TV Shows I Laugh At

It feels like ages since I updated my TV show suggestions and today seems like the right time. I wanted to concentrate on a couple of shows that are funny and entertaining as, let’s face it, some of us need cheering up a bit. My current favourite comedy programmes are short and simple, but brilliant and laugh-out-loud crazy.

Newark, Newark (UK Gold and NOW TV)

Morgana Robinson is hilarious in this funny, light show.

Sometimes my favourite discoveries come from podcast recommendations and my go-to podcast for TV show suggestions is Making The Cut which is jam-packed with reviews of anything from kitchen equipment to movies. Davina McCall and Michael Douglas got me into Ted Lasso and that was a great series which I am now hooked on.

I remember Morgana Robinson from her previous comedy show where she did amazing impressions of famous people. This new comedy series is a pilot made up of three half an hour episodes and originally showed up on UK Gold, a channel I would never normally watch. Luckily I was able to stream it using my NOW TV app, and after travelling through Newark the other day, my memory was jogged to check it out.

Maxine (Morgana) is a chip shop owner who split up with her weird husband Terry (Matthew Horne) and has a teenage son who is trying to come out to her and his friends. She is such a distracted, frantic person and seems to find ways to sidetrack her son’s dilemmas, while pushing her ex to one side. Starting with her 40th birthday party, the short series is full of nothing but witty dialogue and Northern charm.

Matthew Horne is brilliant in this quirky role, which is quite a departure from his lead role in Gavin and Stacey. Another funny character is Maxine’s mum who is plastered in make up and trying to dish out advice left, right and centre. Beverley Callard is perfect for this role, with her comic timing and cheeky expressions.

Bloods (Sky/ NOW TV)

Bloods is quirky and easy viewing.

I have spoken about how much I like Jane Horrocks as an actress. Having seen her in serious plays and on screen in comedies such as Absolutely Fabulous, I have been a fan for many years.

It was brilliant to see this paramedic spoof comedy return for a second series as it made me laugh the first time. Season two, in my opinion, is funnier still. It is as if the script writers have woken up a bit and dialled up the jokes.

Wendy (Jane) and Maleek (Samson Kayo) are a mismatched pair of paramedics who somehow ‘work’ as an accident-prone ambulance crew. Wendy now has a grown up son who irritates her a lot and Maleek is always trying to take shortcuts and show off his skills. The storylines are cheeky and have begun to follow the other ambulance crews more too.

Having worked in ambulances in the past, I can totally relate to some of these situations but of course they somehow turn tragedies into comedy sequences. I defy you not to at least crack a smile when watching each episode. Being just 23 minutes long, they are great remedies to a hard day’s work. I love popping them on and having a giggle to help me unwind.

One of the stars for me is also the ambulance station manager, Jo, played by Lucy Punch, who I recognised from the equally hilarious ‘Motherland’. Her character is obsessed with a blissfully unaware paramedic who is still getting over the death of his wife. Returning to dating, he has no idea that Jo holds a torch for him, despite her incredibly awkward attempts to show her interest.

So those are my two suggestions for comedy series to watch. Both have short episodes and are easy to get into. For other TV suggestions that I previously wrote about, check my TV Shows I Like article. If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog for similar future content.

More Great TV Shows

TV has already been brilliant this January and now we enter February I have added even more programmes to my recommended list. The choice of quality and fun series feels better than ever after a slow down in production during the pandemic. I am still registered with a TV Extra agency and the shear amount of offers I have received lately is great. Sadly I just don’t have time to do them as I no longer work part time and haven’t done for a while.

Anyway, the following TV shows have got my attention and sustained my interest so far. If you are looking for new shows to grab your interest, then these are definitely worth a try.

Casting agents have been doing a great job lately, especially in the shows I have reviewed.

Trigger Point – ITV

This show was always going to be good. It is produced by Jed Mercurio, of ‘Line of Duty’ fame, and stars Vicky McClure, with a guest spot by Adrian Lester. All about a bomb disposal team who are dealing with some challenging times, this series is thrilling and fascinating.

Vicky plays Lana, who is a strong female lead that is trying to solve a puzzle related to recent bomb discoveries in London. Alongside this, she is dating a Police detective, making work and personal life an interesting balance. Also the loss of a close friend and colleague provides more incentive to rid London of the preceding threat.

Only two episodes in, but this masterpiece of an ITV drama is compelling and well written, with fully rounded characters. The gritty subject matter makes this unsuitable for kids but as far as storyline goes it had similar ingredients to the incredible ‘Bodyguard’ series, also penned by Jed Mercurio.

The Book of Bobba Fett – Disney

Oh my goodness! For any Star Wars fans, there have been some brilliant series coming out since Disney Plus emerged onto the streaming market. First we had ‘The Mandalorian’ (reviewed here), which was followed up with a second season and now we have ‘The Book of Bobba Fett.’

Baby Yoda, otherwise known as `Grogu’ is a regular Mandalorian character.

I don’t want to give any spoilers for proper Star Wars fans but can say that these two series are linked in several ways. In the six episodes of Bobba Fett we find out what happened to him after he was thrown into the Sarlak pit during ‘The Return of the Jedi.’ Let’s face it – we were all wondering if that was the end of him or not.

Bobba had already appeared in the Mandalorian series and now we get to find out about how he dragged his way out of a pit (literally!) and quickly became a big player in Mos Eisley, the town that Jabba once ruled. The other main characters are well cast (especially Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand – Bobba’s loyal deputy) and help to make this narrative interesting and entertaining. There are many flashbacks and connections to the original George Lucas movies, too.

Both of my recommendations are six part series so can be spread out or easily watched in binges. I absolutely love Trigger Point for its unpredictability and pace. Bobba is all about Star Wars nostalgia and filling in the gaps of ongoing stories. Created by Jon Favreau, this series is another example of Lucasfilm magic.

I hope that you enjoyed these brief reviews and consider checking out my blog for similar future content. As well as TV show reviews, I also write about books and the environment.

Even More Great TV Shows

Everyone knows that I love TV series. Perhaps I am a bit old fashioned but I generally like to watch them spread across several weeks rather than binge watch them in one go. That way I get to see a bit of everything each week and I enjoy the wait between episodes.

Today I wanted to share some more TV shows that are currently keeping me very entertained. These shows have managed to maintain my interest and keep me coming back for more.

Emily In Paris (Netflix)

Series two is now available, but if you haven’t had the chance to check out this cute little show then I am going to tell you why you probably need to. Lily Collins (daughter of Phil Collins the singer) has managed to carry off a gorgeous comedy which is not only beautiful to look at, but also very funny and relaxing.

Emily was given an out-of-the-blue assignment to work in PR for a French company. Originally it was a one year contract but, thankfully for series two, this was extended as she started to get to grips with the French way of living. Her lack of spoken French is laughable but when you get past this plot point you can see how amusing her experience is. She is one of those watchable, warm characters who can hold a show comfortably.

The supporting cast include her grouchy boss, Sylvia, who seems to have relationships of one kind or another with anyone that Emily is asked to work with. Her other colleagues are initially quite competitive with her but eventually grow to find her amusing. At the same time, a local chef totally absorbs Emily’s attention and starts to become a (handsome yet likeable) attraction.

Without me giving away the plot, this double series of 35 minute episodes is really easy to watch and provides viewers with plenty to talk about.

And Just Like That (NOW TV)

I was a regular viewer of ‘Sex and the City’ in the late nineties and early noughties, but I was never that enamoured with the movies. Nonetheless I was intrigued when it was released that a new spin-off series was being made. Going back to one of Sarah-Jessica Parker’s narrative sign-offs ‘…and just like that,’ this series was aptly named and soon became something I was interested in again.

Thankfully the character ‘BIG’ was only in one episode as that actor’s name is currently muck in the media and his character was never very intriguing. Carrie is left to go about her life without Samantha too, who apparently left to live in the UK. Her regular gang of Miranda and Charlotte are still there though, and take more equal roles in this new season. It is great to see how they have grown and changed over time, building families and dealing with careers and lifestyle challenges.

Sadly the actor who played Stanford, Carrie’s gay best friend, died during filming and was written out rather abruptly, but the episodes that he starred in were good tributes to his contribution.

I wasn’t expecting much from this comeback but have found myself fascinated, laughing out loud and hiding tears in my eyes whilst watching. The script is sharp and fun, as well as being relevant. It is not a deep, complex piece but it is definitely a pleasant watch.

Maid (Netflix)

This show is absolutely brilliant! I saw a trailer and thought I would give it a go but I actually had it on my list for quite a while before I got round to actually checking it out. Why did I wait so long?!

A woman in her twenties (played by Margaret Qualley) was being abused by a drunken boyfriend (Nick Robinson – of Love, Simon fame) and decided to take her daughter to safety in the middle of the night. In the opening episode we saw her cash supply dwindle with regular visual updates on screen as she spent some money on necessities.

Struggling to find shelter and a job, she eventually did some cleaning work for a rich woman across the lake. Having her daughter taken from her again, Alex was really driven to work hard and fight through mountains of paperwork which outline just how ridiculous beauracracy can be when it comes to dealing with the aftermath of domestic violence.

With a quirky mother (played by the actress’s own mother, Andie MacDowell) being rather ditsy and remote, Alex struggles to find support wherever she tries. Her character strides forward and really works hard to build a stable life for her daughter while confronting her own remaining feelings for her ‘trying to get straight’ ex.

Hopefully one of these shows has gained your interest. They all have many positive points but obviously people have their own tastes. In terms of storylines they all vary greatly but the characters are full and developed.

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