Sunday, December 17, 2017

Best TV Comedies of 2017

By Kenny Howell

Unfortunately, 2017 wasn't the best year for TV comedy. There were plenty of laughs to be had and good shows, but the genre has been so good as of late, 2017 was a slight step back. Below are my top 15 comedies of the year.

15. Review (Comedy Central) - Andy Daly never really has broke out as the star he deserves to be, but he should have with this short, three season show on Comedy Central.

14. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox) - Michael Schur has owned network comedy the past few years, and this has been one of his more consistent products. Police stuff is always silly, but this might have the best ensemble on TV.

13. Love (Netflix) - This one doesn't get enough attention, but it is a nice little gem of a show. It is the story of a relationship, and all that comes along with it, the ups and downs. Gillian Jacobs doing some of her best work.

12. GLOW (Netflix) - Another little breakout, this fictionalized version of the old women's wrestling show from the 1980s was one of the good surprises of the season. Especially the performance of Betty Gilpin who deserves all the nominations that Alison Brie has been getting.

11. Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) - Larry returned after a several year hiatus and didn't miss a beat. Long live the fatwa boys.

10. The Mick (Fox) - Comedy is very subjective, and this one comes down to it is what I like. I can totally understand people who don't like this (there are many), but the cast to me is so much fun week in and week out.

9. Lady Dynamite (Netflix) - The season was shortened, and the material got stronger. Maria Bamford's crazy world once again is mined with great results.

8. Veep (HBO) - At some point, the quality had to dip a bit, and that was definitely true of Veep this season. But it was still the eighth best I saw all year if that tells you something. It is wrapping up at the right time.

7. Insecure (HBO) - Issa Rae has such a strong control of her characters and nobody is short shrifted in this excellent second season.

6. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon) - Maybe the breakout of this year as far as series and star Rachel Brosnahan, this gem of a female comedian in the 1950s from Amy Sherman-Palladino has so much potential going forward.

5. Catastrophe (Amazon) - There is never enough at just six half hour episodes, but Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan pack so much impact into their short run about a married couple living in England.

4. Baskets (FX) - If there was a way to give Louie Anderson all the awards, I would give them to him. Baskets got really, really good this year, and it was because of Anderson giving so much to the already strong Zach Galifianakis and Martha Kelly. It was really touching, and they keep finding ways to make depression funny.

3. The Good Place (NBC) - After the big twist to the end of the first season, this series exploded and may be the most clever show on TV. The constantly changing world and dynamics leave the possibility for laughs endless.

2. Silicon Valley (HBO) - This series continues to get stronger, as season four was its best yet. Smart as always, but things are changing on the show that could give it legs for several more years. Zach Woods finally got the showcase he deserves as well.

1. Master of None (Netflix) - The first season of Master of None was smart, as is season two. But season two become something different - enchanting. The biggest reason for that is Alessandro Mastronardi who played Francesca, the love interest for Dev. The season starts in Italy, and brings that magic back home, even with the high concept one off episodes like Thanksgiving and First Date, this show cast a spell all season.

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