Sitcoms are an escape from the harsh realities of life, they help transport us, albeit momentarily, to a world filled with more merriment. Shows such as Friends, Sex Education, How I Met Your Mother and Fleabag are well known, you’ve probably watched (and rewatched) them already, so here are five more underrated comedy series streaming on Netflix:
1. Derry Girls
Set against the tumultuous backdrop of Northern Ireland in early 1990s, Derry Girls follows group of teenage girls battling hormones, their newfound sexuality, infatuations and some zany parents. Each season is made up of six 20-minute-long episodes, which (in addition to a terrific cast and hilarious scripts), also touch upon topics such as masculinity and the freedom of expression.
Ricky Gervais has a distinctive (and sometimes controversial) sense of humour. He finds comedy in every aspect of life, from the craziness of humanity (in his Netflix stand-up comedy special) to the tragedy of death (in After Life). Derek is similar. It deals with a 40-something socially awkward man who works at a retirement home. Like him, the residents belong to the fringes of society too, and the way he goes about his interactions with them spawn moments of laughter as well as pathos. Remarkably well-written supporting characters make Derek both bittersweet and beautiful.
3. Sick Note
Nick Frost is synonymous with some of the best British comedies, ranging from Hot Fuzz to Shaun of the Dead. Add the impeccable comic timing of Rupert Grint and you have the terrific laugh riot that is Sick Note. The series follows Daniel, whose life takes a turn for the better when he’s misdiagnosed with cancer. Short and concise, this dark comedy has great laugh-out-loud moments, and also serpentine twists and turns.
4. The Inbetweeners
The uncomfortable age in-between childhood and adulthood is when hormones run rife. This comedy series explores that through the antics of four socially aloof boys who swerve through unhappy endings (pun intended), failed relationships and horrendously awkward situations. The show’s success, which included numerous BAFTA nominations, even spawned two feature films. The first is available on Netflix for after you’ve binged the series.
Who doesn’t love Phoebe-Waller Bridge? But before the marvellous Fleabag, she created Crashing, about a motley crew of friends living in a dilapidated hospital in central London. The show is laced with her trademark humour and its messy characters are made relatable through her astute writing. One small hiccup though – Crashing only has one season.