Lady Dynamite (Netflix)
Lady Dynamite stars Maria Bramford as a fictionalized version of herself trying to recover from a mental breakdown, one psych ward flashback at a time. The show feels like walking through an overactive imagination that borders on blissful delusion. Once you are introduced to her Diane persona, you may be surprised how funny the phrase “salmon poached” sounds.
Lady Dynamite‘s niche style got lost in Netflix’s huge 2016 comedy offerings, and it will likely get buried next year, too. But it’s there, and we think you should dig it up and keep an eye out for its upcoming second season later this year.
Teachers (TV Land)
Berating children for drawing anatomically incorrect pictures of their teacher and filming The Bachelor audition tapes in classrooms are a few of the hilarious teachable lessons that happens on TV Land’s Teachers. Four teachers, played by comedy ensemble The Katydids, show the hilarity that would ensue if the teachers acted like kids. Yes, that means stealing clothes and video games from the student’s lost and found box.
The show is not on any of the major subscription streaming services, but you can catch up on the first season on TV Land’s app. The second season debuted January 17.
Greenleaf (OWN Network)
The Greenleafs are a proud family of a megachurch built on a tapestry of deceit that begins to unravel one insidious thread at time once estranged sibling, Grace ‘Gigi’ Greenleaf played by Merle Dandridge returns home. There are full episodes where you seldom can take a breath without it being snatched away by arresting monologues from the likes of acting veterans Keith David and Lynn Whitfield.
Mr Student Body President (Go90)
YouTube sensation Jeremy Shada plays the hilariously precocious Tyler Prendergast, the youngest student body president in Berenger High’s history, as he builds and maintains an empire out of pep rallies and lunch room treaties. In one episode, Tyler works to maintain a school-wide treaty where nerds can push around athletes and take their lunch money in exchange for good grades. These episodes are less than 20 minutes, yet have enough clever writing delivered at breakneck speed to compete with similar shows like Comedy Central’s millennial catnip Broad City.
The show is only on availble to watch on Verizon’s Go90 mobile app and website. Without more ubiquitous distribution, it’s hard for most folks to watch the upcoming 30 episode second season. Still, if you’re ever around a Verizon device, take 15 minutes and relive high school.
The Carmichael Show (NBC)
Comedian Jerrod Carmichael takes the multi-camera family sitcom format and injects it with some of the most irreverent humor about porn, Trump, and Black Lives Matter you will see on TV. In the Racial Profiling episode from season one, Jerrod’s character remarks “I just don’t understand why someone had to get shot on my birthday” to laughter. Thirty seconds later he compares Black men in America being stopped by the cops to jury duty: “sometimes your number’s going to be up.” Scenes like that are what makes the show feel like it is what The Chapelle Show would have been if it was on network television.
NBC’s debuting its Chicago PD spinoff Chicago Justice this March in The Carmichael Show‘s usual Sunday 9 p.m. timeslot. However, you can stream past seasons on Hulu and NBC’s digital apps in anticipation for the upcoming third season.