Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

With Parks And Recreation heading to BBC 4 next week, one of America’s finest comedies finally finds a home on UK TV, we’ve crossed over the pond once again to look at the other American comedies that might just be a little off the beaten path but are more than worthy of your time.

Happy Endings

A lot of shows go for the machinegun approach when it comes to their jokes. Most miss so often that it’s simply not worth it. Not Happy Endings though, a show that throws a hundred jokes a minute at you yet manages to land on nearly every single one of them.

With one of the most natural and cohesive casts on screen (we’re not just talking sitcoms here, but all TV), this is a show that always manages to find the silliest and most frivolous of delights from any situation. Be it a marriage convention or a parrot that only talks in racist insults, Happy Endings can make a side-splitting joke out of anything. It’s even able to find time to laugh at itself, with the show even making offhand jokes about its incredible structural similarity to Friends.

A true gem that’s only set to get better and better with time.


Community has long been a favourite around here, and for good reason, as despite ratings so low they’re impossible to limbo under, it’s easily one of the brightest sparks on network TV in America.

From the brilliantly egocentric Jeff, to the wonderful bromance of Troy and Abed, this is a comedy that’s simply overflowing with loveable characters. It’s not afraid to get charmingly weird too, with the show so far having done an episode taking place entirely inside a vintage video game

While the fourth season of the show hasn’t lived up to the previous three so far, Community is still easily one of the best sitcoms of the last decade and a must for anyone wanting their comedy a little bit odd.

Arrested Development

The show may have come to an end many years ago, but the legacy of Arrested Development is visible in all of the shows on our list. The scatological humour, the brilliantly odd-ball characters, the references are all a part of modern comedy, as so many show-runners try to create that same spark that makes Arrested Development such a delight more than half a decade after it first ended.

Thankfully, Netflix has long been able to fill our Arrested Development fix and is set to fulfil the wishes of every hard-core fan this year by making another clutch of episodes featuring the entire original cast. Whether they can live up the legacy set by their forbears remains to be seen, but we’re all anxious to find out.

New Girl

This might be the one that everyone already knows on this list, but we still need to flag up the brilliance of the Zooey Deschanel fronted comedy.

When Deschanel decided to move from being Hollywood’s favourite indie girl to the world of TV, we expected something good, but even then, New Girl has exceeded all expectations and become one of the most charmingly written comedies with some of the best characters on TV.

The show’s been a great success both in America and here in the UK, netting Deschanel award nominations left and right and seemingly giving her a home where her quirky, ‘adorkable’ charms can really spread their wings.

Overall, it’s an absolute delight.


Easily the most extreme of any of the comedies we have on this list, even more so than the often cringe-inducing Always Sunny, this animated wonder might just be the craziest show on television. This is a show that has had two of its characters become cyborgs, its main crew go to space and has had its protagonist Archer running through a train trying to catch an escaped ocelot.

The best thing of it all is that it never feels forced, with the hilarious insanity just seeming to flow naturally as the show continues to push the envelope with what it can do..                                                              

With one of two of the best character on TV in the form of Sterling Archer and the world’s worst HR manager Pam, Archer is an absolute hoot. A deranged, often nonsensical one, but a hoot all the same.

Bob’s Burgers

Another animated show (funnily enough with the same main voice actor as Archer has) to make our list, Bobs Burgers has been the unlikely success story from Fox’s latest batch of cartoons and has quickly become a fan favourite.

Nominated for an Emmy last year after a stellar second series, Bob’s Burgers is much more than just comfort food and is easily worth your time, thanks to the

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

While the show’s got a slow start, after a season or two, this is one of the darkest but funniest comedies out there.

Following a group of sociopaths running a bar who seem to think that they’re lovable rogues, this is a comedy that will make you both love and espies its villain’s gallery in equal measure. It’s self-centred group of losers are amongst the most nihilistic and terrible people of screen, which makes the show the natural successor to Seinfeld and the spiritual equal to the finest of Ricky Gervais.

Any American comedies you love that the world has yet to fully embrace? Let us know in the comments section.

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