Lenny’s Netflix Review – Top 5 Underrated Comedy TV Shows on Netflix

Netflix is great, but sometimes there are too many things to choose from. I’m sure you have wasted lots of time just browsing through the many shows and movies trying to find something that interests you, only to be disappointed in the end. Some things you’ve never heard of end up being fantastic. Others you have heard of are just boring and often overrated. Luckily for you, I have watched(binged) way more Netflix than should be legally allowed in most states.

Lenny’s Top 5 Underrated Comedy TV Shows on Netflix

(List is in alphabetical order, followed by a brief summary of each show)

  • F is for Family
  • Freaks and Geeks
  • Portlandia
  • Rake
  • Trailer Park Boys

F is for Family

F is for Family, Animated TV Series.

F is for Family is based on a character, Frank Murphy (Bill Burr) who is a Korean War vet in the Midwest in the 1970’s, trying to support his family and maintain a middle class lifestyle, while dealing with layoffs, eccentric neighbors and rebellious kids. His wife Sue Murphy (Laura Dern), is a housewife who’s decided to try and find work (Tupperware) to help pay the bills.

At first glance F is for Family seems like a Retro, R rated, version of The Simpsons or maybe even Family Guy. But it really delivers something more, where those others don’t. The laughs are bigger and the characters are more relatable. The stories are more realistic. It’s not so much a cartoon as an animated series like King of the Hill, only funnier.

Political Correctness is off the table in this one and that’s good. Not in an overbearing, racist, abusive, kind of way; just a normal everyday life in the 70’s kind of way. When the kids in the show get hurt they learn to toughen up without being coddled, especially the youngest son Bill Murphy(Haley Reinhart) who’s scrawny and gets picked on a lot. Frank is not afraid to yell at his kids and verbally abuse his teenage son when necessary. It’s a really interesting and refreshing take on the family sitcom that isn’t totally extreme like we are used to seeing in other shows. F is for Family figured out that it doesn’t have to be over the top to be funny and I like that.


Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks cast.

Freaks and Geeks is a very underrated, little known show, where actors Seth Rogen, James Franco, and John Francis Daley got noticed. This high school dramedy centers around the lives of  Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini), and Sam Weir (John Francis Daley), and to a lesser extent their immediate friends, as they navigate through the ups and downs of dealing with popularity and peer pressure found between High School cliques and the family expectations of them in the 1980’s. Ultimately we find, in this short lived series, that there is probably a little bit of a Freak and Geek in all of us.

This is one of those Hidden Gems of a show that suffered from a bad time slot and some creative differences between the producers and the network. Originally, only 12 of the 18 completed episodes were ever aired before the show was canceled.  Netflix has the other 6, which really helps fill out the entire story and add quite a lot more depth to the characters.


Portlandia

Colin the Chicken Skit, Portlandia.

First recommended to me by Greg Gutfeld, Portlandia is a brilliant sketch comedy show that spoofs everyday life in Portland Oregon. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein make up a majority of the vast array of unique and recurring characters, that illustrate the odd and often superficial lives of Portlanders and their “Hipster” and outlandish ideals. From Candace (Fred Armisen) and Toni (Carrie Brownstein), the owners of a feminist bookstore, to Spyke (Fred Armisen) and Iris (Carrie Brownstein), hipsters fighting for their individuality, every skit never fails to deliver in gut busting and sometimes heartwarming ways.


Rake

Rake cast.

Rake is a comedy TV show about a very clever, talented, Australian Barrister (lawyer), Cleaver Greene (Richard Roxburgh), who can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble. His adventures usually begin by representing extremely guilty clients and then working the system to get them out of trouble. This seems to find a way of landing Greene himself, into trouble, with his ex-wife(Caroline Brazier), Co workers, and love interests (Adrienne Pickering).  Of course it doesn’t help that he’s betrayed his best friend “Barnyard” Meagher (Russell Dykstra), by sleeping with his wife (Danielle Cormack).

Rake is surprisingly good at maintaining humour throughout the entire show, while dealing with some serious issues like the importance of family, trust, respect, and dealing with betrayal, substance abuse, and redemption.


Trailer Park Boys

Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles, shooting guns. Trailer Park Boys.

Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian spoof reality show, similar to Reno 911 in style only, with none of the production quality and 10x the laughs. This Canadian based comedy is as crazy as it gets. Ricky (Robb Wells), Julian (John Paul Tremblay), And Bubbles (Mike Smith), live in a run down trailer park in Nova Scotia, and are constantly plotting and scheming ways to earn money so they can pay the rent, and hopefully one day they might be able to afford leave the park for a better life. Their best laid plans are usually foiled by Jim Lahey (John Dunsworth), the parks always heavily intoxicated, superintendent ex-cop, and his feisty assistant, Randy (Patrick Roach). Almost every season ends and/or begins with them in jail.

When I first started watching Trailer park boys the quality was off putting and I thought to myself “what is this crap?”. I hung around for about 15 minutes and was hooked. The characters are so amazingly realistic and stupid, you can identify with them immediately. Everyone knows people like this, and to watch what they do to get through life is totally amazing and funny as hell.


Honorable Mention

Peep Show

Super Hans, Peep Show.

Peep show is about an introvert Mark (David Mitchell) and his unemployed roommate Jeremy (Robert Webb), who share a flat in Croyden, South London, UK. These two have nothing in common except they know each other and are constantly getting one another into some seriously dysfunctional situations. Imagine a younger, more poverty stricken version of the Odd Couple. Shared love interest Sophie (Olivia Colman), and Jeremy’s Techno band mate and crack addict, Super Hans (Matt King) round out the cast of crazies and make for an interesting mix of people who would otherwise probably never hang out together, but manage to be inseparable, at most times beyond their will.

This often silly, gritty, low budget, UK comedy has got a realism about it that makes it addictively hilarious, and a cult classic.


As always, let me know if you agree or disagree with any of my picks in the comments section down below. Feel free to make your own lists of shows or Movies you like streaming on Netflix.

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