Top 5 Comedies of 2011
Comedies were a dominating force this year. Not all of them were great (and properly were canceled), but many of them were excellent. A few are new shows and some have been around for a few years and getting better every year. This is just my opinion and only includes the shows I watch and continue to support.
1. Community – I began to watch this show last season from encouragement from my former co-host. From the first episode I watched, I was absolutely hooked and each episode after it just got better and better. I've watched all of season 2 via first and repeat airings on TV and am now engrossed in season 3. This is must see television for me. I just purchased seasons 1 and 2 on DVD and am slowly working my way through season 1 (since I missed it completely). Yes, they do have gimmicks or themes for many episodes, but the heart of the show is the growth of the characters and their bond as a group. The characters come from varied walks of life but it easy to relate to them. It is sad that so few people watch it, which partly explains its indefinite hiatus for the Spring and being passed over for every award. The most daring episode of Season 3 was definitely episode 3 (“Remedial Chaos Theory”) that was confusing and brilliant at the same time. There is plenty of time to get caught up and I highly recommend you do – you won't regret it.
2. Parks and Recreation – If someone had told me that I would one day be hooked on this show when it first began, I probably would have laughed out loud. I did watch the pilot and the first few episodes of the series and I didn't get the appeal of it at all. Fast forward a few years and I am so amazed by it. Last season I started watching the show based on recommendations from a few people and I was skeptical. I knew Adam Scott had joined the show, which was a huge draw for me because I loved him on Party Down (a brilliant but canceled show). I gave it a shot and watched an episode called “Time Capsule” and I was intrigued. Unlike starting a new show, I was willing to give it several episodes before I gave up. It took me almost the entire season, but by last year's finale I finally got what all the fuss was about. The characters are lovable and kooky. Chris Pratt was another reason to keep watching because I loved him on Everwood and because his character was so well developed and I cared about his relationship with April and his interactions with the others. Last season also saw the beginning of the relationship of Ben and Leslie and throughout the season they had very sweet moments together until they finally decided to be together. Earlier this season, they decided to break up for the sake of her campaign but quickly figured out that that was not working. This led to a beautiful reconnection in “Smallest Park” and their declaration of love to each other in “The Trial of Leslie Knope.” Ben quits his job, but says that it was worth it because he loves her. It makes my shipper heart so happy! 🙂 Another amazing character is Ron Swanson. He's difficult to describe but easy to adore.
3. Raising Hope – When I first heard about this show when it premiered in 2010, I didn't think too much about it. In fact, I didn't even start watching until I heard more and more positive comments about it. In January of 2011, they posted all of the episodes from the first half of season 1 online and I decided to check it out. From the first episode on, I found these kooky characters to be charming and worth watching more. I quickly watched all the posted episodes to get caught up before they returned in January. It is very funny and just offbeat enough to be worth watching. It might be the “dumb person comedy” as a friend posted, but it's worth watching.
4. Cougar Town – I began watching this show when it premiered a few years ago basically because I'm a fan of Courtney Cox (and a dedicated Friends fan also). What started out as a comedy about a 40-something year old reentering the dating world quickly morphed into a show about the “cul-de-sac crew.” Now the most interesting part of the show is the neighborhood she lives in and the dynamics of their friendship. They drink a lot of wine and have a great time together. Jules began a relationship with her neighbor Grayson (that is now very successful) and also sent her son off to college. It is a funny and charming series with an unfortunate title (that the crew even makes fun of on the title card). Unfortunately, it is not yet on the Spring schedule (another massive error), but I look forward to the day when we will see new episodes. The break leaves people lots of time to get caught up on this funny and charming show.
5. Modern Family – The Dunphy clan continues to rule the ABC Wednesday comedy block. The characters are funny (especially the kids), the storylines interweave and are very heartfelt. There is a reason this show has won every comedy award possible.
Those are my picks for the top comedies of 2011. Feel free to agree or disagree – I welcome your comments.