Binge doing anything is bad for you, right? Wrong. Binge TV is without a shadow of a doubt the best way to watch your shows and being as laughter has been proven to be good for you then binge watching comedy is the healthiest pastime there is, bar none. You can’t argue with the science. Here’s our guide to the 10 best TV comedies on Netflix that you probably haven’t seen…
Described by its creator, Adam Reed, as "James Bond meets Arrested Development" this spy spoof that has remained fresh for five full seasons (with two more seasons greenlit), is gloriously good. An acerbic, post-9/11 fear-fueled, adult comedy, it sees master spook Archer - whose mum is his boss - take on global espionage by racking up the mother of all expenses accounts. Expect sex, LOLs and Krav Maga.
RED VS BLUE
The next step from adult cartoon comedy is adult cartoon comedy based around video games. Pretty meta, huh? We feared the worst when we started watching RvB, but were soon in love with the way its casual conversational comedy juxtaposes with a war of the future. The premise? Two opposing teams of soldiers fighting a civil war in the middle of a desolate box canyon, in a parody of a Halo-esque first-person shooter. Initially intended to be a short series of six to eight episodes it quickly achieved huge popularity and is now, 12 seasons in, the longest running American science fiction series and the second-longest running web series of all time.
In its fourth season and signed for a fifth, this heavily improvised sketch show that’s bagged a raft of Emmy nominations, is based in Portland, Oregon. Its good natured lampooning of hipster culture is, in a way, wonderfully self-referential since it’s adored in hipster circles and the makers possess more than a few hipster qualities of their own . As with all the best sketch comedies it’s made on (seemingly) a shoestring budget with the comedy never being heavy-handed or unkind, but rather knowing and measured. This isn’t gag-a-minute stuff, but it’s not supposed to be.
The premise, and just go with this one, is a world where humans and anthropomorphic animals live side-by-side. It focuses on the life of washed-up fictional 1990s sitcom Horsin' Around star BoJack Horseman as he plans his big return to celebrity relevance with a tell-all biography that he dictates to his ghostwriter. Everyone got that? With a big name cast of voiceovers including Arrested Development’s Will Arnett as the title character and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) as his down and out human buddy Todd, the show could have floundered under its extraordinary setting, but not a bit of it. Droll and bizarre it’s borderline brilliant. You’ll either watch just one episode or watch them all. Most likely the latter.
Do us a favour? Watch this utterly NSFW “Best Of Rafi” clip. Deplorable and watchable in equal measure Rafi is a recurring character in a show that focuses on a group of the least friendly friends you’ll ever witness, all of which are members of a fantasy football league. If the Stiffler-esque character is not your cup of tea then the show probably isn’t, but you’ll be in the minority. Created by Seinfeld writer and Curb Your Enthusiasm director Jeff Schaffer you can expect sharp put downs and back-stabbing a plenty. And if your NFL knowledge is as little as ours, fear not, it will hinder your enjoyment by zero.
When the first season of this Norwegian TV series premiered in 2012, a record audience of 998,000 viewers (one fifth of Norway's population) tuned in. Now, having sold to over 130 countries, this fish-out-of-water show has, quite rightly, had a third season commissioned. Sopranos star Steven Van Zandt plays New York gangster, Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano, who’s trying to start a new life in isolated Lillehammer after an attempt on his life kills his dog Lily - hence the seemingly misspelt name of the show. You can take the man out of the mob, but you can’t take the mob out of the man and pretty soon Frank’s up to his old tricks. Episode one: Frank whacks a wolf.
This one revolves around the lives of two friends, a blue jay named Mordecai and a raccoon named Rigby, both employed as groundskeepers at a local park. Naturally. Nominated for several awards, including four Primetime Emmy Awards - one of which it won - this is not the place for biting political satire, but rather for the sort of adult Spongebob-esque buffoonary that the premise suggests. Keep an eye out for Mitch “Muscle Man” Sorrenstein, an overweight green dude whose ‘mum jokes’ regularly steal the Regular Show show. Try saying that five times fast.
An action-comedy/spy-drama, with the emphasis in this article squarely on the comedy (it is funny, we promise), Chuck centres on an average computer-whiz who receives an encoded e-mail from an old college friend now working for the CIA. The message embeds the only remaining copy of a software program containing the United States' greatest spy secrets into Chuck's brain. What a pickle. What follows is a really wonderful plot with favourably peculiar directions that helped Chuck make it into Time magazine’s top 10 TV series of the year and the year-end top 10 list of the Chicago Tribune. It also bagged an almost boringly long list of awards.
Exec produced by Ben Stiller this is a parody of the throwaway reality dating show The Bachelor and follows fireman Mark Orlando (played brilliantly by Ken Marino) as he searches for the perfect match among 15 contestants. Starting out as a web series the show made the jump to TV channel E! thus, oddly, running up against the very shows it sends up. It scores highly on attention to detail, mimicking its reality targets to a tee and playing up to stereotypes with aplomb. Big name stars Malin Ackerman and Kristen Bell feature (with Stiller popping up) in season one which, to date, has spawned two further seasons.
"Man's operating on less money than Kerry Katona!” cries Ashley when talking about the recession. Ashley’s one of five members of staff at a mobile phone shop in Sutton, London where the wonderful one-liners and the puerile humour, comes thick and fast. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with puerile humour in the right hands. Under watched despite almost universally positive reviews PhoneShop has wracked up three seasons with the enjoyment coming from the get-go. It will probably be less amusing to anyone who, up until recently, was working at Phones 4u.