1. Happy Endings
Happy Endings is the perfect show for people that love Friends. In my opinion, though, Happy Endings is miles ahead in terms of both comedic payoff and character development. The show centers around a friend group of six twenty-something Chicagoans, all of whom fit into classic sitcom character archetypes. Yet, it never falls flat, thanks to the stellar writing by the Russo Brothers and dynamic chemistry between the cast members. It’s more than just another boring single-camera sitcom. Fast-paced quips and creative plotlines make Happy Endings a show worth watching. And rewatching. And rewatching.
Available to stream on Hulu.
2. Mission Hill
It’s hard to find anyone who’s heard of Mission Hill unless you know someone who was really into Adult Swim in 1999. That’s a tragedy. The show is criminally underrated. Created by two early writers from the golden years of “The Simpsons,” the series is about 17-year-old nerd Kevin who moves in with his older brother Andy, a cartoonist in the big city. Mission Hill is a chaotic mishmash of neon animation, squeaky voices and oddball situations that all combine to form great comedy. Clocking in at only 13 episodes, Mission Hill is a worthwhile binge.
Available to stream on Youtube.
3. What We Do In The Shadows
Remember when vampires were in every book and on every TV show? What We Do In The Shadows is not that. More akin to The Office than Twilight, this Taika Waititi-produced mockumentary follows a group of vampire roommates trying to survive while living in Staten Island. It’s an adaptation of the 2014 movie with the same name, starring Waititi and Jermaine Clement, who is one half of the comedy-music duo Flight of the Concords. The show is hilarious and genre-bending in a hugely entertaining way.
Available to stream on Hulu.
4. Party Down
There’s no scarcity of shows about the entertainment industry. Party Down is, in my opinion, one of the best of this already large category. Each episode focuses on a different event catered by the Party Down Catering Company. The caterers are a ragtag group of unsuccessful actors, writers and comedians. The episode format allows for new situations without letting the characters get stale and includes famous guest stars like George Takei and Kristen Bell. Running gags about Soup ‘R’ Crackers and hard sci-fi make you feel like you, too, are a failing actor and an even worse waiter.
Available to stream on Hulu, Starz and Amazon Prime.
5. Tuca and Bertie
If you’ve ever seen Bojack Horseman, the art style of Tuca and Bertie will look familiar. That’s because both sets of anthropomorphic animals were both designed by Lisa Hanawalt. Where Bojack is a well-crafted, though depressing, look at an ex-celebrity’s life gone wrong at every turn, Tuca and Bertie is anything but. Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong star as the two best friends. They’re 30-year-old bird ladies living in the animal world’s approximation of New York. The show is laugh-out-loud funny with stellar casting: Tuca (Haddish) is an extroverted, excitable maniac, and Bertie (Wong) is an anxiety-ridden baker. Lively animation keeps you from ever getting bored, and the show delivers a surprising amount of heart by the end of its only season.
Available to stream on Netflix.
Tim Robinson is a national treasure. I Think You Should Leave is genuinely one of the funniest shows ever created. But his early show, Detroiters, takes the cake for his most underrated work. Detroiters follow Robinson and comedian Sam Richardson as advertising executives in Detroit who are, to put it mildly, very bad at their jobs. The real-life best friendship between Robinson and Richardson is pervasive in their on-screen interactions, making the show a delight to watch. My favorite parts are the commercials they actually make, ranging from a wig shop to a personal injury lawyer played by Tim Meadows. The goofy lightheartedness of Detroiters will lift your spirits and distract from your impending midterms.
Available to stream on Comedy Central and Amazon Prime.
Article thumbnail: The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal / Public domain