The Vore's TV staff selects the top best comedy TV series of 2017 on TV, DVD or Netflix. Are Stephen Levinson, Will Forte & Doug Ellin our new Comedy genre creators? American comedy series may have a long, diverse and interesting history, but the modern connotation anno 2014 is not a very good one. It is primarily associated with pre-baked, predictable dialogues, hideous laugh tracks, flat archetypical characters and stories that will surprise nor entertain the slightest bit. Cheers, Married with Children and King of the Hill may bring about warm memories, but once taste buds have succumbed to a slightly higher standard many viewers leave behind the genre, probably forever.
Comedy genre statistics
Dwayne Johnson, John David Washington & Omar Benson Miller
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Ballers & Scream Queens
Amount of genre shows per year from 2010 to 2017 546 comedy TV series scheduled for release this year. Comedy is the most popular genre after Sci-fi, but it definitely the genre with most shows produced a year. With an average of 2300 shows yearly, and growing.
2017 releases - most anticipated titles to watch
I’m Dying Up Here ( | Showtime)
Let's go back to the 70's. A comedy club owner looks after her up-and-coming comics with tough love. Notable fact: The dramedy is created by Jim Carrey for Showtime.
This Netflix original has got a pretty cool and recognizable premise: A group of friends who used to go to Harvard together must come to terms with what they have achieved so far. Something made a lot more difficult because of the sudden success of one of them.
An anthology show created by the Duplass Brothers (Togetherness) with stories that happen in the same room of the same airport hotel.
Jay and Mark Duplass.
Best comedy TV series on Netflix or DVD in 2017
Best comedy TV series out on DVD, Bluray or VOD (Netflix, Amazon).
Entourage (Since 18-7-2015 , Season: 8 - HBO)
(Quite) loosely based on Mark Wahlberg’s tenacious youth, Entourage follows a wolf pack of friends that has a movie star in it’s middle. The LA lifestyle they’ve acquired makes them surpass all the Hollywood-platitudes, yet the friendships last as they stumble through their money-loaded lives. Most of the characters remain cardboard-thick personalities, which, accompanied by the obligatory dialogues cause the series to be not as good as it could have been. Luckily, Entourage had Ari Gold, the hyper tensed and powerful movie agent that saves Entourage every season from becoming boring, or worse, not funny.
Weeds can be described as a Breaking Bad-light, focusing on a broken family that survives on drug money, earned by mother slash semi-kingpin Nancy. Together with the brother of her late husband and her two sons, she tries to uphold her sub-urban lifestyle whilst dealing with ghetto-problems. The resulting shenanigans are a fun ride for about five seasons, after which the concept clearly has dried out leaving the remaining seasons and the aftermath nothing but sad. Mary-Louisa Parker is an absolute attraction, but Weeds also showed that nothing can last forever – or, in this case, eight seasons.
Eastbound and Down (Since 15-2-2009 , Season: 4 - HBO)
This show may be a first in its blatant brutality. If sex, drugs and cursing are all a go in a comedy then this is what happens: an incredible hilarious show that makes one wonder why it took so long to see something this funny. Danny McBride absolutely kills it as a childish and egotistical former baseball pitcher. Sailing the waters of faded glory with absolute style, he snorts and fucks his way up and down, assisted by the brilliant Steven Bernard. The scent of producer and co-actor Will Ferrell definitely comes up. Danny McBride might not have the range Ferrel has, but who really cares? Must watch!
The self-reflecting twentysomethings and their screams into the world have become a definite category in film; Girls may very well be the series that defined its counterpart in the world of television. Writer and leading actor Lena Dunham bravely examines our generation’s fears and faults, not sparing herself (and her body) doing it. In terms of plotting, Girls is all over the place, which may be it’s weakness. It’s charm lies in recognition and the adaptation of the ‘four girls in New York’ concept to a more realistic and uncompromising setting.
After The Soprano’s, Edie Falco pledged to stay far away from anything mob related. Luckily, she did. As a pill-popping nurse that is, battling her addiction and the fights that need to be fought being a member of a middle class family. Drama and comedy are a tough mix to work out; Nurse Jackie brilliantly succeeds in keeping the genres well balanced. Falco’s character, Jackie, is an outstanding portrait of a harsh, deceptive and fearful person – flanked by the lovely Zoey (Merrit Weve) the chemistry between all actors is a delight. The show’s been thrown an awful lot of prices and awards, and rightfully so. Nurse Jackie is fun, unpredictable, and best of all, shows what a great actress Edie Falco is.
It’s always sunny in Philadelphia (Since 4-8-2005 , Season: 12 - FX)
Often described as ” Seinfeld on crack” , 'It’s always sunny' is yet another hommage to the manchild. Four guys and a girl hide away from maturity and boredom by running a bar in Philadelphia. An atypical sitcom,not surprisingly gaining a cult following. Danny DeVito stars brigthfully – not something any movie star can say after saying ‘yes’ to a comedy (James Belushi anyone?). Although not as sharp or edgy as some of it’s peers in our opinion, the show added a valuable and entertaining piece to the pie.
Louie is a somewhat weird but fortunate hybrid: stand up comedy mixed with Woody Allen-like indie shots, omitting continuity and never giving a clear sense of the show is about. C.K ‘just doesn’t care’, stating that every episode has a goal of its own. The back and forthness doesn’t hurt the show one bit – you either love Louis C.K. or you don’t. If you do, Louie is brilliant TV show.
Donald Glover can rap. That he can also act, we knew already, from shows like Community and Girls. But through Atlanta, we discovered he can write and direct too. Pretty well, actually. Atlanta is fun, unique and maybe even thought-provoking. Beautiful show!
Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry and Lakeit Stanfield
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (Since 31-7-2015 , Season: 1 - Netflix)
An all-star cast captures the adventures of a group of counselors and campers on the first days of Camp Firewood