Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Spinster Watches TV--Comedy Edition

I watch TV a lot--not an actual TV, but Hulu and Netflix, etc.  The internet might be the best thing to happen to television ever: so many shows, so many episodes, so few commercials.  It's a lovely thing.  And a very, very addicting thing.

So today I made a list of all of the best TV shows ever.  They are in no particular order.

1. Roseanne
Roseanne is available on Netflix streaming.

The cast of Roseanne in all its early nineties glory.

Roseanne was groundbreaking.  Whereas so many shows were aspirational, Roseanne showed a working-class family being working class.  And it was hilarious and relatable and fantastic.  Roseanne is probably not the greatest actor, but she is funny, and the supporting cast completely makes up for her lack of chops.  Also, we get to see nineties Sara Gilbert, and she is sooooo pretty.

2. The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls is available on DVD through Netflix.  
You can also find many episodes on YouTube. 

These ladies are stylin'.
  You know how everyone loves Betty White?  There's a reason--she's awesome, and she was once a Golden Girl (she's the only surviving member of the cast).  This show is definitely one of the best things ever.  It is ideal for marathoning when you're sick, and it is almost always on one of the cable channels.  It's very, very funny, but still manages to handle serious topics like AIDS with aplomb.  I don't think this show could or would be made today.  The women on this show were presented as sexual beings, and it wasn't played for laughs (Can you imagine?  Someone over forty wanting to have sex!).  I love this show because it's so refreshingly honest and frank, and it never fails to be funny.  I do warn you, though, when you watch this show you might get a craving for cheesecake with your girls and want to say lanai a lot.  Also, Bea Arthur was quite possibly the greatest woman in the history of ever.

3. The Red Green Show
The Red Green Show is available on DVD through Netflix
Basic lesson: duct tape holds the universe together.
 I watched The Red Green Show all the time back in the day.  It was on the PBS station on Saturday nights.  I recorded all the episodes on video.  In some landfill somewhere are many, many videos filled to the brim with The Red Green Show.  It's goofy and weird and full of what most would call "guy humor," but I loved it with all my heart.  Maybe the rural Idahoan in me related to the rural Canadian in Red Green.  Either way, this show is a hoot, and you learn important lessons about duct tape clear throughout.  The Red Green Show also has consistently reassured me that if the women don't find me handsome, they should at least find me handy.

4. Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation is available through Netflix streaming.
The radiant Leslie Knope.
 Parks and Rec is probably one of the best shows on television now.  Leslie Knope is sincere and earnest and so genuinely likeable a character that it's hard not to love her.  All of the relationships in this show are so sweet.  Plus, Parks and Rec introduced us to Ron Swanson, his moustache, and all of the Tammys.  It deserves a mention just for that.

5. Community
Community is available on DVD through Netflix.
Making non-traditional college students feel better about themselves every week.
 For some reason, I didn't get the message about the awesomeness of Community until quite recently.  As soon as I watched it, I was hooked.  It is just so funny.  All of the characters are amazing, and Troy and Abed's friendship is probably one of the best guy friendships ever on television.  Every week they make my nerdy heart rejoice.

6. Arrested Development
Arrested Development is available on Netflix streaming.
They will make you feel good about your family.
 If you haven't yet become hopelessly addicted to Arrested Development, I'm a bit jealous of you.  You get to watch it for the first time.  This show is completely goofy and funny, featuring a family that is more dysfunctional than my own.  The cast is stellar.

7. A Bit of Fry and Laurie
A Bit of Fry and Laurie is available through Netflix streaming. 
Bits of Stephen Fry and bits of Hugh Laurie.
 Anyone who is a fan of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie has to watch this show.  Anyone who is a fan of happiness has to watch this show.  It is one of the greatest things in the world.  The world may lack many things; we may have poverty, war, and pain, but as long as Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie are around, this world will be a good place.

8. Raising Hope
Raising Hope is available on Netflix Streaming
Family values
 My friend Jessica introduced me to this show two days ago.  I haven't finished it yet, but I laughed more when I was watching it than I have laughed in a long, long time.  It is intelligent and surprising.  I can't wait to watch the rest.

9. Cougar Town
Cougar Town is available on DVD through Netflix 

We will soon all be drinking wine for breakfast.
I was prepared to hate this show.  First, it has a very stupid name, and second, I'm not really a fan of Courtney Cox.  She nails it here, though.  This role is perfect for her.  Before you disqualify it based on the title, rest assured that they only tried to have a "cougar" theme for a couple of episodes.  After those first few, it just gets hilarious and goofy and weird.  Soon enough you will be wanting your own official Penny Can and a group of crazy friends to play it with.

10.  Flight of the Conchords
Flight of the Conchords is available on DVD though Netflix.

I'm a kiwi in New York
 This show is amazing and hilarious, and for some reason I can't get any of my friends into it.  So I need internet peeps to enjoy it and allow me to go on and on and on about how much I love it.  If you are a fan of weirdness, music, New Zealand, and joy, you will love this show.  And if you don't love this show, I'm not sure if you really have a soul at all.

11.  The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory is available on DVD through Netflix. 

Nerds being nerds makes me smile.
 If you have any nerdish inclinations at all, you are probably already a fan of The Big Bang Theory.  If you would like to have nerdish inclinations, you should start watching it now.  In the past it was a bit of a sausage fest, with Penny as the only girl and only non-genius in the group, but now they've added a few more female characters, and it gets more and more awesome each episode.  Sheldon's girl friend (of a sort), Amy Farrah Fowler (played by Mayim Bialik--that's right, Blossom), is a wonderful character, and she's guaranteed to make you laugh.  Oh, and Leonard is played by Johnny Galecki, of Roseanne fame.  There are even a few guest appearances by Sara Gilbert.  Oh, and there is enough Wil Wheaton to keep many nerds satisfied.

12.  Are You Being Served
Are You Being Served is available on DVD through Netflix. 

The underwear really says it all.
 This is another show I used to watch on PBS all of the time.  For some reason, while I was growing up, my parents thought PBS was wholesome.  I am all the better for their delusions.  This is a classic British comedy and is guaranteed to bring many, many laughs.  Totally worth it for Mrs. Slocombe's changing hair color and constant chatter about her pussy.


13.  Keeping Up Appearances
Keeping Up Appearances is available through Netflix streaming. 
There's one in every family.
 Another show I used to watch on PBS.  I used to tease my mom that the character of Hyacinth Bucket was based on her (she's a bit of a domestic diva).  This show is funny and light--just a relaxing and comforting  thing to watch.


 And those are my go-to comedies.  What do you think of them?  What are your favorite comedy series?  Anything you think I absolutely must watch?