Throughout the past few years, some of the most talented writers, directors, cinematographers, and actors have made their mark in television. Not only is TV a place to form long lasting story arcs and fully develop characters, it’s become a pop-culture mecca for blooming creativity. This year’s top comedy shows embrace the bizarre, the meta, and the wonders of a great ensemble cast. From some of the strongest female actors and writers, to a cynical stand-up comedian, to a functional found family embedded in a dysfunctional education environment, we get to enjoy the very funniest that television has to offer within Buzzine’s Top 5 Comedy Shows of 2012.
Parks and Recreation, NBC
After a four and a half seasons, Parks and Recreation has now firmly planted itself in the ranks of some of the best TV comedies of all time. Amy Poehler’s ensemble comedy is chock-full of lovable miscreants, and each performer portraying them deserves equal credit for this show’s success. This season featured a flawlessly executed proposal, another Special Agent Burt Macklin story, and guest stars like Lucy Lawless, John McCain and Vice President Joe Biden. Oh, and that’s right, the fifth season isn’t even over yet – that’s just how good this show is. More details in our exclusive Buzzine Interview with Amy Poehler & Adam Scott.
HBO, Tiny Furniture’s Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow teamed up to create Girls, a razor sharp comedy about four privileged girls in New York City. The critiques against Girls – that it centered around a very specific group of whiny, upper class white girls, are valid. But that’s also what makes the show so hilarious to watch. Dunham has struck a chord in a particular niche that is not only smart, but also manages to create moments of poignant beauty. Catch up with Girls’ dry humor now, before the second season starts in January – you won’t be sorry.
Interweaving stand-up routines with vignettes taken from his life, comedian Louis C.K. has made a daring step forward with his third season. One particular episode stands out as a representation of C.K.’s growth as the show’s lead, writer and creator: When Louie ventures out on a date with bookish Parker Posey and discovers that she’s perhaps even crazier than he is, their bizarre and fleeting romance addresses - but doesn't quite answer - Louie’s questions about life itself, all in Louie's signature off-putting style. Though he’s taking a break between seasons, we can’t wait to see what else he comes up with next. More details in our Louie Season 2 TV Review.
New Girl, FOX
Zooey Deschanel has been the reigning queen of quirky in film for several years, but after a season and a half of her FOX show, New Girl, she’s finally broken out of that 'adorkable' cliché. As Jess, the often awkward, always cheerful nerd, Deschanel has grown into her character, while her co-stars have become more delightfully absurd. Whether she’s dealing with metro-fabulous Schmidt (Max Greenfield), enjoying harmless chemistry with turtle face Nick (Jake Johnson), hiding a secret bathtub with Winston (Lamorne Morris), or talking it out with smarter-than-she-seems Cece (Hannah Simone), Jess’ shenanigans keep us rooting for her, no matter how silly things may get.
We almost lost a shining star this year. NBC’s Community has been seemingly been on the verge of cancellation for years, despite being one of the more popular shows on TV. Often compared to cult comedy touchstone Arrested Development, Community is another strong ensemble comedy that thrives off the characters’ chemistry and begrudging affinity. This third season brought us endless pop-culture references, quotable lines, alternate universes, spaceships, blanket fort wars, and fantastically inappropriate parties thrown by Greendale's ever-flamboyant Dean. Community is simply cool – cool, cool, cool. More details in our Community TV Column.
Check out all of Buzzine's Top 5 Comedy Shows of 2012 on our Amazon Listmania Lists!