What should I watch?
April 15, 2018 4:03 AM   Subscribe

I've been struggling a lot lately trying to find TV shows to watch after work while relaxing and am looking for some advice please. My favourite ever show is Black Mirror but I've seen all the episodes and anyway it's a little too intense for chilling out to. I also love Brooklyn 99 and The Good Place but I'm all caught up on those.

I've tried Parks and Rec and 30 Rock but never got into them/found them cringy and not funny (sorry I know many love them both). I quite like Modern Family and Crazy Ex-girlfriend but haven't enjoyed the more recent episodes as much. Things like Game of Thrones are too serious for me for zoning out and relaxing to as are shows like The Killing. I'm looking for funny stiff really and preferably quite short though I can do hour-long shows. Oh and I love The Great British Bake off but am all caught up. Thank you!!!
posted by hazyjane to Media & Arts (48 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
I suggest going down the rabbit hole of British panel shows. Maybe try QI or Woukd I Lie To You for starters. There are loads of them out there and they amount to comedians sitting around bantering and being witty with only the flimsiest of premise to hold it together.
posted by synecdoche at 4:17 AM on April 15, 2018 [9 favorites]

posted by phunniemee at 4:33 AM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Have you seen Better Off Ted or the IT Crowd?

Also (I am gonna get a reputation for always suggesting) Orphan Black.
posted by athirstforsalt at 4:37 AM on April 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Big Family Cooking Showdown is a delightful British show with one of the Bake Off stars as a host.
posted by sockermom at 4:59 AM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Jane The Virgin

In the mockumentary/documentary category, because they are so engaging:

American Vandal

Wild Wild Country
posted by 6thsense at 5:03 AM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Goldbergs can be great
Comedy Bang Bang
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Mystery Science Theater 3k (not a show, but can be paused and resumed)
posted by askmehow at 5:03 AM on April 15, 2018

Detectorists - a beautifully shot, low key comedy about a couple of guys going metal detecting in the British countryside.

Anne with an E
The Trip
posted by Limivorous at 5:23 AM on April 15, 2018 [5 favorites]

I really liked the Marvelous Mrs Maisel on Amazon
posted by permiechickie at 5:24 AM on April 15, 2018 [8 favorites]

The Thick of It?
posted by mymbleth at 5:37 AM on April 15, 2018

The Santa Clarita Diet is ludicrously silly and well written. But you need to be able to handle copious amounts of Drew Barrymore and lots of blood. S2 is out now. A Series of Unfortunate Events also fall in the absurd category, but is both child and adult friendly.
posted by michswiss at 5:41 AM on April 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

Episodes is also a good relaxed adult comedy and there are several seasons. Not sure if it's streaming anywhere thought. The previous two I mentioned are on Netflix.
posted by michswiss at 5:49 AM on April 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

The Mindy Project!
posted by Mouse Army at 5:55 AM on April 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

If you bounced off the first season of Parks and Rec, I encourage you to go back and pick it up in S2 or S3. It pivoted away from The Office toward a more B99 sensibility.
posted by Etrigan at 5:57 AM on April 15, 2018 [15 favorites]

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! I adore Twin Peaks but it's not light, extremely engaging, though. I also liked Love (Jeff Apatow ), which is light and quirky.
posted by waving at 6:10 AM on April 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

From Brooklyn Nine-Nine, you could try Angie Tribeca, although it is more Police Squad! than sitcom. 30 episodes so far, there's a new season coming up this here, but it doesn't have a regular timetable - TBS aired S01 on January (after broadcasting all episodes during a week-long marathon), S02 from June-August and S03 April - June.

From Black Mirror, there's PKD's Electric Dreams, Channel 4's new sci-fi Anthology series. 10 episodes (4 of them Amazon exclusive). It runs on the long-ish side, but given the format you can pick it up and drop it anytime without hassle.

For Modern Family substitutes (aka, sitcoms about families in general), I'd go with Blackish (92 episodes over 4 season, it's about to finish the 4th) and The Goldbergs (114 episodes over 5 seasons, finishing the fifth next month). The first is about a black, upper(ish?) middle class dad who has to juggle the class status of his children and his own upbringing in poor 90s Compton (and hey, like Angie Tribeca, it has Deon Cole, who absolutely kills it in every scene), the second is about a a family in 1980s something through the eyes of a kid.
If we're including the family you find along the way, I'd also put New Girl in there. 139 episodes so far over seven season, the final one just started this week. Likewise with Happy Endings, arguably one of the best sitcoms in the past 10 years. 3 seasons, 57 episodes. Both are quirky single-cam sitcoms.
posted by lmfsilva at 6:13 AM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you have HBO (or prime)

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Silicone Valley

All of the above have very loose plots and are heavy on jokes with some of them possessing a small amount of drama but not a ton
posted by kbbbo at 7:14 AM on April 15, 2018

Seconding Detectorists.

"Friday Night Dinner", "Gavin & Stacey", "Lead Balloon" and "The Durrells" and all great to chill to.
posted by james33 at 7:22 AM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Schitt's Creek.

Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara are still in top form, and Levy's son Daniel (co-creator of the show with his dad) is a breakout comedy star. You also get Chris Elliott as a bonus.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:24 AM on April 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

echoing the above that Would I Lie To You is SO GOOD, so fucking good. there are some clips that just the memory of them make me cry with laughter.

wrt parks and rec: i found it was the kind of show that you could watch at most 2 of in a row because all the characters' little quirks were only bearable in small doses. watching 6-7 in a row made me hate everyone on the show. above commenter is 100% correct in that s2 is much better than s1.

wrt santa clarita diet: there is a loud graphic explosive vomiting scene 10 minutes into the first episode which guaranteed i would never go back.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:30 AM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Puffin boffin, The vomit process is never repeated on screen in S1. But, I repeat, there’s a lot of blood and body parts. All in context and with the dialogue, mostly really funny. It’s not violent, violent. It’s really about a maladjusted suburban family trying to get through a phase. Ha.
posted by michswiss at 7:46 AM on April 15, 2018

Did you make the cringy/not funny determination on Parks and Rec in the first season? Everyone says the show changes entirely in Season 2 and I found it to be true. Season 1 felt like an embarrassing The Office knockoff and I hated the main character too much to keep watching except then I was unemployed for a while and started season 2 and loved the rest of the show.
posted by Smearcase at 9:18 AM on April 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Friday Night Lights! It isn't just about football. It's about likable people, and it always makes me feel good.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:30 AM on April 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Queer Eye!
posted by winterportage at 9:46 AM on April 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Superstore is a hilarrible workplace comedy. It even stars an awkward overachiever type Hispanic female named Amy!
posted by Night_owl at 10:07 AM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

With you on Black Mirror, Crazy ExGirlfriend, and Great British Bake-Off. The joy of TV!!

I really enjoy Baskets, which has 2 seasons on Hulu (10 eps per season, 30 mins each) and I think the latest season is on Amazon for purchase (or FX if you have US cable). It mixes slapstick, physical comedy, and super-silly one-liners with a family drama in American suburban sprawl landscape (plus at times, Paris). The characters are overall lovable while flawed, and it mixes the ridiculous & realism in a surprisingly poignant way. Might be a love-it-or-hate-it type of show, but it's made me both LOL while watching alone and tear up while watching with friends.

Another 30-min thing you can blow through 3 seasons of (currently on Netflix) is ridiculous British comedy Toast of London. It's very goofy, sometimes trippy, situation-formulaic (in a comforting, familiar, watch-after-work way), contains 1 musical number per show, and while visually stimulating is also funny when you're just listening to it (as I might be while doing boring shit around the apartment).

And there are the old seasons of GBBO (as well as great Irish bake-off!) hiding in plain sight on dailymotion.com, if you need to scratch that itch...
posted by cluebucket at 10:17 AM on April 15, 2018

No Tomorrow
My friends keep telling me Episodes and Schitt's Creek are great.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:23 AM on April 15, 2018

Also maybe check out iZombie, Psych and Chuck if you want hour-long procedural/adventure with a comic emphasis.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:26 AM on April 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

Seconding Better Off Ted and Psych - they're both hilarious and don't rely on cringe-y humor.

I love Bojack Horseman (on netflix). It's dark but consistently funny. If you like visual puns, it's a total goldmine of those.
posted by snaw at 10:34 AM on April 15, 2018

Thank you all very much! I'll give some of these a try over the next few weeks. I'm very glad to know Parks and Rec gets better in Season 2 as I knew I had to be missing something. I'll give it a try soon too.
posted by hazyjane at 10:58 AM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

You did see that FPP about Legends of Tomorrow, didn't you? I know it doesn't quite fit in with the other stuff you mentioned but it cleans up in the funny-silly category.

Seconding or thirding Better off Ted and putting in a vote for trying Silicon Valley and Ballers. To counter the bro-ish-ness of those two, you could take a look at Younger.

On the sitcom side, Happy Endings was worth watching and Trophy Wife was better than it had a right to be.
posted by sardonyx at 11:09 AM on April 15, 2018

Community is my go-to comfort watch

In common with, like, every comedy ever, the first series is basically OK, S2/S3 are absolute genius, and it tails off due to production/cast issues in S4/S5. Which is ironic, given how much of the show is a meta-commentary on the nature of sitcom.
posted by parm at 11:39 AM on April 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

I would humbly submit to you that you start watching "Archer" immediately if not sooner.

I was utterly surprised to find out how funny "LA to Vegas" is. It's really, really stupid in a fun way, and it's actually developing the characters.

It dawned on me that the show is frequently a live-action version of "Archer", actually, in terms of comedic style and timing.
posted by Thistledown at 12:09 PM on April 15, 2018 [5 favorites]

> I also love Brooklyn 99 and The Good Place

Galavant is on Netflix. (Teensy tiny spoilers but it gives a good feel for the show.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:27 PM on April 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

As usual, I recommend "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" on Netflix. Set in 1920s Australia, it's a breezy, witty series about a rich lady detective who gets embroiled in sundry criminal cases. Wonderful clothes, great supporting characters of all types, casual sex, and her bff is a lesbian doctor. It's got it all.
posted by MovableBookLady at 2:49 PM on April 15, 2018 [5 favorites]

One Day at a Time
Please Like Me
posted by Coaticass at 3:42 PM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Bob's Burgers!
posted by lookoutbelow at 7:41 PM on April 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

British shows: Gavin & Stacy, Gameface, The Misfits, Casual, Can't Cope Won't Cope (Irish), The Windsors, Black Books, Chewing Gum, and Crazy Head. These are all funny and clever but not too deep - intelligent/thoughtful escapist fare.
posted by shoesietart at 8:46 PM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

The vomit process is never repeated on screen in S1.

ok, im still not gonna watch it
posted by poffin boffin at 10:20 PM on April 15, 2018 [3 favorites]

Lots of good stuff above. I'll throw in Rosehaven, a very mellow, easy-watching, Australian comedy set in a small Tasmanian town:
Daniel McCallum returns to his rural Tasmanian hometown, Rosehaven, to help his intimidating mother with her real estate business. He gets a surprise when his best friend from the mainland, Emma (Celia Pacquola), turns up on his doorstep - on the run from a marriage so fresh her husband is still on their honeymoon. In no time these two friends are thrown into the centre of small town life - Daniel, confronted at every turn by the ghosts of his adolescent past and a town that hasn’t moved on. All the while his mate Emma is lapping up her anonymity in Rosehaven and newfound life on the land.
posted by quinndexter at 12:56 AM on April 16, 2018

Nthing seasons 2+ of Parks and Rec. It’s a show that took a while to find its groove, but stayed really great after that.

My latest love is The Magicians. The first two seasons were solid and their (recently completed) third season is up there with the best TV I’ve seen.
posted by Betelgeuse at 5:53 AM on April 16, 2018

Gonna recommend Rake about a drug and gambling addicted Australian lawyer. Sounds like a downer but it is full of good heart and great writing. Unreserved recommendation.
posted by kaymac at 7:26 AM on April 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconding Community. I'm doing a full rewatch right now and it's as good as I remember.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:01 AM on April 16, 2018

Another nod for The Detectorists. Also try Doc Martin, another BBC show. Perfect for late night relaxing before bed.
posted by vivzan at 8:29 AM on April 16, 2018

The Netflix remake of One Day at a Time is light but delightful, mostly thanks to Rita Moreno.
posted by emjaybee at 7:47 PM on April 16, 2018

If you like Great British Bake Off, check out British Master Chef, both the amateurs and the professionals. I binge on those when GBBO is not on. And make sure it's the UK version. I could not find the US version watchable.

Still Game is running it's final series. If you haven't watched it before, I highly recommend it. Scottish pensioners living in an estate outside of Glasgow.

Another one I always recommend for this type of question is Grace & Frankie on Netflix.
posted by like_neon at 2:10 AM on April 17, 2018

If you have a high tolerance for second hand embarrassment you will love Veep.

We also watch really old British shows, some of which are on youtube. Some mothers do 'ave them, Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers, Black Adder, Vicar of Dibley, etc. They are hilarious and don't require a huge amount of commitment.
posted by Tarumba at 12:27 PM on April 17, 2018

Blackish and Fresh Off the Boat
posted by freezer cake at 8:15 AM on April 24, 2018

Jumping back to give a temporary rec to Life in Pieces (since I'm just 7 episodes in, and it seems it went off the rails by the time the second season ended). It plays a lot like a more off-beat version of Modern Family - you have the parents, then three adult siblings each with their lives/family, but unlike Modern Family, which follows a more traditional A-B plot format, each episode is composed by four short stories centered on each of the families.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:47 AM on April 25, 2018

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