TV Comedy Power Rankings: March 15, 2015

by Matthew Thompson

No comedies made the cut last time I did my TV Show Power Rankings, so I thought I’d do a whole set just for them this go around. Just as before my Power Rankings are a “what have you done for me lately” kind of thing, so these have generally been my favorites in 2015 with an extra emphasis on how they have been even more recently. Well here it goes!

1. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt March 2015

This is the 30 Rock successor I needed in my life. It is the style of humor and the rapid pace with which Kimmy Schmidt dispenses jokes that reminds me most fondly of 30 Rock, but with familiar faces popping up throughout the first season and even a similar score, it is hard to not think of Fey and Carlock’s last show while watching this one. And yet the premise and lead help it stand out as a show with brilliance all its own. I can’t say enough good things about Ellie Kemper’s turn as Kimmy Schmidt. She is perfect in the role and I hope she gets some recognition come awards season. Also kudos to Jon Hamm for his excellent work in an important guest spot. Simply put, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a must-watch.

Favorite Joke: This burn from Kimmy: “Hey Xan, 2090 called. You’re dead, and you wasted your time on Earth.”

2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine March 2015

In what is probably a pretty good indication that there has been a changing of the guard in terms of television comedies in recent years, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the elder statesman among this week’s top five and yet is only in its second season. While I’m of the mind B99 hasn’t been quite as good as it was back in Season 1, it remains consistently funny week in, week out. Of the recent episodes, the wedding one was my favorite. The whole cast was good from the back and forth between Jake and Amy to Holt’s skills at wedding speeches to Rosa accidentally spooking the groom-to-be. But most of all I loved it for bringing out the best in Gina who has been a little underutilized this season. She had too many killer lines to recount that episode.

A Memorable Holt Line: This one about pictures: “If you love someone, you’ll remember what they look like.”

3. Man Seeking Woman

Man Seeking Woman March 2015

There is nothing on TV quite like FXX’s Man Seeking Woman. This absurd take on the dating world will be relatable to anyone who has tried their hand at it in their twenties recently and yet the way they present it all is just so creative and imaginative. Here you’ll see set-ups turned into horror movies. You’ll see mom’s inquiries into the new girlfriend taken to military levels of interrogation. There are sex aliens and Japanese penis monsters and destination weddings in hell. The latest episode even flipped the script for an episode to take a look at things from a woman’s point of view. Not everything works, but at its best it’s as funny as anything on TV and at its worst it’s at least interesting. Man Seeking Woman is worth a look just for how unique it is, but also for how hilarious it can be.

Funnier Than It Should Have Been: My brother has a running joke about getting his groomsmen swords at his wedding which made Josh and Mike’s sword shopping trip extra hilarious for me.

4. Black-ish

Blackish March 2015

Black-ish was one of this past Fall’s surprise hits for me and it continues to bring the laughs on Wednesday nights. Over the course of the series so far, it has really found the right balance between race-related humor and broader family comedy, filling a nice niche in my sitcom schedule. It has been particularly strong in its two latest episodes. All the bagging in “The Dozens” whether it was from Andre Jr. at school or Dre and Charlie at work was excellent. And “Parental Guidance” was one of the show’s best outings. The return of Lawrence Fishburne was especially welcome. I’d love to see him in the show more often because he has just been pure gold each and every time he shows up. Though both of Dre and Bow’s parents brought a lot to that episode.

Favorite Joke: When it is brought up that he can’t swim and the Earth is 75% water, Dre has the perfect response: “Well, that leaves me 25%. I ain’t greedy.” The delivery on that last sentence was perfection.

5. The Last Man on Earth

The Last Man on Earth March 2015

Like Man Seeking Woman, The Last Man on Earth gets bonus points for the original concept. Post-apocalyptic shows aren’t all that rare on television, but comedic takes on it sure are and this show makes the most of this unique premise to create some really uproarious situations. And as the title of the show would suggest, the cast is very small which also helps it stand out among its comedy contemporaries. The freedom of being the only person around allows Phil (played by Will Forte) to do some highly entertaining things. Dark humor abounds, but I also like that The Last Man on Earth doesn’t shy away from the loneliness of Phil’s situation. It is another great new show worthy of your time.

Best Bit: Anytime Phil shot out a glass window or door with a gun just to pass through it cracked me up. Him changing his mind about Castaway was pretty great too.

That will do it for this set of TV Power Rankings. What have been your favorite comedies lately? Anything I overlooked? Let me know in the comments below. I have another set of Power Rankings planned for the end of March, so be on the lookout for them. Thanks for reading!

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12 comments on “TV Comedy Power Rankings: March 15, 2015

  1. Hey, a list where I’ve watched everything. Pretty much agree with the order, but I’d flip Black-ish (which is way funnier than it has any right to be) with Last Man on Earth. Kimmy was definitely the best this month, partly because it was new and gave so much, but it also delivered on being consistently funny. Brooklyn I’d say is more a trade off from last season. Parts aren’t as good, but some aspects I think are better, particularly Holt. I’d say my favorite Man Seeking Woman joke is still the text war room. Just nailed what it’s like to text a girl you just met.

  2. Nice list. Unbreakable… they alive dammit. (can’t get that theme song out of my head). I’ve never seen Man Seeking Woman. And Black-ish hit a little too close to home for me to keep viewing. Started watching The 100. Three fantastic scenes (after 8 episodes) SPOILERS: The little girl killing the Chancellor’s son (awesome). All the people volunteering to die on the ark (brought a tear) and their bodies burning up in the atmosphere was beautiful, and the back story for the brother and sister was cool. But the show is extremely cheesy and its believably is near zero. But it has some quality moments. And from what I’m reading online they say season two is a lot better, so I’ll stick with it. Last Man on Earth (after 3 episodes) is really good and it makes me uncomfortable (which is also good). But did they explain where the animals went? No birds. No dogs. No nothing?

    • I felt pretty similarly about The 100 when I was where you are now. I didn’t really feel strongly about it like I do now until Season 2 (though the S1 finale is really good). It isn’t nearly as cheesy now as it was then. Not sure it gets any more believable though. That never really bugged me outside of an eyeroll here or there. Anyway, I’ll be curious to see what you think as you watch more.

      Not sure on that Last Man on Earth question. Maybe the virus wiped out other animals too. I’m not really sure on the logistics of it. Maybe they will answer that one day.

    • Totally agree. Not only is it my favorite since 30 Rock ended, it’s also great to have because even the other comedies I still really like don’t have the style of comedy 30 Rock did and this one fits that bill.

  3. Completely agree on Kimmy Schmidt. Ellie Kemper is absolutely fantastic, and Jon Hamm’s performance proves once again how good of a comedic actor he can be.
    And The Last Man on Earth has been pretty good so far, although it does seem to be adding people at a pretty quick rate.

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