There’s way too much to watch these days. No matter how I go about it, there always seems to be something waiting on a list that gets longer every day. But every now and then, I am in the mood for a break from the endless stream of drama, horror, action and often spirit-crushing sci-fi.
Comedies are often the way to go. However, knowing where to go from there can be tricky. So tricky, in fact, that I’ll sometimes panic and go straight for shows I’ve already seen. Something I already know will make me laugh and satisfy that need to watch a slightly more lighthearted form of entertainment.
So, if you’re anything like me, you need a helping hand every now and then. Just a little nudge in the right direction to unplug for a bit and relax. These comedies will not only help with the unwinding but they also all have the added bonus of being led, produced, written, voiced or directed by women. Enjoy!
Ok, fine. This one is part drama, but the part that’s dramatic mostly has really dark and wonderful humor. Nadia (the incredible Natasha Lyonne) gets stuck on a ‘Groundhog Day’-style loop of her 36th birthday – which also happens to be the day she dies. It was created for Netflix by Lyonne, Leslye Headland and the amazing and hysterical Amy Poehler.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
This show about a New York Jewish housewife in the late fifties who suddenly finds herself starting a career in standup comedy is a gem. It was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino and its first two seasons have already won Emmy’s, Golden Globes, SAG Awards and even a Peabody for their cast and writer. Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein are especially fantastic in the roles of Midge and Susie.
Allison Janney. That’s all you should need to know, really. The NBC sitcom was created by Chuck Lorre, Eddie Gorodetsky, and Gemma Baker, and focuses on dysfunctional mother and daughter Bonnie and Christie Plunkett (Janney and Anna Faris). The two are joined by the women in their AA group, played beautifully by Jaime Pressly, Mimi Kennedy and Beth Hall. While often sidesplitting, the show touches honestly and heart
The Good Place
This fantasy-comedy is a different and hilarious view of the afterlife starring Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, a not-so-great person who accidentally ends up in “The Good Place” after dying. The cast includes body positivity warrior Jameela Jamil as Tahani Al-Jamil and Ted Danson – who is not a woman but still deserves a mention for being great.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
This is a Tina Fey creation (together with Robert Carlock) and if you like the SNL alumnus work, there’s a very big chance you won’t be disappointed. The story revolves around Kimmy (played by Ellie Kemper), a young and naïve dreamer living in New York after fifteen years spent in an underground bunker as a member of a doomsday cult.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge creates and stars in this British comedy-drama about a woman in London who constantly and cleverly breaks the fourth wall to address her audience and make us her accomplices. She’s dark, sex-driven, smart, and unapologetically honest in a way that’s refreshing. Creating a witty and sexy show that forces you to try and keep up with this wonderfully complex character known only as ‘Fleabag’.
Tuca & Bertie
If you’re into adult animation and like short, funny and often irreverent episodes to end your day with, ‘Tuca & Bertie’ might be the best option for you. The show cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt features two bird pals voiced by the excellent Ali Wong and Tiffany Haddish. It was recently cancelled, so try not to get too attached.
How about you? What are some of your favorite shows to unwind to?