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The Best Comedies on Netflix, Ranked

From "Master of None" to "Grace and Frankie," these are the best Netflix original comedies.

Netflix Comedy Original Series Best Grace and Frankie, Dear White People, Master of None

Netflix

5. “One Day at a Time”

"One Day at a Time"

“One Day at a Time”

Michael Yarish / Netflix

Trust Norman Lear to show how the reboot can work beautifully. Through three generations of a Cuban-American family the show explores sexuality, immigration, PTSD, Veterans Affairs, sexism, and parenting with sincerity and heart. Standout stories include teenager daughter Elena’s (Isabella Gomez) quinceanera, which becomes ever more important as she begins to examine and embrace her identity, and one in which the sacrifices that Lydia (Rita Moreno) made to come to America are revealed.

And while one cannot say no to the infectiously positive EGOT winner Rita Moreno, the rest of the cast is just as winning, with fantastic performances from Justina Machado as a veteran single mom and energetic Todd Grinnell as a freshly reimagined Schneider. The show is a feel-good, family-friendly series that takes on a little too much at times by trying to address too many issues, but when it really drills down to what matters, it’s a sweet and exhilarating experience.

4. “GLOW”

Betty Gilpin and Alison Brie, "GLOW"

Betty Gilpin and Alison Brie, “GLOW”

Erica Parise/Netflix

Starring Alison Brie, Marc Maron and scene stealer Betty Gilpin, this series about a lovable band of misfits who comprise the 1980s all-women’s wrestling showcase is about as fun as any “summer show” ought to be. The teased hair, neon, pop soundtrack, and leg warmers hit all the right period notes and does nostalgia with humor and confidence.

But underestimate “GLOW” to your detriment. Sure it’s enjoyable, goofy, and pairs really well with a wine cooler, but as the women of GLOW create their colorful and empowering personas, it also taps into the roles that women are forced to play every day, even with each other.

3. “Dear White People”

Based on Justin Simien’s 2014 film of the same name, this college series isn’t just about giving a voice to black people, but also giving a look, a wink, and a smile. Each chapter of the story is told in vivid and brilliant tones visually that leaves an emotional imprint, whether it’s one of fear, sorrow, lust or rage.

Thanks to a very game cast, an indispensable narrator, and top-notch writing and directing, what the series does best is demonstrate the need for its very presence. Told through the microcosm of college life, varied personalities and opinions are unavoidable as they are welcome to the discussion that takes place on the screen. As important as it is enjoyable, the series takes jabs at everyone, and no one, not even it supposedly woke protagonists, are safe from its playful satire.

2. “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s follow-up to “30 Rock” succeeds by admirably existing in the extremes: On one end, there’s a bright, bubbly, optimistic half-hour comedy that would have been right at home on its original network (NBC). Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) is a pool of eternal optimism who can’t be beaten down, no matter how hard life tries, and her infectious spirit is as morally sound as it is inherently charming.

But she’s only able to prove herself unbreakable by surviving some unimaginably hard hits. The other side of “Kimmy” deals with a terrified young woman, kidnapped and held captive throughout her formative years by a nutjob with a warped vision of religion. It could’ve been an hour-long drama or a case-of-the-week on “Law & Order: SVU.” That “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” can fit in pop culture jokes, consistent celebrity cameos, and sharp satirical attacks speaks to how fast and furious the jokes fly out of these characters, including the already-iconic Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess) and Jacqueline White (Jane Krakowski).

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is a comedy that has it all, and yet never fails to squeeze an extra joke (or six) out of every scene.

1. “Master of None

Creator Aziz Ansari in "Master of None"

Defying its title, the Netflix series co-created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang has proven in very short time that this duo is deft at combining comedy and insightful storytelling. Using episodes to explore everything from race and religion to romance and sexuality, the show reflects a curious and optimistic spirit that is irresistible.

In its second season, the show takes a lover’s leap to Italy and lands confidently on terra firma because of loving film homages to the Italian cinema greats like “The Bicycle Thief” and “L’Avventura.” This is also where love first plants the seed for protagonist Dev (Ansari), who goes through a poignant hero’s journey in which he only begins to understand what he wants in life and who he wants to be. Whether one is a cinephile, a gastronomer, a dreamer, or an Intagrammer, one can’t help fall in love with a show that is so in touch with its passions.

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