It’s been a great year for TV, and now it’s time to remember some of the shows that gave us much needed laughter throughout 2023!
2023 has been a year of big accomplishments in Hollywood. New deals have been struck, old shows have come back to our screens, and new ones have proven that we haven’t seen everything television is capable of yet. Today, we honor a sliver of the great work folks have done, as we discuss some of the comedies that dominated the conversation (and award season) this year.
Shrinking (Apple TV+)
An incredibly unexpected show that wormed its way to the hearts of many, Shrinking continues to collect nominations this awards season like candy, and for good reason. Following the journey of an unconventional therapist (Jason Segel) on a mission to “actually solve his patients’ problems”, he finds that he too is ready to start taking on his own trauma. The humor is dry and blunt, never pulling any punches, with a cast that is more than prepared to match its energy. It comes prepared to challenge you and devastate you in equal hands.
Jury Duty (Freevee)
Another surprise hit this year, Jury Duty took folks by surprise with its unique premise and captivating characters, unafraid of fully embracing the absurdity of its fake jury trial world. This gem of a show, even from a lesser-known platform such as Freevee, has firmly cemented itself in a fond place for its viewers. We can only hope that its boldness will be rewarded with more shows that push the boundaries of the sitcom format in the future (and maybe an Emmy would be nice).
Poker Face (Peacock)
Rian Johnson and a good detective story go together like, well, Sherlock and Watson. As soon as the trailer dropped for this Natasha Lyonne led mystery-comedy, there was no doubt in my mind that this wasn’t guaranteed to soar and fortunately, I was right. Collecting nominations left and right, this brainchild of a show has been richly rewarded for its wit and, frankly, lack of fear to be goofy. Where else would you find John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats fame playing the most divorced musician on television?
Abbott Elementary (ABC)
Nobody’s doing the classic sitcom like Abbott Elementary right now. It is a much needed reset on an often stagnating format for cable television, that boldly wears its heart on its sleeve. Abbott Elementary, in a daring move for workplace comedy, is not afraid to make all of its characters truly care about what they’re doing. Its occasional cynicism does not come from a place of aimless irritation at a world they are forced to participate in, but rather of hoping that we could be doing better. This is a brilliant show with equally brilliant actors that I look forward to seeing continue to clean house.
I Think You Should Leave (Netflix)
Tim Robinson’s I Think You Should Leave feels like a love letter to absurdist comedy that people have been so sorely missing. The Netflix sketch show has become an internet staple, reminiscent of the days of The Eric Andre Show and Tim & Eric on Adult Swim; unafraid to be weird and uncomfortable on a mainstream platform. I Think You Should Leave is helping forge the path of sketch comedy in the 2020s and its impact will be felt for future projects.
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
This year, we said goodbye to what is perhaps one of the most beloved shows of the past 3 years. Ted Lasso was a show that became the star of any conversation, it was a compassionate balm that very much was the exact inspirational sports show it promised and yet, so much more. The entire cast was clearly passionate about their characters and made sure you knew it. It was an appropriate end for a show that’s made its thesis pushing yourself to your full potential.
Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
Speaking of mysteries, Only Murders in the Building is perhaps one of the most unique comedies out there, bringing a quaint and quirky energy to what is, ostensibly, an American murder mystery. The show also has a completely stacked cast of Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez, Meryl Streep– I probably don’t need to keep going. With another season inevitable, Only Murders is here to stay and it is proving to be a formidable opponent in the TV circuit.