If you spend your time scrolling through the seemingly-infinite library of TV shows and movies available to stream online, only to end up re-watching The Office for the 57 millionth time, then stop what you’re doing and listen up. There’s a world of witty movies and shows that you can go for. The comforting familiarity of The Office is not going anywhere, right?
If you’re a fan of comedy, but prefer smart, witty remarks over in-your-face jokes, then the following shows are essential additions to your watchlist. From ones that champion darker themes like death and grief, to a droll and witty workplace sitcom, we’ve got them all. Thank us later.The IT Crowd
This critically-acclaimed British sitcom is considered an underrated gem. Even if you haven’t watched the show, you would be living under an exceptionally large rock to not know the meme, ‘Have you tried turning it off and on again’, that originates from here. It revolves around a company’s IT department and the members of the team, including Maurice (Richard Ayoade), Roy (Chris O’Dowd) and their department head Jen (Katherine Parkinson). Roy and Moss are your standard socially inept ‘geeks’ and Jen, the newest member of the department, is hopeless when it comes to anything related to technology, despite what she stated on her CV. The quintessential dry British humour is very much present in all the ridiculous situations these characters continually find themselves in.
Streaming on NetflixAfter Life
Ricky Gervais’ sense of humour might not be everyone’s cup of tea, which is why recommending his show about dealing with grief following the death of a loved one is tricky. The darkly funny British comedy series is created, written, produced and directed by Gervais, who stars as the lead too. It follows the life of a man whose wife passes away due to breast cancer. Unable to deal with the situation, he contemplates suicide. But shortly after, he decides it would be better to live a long life to punish the world for being unkind to him—by saying and doing whatever he wants to do without caring about anyone else. His ‘evil’ plans are routinely thwarted as the people around him try to make him a better person.
Streaming on NetflixDerry Girls
The Irish sitcom follows the lives of four girls who are growing up in Derrry, Northern Island, in the '90s. You’ll find yourself immersed in the lives of Erin, Orla, Clare and Michelle, as they discover the highs and lows of being a teenager. The show is set against the background of the Troubles, a long period of conflict in Northern Ireland that claimed thousands of lives. This is also a reason why the show made its mark across the world. It is a story of a group of teens wanting ordinary lives during extraordinary times. For its incredible female cast and the hilarious writing, this show is one that you cannot miss.
Streaming on NetflixFleabag
What can be said about this multiple-Emmy winning British show that hasn’t been said in numerous Phoebe Waller-Bridge fan accounts across the internet? In case you’ve somehow managed to escape the Fleabag mania, you’re missing out. The show has been adapted from Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show of the same name. It follows the life of a dry-witted woman who is only known to us as Fleabag. She is irreverent and funny as she navigates life in London, while trying to cope with a recent tragedy. One of the most unique things about the show is how Fleabag constantly breaks the fourth wall to address the audience, letting us feel more involved with her life and dramas.
Streaming on Amazon Prime VideoFlowers
Nothing about Flowers, a British sitcom, would suggest that it is actually funny. It explores themes like depression and suicide, not usually the subject matter of comedies. But that’s exactly what this show, created by Japanese-English writer Will Sharpe, is. The series follows the Flowers family, comprising of Maurice, the depressed father who is a children’s author; Deborah, the mother who is a musician and is always suspicious of what’s going on between her husband and his associate; and their two children, 25-year old twins who are both competing for the attention of their neighbour.
Streaming on NetflixMonty Python’s Flying Circus
The sketch comedy series was created by the British comedy troupe Monty Python, consisting of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam. The show has been a fan favourite not only in the UK, but also across the world, for their use of absurd humour mixed with risqué gags and observational sketches about the peculiarities of British life. The popularity of the series also led to several live tours and three films (that you can stream on Netflix too). Over the years, Monty Python’s Flying Circus has become a part of modern pop culture.
Streaming on NetflixSick Note
Fans of Harry Potter might have a difficult time seeing Ron Weasley as a muggle in this black comedy series, also starring Nick Frost. Here, he plays the role of Daniel, a compulsive liar who has nothing going on for him in this life. His relationship is failing and he is stuck in a dead-end job, and on top of that, gets diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. But ever since he gets his tragic diagnosis, he starts noticing how people treat him better and things start looking up for him—at least until he discovers that his oncologist had made a mistake and he is not, in fact, terminally ill. Now he must figure out if he wants to come clean and lose all the special treatment he’s been getting, or pretend to have a life-threatening disease and enjoy.
Streaming on NetflixMan Like Mobeen
British comedian Guz Khan, whose stand-ups are almost as popular as his YouTube sketches, created and starred in this comedy-drama, set in a small area in Birmingham. It follows the life of the titular Mobeen (Khan), who has to raise his younger sister by himself, while trying to escape his criminal past. The show has been lauded for addressing issues like Islamophobia in Britain, drugs, and problems with the law enforcement, with its trademark dark humour.
Streaming on NetflixAlso read:
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