With the world in a seemingly semi-permanent state of disarray, it’s normal to need something a little extra to brighten up your day. And when it’s still difficult to visit friends and family you miss or your wallet can’t handle any more pints of Ben & Jerry’s — Netflix is a good friend to turn to for a laugh.
Although Netflix might be better known for its fantastic selection of tear-jerker dramas and documentaries, the streaming platform has its fair share of popular and very underrated comedies available for streaming.
Here are some of the best comedy shows the platform has to offer:
The show has largely fallen unrecognized in the U.S., probably due to a sense of cultural gap or the (unfortunate) lack of knowledge that it exists.
“Derry Girls” follows the story of a group of teenage girls growing up during the 1990s in Derry, Northern Ireland, showing them go through the trials, tribulations and zany antics of their teenage years.
Although the show has a bit of history with The Troubles (a historic period of religious disarray in Northern Ireland that lasted between 1968 to 1998) being a part of its backdrop, understanding this conflict isn't necessary for understanding the show. As long as you turn closed captions on until you get used to the accents, “Derry Girls” is hilarious and easy to follow.
Not only does this comedy have witty humor about sensitive topics like religion and politics, but also it’s kept afloat entirely by the amazing chemistry with the cast. And, despite its setting around 25 years in the past, the show keeps it progressive with lesbian representation and strong female friendships as main points in the show.
Although filming was halted for some time due to the pandemic, it was recently announced that production resumed for season three. But in the meantime, you can binge-watch seasons one and two.
"American Vandal" is a hilarious mockumentary style Netflix original that was tragically cancelled despite having two critically-acclaimed seasons. But never fear, each season has a satisfactory conclusion, so you won’t be kept awake at night by any cliffhangers. Rather, you’ll be kept awake by the mystery.
"American Vandal" follows student filmmakers Sam Ecklund and Peter Maldonado as they investigate who spray-painted a bunch of phallic drawings on cars in the faculty parking lot.
With "#WhoDrewTheDicks" setting the stage for the first season, and plenty of potty humor in the second, "American Vandal" can seem immature at first glance. But as the show unfolds, it turns into an actually engrossing mystery that has lots of heart, preventing it from veering too far into juvenile territory.
It cleverly parodies true crime TV shows, and so many people have come to love and root for it's cast of characters, which actually, for once, accurately portray what high school was like. Except with an added penis-themed mystery, of course.
"The Good Place"
Everyone has heard of “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation," two creations by prolifically hilarious TV creator Mike Schur. But honestly, his best work is “The Good Place."
The show takes place in the afterlife, when one person who’s landed in Schur’s version of heaven discovers she isn’t supposed to be there. The rest of the plot is pretty difficult to explain well if you want to avoid spoilers — which you should.
“The Good Place” has some of the best twists ever on TV, so if you don’t already know them … don’t ruin everything with a Google search!
Each of the four seasons is better than the last, and the cast that grows and changes is full of hilarious, easy to root for characters and heart-warming relationships.
"The Good Place" will make you laugh, make you cry and make you question everything with its commentary on ethics, humanity and what comes next. Sharp humor and a diverse cast, including a character who is canonically bisexual, only add to what “The Good Place” has to offer — and what it has to offer is pretty darn good.
A cult-classic that was added to Netflix recently, "Community" is probably one of the funniest shows ever on TV, and now it’s one of the funniest shows on Netflix.
The show follows Jeff Winger, a lawyer that was recently discovered for being a fraud, who ventures off to community college to finally get the law degree he needs.
What starts as a singularly focused story quickly expands to include a large ensemble class of wacky characters at the show's major setting, Greendale Community College.
"Community" has some of the most ambitious episodes to ever be committed to a sitcom format — including gigantic paintball wars, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" parodies, animated episodes and its own 30-minute mafia movie on chicken fingers.
The comedy's strong point is both in its creativity and the friendships forged and shown on screen. A group of unlikely friends who grow and change as people, despite their sometimes extremely messed up antics, and wreak havoc at their equally wacky school is exactly the kind of show you need to add some brightness to your life.
Whether you need just one or two short, silly seasons like “Derry Girls” or “American Vandal” or a longer running series about the kind of unlikely friends you most likely miss while in isolation like “Community” or “The Good Place” — laughter is the best medicine for loneliness and sadness. And with these four shows, it’s only a click away.