I hope everyone is doing OK in these uncertain times and making the most of their time indoors, where possible.
Just remember that Dumbledore is always right: “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Sundays are made for relaxing and recharging for the week ahead so sit back and pop one of these bad boys on – you deserve it!
Laughter is the best medicine (for morale), after all 😉
Some of these clips are trailers while others are some of my favourite scenes so you’ll get a feel for whether it’s your kind of thing!
1. THE OFFICE (US)
An American mockumentary series that depicts the everyday lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.
Total number of episodes: 201
Episode length: 20 minutes
The US Office is my all-time favourite TV series that I’ve rewatched multiple times. Unlike other awful American adaptations of UK series (e.g. Skins and The Inbetweeners), it is incredible. The first episode is quite similar to the UK one but it morphs into a completely different beast! There is a much bigger cast and many more series than its UK counterpart so the characters are all given much more of a voice, all lead by the incredibly talented Steve Carrel as the manager. Pam and Jim’s love story is also an absolute treat to watch unfold.
If you laugh at this scene, you will LOVE this show.
If you don’t, r u OK hun?
2. GAVIN AND STACEY
The comic tale of love between an Essex boy and a Welsh girl. The show focuses on the situations that arise when the relationship brings their two differing families together.
Seasons: 3 (plus 2 Christmas specials)
Total number of episodes: 21
Episode length: 30 minutes (Christmas specials are an hour long)
This show is the equivalent of chicken soup for the soul. Uncle Bryn is possibly one of my all time favourite characters and the interactions between the two families and friends is a joy to watch. I won’t lie to you, Stacey’s voice does grate a little but overall, you just can’t go wrong with a bit of Gavin and Stacey.
3. PEEP SHOW
Peep show follows the lives of Mark and Jeremy (Jez), two very different, dysfunctional friends who met at university and now share a flat in Croyden. Mark is a socially awkward and despondent loan manager with a cynical outlook on life, while Jeremy is an irresponsible, juvenile slacker and talentless, unemployed musician who lives in Mark’s spare room.
Total number of episodes: 54
Episode length: 25 minutes
I don’t think there’s anything that compares to Peep Show in terms of how unique it is. The show is filmed using point of view shots with the thoughts of Mark and Jeremy audible as voice-overs which makes everything so much funnier. There are so many on-point and hilarious quotes – I used to have a book of the Peep Show scripts and it is brilliant.
4. FRESH MEAT
From the creators of Peep Show, Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, comes a comedy that follows a group of six students about to embark on the most exciting period of their lives so far, university.
Total number of episodes: 30
Episode length: 40 minutes
This may be a little controversial but I actually prefer Fresh Meat to Peep Show. I loved my university experience so I found it interesting to see how others may have got on. Having made most of my friends through living in halls and throwing flat-parties, I imagine it would have been really hard to make new friends if I’d ended up in a random house-share in my first year. It’s fascinating and hilarious to witness the experiences of this group of misfits and watching their relationships grow.
5. AN IDIOT ABROAD
A British travel documentary comedy series in which Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant surprise their friend, Karl Pilkington, with a trip around the world to visit the Seven Wonders. Although it’s a dream journey for most, Pilkington has no interest in global travel, especially considering Gervais and Merchant want him to become “one with the locals” at each stop.
Total number of episodes: 19
Episode length: 45 minutes
Most travel programs tend to talk about how great the locations are and most people are so grateful to have the opportunity to be there. What I love about this program is that Karl Pilkington doesn’t want to be there and takes his home comforts of Monster Munch and Twix with him wherever he goes. His insights into what are deemed the Seven Wonders of the World are a breath of fresh air and the adventures that he is made to embark upon never fail to make me laugh. If you enjoy the series, I’d also recommend reading the accompanying books too for even more of Karl’s hilarious thoughts.
6. PARKS AND RECREATION
Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat in an Indiana Parks and Recreation Department, hopes to beautify her town (and boost her own career) by helping local nurse Ann Perkins turn an abandoned construction site into a community park. However, what should be a fairly simple project is hindered at every turn.
Total number of episodes: 125
Episode length: 22 minutes
Lots of people told me that since I loved the US Office so much, I’d love Parks and Rec too. I gave it a chance and watched the first season but didn’t get into it so left it there. However, lots of people mention that the first season isn’t great but it gets better so I decided to give it another go and lo and behold, I got into it! Personally, I don’t think that it’s as good as The US Office but it is still a funny, easy watch – so much so that I’ve rewatched the entire show twice.
7. THE OFFICE (UK)
The story of a Slough paper merchant office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager David Brent as they continue their daily lives.
Seasons: 2 and 2 Christmas Specials
Total number of episodes: 14
Episode length: 30 minutes
The manager, David Brent, played by Ricky Gervais, is delusional in thinking that he’s the coolest, funniest and most popular boss ever but he isn’t. He’s cringey and awful which somehow makes this show incredibly entertaining. Also, the relationship between Tim, who works in sales, and Dawn, the receptionist who is engaged to another man, is great to watch and I even cried at the end. It’s a brilliantly written storyline with equal parts cringe-humour and ALL THE FEELS.
Extras follows the lives of Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais), his platonic friend, Maggie, and Andy’s substandard agent and part-time retail employee Darren Lamb (Merchant) as Millman muddles through life as an anonymous “background performer” who eventually finds success as a B-level sitcom star. Each episode has at least one guest star: a television or film celebrity, who play an exaggerated or inverted parody of their public personas.
Seasons: 2 and a Christmas Special
Total number of episodes: 13
Episode length: 30 minutes
As you may have noticed, I’m a big fan of any series that Gervais and Merchant put together and Extras is no exception. It is hilarious watching A-List actors performing as exaggerated or inverted parodies of their public personas. Check out the 8 Spooky Predictions that Ricky Gervais Got Right in Extras, such as Kate Winslet finally winning an Oscar after being in a film about the Holocaust and Samuel L. Jackson being confused with Laurence Fishburne on live TV.
9. FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER
Two siblings share their Friday night dinners at their parents’ home and, somehow, something always goes wrong.
Total number of episodes: 34
Episode length: 21-25 minutes
I’d watched the odd few episodes of Friday Night Dinner previously and initially found the brothers’ pranks and Jim’s characters a bit much (though I still maintain that some of the pranks do slightly annoy me due to the unnecessary wastage). However, having watched it properly all the way through, I’ve found it hilarious! Perfect if you’re looking for an easy watch and a guaranteed laugh!
I’m sure this show needs no introduction but for those of you who have been living under a rock: Friends follows the personal and professional lives of six twenty to thirty-something-year-old friends living in Manhattan.
Total number of episodes: 236
Episode length: 20 minutess
Another one of those chicken soup for the soul shows. When you’ve watched the entire season so many times, you can pop on any episode and know what’s going on. It never fails to bring me joy!
A few more shows that I love but didn’t quite make it into the top 10: Summer Heights High, Please Like Me, Flight of the Conchords, The I.T. Crowd, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, Bob’s Burgers and The Inbetweeners.
Finally, that’s a wrap!
I hope this has given you some inspiration for something new to watch or inspired you to give a joyous show a rewatch.
Let me know your thoughts and if you have any recommendations, hit me up!