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10 comedy series to watch during quarantine and where to stream them

Reyzando Nawara
Reyzando Nawara

A film and TV series geek

Jakarta  /  Mon, March 30, 2020  /  02:43 pm
10 comedy series to watch during quarantine and where to stream them

Kristen Bell as Eleanor (left) and Ted Danson as Michael in a scene from 'The Good Place'. (NBC via AP/Justin Lubin)

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we live and is affecting nearly all aspects of our lives. From business to the medical world, almost every industry is in limbo right now. Movie theaters are starting to close for the foreseeable future, leaving us stuck at home.

Luckily, we live in an era where an abundance of entertainment content can be streamed legally. If you find yourself feeling bored and are beginning to run out of ways to distract your mind from the news, you can always binge comedy TV shows on streaming platforms.

Here are 10 great comedy series that can help you get through the pandemic.

1. The Good Place

Available on Netflix and iFlix

When the world feels like a bad place, you can always rely on Michael Schur’s afterlife comedy The Good Place to make it a little better. It’s hilarious, charming and full of crazy twists. But more than that, what makes The Good Place even more remarkable is its examination of ethics and morality. The show inscribes some weighty questions about why we need to always work together and be kind to each other while keeping our morals intact, reminding us that in this world, our actions—good or bad—will always have an impact on other people.

Being a decent human being is hard and frustrating. But if there’s one thing that The Good Place has taught us is that we shouldn’t give up on trying to be better.

2. Mrs. Fletcher

Available on HBO GO

Adapted from Tom Perrotta’s book of the same title, Mrs. Fletcher follows single mom Eve Fletcher as she deals with a major transition after she sends her only son Brendan off to college. Yes, the premise sounds familiar. But aside from telling the story in a funny way, Mrs. Fletcher manages to tap into a more profound territory by exploring sexuality, desire and toxic masculinity. The result is a funny, absorbing and thought-provoking experience that offers an empowering journey about the complexity of being a mother and a woman, all performed wonderfully by Kathryn Hahn in the most vulnerable character of her career.

3. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Available on Amazon Prime

Lavish costumes, aesthetically pleasing visual and mesmerizing production design are just a few parts of why The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is so widely beloved and becoming an awards magnet since its first season.

Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show centers around the titular heroine as she reinvents her life as a standup comic after finding out that her husband has been cheating on her. Her journey, however, is not easy. There is blatant gender inequality while she is constantly underestimated because she’s a Jewish woman. But Sherman-Palladino crafted this character as someone who is bubbly and full of positivity, one who faces her challenges with a smile. That’s what eventually makes the show so engaging, reminding us that we can always find happiness even in the most precarious time. Perhaps this show is what we need the most right now.

4. Lovesick

Available on Netflix

Everyone loves a good romantic comedy, especially one that is sweet and can remind us about our own romantic lives. That is what Lovesick offers, a low-stake romantic comedy series that ticks all the boxes of why we love the genre in the first place. It’s cheesy, yes, yet it never feels cheap either as the show isn’t just about love but also about growth and missed opportunities.

The first episode introduces us to Dylan as he visits a doctor who later on tells him that he has chlamydia. From that moment, Dylan attempts to reconnect with all her former lovers so they can get tested too. It may sound silly but the show makes a great point to utilize the premise as a journey to your past to make ourselves better people in the present. Aside from that, the chemistry between Johnny Flynn and Antonia Thomas is explosive.

5. Fleabag

Available on Amazon Prime

Based on an award-winning play by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag is a caustically funny and profoundly heartbreaking series about a self-destructive young woman who struggles to deal with her own emotions. Instead of trying to solve her problems, the titular heroine instead chooses to keep sabotaging her own life and those around her. It’s during these chaotic moments that Fleabag is at its funniest, with plenty of hilarious and bizarre moments by breaking the fourth wall. But as it progresses, the show reveals itself as a journey of self-progress that is both relevant and heartbreaking.

At first, Fleabag begins as a show about isolation, despair and hopelessness, but it ends as a show that is quite the opposite: a story about hopefulness and people who put themselves back together again after a tragedy. 

6. Enlightened

Available on HBO GO

Before Fleabag came three years ago, Mike White and Laura Dern have given us a realistic portrayal of modern women in this cut-too-short two seasons of HBO dramedy Enlightened.

The show focuses on Amy Jellicoe as she tries to improve herself and deal with her inner demon while navigating a working place which does not allow that to happen. Amy is not exactly someone easy to be around with. Constantly annoying and hysterical, at the same time she’s also an embodiment of a real person with real feelings. As we watch Amy’s story unfolds, we’re not just witnessing the life of a fictional character through our screens, but also a wholesome experience about one’s determination to have a better life.

This relatable portrait of human beings is why even when it was cut way too brief, Enlightened remains very remarkable up to this day.

7. Parks and Recreation

Available on Amazon Prime

Created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, Parks and Recreation is a mockumentary comedy show that was originally designed as a spin-off of the widely beloved The Office. As it progresses, the show successfully finds its own footing. It’s packed with iconic characters (Bert Macklin, April Ludgate, Jean-Ralphio and many more) and bursts with warmth as well as positivity. What makes the show even more fascinating is how in an era where TV creators were competing to show cynicism, Parks and Recs remained very hopeful and optimistic, reminding us that probably what we constantly need are friendship, positivity, breakfast and a pony horse named Lil’ Sebastian.

8. I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson

Available on Netflix

When we talk about a sketch comedy show, the first thing that comes to mind would be NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL). In the talented hands of Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin, the traditional format of a mainstream sketch comedy is subverted to a whole different experience. There are no plots in I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, what we’re got is a series of absurd journeys from start to finish.

Every episode contains four to six different stories with no correlations to one another. We don’t need to worry about the characters’ fate or if the story isn’t moving forward, but that’s the magic of this show. If you want to embark on a surreal and maniacal adventure like never before, I suggest you to binge this show in one sitting.

9. Barry

Available on HBO GO

Barry is a hilarious yet emotionally gut-punching dark comedy about a hitman trying to live a better life by becoming an actor. It’s rich with absurd and hilarious moments, mostly involving a group of self-centered actor students. But at its deepest core, the show deals with the same question that The Good Place inscribes, whether someone who has done irredeemable mistakes can be better or not, though this one feels a little hopeless than Schur’s afterlife comedy.

The show also explores the cost of telling lies without appearing too serious. One of the greatest strengths of the show is how it successfully tackles serious topics in ways that are digestible and funny. The show warrants a watch for the stellar performances from the cast alone, especially Bill Hader and Sarah Goldberg.

10. GLOW

Available on Netflix

GLOW is a Netflix original comedy about a group of misfit female wrestlers trying to navigate their lives inside and out of the ring. Just like the shows in this list, GLOW brilliantly tackles its difficult subjects with laughter. It remains one of the most underrated Netflix shows. For three seasons, never once does the show lack in quality. It just keeps getting better, both narratively and emotionally. It explores more serious subjects in its third season, such as homophobia and self-worth. Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin’s performances as the two lead characters are incredibly magnetic. (wng)


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.