And so we come to comedy, a genre of television that is infinitely more subjective than drama (if my hatred of the most watched comedy series is anything to go by). Nevertheless I can’t exactly do a detailed breakdown of the best of last seasons TV without dissecting the comedy side of it all, so here is my best comedy of the 2013-14 season. Once again, the Emmys ain’t got nothing on me. 

Best Series



Considering the long history of shows such as The West Wing, Parks & Recreation and Yes, Minister it seems that there’s a lot of comedy to be found in politics. When the creator of The Thick of It made the jump to HBO to create a sitcom centered around VPOTUS I wasn’t thoroughly convinced. The first two seasons were okay but nothing spectacular. But season three, centered around Selina Meyer’s hilarious, often cartoonishly so, bid to become the next President of the United States energized the series and give it the purpose it badly needed. It also gave Veep some tremendous storylines over its short 10-episode third season, marking it not only as the best season of the show to date, but also the best season of comedy last year…

Also Considered: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Archer, New Girl, Silicon Valley

Best Lead Actress

Julia Louis-Dreyfus 

…and one of the main reasons for Veep season three’s success was the fantastic Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the title character. No other woman, made me laugh as much as she did (and in her defence there was only one other person period who made me laugh more, see below). Whether it’s her fantastic array of facial expressions or her excellent comic timing almost everything she did made me laugh. Louis-Dreyfus is one of the most naturally funny women on TV. There’s a reason she’s odds on to win her third Best Comedy Actress Emmy in a row, after all.

Also Considered: Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation), Zooey Deschannel (New Girl), Ashley Rickards (Awkward), Lena Dunham (Girls)

Best Lead Actor


Thomas Middleditch
Silicon Valley

Thomas Middleditch is the relatable nerd at the centre of Silicon Valley. He’s one of us, a self-confessed nerd who is passionate about things like GURPS. But he isn’t the best leading man in comedy because he’s a geek. It’s because his awkward, constantly on the verge of a panic attack performance as Richard Hendricks was hands down one of the funniest performances of the 13/14 season. His dialogue delivery is so natural, and he knows exactly how to deploy his awkwardness to maximum effect. Going into Silicon Valley he was the only member of the main cast I wasn’t previously familiar with, but after watching it I’m excited to see more of him, both in the series and in other projects.

Also Considered: Matt LeBlanc (Episodes), Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother), H. Jon Benjamin (Archer)

Best Supporting Actress

Christin Millioti
How I Met Your Mother

Volumes have been written on what How I Met Your Mother did or did not do wrong in its ninth and climactic season. But what we all agree on is that the casting of the legendary Mother of the story was absolutely spot on. Fans of the show had spent eight years being teased with details about The Mother before catching a glimpse of her in the finale of season eight, and were delighted when she was added to the main cast of the ninth season. Although she wasn’t in every episode, she stole every scene she was in by being amazing. She was both funny and heartbreaking, depending on what was called for, and her chemistry with Josh Radnor was unbelievable. Fans of How I Met Your Mother couldn’t have asked for a better Mother.

Also Considered: Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Judy Greer (Archer)

Best Supporting Actor


Terry Crews 
Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I had no idea Terry Crews was one of the funniest men on the planet. Sure he’s pretty funny in The Expendables, but in Brooklyn Nine-Nine it’s like he’s been let off the chain, and Crews unleashed is a hurricane of comedy. From battling with fairy princess castles to trying to find enough food to maintain his 10,000 calorie diet, Crews is absolutely hilarious. Every scene he was in had me in stitches. He shows such an intensity and passion every time he’s on screen and his manic energy never stops. Ever.

Also Considered: Timothy Simons (Veep), Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Lamorne Morris (New Girl), T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley)

Best Guest Star


Gary Cole

I’ve loved Gary Cole since I first saw him in the ill-fated, short lived Babylon 5 spin-off Crusade. Ever since then I’ve always been pleasantly surprised to see him continuously pop up in everything from The West Wing to Talladega Nights. And here he is in Veep, doing what he does best, stealing most of the scenes that he appears in. As the intelligent character lost in a sea of insanity he plays his role exceptionally well, as you’d naturally expect from an actor of his caliber and experience. But damn if he doesn’t look like he’s just having fun while playing Kent Davison, something which shows through on screen.

Also Considered: Michelle Obama (Parks & Recreation), Johnathan Banks (Community), John Oliver (Community), Brie Larson (Community), Walton Goggins (Community), Patton Oswalt (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Craig Robinson (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Linda Cardellini (New Girl),

Best Ensemble

Parks & Recreation
Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubery Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, Retta

Look at that cast photo above. No doubt you recognise most of those faces. The cast of Parks & Recreation is like the supergroup of TV comedy. There isn’t another TV show around, drama or comedy, with such a stacked group of actors. Led by former SNLer Amy Poehler, with the delightfully funny Chris Pratt (about to star in Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as being the lead voice in The Lego Movie), as well as comedy favourites Nick Offerman (The Lego Movie, We’re The Millers, 22 Jump Street), Adam Scott (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Aubery Plaza (Safety Not Guaranteed), Rashida Jones (er…Cuban Fury) and Rob Lowe. During its run every star of the show has gone on to do big things, and will continue to do big things long after its gone, but for now it’s easily the best, most talented group of actors in a sitcom.

Also Considered: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Veep, Silicon Valley, Community

Best New Series


Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine fills the laugh-a-minute hole left in my heart by the premature and unjust cancellation of Happy Endings. It was only a fluke encounter with an advert run during the NFC Championship that I was even aware of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s existence, and thank God for American Football, because Brooklyn Nine-Nine was hilarious. Not only was it the best new comedy of the 13/14 season but it was very nearly almost the best comedy outright last season too. It’s an intelligent, charming character driven-comedy that brings so many laughs that you’ll have to watch each episode twice to catch them all.

Also Considered: Silicon Valley

Most Improved Series

Community - Season 5


And so it was, when the stars aligned, that the prophecy was fulfilled, and our saviour returned to us in our hour of greatest need. Okay, so season five of Community wasn’t that good, but after the tragic blunder that was the gas leak year, it couldn’t be any worse than it had gotten in season four. The behind-the-scenes story of Dan Harmon’s firing and subsequent re-hiring will probably make for a great comedy one day, but his return brought Community back from the dead. No longer did it feel like a poor copy of the shows glory days but it looked, felt and sounded like Community again…

Also Considered: Veep, Parks & Recreation, Episodes

Best Episode

Community - Season 5

Cooperative Polygraphy
Community (season 5, episode 4)

…and nowhere was that more keenly realised than in the shows fourth episode. Cooperative Polygraphy is Community at its best, firing on all cylinders. It’s an episode that gives a former cast member a proper send off without having that cast member actually appear. It features more moments of character and genuine emotion in 22 minutes that some shows manage during their entire runs, 22 minutes I might add in which we learn a great deal about characters that we’ve spent the last 4 and a half years with. And it’s also riotously funny, which is something that these “emotional” comedy episodes sometimes lack. It also manages to do all of this while spending its entire running time having its characters merely sit around a table for 22 minutes. Walton Goggins tips it over the edge in a fantastic guest role (also sperm).

Also Considered: Chris & Ann (Parks & Recreation), How Your Mother Met Me (How I Met Your Mother), Debate (Veep), Crate (Veep), White Elephant (Archer), Arrival/Departure (Archer), Charges and Specs (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Basketsball (New Girl), Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency (Silicon Valley)