Which TV shows would I like?
January 15, 2019 7:31 AM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for shows (ideally but not exclusively comedies)!

I haven’t watched much TV in about ten years, and the last time I really did, I was in the UK.

I liked: The Thick of It, The Wire, The Office (UK version), Nighty Night, I’m Alan Partridge, Another Period, the first season of Girls, Bojack Horseman, Archer (not totally, it’s more vulgar and extreme than I usually prefer but there’s something about it, same for Another Period, I guess), Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Larry Sanders Show. Less comedic stuff I liked: Northern Exposure, Six Feet Under, Rectify, some of Nurse Jackie

For reality shows, Come Dine With Me pretty much is the best ever, imo

Shows I didn’t like that I thought I would: the American Office, Arrested Development, Community, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec. (I just feel like there’s an indulgence in those, like the emphasis is on writing and delivering great *lines* at a fast clip or having outrageous or surreal situations occur, and not *as* much on the comedy coming from astutely drawn characters having their ridiculousness emerge through situations. I could be wrong, YMMV. I hate it when a good number of characters all have the same voice, and it’s the writers’ voice, does that make sense? Hated Gimore Girls, for example.)

posted by cotton dress sock to Media & Arts (32 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
*Gilmore, sorry. I have a tiny phone and not-tiny fingers
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:32 AM on January 15

Veep sounds like it could be be right up your alley.
posted by Static Vagabond at 7:35 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]

comedy coming from astutely drawn characters having their ridiculousness emerge through situations.

Are you looking for contemporary stuff? If you're not restricted that way and are willing to go back, M*A*S*H and WKRP are definitely worth revisiting.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:38 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Derry Girls is on Netflix, it's only 6 episodes, but it's a weird UK (Northern Irish) comedy and you'll know if you like it from the first episode.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:40 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]

Contemporary stuff, sorry, yes! Maybe from the past ten years?

(Also: Home Movies and Dr Katz)
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:40 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Bobs Burgers.
posted by wwax at 7:51 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]

Def Veep. Grandma’s House. Please Like Me. Bob’s Burgers. The Good Place. Community. Pulling. Detectorists. The Trip.

A little further afield: Crashing, Mr Show, Always Sunny, Portlandia, Wilfred.
posted by supercres at 7:54 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]

Peep Show, Pulling, and The Comeback would all fit in well on that list.
posted by Garm at 7:55 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]

You and I have VERY similar tastes, so maybe consider Baskets? I was hesitant, but it is this weird little show that is both sweet, poignant, cringe-y, and usually brings me to tears I laugh so hard.

Also, maybe Schitt's Creek? I am less charmed by it as it goes on but think the first season and most of the second was hilarious.
posted by Tchad at 7:56 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]

Try "The Closer." It's ostensibly a drama, and a good one, IMO, but there are comedic moments in most episodes, and every now and then they did out-and-out comic episodes that were really funny. The season four episode with Jennifer Coolidge is not to be missed.
posted by Dolley at 7:57 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Spaced (kind of treads the line between contemporary and not--it still *feels* contemporary but I also kid myself into thinking that I am contemporary), Detectorists, Grandma's House (so pleased to see supercres also recommending that because I adored it but no one ever talks about it). There is some sort of cringe/warmth continuum there with Grandma's House at one end and Detectorists at the other with Spaced in the middle.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:14 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Peep Show, Phoenix Nights, Catastrophe, Fleabag, Lovesick, The Detectorists. Derry Girls

Possibly in descending order, but they're all quality. They're all also British so it's 6-8 eps to a season, as quite frankly no comedy should have 22 episodes in a season ever thanking you.
posted by Hartster at 8:29 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Derek, with Ricky Gervais, is extremely sweet, character-driven, and (IMO) hilarious. Both major and minor characters are all created w/ great care and attention to detail by actors who know what they're doing.
posted by nosila at 8:34 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

You might like some shows that I'm going to call “comedy-adjacent*,” which often star (and/or are written by) comics, and certainly have comedy elements, but mix the funny stuff with more grounded conflicts, settings, and characters. For example:
One Mississippi (Amazon)
Atlanta (FX, also on Hulu)
Maron (IFC, also on Netflix and Amazon)
Insecure (HBO)
Forever (Amazon)
Master of None** (Netflix)
GLOW (Netflix)
Better Things (FX, also on Hulu)

*Yes, I am aware that the term “dramady” exists. YOU'RE NOT MY SUPERVISOR!
** Aziz Ansari may or may not be problematic for you, I dunno.

Browsing to any of these should also give you some decent algorithmic suggestions.
posted by D.Billy at 8:40 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]

Party Down -- Jane Lynch, Adam Scott, and Martin Starr are struggling actors turned caterers. Unfortunately just 20 episodes.
posted by matrixclown at 9:24 AM on January 15 [12 favorites]

Atlanta is pretty much the best show on TV right now so definitely have a look at that. Based on your taste I'd also suggest a look at HBO's Silicon Valley.
posted by Mothlight at 9:48 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]

While they're on opposite sides of the spectrum maybe try Silicon Valley and season one of UnREAL (which is less of a comedy than it is a black dramedy).
posted by sardonyx at 9:50 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

My Name is Earl was very character-drive, I thought. It was not at all what I expected, content-wise and it was genuinely funny and enjoyable.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:03 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]

We recently discovered British Comedy "Cuckoo" on Netflix and we just adore it.... consistently makes me laugh out loud.
posted by JenThePro at 10:15 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Also, if you like "Come Dine with Me" you'll Love "My Kitchen Rules"
posted by JenThePro at 10:50 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

I just watched "Sex Education" on Netflix and enjoyed it a lot, although some parts of it might ping your "too much emphasis on bizarre situations/great lines" meter. It's an interesting, sometimes deliberately surreal transatlantic mish-mash of genre and influence, but the performances are terrific and there's real emotion underlying the more farcical stuff. It reminded me a bit of Veronica Mars, except the genre being crossed with the high school show is sex farce instead of noir.
posted by karayel at 11:12 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]

The Letdown is a hilarious Australian comedy about new parents. The atmosphere reminds me alot of the first season of girls.
posted by tinymegalo at 12:26 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]

Another vote for Please Like Me. I watched the whole thing voraciously and I wish more people would watch it so we can have more to talk about.
posted by witchen at 12:32 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Perhaps Eastbound and Down or Vice Principals. Each have a fair amount of vulgarity, but not any more than Girls
posted by kbbbo at 1:17 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

If you liked UK Office and Another Period, Plebs might be for you - Norsemen is even better (all the scenes were first shot in Norweigian, then re-shot in English).
posted by porpoise at 1:45 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

'Lady Dynamite' has the surrealism & jumpy editing that you might not care for, but it does have a sympathetic (and rather quirky) protagonist who faces some real issues. So it might be a maybe if you give it a chance?
posted by ovvl at 3:53 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

comedy coming from astutely drawn characters having their ridiculousness emerge through situations

This is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to a tee. Don’t let the title put you off (you may or may not appreciate musicals, though).
posted by the_blizz at 4:28 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]

"Suits" is a drama, really, but the writing is crisp and quick, the actors are spot-on with their delivery, and there is at least one or two good jokes every episode. I consider it a dramadey.
posted by tacodave at 4:31 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Midnight Diner
Travel Man
The Trip and its sequel series
posted by heatvision at 3:23 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]

Borderline is the The Office (UK version) set in an airport.
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 7:29 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]

Corner Gas
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 6:30 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]

Oh duh!! Corner Gas! Yes, definitely Corner Gas.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:49 PM on January 20

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