Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Good-as Comedy

Last night I posted a status update requesting recommendations for new shows to watch.  I listed my current faves, all of which were comedies, bar one.  I was a little surprised when none of the recommendations that came through were for comedies, and when I mentioned this, two of my favourite people said that they weren't comedy people!!!  I think I nearly fell out of my chair.  This is an emergency, people!  I didn't even realise there was a genre of people who aren't into comedy!

So, I feel as though this might be one of the most important posts I've ever written, because, I kid you not, good quality comedy is one of the things I feel most passionate about in life.  If you think that sounds like the most ridic, over-the-top statement you've ever heard, I'm really being totally honest here.  I even studied comedy for an entire year during Honours.  Yep, my love is that real.  So here, for your current and future reference, is my list of all-time favourite comedy shows.  I'm really hoping to convert those two ladies, and any others of you who think that comedy's not your bag.


  • The Office - (Mockumentary about a group of office workers for a Paper Supplies company in Slough) Okay, I know this show has divided the lines of comedy watchers.  Tons of my favourite people find this show way too hard to watch, but I personally love it - so much.  Actually, half of the title of this blog is a reference to one of David Brent's best lines (in my opinion).  Fact.  For the record, I LOVE the US version too.  I will admit that I've only watched about three or four series of it, but I totes look forward to catching up on the rest one day.
  • Extras - (Two film and television extras/best friends trying to find their big break - lots of amazing guest stars) I looooooved the first series of Extras, though the second got a little too painful for me, and the Christmas Special was downright depressing (The Office Christmas Special is tha best). Still totally worth watching in my opinion, there are some brilliant comedic moments in both series.
  • Grandma's House - (Simon Amstel moves in with his Grandma after quitting his TV Presenter job - lots of awkward/hilarious family get-togethers ensue) while we're doing awkward, British comedy - this series was a surprise hit for me.  At parts; sweet, sad, tooooootally awkward and v. freaking funny.  I watched both series through YouTube, I've never seen it anywhere else (but was recommended it by a very trustworthy friend).
  • Green Wing - (Set in a hospital in Britain, a group of hilarious and weird doctors and office workers go about their biz) Like, legit loony, but so good.  There are certain scenes that I could take or leave (funnily, those scenes are the best bits to some of my friends and relations), but the rest of it is so brilliant!  And there's a good amount of romantic stuff too, which ain't bad.
  • Arrested Development - (A dysfunctional and flippin' hilarious family trying to pull their lives together after their patriarch is jailed - more funny than that makes it sound) AH.Mazing.  I have watched all three series of this show more times than I can count, and I'm highly anticipating the new series they are producing, what whaaaat!  Modern Family (also good) is definitely inspired by Arrested Development, so if you like one, try the other.
  • Bad Education - (Set in a British high school and focused on one young male teacher and his class).  I've only watched this series once, but I think I better watch it again because a) it was very hilarious, and b) I can't remember the lead chars. name (googled - ALFIE!!!  How could I forget such an adorable name?!).  Solid acting, and well-written comedy.
  • Black Books - (Drunken bookshop owner and his pals, & a series of hijinks).  This is the perfect show to watch if you have a hangover, for reals.  Bill Bailey is an all-time favourite ever, ever comedian, and it's worth watching just for him.  More slapstick than I usually prefer, but I am happy to make a huge allowance for this show.
  • 30 Rock - (Centers around a group of sketch show writers and their boss, with a couple of crazy peripheral characters thrown in) Again, I know a lot of people who didn't find this show appealing, but I love it.  Tina Fey is solid, and kindof actually one of my comedic heros after watching this show.  I also discovered a new-found respect for Alec Baldwin - totally wasn't expecting that!
  • Community - (An unlikely collection of Community College students who form a study group together) I can't believe I didn't know about this show sooner, it's tooooootally my kind of show. Chevy Chase is stand-out, and it has the perfect mix of everything I love about comedy.  It's very accessible, but with intelligent writing and tons of meta-humour (which I love).  And as with all comedies, there are some weaknesses too, just sayin'.
  • The IT Crowd - (Three IT workers stuck in the basement office of a big fancy company) It's impossible not to love all three of the characters in this show, super sweet.  If you love Black Books, this is definitely one to watch.
  • The Mindy Project - (A Ob. Gyn. trying to sort herself and her love life out) This series has just started and I am totally smitten.  Like, totally.  Like, can't-stop-talking-or-thinking-about-it.  You know that feeling when you find a book/movie/show that fulfills all your criteria, and there's that 'aaaaaaaaaahh' feeling as your limbs relax and you settle in for some fine entertainment?!  Yep, Mindy and me = perfect match.
  • Outnumbered - (British series based on a the parents of three hilarious children) Very sweet, and relatable on many levels.  Some of this show is improved, which is totes my favourite type of comedy (is it weird that when I watch improv, it's the awkward bits that don't really work, that make me laugh the hardest?).  If you're a parent, this one's for you.
  • Offspring - (Obstetrician Nina tries to navigate the field of love, and her full-on family, both) Sounds a little like The Mindy Project?  It's not.  And also, you already know that because almost everyone in the world loves this show.  Except my friend Lou.  She doesn't.  What a freak.
  • Flight of the Conchords - (Two guys... ah, actually, everyone already knows what this show is about) Just in case you thought I wasn't going to include any NZ comedy on this list.  Who doesn't love FotC?  No one, that's who.
Also love:  New Girl, Miranda, Modern Family, Freaks and Geeks, Futurama and various others that I've forgotten about but you might remind me of!  And on my 'To Watch' list: Derek, Girls & Louie.  Plus any suggestions you have (thank you in advance).

I'll be back with comedy films, stand-up comedians, and a couple of hilarious books.  Plus any shows I've accidentally left off the list.  Plus to correct any typos I've made (I gotta get going this morning, but I really wanted to post this asap).   Plus links (I'm really in a hurry).  I really hope some of you try these shows, and let me know what you think, even if you totally disagree with me and think that nothing competes with Two and a Half Men (but if you think that, you are wrong, very wrong).  xx

26 comments:

  1. haha! I thought those comments were shocking too! we are huge comedy fans in this house, even as far to go as sitting down to an entire DVD of stand up comedians. (just watched one last night).
    We also enjoy the old school cartoons like futurama etc, have the WHOLE series of red dwarf.
    Love the popular ones too like Miranda, big bang, modern family just got series 1 & 2 of miranda for my Birthday because I'm late to the party on that one.
    And with movies comedys are always our first "couple pick" (he likes action I don't, I like drama he don't) so we always do a comedy. love hearing each other laugh :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are the same for our 'couple picks' and I know what you mean about hearing each other laugh... I think that's why I love The Mindy Project so much, it appeals to both of us, totally.

      Delete
  2. I recently discovered Girls. Slightly raunchy but awesome. Lena Dunham is the best. I think you would enjoy it Stella.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are hilarous. I have seen 7 of those programmes and, I must say, I have only enjoyed 2.5 of them (one I only half liked. Hah!)
    Offspring is one of my all time favourite shows, and Flight of the Conchords had its moments. The Office was sometimes funny, but it was just so painfully cringeworthy to watch (guessing that was part of the point of it..).
    I am coming to like comedy more with age - The New Girl is growing on me, 40 year old virgin was relatively funny.. but it mostly remains that I just plain don't think funny programmes are awesome. I hate to say it, but Black Books maybe be the LEAST likeable show in the world for me. Except maybe Little Britain.. hmm..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know a lot of people who feel the same about Black Books (and The Office, heaps of people hate that show - personally, I love a good cringe moment), but my love of the comedians in it makes it a win for me. I like New Girl, but not in the same rabid way as these other shows. Also, cannot stand Little Britain.

      Delete
  4. Oh goodness, don't get me started on stand up and films. Yoiks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh nooooooo!!! Stand up is my fave! Well, some stand up anyway. Some of it is very very bad. Hmmm, you are presenting me with rather a challenge...

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. I DO like Miranda, though I haven't watched enough of it to feel confident about putting it on my list - going to sort that out soon though... I have a few others that I will add, just as soon as I can...

      Delete
  6. I agree with you 100% ! Comedy is so crucial to life:) I will choose a comedy over any other genre ALWAYS. I figure if I'm going to give up approx. 1-2hours of my life for a movie or show, I'd better get a lot of laughter out of it:)
    The Office (The U.S. version) is one of my favorite shows ever:)
    Love this post.
    Xo
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  7. We like much of the same stuff. We really LOVE Modern family as well, which is a break away from what seems like your preferred british humor. But thats probably because MrMoo REALLY reminds me of Phil, and apparently i'm a little like claire (-.-).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Modern Family is great! I've got it in there with Arrested Development because I think they share similarities. I definitely veer towards British comedy, but there is some really excellent American stuff too!

      Delete
  8. Oh, and ricky Gervais has just put out a new show called Derek. It was really funny, similar to office, but then it got serious and made us cry. But still kind funny?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have Derek lined up to watch, CAN'T WAIT! Ricky Gervais is definitely a hero of mine!

      Delete
  9. Oh looking forward to more laughs to come. I'm hard to please with comedy. I love Black Books. Tend to dislike American comedy. I can say that right.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Two And a Half Men = worst, most disgusting show ever.
    Outnumbered = hilarious! The first time I watched it I cried with laughter! I love that it's so real and relate-able and so darn funny! Is it still on here? It was on Prime for a while.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds like we like a lot of the same stuff. If you haven't discovered it yet, you must watch Parks and Recreation! A bit like the office, but less cringe-worthy to watch. Mockumentary-style set in a government office. The first season wasn't that great, but perservere, because it gets much better! It's one of the few shows where I really like all the characters. I haven't seen Arrested Development, but I love Modern Family, so will have to check it out. How I Met Your Mother is another fave of mine, though some of the characters can get a bit annoying and you have to overlook the canned laughter...

    ReplyDelete
  12. dont like comedy? isn't that like saying you don't like to laugh?!
    i haven't seen any of those other than offspring which i'm quite partial to, so i might have to invest in some winter-watching comedy dvds. as far as comedies go i'm quite easy to make laugh, but my absolute idea of comedic genius is eddie izzard x

    ReplyDelete
  13. OKAY! So. I've been thinking. AND I might have been lying. I DO like some comedy. Lets begin...I like, Absolutely Fabulous, Faulty Towers, Miranda, Father Ted, Vicar of Dibly...get the picture?! Haha. From your list I've only seen the Office (pretty good) and Flight of the Conchords (LOVED it the first time round, but can't stand repeats.)
    I often catch Seven Days, on a Sat night, I love Urzula Carlson and LOVE Brendan Lovegrove. Generally quite like stand up. I liked series one of New Girl, but haven't kept watching... HATE Futurama.
    Movies...Bridesmaids was okay. Superbad was good. Get Him to the Greek was good...

    I also must admit...I pretty much don't read fiction. I KNOW. SHOCKING - especially for a librarian! I have enjoyed some of Mrs Striking Keys recent YA recommendations. Nup, give me non-fiction, or a good documentry (travel, history, preferably together) and I'm happy.

    (SECRET FAV SHOW: Iceroad Truckers. Yeah, you can unfriend me now ;)
    XO

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh and I do like Big Bang Theory. I have a secret crush on Leonard.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Cringe worthy - yes, but funny - TOTALLY, is 'Last Man Standing' with Tim Allen! Has me and hubby in stitches every time... worth trying if you haven't seen it! Not as bad as his original comedy - Tool Time (or whatever it was called)!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I don't know whether I could top that list..you and I definately have the same taste...love these - many introduced to me by my mum ( she's british ) looove Bill Bailey, he reminds me so much of my Uncle.....oh and have you even seen The Ricky Gervais Show...its all done in cartoon for a radio show with Karl Pilkington and Steven Merchant...hilarious!!!! but always on far to late - UKTV :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Really! Bit everyone like comedy! Wow!
    I love heaps of the stuff you do and like Widge, came to Miranda late but love it! I too HATE The Office - haha, bit too close to a manager I had in the bank where I worked - bad cringe, bag cringe! We do however have a YouTube clip of Ricky and Elmo in our favourites - cracks me up every time watching poor Elmo be kept awake by Ricky!
    Keen to try out some of your recommendations also - thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love your list and lots of what's on there! Love offspring and on your recommendation have just watched all 21 eps of mindy project...bahaha fabulous! Off to explore other unchartered comedy waters, thanks :)

    ReplyDelete