Chapter 9: Comedy is everywhere
I know I mentioned this when I was writing my Top 100 of the Decade list at the beginning of the month, but there was a huge surge of comedy movies that came out between 2004-2009 and they sort of revitalized the crazy, slapstick, raunchy comedy a bit in Hollywood. Into the 2010's that seemed to slowdown a bit. I didn't quite understand why either, since many of those comedies I am thinking of made lots of money in that time period. Maybe, just maybe that because there was so much comedy on TV, and many of the actors that made those classic movies appeared on television that we ended up seeing less in the movies.
Truth be told, I could have talked about Atlanta yesterday. It's a show that has had two seasons on FX so far and it does have some dramedy involved in some of its writing. I guess also that the show is kind of hard to categorize. It's mostly a dark comedy, but sometimes the show will take a break on the action, focus on a supporting character on a random adventure of theirs. Sometimes the tone would shift to drama, something inspiring and even horror (Teddy Perkins was probably the creepiest character in all of the decades pop culture). No matter how you would categorize Atlanta, the show is an instant classic.
If you were wondering what happened to Danny McBride this decade, he had two great comedies you could find on HBO. The first was Eastbound and Down, where he played a washed-up baseball player trying to get relevant again, something I feel like McBride could do in his sleep, and make no mistake he did. My favorite of the two was definitely Vice Principals. In this show, McBride plays a vice principal who is trying to manipulate anyway he can to be THE principal, and usually coming up short. He bounces of Walt Groggins is such a hilarious way, and they made an unforgettable funny team this decade. I would have done anything for a third season of the show.
Comedy was ripe within primetime. I wish we got more The Last Man on Earth on Fox, because I think it really showcased what Will Forte is capable of as a comic performer and the parade of cameos was always fun. Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which started life on Fox and eventually moved to NBC was absolutely hilarious and has been my favorite for awhile now. NBC also has The Good Place a mind-boggling comedy where they mix subjects like faith and religion without shoving an agenda down your throat. Modern Family and The Goldbergs on ABC have kept the modern sitcom alive and well. Black-ish has also been very funny with some amazing insight on certain subjects. Superstore on NBC is wildly underrated. The New Girl on Fox surprisingly appealed to me. Parks and Recreation stayed strong for a majority of the decade as well.
Nathan For You on Comedy Central made my stomach hurt with all the laughter that on display. Oh my God, what a strange yet brilliant show. Key and Peele also on Comedy Central had some funny moments as well. Also, there was also Schitt's Creek. The name says it all.
Chapter 10: The One Hit Wonders
You know how many shows that I really liked over the decade that only got one season? More than I'd care to admit. I was so off-base on some shows compared to others that sometimes it boggles my mind.
Enlisted was a military comedy on Fox was something you all REALLY missed out on. In fact, Fox had lots of One Hit Wonders that really blew my mind. Almost Human was pretty freaking cool. Rake was also on Fox, which was the coolest thing Greg Kinnear had done in awhile. Fox also delivered the gritty Gang Related with a refreshingly diverse cast, and it only got one season. Intelligence on CBS was a technological action show with Josh Holloway that was really cool. Ghosted was a pretty goofy fun time too. On Netflix Everything Sucks! is one of the few shows on the streaming service that did not get a second season, and it blows my mind. Compared to other stuff that did. Also, I wish Amazon Video's Comrade Detective would have been a wonderful series.
So pour one out to the shows that deserved a second season and didn't get one.
Chapter 11: Mini-Series
Probably my second favorite thing on TV in the 2010's if I were making a huge, rule-less list, would be HBO's The Night Of. This is something that HBO is seemingly able to do in their sleep. They are good at programming gritty, moral-challenging cop stuff for television. They seem to have pioneered it and have just kept doing well ever since. The Night Of is so amazing, so absolutely, crazy amazing. It's got an amazing cast, wild atmosphere and it works from start to finish. It keeps you engaged from start to finish. I loved every waking moment of it. Over at AMC, I loved pretty much every moment of The Night Manager with Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston. I thought History's Texas Rising was wildly underrated, and had probably one of the best casts of the entire decade in anything. I was also quite fond at just how funny Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp was. Why Netflix decided to invest so heavily in this cult classic is beyond me but I am so glad they did it.
Now that its been made official that there will not be a second season. I think it is safe to say that HBO's Watchmen is a mini-series. I loved how it was able to take the comic book, ignore the Zak Snyder movie and successfully continue the story and make it feel in the vein of Alan Moore's book. I know Moore is has always been pretty "hands-off" with his work, but I don't get how he couldn't watch all of Watchen with a smile from ear to ear. This is amazing continuation and one of the biggest surprises all decade long.
This entry was shorter by design. We've got one more of these and that will wrap up my look back in the decade in TV. Tomorrow we will discuss the giant dragon in the room...that was Game of Thrones. Then I'll discuss some miscellaneous stuff I liked in a final thoughts blurb