The 2017-2018 season has produced its fair share of duds but there are some gems as well. Comedy lovers can find fresh, relevant, well-written and well-acted comedy on the tube including comedy for families and for adult audiences, alike.
Some of the best include:
1. Great News
Technically, Great News isn’t a completely new program – it debuted last year but after a successful 13-week launch it was picked up to fill a slot in the 2017 line-up. The series follows an up-and-coming news producer who faces the traditional challenges of the newsroom as she deals with her new intern — her mother. In addition to the mother-daughter dynamic the show features charming characters such as tough news anchor Chuck, oddball meteorologist Beth and news host Portia Some of the episodes deal with timely storylines such as that of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, news reporters on stake-outs, awards shows, roasts and ratings. Reviews have been positive, especially for the third episode and onward. Hollywood Reporter writes that “Briga Heelan, Andrea Martin, John Michael Higgins and Nicole Richie make for a strong ensemble…. Richie showcases tremendous comic timing….. there are some strong episodes, some big laughs and an ensemble that could become really special if the show is given the chance to further tap its potential.
2. The Mayor
The Mayor is brought to the screen by ABC. The mayor is a rapper, Courtney, who runs for mayor of a small Californian town as a publicity stunt and wins. The series focuses on small town politics and how a young, 20something non-pol tackles the job as the town’s leading citizen – a job that he never really wanted. The show is appealing, not the least because new Courtney really cares about his community and its citizens. The show enchants viewers because it shows how the cynicism of the political world can make way for idealism and optimism. Early episodes focus on the new mayor’s learning experiences, sworn enemies, integrity, social inequity, structural racism and the challenges of governing a small town. Love interests are, of course, thrown in along with the winning personality of Courtney’s supportive mother. The Atlantic summarizes its approval of this comedy by writing that ” it’s one of the more promising debuts of the fall TV season. But it’s also an expression of faith in a system, and a political future, that badly needs the hope.”
Update: The Mayor was announced to have been canceled by ABC today
3. One Day At A Time
This remake of the popular ’70s show follows the storyline of a single mother who is raising her two adolescent children. This time the family is Cuban American, the mother is a newly divorced military mom and the family is joined by the old school grandmother who “helps” to raise the kids while giving her daughter plenty of unwanted advice. The series has all of the charm of the first series along with honest explorations of hot-button issues such as wage inequality, post-traumatic stress disorder and teenage sexuality. There are also conversations about Cuban traditions and heritage and how families cope with generational differences. Reviews have been positive. The New York Magazine wrote ” This is the sort of series that makes difficult things seem easy, so easy that you often don’t realize how artful it is until you think back on it.” Megan Gerber of the Atlantic wrote ” The show that is, both as entertainment and as cultural commentary, exceptionally good. The revived One Day at a Time is fantastic in part because of all the things that will typically make a sitcom fantastic: sharp, witty writing; charming, multi-faceted characters; plot lines that, in their seamless synthesis of the wacky and the serious, suggest life in all its messy complexity.”
Smilf (photoed above) features Bridgette Bird, a smart, scrappy, young single mom trying to navigate life with an extremely unconventional family in South Boston. She makes impulsive and at times immature decisions while struggling to make ends meet. SMILF was based on a short film with the same name. The warm-hearted semi-autobiographical half-hour comedy examines themes such as female sexuality, co-parenting and living on the edge as it brings an original and fresh female voice to the screen. Critics applaud the way that the show mixes comedy with the type of real life situations that confront the working poor. It’s not a show for SA online casino players — rather it’s target audience includes those who can truely emphathize with Bridgette’s plight. Bridgette must struggle to pay rent, engage in relationships and get her child to the doctor when necessary, all the while trying to actualize her dream for a better life. Critics commend the performances as deeply authentic portrayals in which the audience is encouraged to see what life is like for people who struggle from one day to the next. The New York Times wrote, in its review of SMILF ” Like some past Showtime comedies (“Happyish,” “Nurse Jackie”), SMILF has an unsteady tone, swerving from emotional realism to quirkiness to slapstick raunch to abrupt fantasy sequences, in roughly descending order of what works best. There’s a riffing, open-mic quality to the first three episodes, as if the show were still trying on personalities.”
5. At Home With Amy Sedaris
At Home with Amy Sedaris features Amy Sedaris, a successful actress, comedian and writer. Sedaris plays various roles in skits that focus on her real-world love of cooking, entertaining and crafts. Sedaris brings her experience as a member of Chicago’s Second City troupe to the TV screen as her characters meander through that satires real-life homemakers (think Martha Stewart). There are reoccurring characters as well including a Lady Who Lives in the Woods and Tony the Knife Guy. Some of the first episodes are titled Gift-Giving, Cooking for One, Murdericide and Entertaining for Peanuts. The show debuted in October 2017 and the reviews have been generally complimentary. Vox.com has written that ” As an overall package, At Home With Amy Sedaris is a gleeful hodgepodge of silly jokes, talk show satire, and bubbly innuendo delivered with the gusto of a host who refuses to have anything less than an amazing time. It’s fun, it’s wacky, it’s everything Sedaris does best in one Technicolor package.” The New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik reviewed it by saying that the show is “A disturbing and delicious beast, a sendup of TV home shows that draws on Ms. Sedaris’s sunshiny comic versatility to explore the dark oddities in the back of the spice cabinet.
In total the 2017-2018 TV season has a good range of shows on offer so anyone can find a comedy show that fits their tastes and interests.