Deadpan absurdist comedy wanted
November 17, 2014 4:17 AM   Subscribe

Currently watching The Spoils of Babylon and really digging how it's basically cut from the same deadpan absurdist cloth as Police Squad — where can I find more like this?
posted by DoctorFedora to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The recent A Touch of Cloth was basically Police Squad! done with the tropes of modern cop shows, or crap modern British cop shows at least. It's not as good, mind, but then what is?

Oh, and I guess The Day Today and Brass Eye would fit the bill too. Deadpan satire that veers off into surreal absurdity.
posted by sobarel at 4:31 AM on November 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Garth Marengi's Darkplace, totally. It's a British series that's supposed to be a terrible 1980s TV horror show set in a hospital. The laughs just do not stop. It's especially hilarious if you're old enough to remember when TV really looked like that.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:33 AM on November 17, 2014 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: I should also point out that availability on American Netflix would help out a bunch
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:18 AM on November 17, 2014

Children's Hospital is available on Netflix. I've never seen NTS SD SUV or Eagleheart, but my understanding is that they are of a similar vein.
posted by Think_Long at 5:50 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Do they have to be a series? Because Wet Hot American Summer is a movie that no doubt would fit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:23 AM on November 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

oh wait wait there's rumors that there will be a WHAS sequel that would be a series on Netflix, so that's something to keep an eye out for, I'm sure.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:27 AM on November 17, 2014

Shoot em Up and Lockdown were both pretty good, kind of the action-y cousins to whats mentioned above. I would also say Snowpiercer, cause that is how the movie came off to me... but plenty of people also take it seriously YMMV.
posted by deadwater at 6:53 AM on November 17, 2014

Sledge Hammer! Netflix has it, but on DVDs only.
posted by jbickers at 6:58 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Look around you.
Look around you.
Just look around you.
Have you spotted what you're looking for yet?
The answer is... Look Around You
posted by Parasite Unseen at 7:38 AM on November 17, 2014 [9 favorites]

Best answer: Children's Hospital is available on Netflix.

It's not Children's Hospital, it's Childrens Hospital. The hospital, which is in Brazil (which is where we are right now), was founded by Arthur Childrens. It is only a coincidence that it's also a children's hospital. That is all.

I hope this important correction gives you a window into why this show is pretty much deadpan spot on with what you seek.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:59 AM on November 17, 2014 [6 favorites]

I really like NTS SD SUV. I don't think it's quite as good as Childrens Hospital (that's a high bar!) but when it's firing on all cylinders it's fantastic. I also agree with everything else mentioned; I just recommended Darkplace in another thread, too.

I'm going to go ahead and throw in Jon Benjamin Has A Van for when you've run through the others, and maybe season one of the Comedy Bang Bang TV show after that.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:41 AM on November 17, 2014

Thanks, Parasite Unseen.

posted by russm at 1:18 PM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh man, yeah, I'd forgotten about Comedy Bang! Bang! being on Netflix
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:32 PM on November 17, 2014

In line with the Chris Morris recommendations in the first answer, you should also check out Jam and Nathan Barley, and his film Four Lions. You'd also do well to watch People Like Us and Nighty Night. I'm afraid the British have this whole category stitched up, as I've never encountered an American show that even comes close to touching any of these.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:47 PM on November 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh god, Nighty Night - so, so dark.

If you like that then I've been rewatching 15 Storeys High recently. Some episodes miss the mark and theres a vein of sexism that I don't much like but its over 10 years old and is probably a product of the Lad Mag era. Some episodes however border on art - season 2 ep 2 is sublime, with some impressive camera setups and a truly surprising storytelling technique.

For something lighter, you might also try Green Wing.
posted by Ness at 2:10 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's a whole 'nother level beyond deadpan absurdist, but ... Danger 5. It's Australian, but sending up cheap British/European TV and B-movies of the 1970s. I understand it's from the same folks who did Italian Spiderman. And there's a new series coming.
posted by dhartung at 4:47 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not on Netflix, but I'm going to recommend Reno911, with the caveat that nothing is off-limits and there are probably a lot of people that find it outright horrible and offensive. The cast is brilliant, it's partially improvised, and I think it's outstanding. There are great one-off guest stars and an impressive cast of surprisingly well-developed recurring characters.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:38 PM on November 18, 2014

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