Television comedies, much more so than dramas, often need time to develop their full potential — characters get refined, actors get situated in their roles, and writers become more attuned to what makes their shows funny. Because of this, it’s very rare that a new show will hit the ground running, instead showing flashes of greatness that need time to be polished. So it’s no surprise that of the best comedy series currently on TV, the youngest show is in its fourth season, which also happens to be its final season.
In the spirit of a previous entry, “The 5 Best Dramas Currently Airing on Television,” here’s a list of the five best comedy series currently gracing small screens. And the good news is that many of these shows can be found on Netflix, making them ideal candidates for marathon binge-watching sessions.
Parks and Recreation – NBC, Season 6
Now in its sixth season, NBC’s Parks and Recreation has come a long way from its season one roots, when the show divided critics and viewers alike while being unflatteringly compared to another NBC comedy, The Office. After some strong writing changes in the second season, the series hit its stride and has never looked back en route to being consistently named one of the best comedies on television.
Developed by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, Parks and Recreation revolves around Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), a midlevel bureaucrat in the parks department of fictional Indiana town Pawnee, and a cast of characters she interacts with both inside and outside her department. Filmed using a single-camera, mockumentary filming style, Parks and Recreation also stars Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Paul Schneider, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, and Rob Lowe.
According to critics, Parks and Recreation is still going strong in its sixth season, even as series mainstays Jones and Lowe are set to leave the series. Receiving a perfect 100 percent Fresh rating from on Rotten Tomatoes, critics agree that the show is just as funny as ever, with no signs of slippage.
Matt Roush of TV Guide wrote, “One show that definitely improved over time is NBC’s Parks and Recreation, which offers the night’s most appealing episode in its super-sized sixth-season opener”; Alan Sepinwall of HitFix said, “Week after week, season after season, Parks does its job well, whether the greater audience is noticing or not. And at times it goes beyond even its usual level.”