The Amazon Prime gem, imported from the U.K., was the funniest show you probably didn’t see – and that’s a damn shame. For those who craved a witty, semi-sweet/semi-raunchy rom-com, watching Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan’s refreshingly real duo go from having a one-week stand to navigating a surprise pregnancy was akin to falling in love at first sight. The unexpected baby twist might’ve seem like a so-called catastrophe at first, but the ensuing ups and downs turned out to be more of a beautiful mess — in the best way possible.
9. THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
Fox’s apocalyptic satire doesn’t get nearly enough props for the wholly unique world it has created and now sustained over 23 consistently biting, impressively inventive and crazily unpredictable episodes. And, during that time, the series — which essentially began as a one-man show built around Will Forte’s aggressively selfish and horny survivalist — has evolved into an unorthdox family comedy that is home to one of TV’s sweetest love stories in Forte’s Will and Kristen Schaal’s Carol.
8. CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND
Rebecca Bunch is the hottest of messes, a flighty, self-centered flibbertigibbet of a woman whom we’re not even really sure that we like. So why did we fall in love the CW musical comedy all about her ridiculous mission to rekindle a teenage romance? Because its writing was sharp and wickedly funny, its ensemble was full of top-notch triple-threats, and just when we thought we had it pegged, it threw a completely daffy-yet-dazzling surprise our way (Greg and Heather?! So wrong, yet so right!).
It was Jeffrey Tambor’s spellbinding performance as Maura that initially hooked us on Amazon Prime’s flagship program, but it’s the depth of its ensemble that keeps us captivated in Season 2. Ali’s newfound struggles with gender identity manage to do something drastically different, yet equally as compelling as her Moppa’s journey from Season 1. Additionally, Amy Landecker continues to mesmerize, as Sarah faces the biggest mistake of her life. Saying it’s unlike anything else on television would be an understatement, but what makes it so brilliant is its ability to remain relatable (and funny) while exploring uncharted territory in a small-screen world.
6. PLAYING HOUSE
If we agree to give up our high-paying Chinese job and move home, will USA Network pull the trigger and renew this still-in-limbo gem of a comedy already? Because the idea of a future without Maggie, Emma and the gang — especially given that season-ending Emma-Mark cliffhanger — is totes unkewl. The Lennon Parnham-Jessica St. Clair charmer combined the exact right amounts of heart (baby Charlotte!), snark (Birdbones!) and pop culture obsession (that odd-yet-awesome Kenny Loggins episode!), making it our go-to feel-good comedy. So c’mon USA, give us a reason to celebrate (celebrate), celebrate (celebrate), celebrate us home, would ya?
5. UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
The guffaw-inducing “Peeno Noir” music video by Kimmy’s roomie Titus Andromedon (a revelatory Tituss Burgess) was undoubtedly the Netflix comedy’s breakout moment. But creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock delivered fast and furious puns, hilariously absurd visuals (the lemon water in Jacqueiline’s dog’s bowl!) and razor-sharp pop-culture references on everything from Entourage to Frasier to The Usual Suspects. That they managed to accomplish this while telling the uplifting story of a young woman (a flawless Ellie Kemper) who breaks out of a cult leader’s bunker — “They alive, dammit!” — and gets swept up in the struggle and romance of New York City life was the wholly original frosting on the near-perfect cake.
4. GETTING ON
Hard to believe that after Season 3 ends, HBO is euthanizing Marc V. Olsen and Will Scheffer’s underrated gem about the staff of the Billy Barnes Extended Care Unit of Mount Palms Memorial Hospital. Considering that the show has managed to find both pathos and laughs in everything from a thwarted BJ to a surgical stapler stuck to an old lady’s head — thanks, in large part, to astonishing work from leading ladies Niecy Nash, Alex Borstein and Laurie Metcalf — we’d say that its vital stats are still excellent. Maybe in a few years, it’ll come back like, um, The Comeback?
Here’s the incredible thing about HBO’s political comedy: It wasn’t just as funny in its fourth season as it was in its first, it proved — and you can debate this amongst yourselves (c’mon, we know you will) — even funnier. As Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ manipulative Selina tried on the Oval Office for size, while simultaneously campaigning with Hugh Laurie’s Tom to hold onto that accidentally won piece of real estate, she and her put-upon cronies stretched without ever really growing. And frankly, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Oh, and bonus points for Amy’s “farting out of [your a–hole mouth” meltdown — one of the greatest in TV history.
ABC’s Wednesday-night comedy grew two sizes bolder — and subsequently got three times as funny — in its sophomore season. Creator Kenya Barris and his team tackled all the subjects you dish in private with your friends and family — church attendance, guns in the home, the use of the N-word — as experienced by Dre and Bo Johnson (wonderfully hilarious Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross), upscale suburbanites not quite ready to throw their racial identity into their smoothie maker. As Grandma Ruby might say, we’re thanking “Black Jesus!” for the network giving this gem the time to find its footing.
1. MASTER OF NONE
Parks and Rec vet Aziz Ansari exhibited heretofore unseen ambition in the freshman Netflix series, taking what might’ve been a show about an unremarkable thirty-something and turning it into the thoroughly complex tale of a millennial discovering what it means to be an adult. Whether Dev was learning about multifaceted gender roles, accepted forms of Hollywood bigotry, or the give-and-take in meaningful relationships (be it with girlfriend Rachel or with his immigrant parents), Ansari portrayed the rare protagonist willing to give change a chance, and as writer, brought light to unspoken truths.