5 Underrated Netflix Comedies That Are Inclusive Hidden Gems
Netflix is a big comedy paradise, as this list of Collider staff favorites already attested. However, there was a time when marginalized communities were constantly the butt of the joke in our favorite comedic properties. Thankfully, times have changed and we’re seeing more representation both on camera and behind the scenes, resulting in some refreshing (and criminally under-seen) gems still waiting to be discovered on Netflix.
The series featured in this list embrace the multicultural world we live in and present the spectrum of gender and sexuality with characters who are much more than their labels. Another common theme is the love of family, whether biological or family found. And, of course, each of these shows is extremely funny. Avid comedy fans have probably let them go by now, but if they haven’t, you’ll want to add each one to your watchlist.
I have never
This creators show Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher follows a South Asian high school student, Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), as she navigates the stress of school while dealing with personal grief and a distraught family trying to reunite. The show addresses the struggles of being a person of color in the United States, but most of all, it’s a laughing riot. Devi’s attempts to win over her crush, Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren barnet), coupled with his rivalry with fellow A-student Ben Gross (Jaren lewison) only cover a fraction of the hilarity of the first season.
There are also touching emotional moments, especially Devi’s memories of her father, her friend Fabiola (Lee rodrigues) who comes out, and that of his cousin Kamala (Richa moorjani) tries to balance his conventional education with his own ambitions. I have never updates the coming-of-age story for a newer and larger audience with engaging, multi-dimensional characters. And you’re in luck, because this series has been picked up by Netflix for a second season, so get ready for more adventures at Sherman Oaks High.
On my block
Comic and drama part, On my block features four mature teenage friends in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood. The group is led by Monsé (Sierra Capri), a tough youngster who has to navigate a world that begins to see her differently as she grows up. Then there is Jason genao like Ruben, the resident ladies who is a genius, but who has no tact. Jamal (Brett Gray) is a proud nerd, whose conspiracy theories are the best and the worst part of him. To complete the group, César (Diego Tinoco), the brooding teenager with a complex history and connections to a local gang. Friends end up fighting gangs, making a music video, going through breakups and worse.
Tonally, this show is all encompassing – On my block can get deep and dark, but it’ll get you out of the blues with witty breakdowns and silly antics. Much of this comes from Jamal’s ridiculous mission to uncover hidden treasure (yes, you read that right), but the series is backed by Jessica marie garcia like Jasmine, the maladjusted classmate you’d like to hate but can’t. She eventually gets a much bigger role on the show, which means more hilarity for viewers.
The actors are as varied as they are charming. On my block Seemed to have ended with three seasons, but Netflix has announced a surprise fourth season return, so there is even more of this story to look forward to.
Time to cross the pond and head to Ireland. Specifically, Northern Ireland in the 1990s, when the country was still struggling in the midst of unrest. This political conflict serves as the backdrop for a surprisingly hilarious spectacle. Derry Girls may only last two seasons, but every episode is a gem. Surprisingly, not a lot of heavy stuff is happening despite the political situation – this show is a comfort comedy. While Derry Girls lack of racial diversity, there is a story coming out and a unique take on civil unrest.
This teenage comedy follows the five Derry Girls – well, four girls and a boy, but who keeps track of it? There’s the cool, Erin Quinn (Saoirse-Monica Jackson); the crazy one, Orla McCool (Louisa harland); the intelligent, Clare Devlin (Bridgertonof Nicola coughlan); the naughty, Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell); and the boy, James Maguire (Dylan llewellyn). Yes, we like a little subversion of the traditional male to female ratio. Teens just want to fit in, be popular, have dates, and somehow survive the violence that hangs over their heads. But even when they try, they are held back by their equally uncool parents.
The star of this show, however, is Siobhan McSweeney as school principal, Sister Michael. It’s unforgivable that her comedic timing and iconic gaze didn’t earn her an award, as she is a scene stealer. Not only does Sister Michael have the best lines in the few scenes she appears in, but McSweeney’s delivery is there every time. This show is a bite-sized piece of fun as you watch the teens scratch one after the other. It makes you nostalgic for your high school years, even if you hope to be nothing like the main characters.
Kim’s convenience came to a dramatic and controversial end in 2021, but the show itself is a joy to watch. The titular Kim family is made up of Korean immigrants to Toronto who run a convenience store. Daily activities are handled by Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) and Umma (Jean Yoon), and they are sometimes helped by their daughter Janet (Andrea Bang). The fourth member of the family is Jung (Marvel’s Simu liu), who was disowned by his family as a teenager. Jung works in a rental car and has his own adventures with his co-workers.
Kim’s convenience feels like a perfect follow-up to something like Schitt Creek. You follow a family of entrepreneurs who must navigate their contentious relationship with each other while growing up as characters themselves. The supporting characters fill the background and bring the Toronto of the series to life. The show is supported by Lee and Yoon who play the kind of parents you would like to have but are embarrassed. The series may seem to like its cartoons, but Lee and Yoon’s performances prove that they are more than that. They are cautious and conventional but still a little cool. Lee and Yoon’s chemistry and the effortless way they describe Appa and Umma’s long relationship carry the show. Their relationship is so strong that they could be your next door neighbors.
From the very first episode, the showrunners made it clear that they were going to be daring. Their characters may not know everything about the world they live in, but they are ready to learn. Of all the shows on this list, this one has the least amount of drama. For maximum laughs you really must visit Kim’s convenience.
One day at a time
Collider recently discussed how reboots might be welcome opportunities to diversify entertainment, and the One day at a time the reboot certainly proved this point. The 1980s original was a huge favorite, and it’s a shame the reboot didn’t get enough support from its studios as the series gave so many Latin viewers a voice. If you’re looking for an even more inclusive comedy, this show should be on your list. (Netflix has the first three seasons, and if you want to watch its equally brilliant 7-episode fourth season, you’ll have to head to Paramount +.)
The enduring penchant for One day at a time stems from the love that the Alvarez family have for each other, and reluctantly for their owner, Schneider (Todd grinnell). Keeping the family together and under one roof is Penelope Alvarez (Justina machado), a veteran who becomes a nurse and is now Elena’s single mother (Isabelle Gomez) and Alex (Marcel Ruiz). On top of all that, Penelope has to somehow maintain her sanity after her mom, Lydia Riera (Rita Moreno), moved in after the death of his father. Many families will see each other in the Alvarezs, and that’s part of the joy of watching this show.
Although it lasts less than 50 episodes (the series was unceremoniously canceled in 2020 after being saved from cancellation once before), One day at a time is an endlessly entertaining socio-political wonder. With its canned laugh track and single camera setup, the show is returning to old school TV. But the comparisons end there as the series quickly establishes itself as a modern sitcom. The central family is Cuban-American and celebrates its heritage with pride. There’s a touching story ahead in the first season, as well as several conversations about the treatment of the Latin community in the United States. Over the course of its four seasons, the characters not only invoke systemic racism, but they often come up against each other’s outdated viewpoints or ignorance. Everything from colorism, gender identity, feminism, drug use, treatment of veterans, and more, has been covered by this show. You can see why fans were disheartened to see him go, but the episodes that we did get are readily available to be added to your watchlist.
KEEP READING: The 30 Best Comedies On Netflix Right Now (May 2021)
The final season of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is coming soon? Cool cool cool.
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