Since you see me when I’m sleeping and know when I’m awake, you know that I’ve pretty much scraped the bottom of the barrel when it comes to easily binge-able comedies on Netflix Canada. My only wish this year is that the following series, old and current, were easily available so I could crush six episodes in a row and feel like I’m revisiting an old, hilarious friend. They’re the kind of shows you watch while you’re unwinding, texting your friends your favourite quotes and posting GIF after GIF online. Santa, all I want for Christmas are these highly-quotable series to binge-watch on Netflix Canada.
The Golden Girls
I remember watching The Golden Girls with my grandmother when I was small, and her laughing and laughing at jokes I didn’t understand. Years later, I watched the series and laughed and laughed myself. Now, nearly thirty years later, the Internet loves The Golden Girls, and with good reason. The four senior roommates attempt to navigate their golden years in life situations they hadn’t planned for, as they’re each either divorcées or early widows. Dorothy’s sharp tongue, Blanche’s lasciviousness, Rose’s obliviousness and kind heart, and Sophia’s devil-may-care attitude are always hilarious, but even more endearing is how the show refuses to shy away from serious topics. Suicide, sexual harassment, women’s rights, homelessness, and gay and lesbian relationships are just some of the topics that feature in the show’s plot lines — and this was back in the mid-’80s. Just the fact that these older women have vibrant (if madcap) sex lives was, and remains, groundbreaking. My favourite episode is the one where Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose go to buy condoms, and Blanche schools all the people gawking at seniors buying contraceptives. It’s an evergreen show, and its enduring popularity makes it a no-brainer to add to Netflix Canada.
Regarding Peep Show, my pal Sidney asked me rhetorically, “Why do they make me love these horrible horrible white men?” I can’t think of a better way to sum up my feelings toward this British comedy starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. I saw the GIFs before I watched the show, and they were so ridiculously and awkwardly funny that I had to give it a go. The show is done so that the audience can hear the thoughts its main characters, odd-couple roommates Mark and Jez, are having — like a “peep” into their minds. These thoughts are often in gross contradiction with what they’ve said aloud. Though at times so cringe-worthy I have to look away, Peep Show’s black comedy and hilarious cynicism has made it one of my favourite series of all time. My favourite episode is the one where Mark thinks that buying an enormous dildo will help him become more adventurous in bed, but he’s intimidated by it, so he names it Kenneth “to take the curse off.” It’s currently airing its final season, so it would be a perfect time to re-visit the El Dude Brothers and share some Sara Lee.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Speaking of cringe-worthy black comedy: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was made to be binge-watched, because you just can’t believe the outrageous situations these dysfunctional bar owners/frenemies get themselves into. I’m not going to pretend that parts of this show aren’t incredibly offensive… but I’m also not going to pretend that other parts don’t make me cry laughing. I’m a firm believer in being able to enjoy media while being critical of it, too. The ensemble cast are fantastic performers, and between Charlie’s inexplicable ignorance, Mac’s childlike recklessness, Frank’s bizarre priorities, and Dennis’ truly disturbing tendencies, there’s truly never a dull moment. But my favourite character has to be Kaitlin Olson’s Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds. Her physical comedy and wild-eyed delivery steal the scene every time. My favourite episode consists of the gang trying to hold a trial to see who is at fault for a fender bender between Dennis and Frank. Instead, the trial ends with Mac getting them to question the veracity of the theory of evolution. Watching this group of miscreants attempt to circumvent every responsibility imaginable with no regard for social mores is like watching multiple train wrecks at once.
Which of your favourite comedy series do you wish Netflix Canada had?