Last updated: October 11th
Comedy is one of the most personal genres of entertainment, as subjective and divisive as politics. Thank heavens, then, for the wide library of Netflix, which is here to service all of our laughter needs. Craving a traditional laugh-tracked sitcom? A more serious, single-cam series? A mockumentary? Done, done, and done. It’s all there at the click of a mouse (or tap of a phone screen).
Of course, it’s impossible to definitively declare the following offerings the “best” or “funniest” without argument; there’s sure to be plenty of it. But that’s the beauty of Netflix: If you don’t like what you see, you can always proceed to the next screen. So here are the 15 funniest shows on Netflix streaming right now.
15. Detectorists (2 series)
It might be easy to write off the premise of two grown men who spend the majority of their time traipsing across open fields waving metal sticks around as boring, but all you have to do is give The Detectorists an episode or two to get hooked. The series centers on Lance (Toby Jones) and Andy (Mackenzie Stone), two metal detectors (sorry, “detectorists”) who are proud members of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club as they spend their days digging up rubbish in other people’s property. The Detectorists could have easily gone ultra-comedic by snickering at asocial weirdos, but it treats its protagonists as just regular blokes with girlfriends, friendships, and aspirations who just happened to be passionate about their hobby. Crook (who also wrote and directed the series) and Jones and their delightful banter, and the series’ comforting music and sprawling landscapes make its 13 episodes fly by, almost too quickly.
14. Jane the Virgin (3 Seasons)
This genre-defying telenovela send-up has one of the weirdest premises of any show, ever: Jane Villanueva, a devout Catholic who’s vowed to remain a virgin until marriage, is accidentally artificially inseminated during a routine gynecological visit, and becomes pregnant. It sounds more soap operatic than comedic, but that’s where Jane proves naysayers wrong, infusing the title character’s unlikely journey with countless laugh-out-loud funny moments that shock and delight viewers at every turn. While Gina Rodriguez’s radiant performance as Jane is the heart of the show, its comedic success is largely thanks to two characters: Her long-lost father, telenovela superstar Rogelio de la Vega (Jaime Camil); and the Narrator (brilliantly voiced by Anthony Mendez), whose helpful explanations and perfectly timed interjections make him as integral to the proceedings as Jane herself. The Narrator is both an audience stand-in (regularly exclaiming “OMG!” at surprising developments) and the ultimate insider (showrunners have teased that his connection to the characters runs deeper than just an omniscient voiceover presence). The preening Rogelio steals the show; the Narrator keeps you coming back for more.
13. The Inbetweeners (3 Seasons)
Plenty of comedies focus on those awkward teenage years, but few are as painfully funny as The Inbetweeners, a Britcom about four pals struggling to make it through high school, and all the bullying, underage drinking, and thwarted sexual encounters – so, so many thwarted sexual encounters – that go with it. The lads can sometimes revert too easily to their archetypes (Will is the impossibly nerdy protagonist who can’t seem to ever do or say the right thing; Jay, the crude skirt-chaser whose intact virginity is the bane of his existence), but you’ll be laughing too hard at their boneheaded antics and horrendous luck to care.