We live in troubling times, with the news looking more and more like a scene from Zombie flick - "28 Days Later” - which to be honest makes a welcome change to the Zero Dark Thirty + The Big Short mashup we have been replaying since 2008? 2001? Maybe forever...
But jokes aside, it is a scary time, people are going to get ill and people across the world are being asked to implement social distancing practises - the process of reducing the amount of human-to-human contact that makes up much of our daily lives.
That means schools and universities are closed, people are working from home if they can, and cultural and sporting events are cancelled for the foreseeable future.
So we are going to be spending a lot of time indoors and let’s be honest once we stop pretending we are going to take up yoga or learn a new language we will be doing more of what we always do - watching
movies and TV.
However, what we might do or at least it wouldn’t be a bad idea is to watch something that makes us laugh. Brings a little bit of joy into our lives and makes the bleaker times a little more colourful. So having said that we thought we would compile a list of the best TV and movie comedies to keep us smiling!
We’ll let you know what streaming services they are on and what kinda laughs to expect. There will be something for everyone.
So sit back, enjoy some comedy and wait for this all to blow over.
The Office (US) - Amazon Prime
Let’s start off with a bonafide classic. The Office US what few shows have ever done successfully. Taken a British comedy and made it legitimately funnier, if maybe not better… but that’s a separate discussion.
The action takes place in the Dunder Mifflin paper factory in Scranton and is centred around the “boss from hell” Michael Scott played by none other than Steve Carrell.
The US Office ran for from 2005-2013, lasting a total of nine seasons. It’s a show that is equal parts funny and touching with a rich and diverse cast who all have their moments throughout the run.
You have Jim and Pam’s blossoming romance that spans the first couple of seasons and Dwight’s increasingly machiavellian nature, you have the office ditz Kelly, the ex-everything Creed, Toby the HR guy, Michael’s numerous girlfriends (real or imagined) and so many more.
You’ll love all of them, you’ll laugh until you cry and then you will keep watching it over and over again… until you die.
The US Office ran for from 2005-2013, lasting a total of nine seasons
Friends - Netflix (Soon to be HBO Max)
Sitcoms don’t get more iconic or funny than Friends. It’s hard to undersell the impact this show had during its initial run. The show ran for 10 seasons between 1994-2004 and over 52 million people tuned in for its finale, its enduring popularity can be seen by the fact that WarnerMedia just paid $425 million ($85 million a year for five years) for the exclusive streaming rights for their new platform HBO Max, expected to launch in May 2020.
On the face of it, its a rather simple idea. Six, admittedly very good looking, 20-something friends are navigating all of life’s pitfalls, but mainly love and sex.
More than the storylines though, it is the characters that keep you coming back and I feel silly for even explaining who they are but there could be kids reading so I have got to.
There was Joey, played by Matt Le Blanc, is the suave but bumbling actor, his roommate Chandler (Matthew Perry) can’t hold down a decent relationship. Across the hall live clean-freak Monica (Courteney Cox) and her more laidback best friend Rachel (Jennifer Anniston). Rounding it out was the recently divorced x2 Ross (David Schwimmer) and kooky songstress Phoebe, played by Lisa Kudrow.
Across the ten seasons, we see them fall in and out of love, advance in their careers and get into more wild situations than you can stick a turkeys head on.
It was must-watch TV, it’s still as funny as it ever was and younger folk are rediscovering it as the entire series was recently put on Netflix. Even if some of those same young folk think, short-sightedly, that it should be “cancelled”.
In The Loop - YouTube and Google Play
In the Loop is a 2009 British satirical and very black comedy film directed by Armando Iannucci.
A spin-off of the popular British TV show “The Thick of It” In the Loop follows government officials from the US and Britain in the lead-up to the Iraq War of 2003 when even their mutual goals can’t pave over their differing world views.
You have snarling Scottish spin doctor Malcolm Tucker played by Peter Capaldi, who works behind the scenes concocting and ready to cut anyone down with his acid tongue. He goes up against a post-Sopranos James Gandolfini who plays an equally terrifying US Army General.
Their different approaches set up one of the ultimate comedy face-offs.
It’s hilarious, political and shows us that even in the worlds darkest moments there can be a reason to laugh.
The Waterboy - YouTube and Google Play
We did say something for everyone, and frankly 1998’s “The Waterboy” - the story of Robert "Bobby" Boucher the socially inept, stuttering thirty-one-year-old waterboy for the University of Louisiana football team is for everyone.
You will watch Bobby go from water boy to star foosball player, convince everyone around him that he is not an idiot and obviously get the girl.
It’s peak SNL Adam Sandler, a silly voice, crass jokes and a great turn from Kathy Bates as his overbearing mother.
“You can do it!” Goes the catchphrase.
So do it.
Mean Girls - YouTube and Google Play
With a script by Tina Fey, Lindsay Lohan in her pomp and Amanda Seyfried’s film debut Mean Girls destroyed the traditional idea of the teen movie and gave us something new - the deeply cynical teen movie with real teens in warts and all portrayed on screen.
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The story follows Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan), a 15-year-old girl who has spent most of her life being home-schooled in Africa. When her family relocates to the United States, she finds herself slap bang in the middle of the suburban all-American high school experience.
There is the bitchiness, the cliques, the bullies, the crushes and the embarrassing moments that stay with you for life.
This movie is so very fetch and whether you are still a teen or not, you realise that while you might change, everyone’s teen years are the same.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Netflix
We’ll end it back where we started with another American sitcom from SNL alumni, a show that is very much in the same vein as The Office, except rather than a paper factory we have a New York police station - it is, of course, Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
The series revolves around Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), an immature but talented NYPD detective in Brooklyn's fictional 99th Precinct, but like The Office, it’s the supporting cast that keeps everything so funny.
You have then alpha-beta male Terry Jeffords played by everyone’s favourite Terry Crews. Stephanie Beatriz is hilarious as the drawl, and seemingly uncaring, Rosa Diaz. Chelsea Peretti’s Gina Linetti character steals every scene she is in and Charles Boyle as Joe Lo Truglio is one of the funniest characters ever committed to screen, and we haven’t even mentioned the stern talking Captain Raymond Holt played by Andre Braugher who deserves an Emmy simply for keeping such a straight face as Jake cracks jokes at his expense.
It’s unashamedly silly, self-aware with a super-tight script which is always in service of the biggest and best laugh.