2012– )
Point blank: Matt Berry is hilarious. So, watching him play a washed-up theater actor in the ridiculous Toast of London is pure cringe-joy, even if it means (or, rather especially if it means) his character is flailing through life. As the titular Steven Toast, Berry fumbles through attempts to make it big again as a star of the stage, taking up odd jobs when his auditions fall through, and ignoring concerns that he should really be focusing on cleaning up his personal life. It's outrageous and irreverent, but that's showbiz, baby.
Tuca & Bertie (2019–2021)
Tuca & Bertie kicks off when Tuca (Tiffany Haddish) is moving out of the apartment she shared with Bertie (Ali Wong) so that Bertie's boyfriend Speckle (Steven Yeun) can move in. It's the first major change in their relationship, and one that culminates in the major growing pains that plague friendships as people transition to adulthood. Lisa Hanawalt's series handles concepts like sexual harassment, trauma, and sexuality in a serious, grounded way, but it's also delightfully surreal and funny: Bertie fights for a promotion at her workplace, Condé Nest; Tuca tries to befriend her cool neighbor, who is actually an anthropomorphic plant; one of Bertie's boobs decides to take a day off after getting fed up with being sexually harassed at work. While there's no shortage of adult animated comedies, Tuca & Bertie is a rare gem that was not only surreal, and stupid, and hilarious—it was made by and for women, and it's a treat for all. The series fell victim to Netflix's cutthroat algorithm after only one season, but thankfully Adult Swim picked it up for another.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015–2019)
Tina Fey and 30 Rock producer Robert Carlock's comedy tracks the adventures of an Indiana naïf after she is freed from being held captive by a doomsday cult leader for 15 years. Ellie Kemper plays the freed kidnapping victim, who heads to the Big Apple without a clue on how to exist in the modern world. Luckily, Titus, a penny-pinching, Broadway-belting man in desperate need of a roommate, takes her in and trains her in the art of living. Kimmy Schmidt clings to 30 Rock’s goofy sense of humor and drops the cynicism. Beware: It'll take three binges just to catch all the jokes.
W/ Bob & David (2015)
The sketch titans behind Mr. Show, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross finally emerge from the time machine they entered back in the late '90s in this special follow-up to their cult sketch comedy series. As it should be, the reunion is a nostalgic dose of comedy, replete with the absurdity, creativity, and genre-bending humor that made viewers love them so much all those years ago. As you'll see, if you haven't already, W/ Bob & David's biggest drawback is its shortage of episodes.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp/10 Years Later (2015 & 2017)
Reboots and spinoffs often fall flat; not so with Netflix's prequel and sequel to the 2001 cult comedy classic Wet Hot American Summer. The strength of this series is its willingness to poke fun at the very nature of the repetitive, sequel-driven boom TV and movies are experiencing, with the same actors playing the characters they originally portrayed as though no time has passed in the decade-and-a-half since the movie appeared. A-listers Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, and Elizabeth Banks give game performances that are bolstered by new faces like John Slattery and Jordan Peele. The show never makes you feel as though you're participating in a cynical nostalgia play (though, let's face it, you kind of are), and while 10 Years Later took a dip in quality, succumbing to the dopiness of its own premise, the steady laughs have us recommending both seasons.