Prior to “Silicon Valley,” Mike Judge (“King of the Hill” and “Beavis & Butt-Head”) had never done a live action TV comedy despite his success with Office Space and a handful of other films.
“Silicon Valley” is the fusion of Judge’s comedic styles that follows a group of programming entrepreneurs who are practically killing themselves to get a software project finished in time to beat an unrealistic deadline and make themselves rich in the process.
The show also has a great ensemble cast led by Thomas Middleditch, T. J. Miller, Zach Woods, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, Amanda Crew and the late Christopher Evan Welch; who will be greatly missed when the series returns to HBO next year.
Series creator Adam Reed took a chance when he turned FX’s animated spy comedy “Archer” into “Archer Vice,” a season long storyline that featured Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) and his former ISIS teammates as an inept drug cartel. But it wasn’t always as funny as the previous four seasons.
Still, you have to admire the show’s commitment to the gimmick, which included the release of Cherlene, a country music parody album supposedly sung by Cheryl’s newest alter-ego/split personality. Plus, “Archer” remained one of the most quotable comedies on TV, “just like the old gypsy woman said!”
2014 was the year that Comedy Central was on fire. And one of the best shows on the network was “Inside Amy Schumer,” the comedy sketch show featuring comedian Amy Schumer.
The second season was exceptionally funny with instant classic skits including Amy’s disturbing experience with a Call of Duty-like video game, a Bachelorette party gone wrong and “The Foodroom.”
“Parks and Recreation” was last year’s top rated comedy series here at Crave Online. The sixth season didn’t reach the same heights as the fifth season, and the show suffered from the absence of Chris Pratt for several episodes and the departures of Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones.
However, the season gave Leslie (Amy Poehler) a lot of great plotlines, including the recall election, the departure of her best friend, Ann, and Leslie’s desire to start a family with her husband, Ben (Adam Scott).
NBC is going to burn off the shortened seventh season in just over a month, which isn’t the ending that “Parks and Recreation” deserves. The remaining cast members are still among the best on TV and this is the very last, “Must-See TV” comedy on NBC.
Score another one for Amy Poehler!
Poehler was one of the executive producers behind Comedy Central’s “Broad City,” a new series starring Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson as two young women attempting to navigate life in New York City.
Because it’s on basic cable, “Broad City” gets away with a lot more than any broadcast network comedy could. But it’s greatest strength is its two stars, who are also the creators of “Broad City” and one of the funniest duos on television.
Comedy Central strikes again with “Review,” another new comedy series that was great out of the gate.
Andy Daly stars as Forrest MacNeil, a man who is so obsessed with his review show that he destroys his life, his marriage and his health in the service of his viewers’ whims. It’s been said that “comedy is tragedy plus time.” However, “Review” cuts out the passage of time by showing us the darkly comic consequences of Forrest’s actions as they happen.
After taking a year off to focus on his other comedy projects, Louis C.K. came back to FX for another season of “Louie.” And he didn’t miss a step along the way.
I’ve called “Louie” a comedy “with soul” before, but I think it might be more accurately called “a comedy with pain.” Sometimes it can be kind of excruciating to watch Louie struggle with his kids and his failed romances. Louie’s life doesn’t fit into those comfortable TV tropes that somehow made Charlie Sheen’s schlubby characters on other TV shows into babe magnets. By comparison, Louie is kind of a loser.
But he’s our loser, damn it! “Louie” brings the pain, but it brings the laughs too.
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are comedy superstars. And they’re only going to get bigger.
“Key and Peele” has been around on Comedy Central for a few seasons, but the fourth season was amazingly funny as the duo went even darker than before with “Little Homie,” an Urkel parody, the masturbating detective, and an alien invasion skit that needs to be expanded into its own movie. RIGHT. NOW.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is one of the more conventional comedies on this list. But the only thing that could kick it off of this list is if it stops being one of the funniest shows on television. With this cast, I don’t see that happening.
Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, Stephanie Beatriz, Joe Lo Truglio, Melissa Fumero, and the rest of the performers are incredibly in synch with each other and consistently hilarious. Then there’s Andre Braugher as the greatest straight man on TV. Braugher has been a standout drama actor for so many years that it’s a revelation to see how funny he can be.
My only complaint is that show isn’t a bigger hit!
Welcome home, "Community." We missed you.
I’m sure that David Guarascio and Moses Port really tried to make “Community” Season 4 work... but it fell far short of the show that it was under series creator Dan Harmon. Amazingly, Sony and NBC reversed their decision to fire Harmon and hired him back for the fifth season.
Even with the loss of Chevy Chase and Donald Glover, “Community” had a much needed creative rebound that blew off the fourth season as “the gas leak year” and added Jonathan Banks to the cast while expanding John Oliver’s role before he went off to become a big time HBO host.
“Community” has almost always had the unique ability to jump genres as needed. This season alone, the series revisited Dungeons and Dragons, spoofed Logan’s Run, and ran an animated G.I. Joe episode with actual G.I. Joe characters.
But the reason that “Community” has been embraced by its small but loyal group of fans is the heart it displays. Harmon and his writers have managed to make us care about these misfits as people. The closing minutes of Glover’s farewell episode resonated with more emotion than most dramas or dramedies could ever hope to match.
And in one final miracle, “Community” survived its cancellation by NBC and it will live again next year on Yahoo Screen. The sixth season is going to happen, now we just need to figure out how to get that “Community” movie...