Dark comedies have certainly blown up in recent years as some of the go-to shows for fans of hilarious bits with a bit of dark humor. Or, perhaps just the whole entire show revolving around a dark purpose. Streaming platforms from all over have come up with some awesome ideas, hysterical moments and so much more that they have truly become hits.
Shows like Dead to Me, Barry or even The Boys have become so popular that today, we’re going to do a dedicated article just for them. So, if you’re looking for some of the best dark comedy TV shows, be sure to check these picks out.
Dead To Me (Netflix)
In this Netflix original show, Dead to Me tells the story of two women who have both gone through horrible losses, both losing their husbands and having to learn how to live with their grief through grief counseling. However, one of them is hiding the secret of a lifetime - and it’ll be huge if this secret gets out.
Dead to Me is one those shows where at first, it may be a little slow to start, but after the first episode, you’ll be drawn in to watch every single episode afterwards. Both Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini are brilliant in their leading roles and have such amazing chemistry, paired with a story that’s enthralling from start to end.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (Hulu)
I’m sure at some point you’ve heard of this show. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a dark comedy taking place in the Pennsylvania city of Philadelphia, following a group of not so great people - Dennis and Dee, siblings, their friends, Mac and Charlie, and their “father,” Frank.
I feel like I don’t need to convince you to watch this show. You already know how great It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is. It’s literally the longest running (live-action) comedy show ever for a reason, because it has such a large fanbase and continuously adapts to some of the darkest humor. This gang has truly done some horrible things - and honestly, we’re just here for the fun ride and the dark comedic laughs.
Kevin Can F*** Himself (AMC+)
One of the newer shows on this list, Kevin Can F*** Himself is a dark comedy about Allison, a seemingly normal woman who is trying to find her place in the world while living with the titular Kevin, a man who barely knows how to take care of himself and is sucking the literal life out of her.
What makes this dark comedy so amazing is that Kevin Can F*** Himself is almost like a hybrid show. On the moments where it wants to show the amazing perspectives of her life, we are taken to a typical sitcom where there is canned laughter and several cameras, but when we dive deep down into the seriousness of her life, it feels more like a drama mixed in with dark comedy. It’s such an enigma of a show and one that any television buff can enjoy. Annie Murphy is also stellar in it.
Barry (HBO Max)
HBO knocked it out of the park with this one. Barry is all about the titular character, Barry, a discharged Marine who decides to take the next step in his life by becoming a paid-for-hire hitman. However, when one of his jobs sends him to Los Angeles, he ends up with more drama than he ever could have thought through the theater geeks of the city.
Barry is an amazing dark comedy. Not only is Bill Hader, the star of the show, fantastic in his line delivery and comedic timing (I mean, obviously, as an SNL alumnus), his moments of pure drama clash perfectly with his expert jokes. I mean, I never would have thought I’d enjoy a comedy about a hitman “finding himself” in L.A. of all people, but Barry pulls it off so well.
BoJack Horseman (Netflix)
The first animated show on this list, BoJack Horseman is an adult animated series on Netflix that tells the story of the titular character, BoJack. He’s a washed-up celebrity who is trying to see if he can make a comeback in life, so he decides to write a tell-all biography with the help of a ghostwriter, in order for his relevance to come back.
Don’t let the word “animation” turn you off. This show is just as expertly done in its dark comedy as any of the others on this list. BoJack Horseman is the perfect balance of edgy, dark jokes and really raw moments that make you think. Not only will this show make you laugh, but it deals with heavy issues such as depression, anxiety, mental disorders, grief, and so much more.
After Life (Netflix)
Starring comedy legend Ricky Gervais, After Life is a dark comedy that tells the tale of a husband who loses his wife tragically. So, he decides to give the middle finger to the rest of the world as depression settles in, and he starts to turn everyone away by being a jerk - but of course, this is turned around on him as well.
After Life is probably one of the lesser known shows on this list just because it’s not really promoted as much, but it’s certainly still worth the time to watch. Ricky Gervais is wonderful in his leading role, and it’s so strange to see him act as a man that’s so bitter about the rest of the world when everyone tries to help him. It’s also a great exploration into what happens to our after life after someone we love passes away, and how we can learn to live through grief. Season 3 just came out, so be sure to watch it now.
Inspired by the 1996 film of the same name, Fargo is an anthology series mixed in with black comedy that takes place in several different states in America, with completely new stories, characters, and a mystery that will captivate you from beginning to end.
What I love about Fargo is that while it does have a lot of hysterical moments that make me laugh, it also focuses a lot on the mystery that surrounds these areas. But it doesn’t focus too much where the show starts to feel too dramatic. It’s like the perfect balance of both genres and it shows through how many awards this show has gotten. While Season 5 hasn’t been ordered yet, hopefully we’ll get another season soon. And if you haven’t watched it, binge it now.
Rick And Morty (HBO Max)
Probably one of the most known animated shows ever at this point, Rick and Morty is a sci-fi series mixed in with black comedy that follows the titular characters, Rick and Morty, a grandfather-grandson partnership that travels the galaxies through strange portals, weird worlds, and so much more.
Rick and Morty is exactly what I think of when I think dark comedy. This show was made for adults, or at the very youngest, teenagers. It’s jokes are expertly timed and voiced to perfection, mixing in older references that older fans will enjoy and newer references to people who are just getting into the show. What makes this series so great however is that it still somehow keeps a crazy storyline as the show goes on.
As zany and ridiculous as it gets, Rick and Morty has a deep, personal story that has its dark moments of intensity - just look at one of its lead characters, Rick Sanchez. Such a compelling and complex character mixed in with brilliant dark comedy. Truly, if dark comedy is your thing, watch this one.
The End Of The F***ing World (Netflix)
This show is truly f***ing hilarious. The End of the F***ing World is a dark comedy about two teens, both with their own issues - one that thinks he’s a psychopath and the other that just has a crap life. They use this to their advantage to head out on a crazy adventure together.
I have to admit, I feel like The End of the F***ing World is for a specific kind of audience. While it does have dark humor, its delivery is unlike any other show and its two lead actors are some of the best younger actors I’ve seen, creating a dark comedy experience unlike any other. There’s so much that happens in this show I don’t want to give much away, but trust me, you should watch it. It’s seriously good.
The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
This HBO Max original is so much fun. The Flight Attendant is about a young woman, who works as a flight attendant (hence the title). Her life is a bit of a mess, mixed in with partying, drugs, alcohol and more. But one morning, she wakes up next to a dead body and has no idea how this happened - or who did it - and she takes it upon herself to figure it out, step by step.
While The Flight Attendant teeters more on just regular comedy-drama than pure dark comedy, I do think that the premise of the show puts it in that category. I mean, if you woke up to a dead body, the heck would you do? Scream? Yeah, me too, but this woman basically becomes a whole-ass detective and tries to figure out exactly what happened through hilarious means, and I can appreciate her for that. The show is also a great showcase of Kaley Cuoco’s acting talent and she deserves all the awards, everywhere.
The Boys (Amazon Prime)
Last, but certainly not least, we have the superhero series, The Boys. This Amazon original series takes place in a world where superheroes aren’t just superheroes - they’re marketing tools, press releases, toys, movie stars, and everything else. But these superheroes have dark secrets behind those masks. And one by one, they’ll all get revealed.
In a world that is filled to the brim with superheroes through the MCU or the DCEU, The Boys is a refreshing take on the genre. Not only are its dark moments very dark (I mean, that opening scene had me laughing and crying - if you know, you know), the show is just bloody entertaining - literally. This series, which doesn't shy away from violence, is not for the faint of heart. The Boys cast is full of talent, and the story perfectly captures the reality of being a superhero. Such a great one that you should watch, for sure. Now, if Season 3 of The Boys could just come out. I have to check my 2022 TV schedule to make room for it on my calendar.
Truly, these are some of the best shows you can watch right now out there, and when you do, you won’t regret it. You just might have a new favorite show. Now, if you don’t mind me, I’ll be patiently waiting for The Boys Season 3.
Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!
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