We’ve been fortunate in the past decade to be presented with modern TV shows that are engaging, addictive and downright hilarious. Below, in no order (other than No. 1), are my five favorite TV comedies of the past few years.
‘Parks and Recreation’ (NBC)
As I’ve written before, “Parks and Rec” is my favorite show on television. It follows the daily lives of a group of people working in the show’s aforementioned department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Ind. Currently in its sixth season, viewers are treated to the hilarious lives of municipal workers in one of the most dysfunctional cities in the nation. Amy Poehler, who plays city councilwoman and parks employee Leslie Knope, is constantly trying to improve her town’s image and overall quality of life and anchors the show. Naturally, forces in the town are always rubbing up against her ambitious plans and forcing her to improvise. The show’s ensemble cast features greats like Aziz Ansari, Robe Lowe, Rashida Jones and the amazing Nick Offerman, who plays department head Ron Swanson, the greatest TV character I’ve ever seen. It’s an amazing show that shines a hilarious light on the normally monotonous lives of municipal workers.
‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ (FXX)
“It’s Always Sunny” has been one of the most amazingly random, side splitting, and whacked-out shows on TV since it premiered nine years ago. The show revolves around five people who run Paddy’s Irish Pub in Philly and the numerous adventures, causes, and activities that they take up for one odd reason or the other. Each show begins on a random day and time at the bar and ends up showing us the insane behavior that the “Gang,” as they are always referred to, gets into. Each character’s behavior is well documented and remains intact as individuals, but when they get together their presence is one entity. What’s so great about the show is they are literally some of the worst human beings on the planet and the show makes a point of revealing that fact on a weekly basis.
'The League' (FXX)
Not to be a one-off producer of great comedy TV, FXX gave us “The League,” which follows “Sunny” on Wednesday nights. This show chronicles the fantasy football season of a group of 6 college buddies and the antics that accompany their yearly obsession. At the end of each season, the winner of the league gets a gigantic trophy named the Shiva, while the loser gets the Sacko trophy and must endure countless humiliation over the course of the following season. The show was a breakout success and continuously cracks viewers up with endlessly vulgar humor and showing the lengths the friends go to in an effort to win the league championship. It also gets bonus points for having NFL football players and personalities in the episodes.
‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ (Fox)
This is another show I’ve written about before, and I’ve been glad to see it coming into its own in it’s first season. “Nine-Nine” is produced in the same documentary-style format of “Parks and Rec” and “The Office,” and gives viewers a look into a police unit where Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) works in. Peralta is a creative detective with a penchant for incredible nonsense around the office. When a new captain comes into the unit to whip it into shape, the officers are constantly making faux pas in front of the stoic man while they try to impress him. Samberg is hilarious in the show, and the rest of the cast rounds things out impressively.
‘Eastbound & Down’ (HBO)
By far the most crass and vulgar show on this list, “Eastbound & Down” is about the life of Kenny Powers (Danny McBride), a former professional baseball player who falls from grace and the spotlight. It is one of the most creatively written shows that I’ve ever seen, and the dark humor that comes from seeing Kenny get into countless bizarre situations makes it a true classic. Originally planned to only last two seasons, the show has been revived twice and is now in its fourth season. It’s full of bad language and obscene laughs, making it something you’ve got to get used to if you’re not a fan of four-letter words, but it’s definitely a hilarious show.