If you’re one who loves sitcoms, you’ve surely binged on the popular American shows on repeat. There’s a familiar comfort in rewatching a Friends or Seinfeld episode that recent sitcoms can hardly deliver. But there are a lot of underrated comedy shows that slipped through the cracks because they never received a mainstream showcase or perhaps, didn’t boast of a star-studded cast to draw us in.
Last Updated: 06.32 PM, Mar 01, 2023
If you’re one who loves sitcoms, you’ve surely binged on the popular American shows on repeat. There’s a familiar comfort in rewatching a Friends or Seinfeld episode that recent sitcoms can hardly deliver. But there are a lot of underrated comedy shows that slipped through the cracks because they never received a mainstream showcase or perhaps, didn’t boast of a star-studded cast to draw us in. These lesser-appreciated gems, however, are water-tight with hilarious one-liners and ludicrous situations that elevate the grade of comedy on the small screen. Backed by writing that demands your undivided attention (if you don’t want to miss out on a gag or three), these shows promise a rib-tickling ride to remember. Here’s our pick for the most underrated comedy shows on Netflix that you must add to your watchlist now:
If you’re a Tina Fey fan, you’re going to love this one. Great News revolves around TV news producer Katherine Wendelson who strives to fight the complacency in her career while coming to grips with the fact that her intrusive mother has joined her newsroom as an intern. Hilarious exchanges and sharp clapbacks make this workplace comedy worth pulling through. Produced by Tina Fey, Great News is written by Tracey Wigfield. This lesser-known quirky comedy will have you hooked in no time.
Millennials born in the 80s and 90s would be familiar with those girl bands that once occupied the music charts. Despite their wide popularity, these Spice Girls equivalents largely produced numbers which sounded like each other and were often backed by inane lyrics. Girls5eva is a comedy that features a reunion of such a band, who were one-hit wonders before they dissipated from public memory. When a DJ happens to use a part of their song in his mix, the forgotten pop stars feel it’s time to make a comeback. But while struggling to stay relevant and grappling with a series of absurd life circumstances, coming up with a hit number for these now 40-somethings just seems utterly impossible. Girls5eva leans heavily on parody and the flashback sequences that offer a glimpse of their hit numbers are a riot. This show is a must-watch for nostalgia packed with a tinge of scathing sarcasm. The Peacock show is now available on Netflix which has acquired non-exclusive rights of the two existing seasons and also greenlit the third season expected to drop later on the streamer.
Fans of Family Guy, Brickleberry and similar animated comedies targeted towards young adults have pretty high standards and expectations from the kind of content they consider ‘watchable’. After all, the writing on these shows has definitively elevated the grade of comedy on TV and also stretched the limits of what could pass for politically incorrect if not inappropriate and crude brand of humour. From the makers of Brickleberry, Paradise PD is among the string of shows that fall under the sub-genre of raunch-com, alluding to raunchy comedies with excessive sexually-explicit references. The show revolves around the misadventures of members of a police department in the fictional city of Paradise where everything’s possible and nothing is calm. A son joins the police force in an attempt to seek his police chief father’s approval. But his callous and uninspiring approach to preventing crimes only results in hilarious outcomes. The bone of contention between father and son traces back to when he accidentally shot his father in the testicles, leaving him forever reliant on testosterone patches to keep his moustache from falling off and suddenly acquiring giant breasts. Let’s just put it out there: Paradise PD is not a show for everyone and the language and plot points depicted can be disturbing, objectionable and downright vulgar. But if you have an appetite for extreme kink, this one will offer a buffet to keep you giggling.
Headlined by Ugly Betty star America Ferrera, Superstore is helmed by the comic genius of Scrubs creator Justin Spitzer and it’s shocking that the show hasn’t acquired a cult popularity among sitcom fans. For a workplace comedy revolving around the misadventures of employees of a superstore called Cloud 9, this one immerses you into the joys, challenges and quirks of life in small-town America. The material is what makes this show shine and the insights about the cruel and one-dimensional stance held by corporate America, elevates this show to a scathing satire. Often dubbed as the most suitable heir to The Office, Superstore is a show that could’ve surely managed to pull through a few more seasons before folding up. Watch this one if you love the banter and quirky exchanges of a workplace comedy.
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Written by Kunal Guha