Comedy can be a challenging genre to succeed in when it comes to television. You need interesting scenarios, fun characters to play with, and an ability to grow your characters without losing their comedic sensibilities. With plenty of strong comedies already dominating on the small screen, standing out from the crowd can be a real challenge for newer shows. That’s why this list will look at 10 of the best new shows of 2016. Since it’s impossible for anyone to watch every new show that comes out, this list will be based on the shows I managed to watch throughout the year. In addition, since comedy is quite subjective, these 10 picks represents what I thought was the best new sitcoms of 2016.
Acting much like the spiritual successor of the 2010 mockumentary TV series Come Fly With Me, this British TV show follows a group of employees at a fictional airport. Through their endeavors they explore a variety of clever scenarios, with the typical dry British wit to round it all out. The show has a strong dynamic between its characters, and consistently manages to entertain its viewer.
In this show, Minnie Driver plays a mom who moves her family to a new town to improve the life of her son with cerebral palsy. With a strong host of characters, this comedy offers plenty of amusing situations to go along with its core concept. In addition to being an entertaining show, it also asks some interesting questions about the treatment given to people with special needs.
8. Angie Tribeca
Brought to you by Steve Carell and Nancy Carell, this ridiculous comedy follows a lone-wolf cop named Angie Tribeca (Rashida Jones), as she solves crimes alongside a peculiar set of characters. Offering spoof comedy in the veins of Airplane!, The Naked Gun, and other gems of the genre, this show is a sure-fire hit for any fans of that brand of comedy.
This show follows Claire (Liv Hewson), a self-declared super fan of Korean drama, as she gets transported to a world where she needs to work as a facilitator to ensure her favorite characters gets a happy ending. The show brilliantly mocks stereotypes and cliches of typical drama shows, while also having fun with its core concept. Through terrific writing, and interesting characters, the show always leaves the viewer fully immersed in the world it has created.
6. American Housewife
On the surface, this comedy about a housewife moving to a small suburban town seems really uninspired. However, with witty dialogue and interesting scenarios, this show is enjoyable from start to finish. Katie Mixon makes a strong lead, and she is surrounded by a strong supporting cast to boot.
Best explained as the answer to the question” What if Lost had been a sitcom?”, this show follows a group of survivors after their plane crashes in the pacific. On the island, they must decide whether they want to thrive in their new home, or work to get back to their families. Along the way, they find themselves in strange and laughable situations.
Ensemble comedies can be a tricky affair, especially on the small screen. Finding that delicate balance between screen time and blend of personalities has proved too though for most shows, however every year one show tends to stand out as a success story. This year, that price goes to Teachers, a wacky, witty and overall clever sitcom that follows the adventures of six completely different teachers. In a year that saw two other sitcoms set in schools (Those Who Can’t; Vice Principals), this is really the gem in that bunch. Prepare to be entertained and amused at the strange scenarios the women find themselves in.
3. The Good Place
What happens when a bad person gets sent to heaven? That’s the basic concept of this clever sitcom from Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creator Michael Shur. It follows Eleanor (Kristen Bell) as she discovers she’s been sent to heaven rather than hell. In addition to brimming with funny characters and witty dialogue, this show also manages to ask some profound questions about the afterlife. Not a bad accomplishment for a TV show in its first season!
Any show featuring Sean Bean as a drug-induced hallucination is bound to peak anyone’s interest, and when you add in clever stoner-driven comedy, you get one of the strongest debuts of the year. Set in a small town in Britain, this show follows a group of friends as they engage in various forms of mayhem throughout the season’s six episodes. The only downside is that the season is so short, and you’ll have to wait another year to spend more time with this terrific cast of characters.
1. The Detour
The show created and written by Jason Jones and Samantha Bee was easily the strongest debut of the year. It sees Nate (Jones) convince his family to take a road trip to Florida. Along the way, they continue to run into strange and peculiar situations, which makes this a family comedy a bit out of the ordinary. The chemistry between the main cast, the brilliance of the dialogue, and the cleverness of the situations they explore, makes this one of the best comedies of recent memory.