I am a huge fan of comedies, apart from the odd documentary and bit of painful reality TV (which I class as comedy) this is pretty much the entirety of my viewing. I just wanted to share a couple of my favorite recent comedies as I could go on forever if I could include Aramdo Iannuci’s 90’s back catalouge.
An American sitcom following Leslie Knope, who runs the parks and recreation department in small town government in a small town in Indiana called Pawnee. Whilst Leslie is passionate about her home town, the locals try and fight her on every thing she does, usually for no other reason than ignorance and spite. Leslie’s employees don’t quite share her enthusiasm for government she does but usually end up helping out of guilt and love.
Whilst I can’t say that Parks and rec has been consistently good, when it has been at it’s best, it has been excellent. The first season didn’t do so well, it went on win various awards and gain brilliant reviews.
Parks and rec has just aired it’s last episode, whilst I personally felt that the last season was lacking and it is probably time for Parks and rec to end, I will miss it.
The characters are very real and likable, my favorite being the cynical and brutally honest Ron Swanson who works alongside Megan Mulally who plays his crazy ex wife Tammy 2 (nothing compared to Tammy 1!) as well as being his real life spouse.
Amy Poehler is one of the few women in comedy I enjoy (I am also a fan of Tina Fey, the 2 are hilarious friends). She plays the Leslie Knope character in such a pathetic yet warm way that you can’t help but admire her. She has some moments of true comedy gold throughout the series such as her on going fight with neighboring town of Eagleton which includes driving garbage there just to throw on the ground and covering a local in shaving cream due to a mistake.
One of the funniest characters in the series has to be Andy Dwyer played by Chris Pratt who has become quite famous recently. Andy’s band Mouserat have brought us excellent and hilarious songs such as The Pit and 5000 candles in the wind (an ode to a dead miniature horse called Lil Sebastian), he is strangely good at comedy music.
Unfortunately one of the producers of Parks and rec recently passed away, so this is a sad time in many respects for Parks and rec fans.
Another American sitcom by Tina Fey, follows the life of Liz Lemon (played by Fey) who is a sad 30 something, singleton who has absolutely no life outside of work. Lemon is disgusting in respect of her diet and personal hygiene and often turns to her boss Jack Donaghy, played brilliantly by Alec Baldwin for advice on life. Most of the time he is shocked and appalled but they have a pretty solid friendship which develops throughout the series.
Lemon is a writer for TGS, a shockingly bad sketch show on NBC starring Tracy Morgan or Tracy Jordan as his character is called. The series has now ended up it is certainly worth starting from the beginning and giving it a watch.
There are many big name starts who make appearances such as Kelsey Grammer, Oprah Winfrey, Mary J. Blige and my favorite of all Michael Buble and his song about Mr Templeton, an elderly gentleman whom Jack was having a relationship with his carer.
There are a couple of live episodes of 30 rock, whilst not amazing they are still worth of watch. There are 2 episodes which are based on the format of the real housewives, following Tracey’s wife Angie in “Queen Of Jordan” which are possible 2 of my favorite episodes.
Yet another American Sitcom following “the gang” attempting to exploit various people whilst getting as intoxicated as possible. They are truly scummy individuals who will sell each other out at any possible opportunity.
Danny Devito plays the disgusting father of Sweet Dee and Dennis Reynolds. He is sick of living the rich life and decides that sleeping with an unwashed, strange fully grown man is preferable to his former lifestyle. Frank and Charlie enjoy a multitude of strange games such as night crawlers and searching for minerals.
It’s always sunny is currently airing it’s 10th season and remains funny throughout. There are some very memorable episodes for me such as “the gang buys a boat” and “the DENNIS system“, it is on Netflix and I recommend this one to anyone who likes a bit of an offensive comedy.
The first British comedy in this list! Created by the wonderful Amrando Iannucci (Alan Partridge and The Day Today to name just a couple), following British government and the incompetence and blame pushing that occurs within in. The thick of it focuses on the department of social affairs or DOSAC as it is referred to.
I particularly enjoyed the first couple of series with Chris Langham playing the secretary of state Hugh Abbot, he plays the character as completely dead inside apart from his need to make sure anything that may reflect badly on him is soon aimed at someone else (the Glenn Cullen cunt email for example).
There is a film based on the thick of it called In The Loop, I would recommend it to fans of The Thick Of It although it wasn’t anything spectacular. This one is also available on Netflix so give it a go.
Getting on is the last in my list and another British comedy, this one is very dry (which is why I enjoy it so much). It is created by the stars of the show; Jo Brand, Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine whilst being directed by The Thick Of It’s and the new Dr Who; Peter Capaldi (he also makes an appearance).
Getting on aired on BBC4 and it was by pure chance that I came across it, I own all 3 seasons on DVD as I struggled to find this one anywhere online, although apparently there is an American version of this. I haven’t bothered to check it out as I enjoy the Britishness of this series and its reflection on the NHS.
As I said the humor is very dry in Getting On, there is very little genuine empathy from sister Den Flickster (Scanlan) whilst Kim Wilde (Brand) struggles to try and keep the ward of geriatrics together. Occasionally they are visited by arrogant Dr Pippa Moore who feels a great deal of self importance from the vile studies she puts together (extending the Bristol stool chart was her first en devour).
I don’t believe there will be any more UK episodes of Getting On but on the off chance you come across it on a BBC channel or online, give it a watch, you won’t be disappointed.