It’s a weird time right now and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably turning to comedy shows as a comforting security blanket.
Many of us are dealing with anxieties about the pandemic and the long stretch of social distancing and remote work (for those who are lucky to do so) that lay ahead. Comedy is the best salve during uncertain times like this and instead of watching The Office for the 14th time (guilty), here’s a list of some of the best and most criminally underrated comedy shows on Netflix right now, in no particular order.
Note: this list is heavy on the British comedy side and for good reason – they’re the best! If there’s a show you think deserves to be on this list, tweet us @NotableCA.
Formerly titled Scrotal Recall, the show begins with Dylan (Johnny Flynn) finding out he has chlamydia and having to call all the women he’s been intimate with to let them know. Each episode focuses on a specific ex from his past and features flashbacks of their failed relationship. Along the way, you get to meet a slew of interesting characters, including Dylan’s best friends Evie (Antonia Thomas) and Luke (Daniel Ings).
While the premise of the show, and its former name, might make you think it’s just another raunchy comedy, Lovesick is actually funny, sweet and surprisingly insightful. Dylan, Luke and Evie will easily get you through the three seasons and 22 episodes.
While it’s wildly popular in the UK, Derry Girls is one of those criminally underrated comedies in North America. Catch yourself on, Canada – you’ll know exactly what that means once you watch this brilliant series!
The show follows five friends – Erin, Michelle, Clare, Orla and “the wee English fella,” James – as they navigate their tumultuous teenage years in an all-girls Catholic high school. Derry Girls is set during the 1990’s, towards the end of a period of sectarian violence in Ireland known as The Troubles. While the backdrop to the show may be dark, the show is anything but. In fact, the magic of the show comes from the ordinary (read: humiliating, awkward and funny) moments of being a teenager set against the extraordinary circumstances in Ireland at the time.
Derry Girls is witty, laugh-out-loud funny and just the right amount of nostalgic. You may have to turn the subtitles on for this one, though!
Written by and starring Michaela Coel, Chewing Gum is unlike any other show on Netflix. It follows Cole, as 24-year old Tracey, on a mission to lose her virginity while her hyper-religious family watches in horror. Along the way, Tracey gets herself into awkward, weird and just plain crazy sexual situations. But no matter how cringey the encounter, the show is always funny, relatable and endearingly millennial. The writing is brilliant; Coel successfully captured her generation while addressing issues of racism, classism, family, identity and coming-of-age. Coel decided to end the show after just two seasons and 12 episodes but that just means you can binge-watch this in a day!
True crime is a growing cultural obsession and American Vandal is the perfect response to the trend. Amateur documentarians Sam and Peter decide to help exonerate Dylan, a former student expelled for allegedly spray-painting penises on every car in the teacher’s parking lot. The plot may sound juvenile but the show is a hysterical satire of the true-crime genre. If you still need convincing, the show is a Peabody-award winning series that has been lauded by both fans and TV critics alike.
Everyone who has watched this show either loves it or hates it, there’s no in-between! I’m definitely in the love-it camp – I’ve rewatched this at least 10 times and it makes me laugh out loud every single time.
The show follows the antics of the members of the IT department at Reynholm Industries – Roy, Moss and Jen. The entire cast brilliantly portrays the awkwardness and eccentricities of their characters and are the reason you’ll be re-watching an embarrassing number of times. From the appearance of an eerily familiar cult, Spaceology, to a German cannibal, the show is decidedly quirky but always hilarious.
For fans of dry humour, this show is definitely up there as one of the best comedy shows of all time.
This is another one for fans of dry humour; it’s not as outrageous as the IT Crowd and more along the lines of The Office. Following the same mockumentary format, Borderline documents the daily lives of border agents as they deal with immigration, baggage and PR issues at the fictional Northend Airport. Fans of The Office will love the quirky characters, awkward boss and star-crossed lovers that make up the show.
While at first, a humanoid horse might not seem to make for a poignant show, BoJack Horseman offers an insightful look into depression and anxiety. The show is about a 50-year old former sitcom star and the crazy stuff he does on his way to making a comeback. The show has faced its share of controversies but remains a critical success.
Man Like Mobeen
Reformed drug dealer Mobeen is trying to keep out of trouble while he single-handedly raises his teenage sister, Aqsa, with the help of his best friends. Guz Khan, the star and man behind the show, was working as a teacher when some YouTube videos he had created went viral. Since then, his rise to the top has been meteoric; he quit his job, wrote and starred in his own show (Man Like Mobeen) and started his stand-up career last year.
This brilliant BBC self-parody follows newly instated Head of Values Ian Fletcher as he and his coworkers deal with day-to-day life at the world’s most successful broadcasting house. Throw in an over-the-top PR exec, and you’ve got all the ingredients of a crazy, quirky and hilarious office sitcom.
I think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson
Netflix’s most successful sketch comedy show comes from comedian Tim Robinson, who stars in, wrote, produced and co-created the show. While you might want to give up on the show after the first watch, you need to stick with it. The sketches and characters are equal parts absurd and hilarious. Featuring a plethora of famous guest appearances, including Sam Richardson, Will Forte, Andy Samberg and Cecily Strong, it’s sure to leave you in hysterics.