Cape Town - With on-point political satire, rude barbs, toilet humour and the cringiest, cruellest awkward moments ever seen on screen, these R-rated comedy series on internet TV will remind you that everything’s going to be okay. Yes, the world’s going to hell in a handbasket, but at least we can laugh about it.
Stream these series on Showmax, Netflix and Amazon Prime this weekend, if only to make you feel better about your own existence.
Issa Rae’s critically acclaimed series launched on Showmax earlier this week, and HBO announced last week that it’s been renewed for a third season. Issa’s just a regular, awkward black girl who’s trying to figure out what to do with her life. Where’s her career going? What is she doing, living with a loser she knows isn’t The One? And will she ever be able to be comfortable being herself? We’ve all been there. This a-laugh-a-minute series is undisputedly hilarious AF … but also, at times, just a little too relatable.
Season 19 of animated comedy series South Park is a fascinating place to leap in. It’s got a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and marks the first time the show used long-running storylines. There’s bucket-loads of social and political satire (both seasons were produced during the US 2015/2016 presidential election cycle), plus all the gross, crass, offensive and totally un-PC comedy you’d expect from Kenny, Kyle, Cartman and co. South Park Season 21 is coming first to Showmax in September, express from the US!
Seasons 1 to 5 of this unabashedly adult comedy are currently on Showmax, and Season 6 launches on Monday, 21 August. The Gallagher family is in for another turbulent season as Ian decides to quit his meds and Debbie’s got a little surprise up her … um … sleeve. And then, as always, Frank reappears. Will this be the final straw for his family, who have had enough of his shenanigans? Or will they take him back in, again?
Ever been told to “cheer up” and wanted to punch the person who said it? That’s day-to-day life for Thom Payne (Steve Coogan) in this single-season dark comedy. Thom’s 44. Stuck in a dead-end advertising job. And thanks to a huge overhaul at the office, he’s got much younger, annoying Swedish bosses who Thom describes as “Satan incarnate” in his mini-commentaries. HAPPYish is filled to the brim with f-bombs and features some truly freaky dream sequences, but the question at its core is a serious one: is it possible to be truly content in a world where online approval is more important than living a life of substance?
Stuart is a British web designer, but decides he needs more sunshine in his life. So he moves to Los Angeles, hoping for good weather, big parties and gorgeous ladies - perhaps even the woman of his dreams. But our man Stuart has one problem: he’s not the smoothest cat. In fact, he’s more like a blind dog walking into doors. But that won’t stop him from trying to make it in the City of Angels. Starring Stephen Merchant, co-creator of many of Ricky Gervais’s shows, this dry, irreverent comedy will have you in stitches over Stuart’s sad, sad adventures.
Another gem of a British comedy, this cynical, quirky comedy won a BAFTA for its fourth season. All eight seasons are on Netflix, and at around 25 minutes per episode, it’s practically made for binge-watching. Mark (David Mitchell) and Jeremy (Robert Webb) are friends who met at university and now live together in a flat in London. Mark’s responsible and has a very boring job, and Jeremy’s pursuing his “music career” (spectacularly unsuccessfully). There are no holds barred on the depravity of Jeremy’s sex life, no knowing what his weirdo mate Super Hans will do next in order to procure some “really moreish crack”, and no limits to the number of people Mark will screw over to woo the woman he’s got his eye on. Let’s just say, this isn’t a show you want to watch in the presence of your parents.
This brand-new Netflix original series is probably the most slapstick and broadest of the bunch, but we couldn’t resist it when we saw its cast. It reads like a who’s who of American comedy: Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Jason Schwartzman, Lake Bell, Dax Shepard, Alyssa Milano, Molly Shannon, Bradley Cooper … and the list goes on. It’s about a group of junior counsellors from Camp Firewood who decide to have a reunion 10 years later, only to find out that their beloved camp is at risk of being shut down. It’s set in 1991, and the outfits alone are hysterical.
8) Between Two Ferns (Amazon Prime)
Zach Galifianakis interviews some of the top names in comedy while sitting in between two ferns on a makeshift set, and they are the most awkward satirical interactions you’ll ever see. He plays a completely inept, uninterested host who says things like, “So you were in Monsters Inc?” to Charlize Theron when he means to ask her about her role in Monster, mispronounces Ben’s surname as “Stifler”, asks Bruce Willis, “Did you know some actors turn down roles?”, and, in the very first episode, falls asleep while Michael Cera’s explaining how he got into acting. The “guests” play along with straight poker faces, no mean feat when confronted with their host’s blatant rudeness. Season 1 is available on Amazon Prime.