Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Favorite TV comedy series

I'm a cable TV holdout, so most of my TV series viewing is via Netflix, often long after a series has been discontinued! You'll notice that I have a special affection for British comedies. It's their zaniness, irreverence, and good writing that appeal, I think:

Flight of the Conchords (Hysterical. Love that New Zealand accent. I hope there will be more than just two seasons)
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (American. Cringe-worthily rude and crude, but it makes me laugh)
Arrested Development (American. Could a dysfunctional family be any funnier?)
The Office and Extras (Ricky Gervais is a British genius.)
Curb Your Enthusiasm (No, Larry David. Don't do that! Can only watch this one in small doses.)
The Mighty Boosh (British. Very odd. Very funny. Thanks to my good friend Leslie for turning me on to this one)
The I.T. Crowd (British nerd humor. Found out about this one from my brother-in-law)
Monty Python (of course)
Probably my all-time favorite: Red Dwarf (8 seasons: the funniest sci fi comedy ever!)

Now that you know my taste in comedy, maybe you can recommend a series I've missed?

Clip from "The Mighty Boosh":


Leslie said...

Hi Suzanne - Just read your post... Thanks for the kind nod, and also the handy reference list of fun and frolics in the small screen world.

First off, I love that you've held out on cable all these years. Things do eventually filter back round, and of course we tend to get British shows with a delay anyway. I do sense a story/blogpost there that might be interesting for the folks: The Big Decision (or the default of inaction?).

Good for you: embedding media in your blog. I enjoy occasions when people share bits of the something and then 'riff' on it in their writing. Responding to music, visual art, video, etc. can be a good trigger for writing. What did people do before YouTube (let alone Google and 'ahem' Wikipedia)? What an interesting world we do live in (tried to keep that a ~neutral~ sort of word.

Our lists look a lot the same: a satisfyingly full overlap in a Venn Diagram. Of course Monty Python has got to be a ground-level earth-swell of inspiration for so much of British comedy to this day, and I wouldn't have made it through high school without those writers who had to do their own acting, much to our benefit ;).

A few I can think of to add (don't know if they're missing because you've tried and just don't like them or haven't yet been exposed?): are Blackadder, Mr. Bean, Absolutely Fabulous, and that John Cleese do-after: Fawlty Towers. (And do you remember in the way-back machine, "The Two Ronnies?") There's also a very odd show called, "Peep Show," which quickly goes beyond the pale ... small doses and then T.M.I. by far (like and definitely unlike Larry David in the way of cringe-worthiness. As you say: small doses only, but I can't make it even that far any more with Peep). Wonder what we'll be treated to next? ;) To laughter and delight and you, I raise my glass!

Suzanne Williams said...

Yes, Fawlty Towers, Mr. Bean, Blackadder, and Absolutely Fabulous all deserve a place on my list. I'm not as fond of The Two Ronnies, but I've only watched a few episodes, and I haven't seen Peep. Guess I'll have to look that one up.

The decision to go without cable has been pretty straightforward. We're up high enough on a hill that an antenna works well for regular (non-cable) programming. We don't want the extra cost of cable. And we don't want to be tempted to watch more TV than we already do; we'd rather read!

Leslie said...

Knowing the two of us, well three counting Mark, a bit... I'd say - don't look for Peep Show... the first couple of episodes have a uniqueness to their film and thematic style, but it's too over the top for me when all's said and done. It takes a bit to get me to that point, but I got there right quick with that show.

I remember your cable decision and its reading root of reasoning, but good for more folks to hear! Reading truly is precious and FUNdamental... peaceable too. You are an inspiration on many levels - should be a huge surprise coming from me. ;)