The Good, The Bad, and The Offensive

From sitcoms to cartoons to mockumentaries, there is something for everyone in today’s world of comedy.

I remember sitting in my family’s den at the ripe age of 8 watching the Adventure Time screen credits roll. As soon as my ears flooded with mediocre drum taps and the words, “I’m goin down to South Park, gonna have myself a time,” I knew it was time to shut the television off to avoid my mother scolding me to “turn off that junk.” However, once I reached that age where parental controls and sleep timers no longer censored the Adult Swim channel, it was like Heaven’s Gates opening to my 11-year-old self. This was the equivalent to a 17-year-old getting their license; a taste of freedom for elementary schoolers everywhere. 2013 was the year I developed a sensible taste in television and learned what comedy truly means. 

I hit that glorious age of 11 smack in the middle of the 2010s, conveniently also when television producers gained a sense of humor. I’ve spent my fair share of time watching television series ranging from all different levels of comedy. From the kind of shows your grandma would call peak comedy, such as Seinfeld, all the way to the most vulgar, and by far my favorite, South Park. Below is a condensed list of comedies I have watched and reviewed, ranked least funny to most. I am sorry if I offend anyone who has poor taste. 

10. Frasier

Sure, one could say Frasier is technically a “comedy,” but I prefer shows I can genuinely laugh at rather than those with automated background laughter. In an article titled, “28 Times ‘Frasier’ Was the Funniest T.V. Show Ever Made,” Buzzfeed highlighted some truly hilarious moments of the classic series. Take number 10 on the list, for example. Niles seems to be holding a sack of flour in a Baby Bjorn, and shares that he “had a dream [his] flour sack was abducted and the kidnappers started sending [him] muffins in the mail” (Buzzfeed). Good one, Niles. Can’t beat that punchline. Clearly, I’m not the biggest fan of this beloved sitcom, but everyone is entitled to their own, sometimes mediocre, opinion.

9. Friends

The one with the most repetitive plot. Apparently using the same title for ten seasons never gets old, so using it in this review can’t hurt. I just do not see the appeal in watching six adults act like high schoolers. The entire premise of the show is a group of six people with random jobs basically living together. According to Ktar News, this show somehow earns about $1 million dollars per episode. If that’s all it takes, I’ll go stand in a random apartment building in New York City with a camera. 

Side note: This is by far the worst television series, even topping Frasier, but the theme song is catchy so I’ll cut it some slack.

8. George Lopez

18 years of this series. I have only been alive for 17 of those and I am still sick of this show. Every episode is the same plot about the same family, give or take a few characters. It was funny the first million years it was on but it should have stopped airing when it ended in 2006. Somehow, the reruns still play on Nick at Nite to this day. There actually is a Facebook page titled, “I Hate George Lopez” with the word FAIL photoshopped across his forehead so it looks like I’m not alone on this one.

7. Full House

This show basically has the same plot as George Lopez but with different characters. I have vivid memories from elementary school sleepovers, begging my friends to shut the television off whenever the corny intro began. Full House is another one of those shows where without the automated laughter, the tasteless punchlines would not make even the blandest person crack a smile. In an article titled “13 Hilarious Full House Quotes You Totally Forgot About,” the number 1 quote is Uncle Joey saying “That’s not a big problem. A big problem is like… well… if your butt fell off.” Stick to the article title, I totally forgot about that line and I wish it was never brought back to my attention.

6. The Office

Truly a fan favorite at Mount Saint Dominic Academy. Honestly, I would really like this show if Michael Scott weren’t so annoying. He acts like a child and seriously should not be running a company. However, the other characters make up for it, earning this show a decent spot on this list. One quirk this show has is that it’s seriously hilarious when the characters stare into the camera. If any other show did this, it’d be distracting, but The Office does it so well. This show is a great median for someone looking for the middle ground between conventional comedy and dark humor. 

5. Parks and Recreation

Parks and Rec is basically The Office’s more attractive, charismatic older sibling. The characters are easy to like, the plot is consistent, and they host a town-wide memorial for a mini pony, Lil Sebastian. Also, it’s great to see a show that executes an ordinary storyline so well. I never would have expected to adore a Libertarian man with a walrus mustache, but Parks and Rec changed that for me. This is easily one of the only shows where you can watch it over and over yet still laugh at the funny parts. What’s not to love?

4. Big Mouth

This Netflix Original would be ranked higher, but it’s honestly kind of weird. It creates humor out of the cringey moments of middle school everyone endures, which is likely why it has such a big fanbase. The show says all the things about middle school the rest of us are too afraid to admit. One of the character’s hormone monster (basically a guardian angel) tells her, “Listen to me! You want to shoplift lipstick, you want to listen to Lana Del Rey on repeat while you cut up all your t-shirts. You want to scream at your mother and then laugh at her tears!” Truly takes me back to the worst years of my life, in the best way possible.

3. Bojack Horseman

Seriously one of the funniest shows I have ever seen. It tells the story of a burnt-out celebrity turned addict who suffers from depression. Except he’s a talking horse and all of his friends are animals as well. He is somehow a narcissist and self-loathing at the same time, which is what makes him so funny. One of Bojack’s most iconic lines is, “Yeah, I ate them all in one sitting because I have no self-control and I hate myself.” Maybe a 50-year-old horse man is my spirit animal.

2. Rick and Morty

This is one of those shows where you either love it or you hate it. My father and I happen to be people of taste. Recently, he came home from a trip and told me he binged it on an airplane. When I asked him about it again pertaining to this article, he said, “God, that show is so funny. What is the green guy’s name? Pickle Rick? I like that guy.” Wow, spoken like a true scholar. Thanks, Dad. My favorite part of this show is that it pushes boundaries. It combines sci-fi with comedy and explores the idea that there are different versions of every person in multiple dimensions. Pretty mind-bending if you think about it. 

1. South Park

By far the most funny, but most offensive television series I have ever watched. You have to give the writers credit though, because they never overstep a boundary or take a joke too far. An article titled “12 Crude but Funny South Park Jokes” truly pinpoints this show’s criticism of society, right down to the title of the article. Eric Cartman, by far one of the nastiest characters says, “Kenny’s family is so poor that yesterday, they had to put their cardboard box up for a second mortgage.” Come on! They’re far from poor in the suburbs of Colorado, which is what makes this line so funny. South Park is constantly changing with the times; when people started titling themselves as politically correct, South Park introduced PC Principal, who monitors South Park Elementary for politically incorrect behaviors. It also critiques society as a whole for issues such as school shootings, misogyny, and immigration. 

I hate to have to be the one to say it, but please leave tasteless television in the past.”

Unless you enjoy eating saltine crackers and using unscented lotion. In that case, shows like Friends are probably more up your alley. However, if you have even the slightest bit of personality, try out any show from numbers 5-10, I promise they will not disappoint! 

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