Things can feel pretty bleak, even without the looming threat of a pandemic. But with hundreds of thousands globally confirmed novel coronavirus cases, now’s an especially sobering time. That said, we all still deserve a laugh (and a good cry) if we want it. Cue the best comedies on Netflix.
Whether you’re self-isolating for the greater good (even being a couch potato these days makes you something of a hero), or one of our health workers on the frontlines of fighting this virus (you know, the real heroes), you could certainly use a reason to smile these days.
Now for some of us, that smile might conjure up feelings of guilt, or even existential dread: Why should we get a kick out of dumb television, when there’s so much going on in the world? Well, the adage goes that laughter’s the best medicine, and the world could also use plenty of that now, too.
Read on for some of the best comedy series to watch on Netflix.
New Girl (2011-2018)
An oldie, but a goodie. New Girl, much like the beloved How I Met Your Mother, is something like our modern-day edition of Friends: think, way more roommates but just as much forbidden love. If you haven’t had a chance to crack into this NBC original, now’s a good a time as ever—the 20-minute episodes are perfect for your WFH break or a pre-bedtime giggle.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015-2019)
It’s quite fitting to include Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt when it feels like we’re facing a new version of the apocalypse. And that’s because our protagonist—you guessed it, Kimmy—starts her story in a bunker among a cult braced for the end of the world. It almost makes no sense that a series that kicks off this way ends up being so alarmingly funny and bright. That’s in part thanks to Kimmy’s big break, which finds her reaching freedom in New York City living alongside Titus, the ultimate gay diva. Actress Ellie Kemper, formerly of The Office, really just sweetens the deal.
Sex Education (2019-2020)
Otis is different from the other teenagers, and it’s for a (seemingly) big reason: He hasn’t had sex yet. Little does he know that he’s not alone—and even while the other high schoolers are getting down, they’re, uh, struggling down there. This British comedy sees Otis eventually turning into a pseudo-sex therapist to council all the confused teens at his school, taking a page out of his own mother’s notebook. You know, because she’s a sex therapist herself. Yep. Otis—the one who hasn’t had sex yet—has a mother whose entire livelihood revolves around the taboo subject. You can already imagine how hilariously awkward things get.
BoJack Horseman (2014-2020)
Remember when we said it’s OK to feel a little guilty for having a laugh? This one’s the proof. BoJack Horseman is the perfect television series for our bleak times—and as you can see, things have clearly been bleak since 2014, when the sad horse’s show kicked off. But the final season is now finally available on Netflix, wrapping up Bojack’s dry humor and cynicism throughout a life of real fumbles and woes. For the dark-humored among us, indeed.
The End Of The F***ing World (2017-2019)
We couldn’t not include this one, especially with a title like that. Except it’s a little less on the nose when it comes to signaling this show’s premise: James is a 17-year-old Brit who is convinced he’s a psychopath, and he decides it’s time to prove it. His target? Another 17-year-old girl in his class, Alyssa. But things take a different direction when he actually gets to know her. The End of the F***ing World wrapped after only two seasons, but it’s a wild ride from start to finish thanks to James and Alyssa’s wry brand of comedy.