While we're heading into the TV slow season, you might be wondering where you'll get your laughs. Well, worry no more, there are sitcoms out there you may not be watching but should be. Here are six underrated sitcoms worth catching.
No one talks about this show. Ever. And it is utterly hilarious, even if the premise might sound a little off-putting: the adult son of grown teenage parents knocks up a serial killer; she's executed, he gets the baby, hilarity ensues. Except hilarity does ensue. It's 30 minutes full of genius lines delivered by an impeccable Martha Plimpton, seriously bad ideas, and the kind of life humor that made "My Name is Earl." It even has occasional visits from Eddie Steeples, better known as Crabman. To top it off, Cloris Leachman is her off-her-rocker most ridiculous self. What's not to love?
I don't want to like this show, it's basically a "Friends" reboot set here in Chicago. But it's set in Chicago, and Max's Chicago accent is, well, what I hear at the grocery store. Or occasionally out of my own mouth (trust me, it's funny when you notice it). The actors' timing is excellent, plus it has the added benefit of a member of the Wayans Dynasty of Hilarity (Damon Wayans Jr.) who looks, sounds and acts so much like his father, I found it confusing for several episodes. The show even pulled out an "In Living Color" reference and managed to incorporate Oprah. And here I am liking it. Darn you, comedy.
After an uneven first season, this show pulled back and readjusted to its cast's strengths. Though it started as a David Spade vehicle, at some point someone noticed that Patrick Warburton and Megyn Price (formerly of "Grounded for Life") were actually the comedic pulse of the show and subtly angled the show toward them. The result? A show worth watching, if difficult to find; it seems to be a constantly-moving target currently on Thursday nights on CBS at 8:30 p.m. E.T. Thank goodness for DVRs.
At some point I have to stop calling Neil Flynn "Janitor," especially since his Mike Heck is an utterly convincing Midwestern dad. The charm of this show, though, isn't just with the two parent actors, Flynn and Patricia Heaton, but with the whole clan. Right where you'd expect to find the most typical of typical families, this one isn't mundane but quirky in an unusual all-American kind of way. Its humor comes from how much we wish the families around us were as weird as ours are when we close the door, and this one feeds the dream. Besides, it has Janitor. I swear I'm going to stop doing that, but come on, you know he's awesome.
"Community" isn't underrated in the traditional way, but is in the sense that the ratings are not as high as they should be. Maybe it is different. Maybe it is misunderstood. But with its fate hanging in the balance, do you want to be the TV set that sent this brilliant gem of quirk into permanent hiatus? Do you? I didn't think so.
Wait, what? This show that started with astronomical expectations and fizzled through its first few episodes is actually … funny? Yes it is, and here's why it deserves another look: they loosened the strings. For the initial episodes, all of these strong comedians, with the exception of Maya Rudolf, were held in tightly. So tightly, it restricted the circulation of comedy. Slowly they got some slack, and while we don't have a Will Arnett of Gob proportions, his Chris is no longer a possible cyborg. Or if he is, he's a funny one.