Best Online TV Comedy Series of 2015

Original television series created for online platforms such as Netflix and Hulu are becoming more prevalent and more popular. Binge watching has undoubtedly influenced the content viewers desire; this shortened viewing period has created a demand for strong, dynamic characters with whom the viewer can form heightened emotional attachments.

According to The New York Times, the most watched American television series in 2007 were reality competitions: “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars.” With the advent of Netflix streaming in 2007, America’s collective taste in television shows was forever altered. In last year’s list of top television shows curated by critics of The New York Times, not a single reality competition made the cut.

When comedy is placed in the context of online streaming, it seems as if this platform gives writers more liberty to explore social issues and eases some of the pressure to appeal to commercialized ideals. I have compiled a short list of the best online comedy series of 2015 that are sure to make you laugh AND think!

Master of None (Netflix)

Starring and created in part by Aziz Ansari, this ten-part millennial rom-com realistically portrays awkward situations and common social mishaps. Viewers are sure to identify with each episode’s thematic conflict and as outside observers immediately appreciate it. Watching “Master of None” is like reflecting on past embarrassments, but without the painful incubation period filled with the constant internal loop of “someday this will be funny.” This series successfully injects topics of social gravity (such as race in the workplace, feminism, and the effect of technology on modern relationships) with undeniable humor.


The Mindy Project (Hulu)

This rom-com series, created by and starring Mindy Kaling, was dropped by Fox after 3 seasons. Last year, Hulu commissioned a 26 episode 4th season in which Mindy must balance her career as an obstetrician/gynecologist with her increasingly complicated personal life and *spoiler alert: motherhood*. Although this isn’t technically a new series for 2015, I included it here because of it’s recent move to online streaming and because it redefines the term “strong female lead.” Mindy is endearingly flawed yet consistently remains true to herself. She is still figuring out a way to have it all, just like the rest of us.


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Tina Fey and Robert Carlock originally wrote this sitcom for NBC, but sold it to Netflix instead. Kimmy, played by Ellie Kemper, was abducted by a doomsday cult when she was only 14. After being held underground in captivity for 15 years, she and the other “mole women” are rescued. Determined to create a new identity, Kimmy moves to New York City and makes an unlikely group of friends. In this delayed coming of age series, Kimmy must learn what it means to be a woman in today’s society. Kimmy’s sense of wonderment and her wacky interactions with others keep this seemingly dark plot lighthearted and irresistible!

Like the ideal significant other (one who is humorous and well informed) these three shows are the ideal cuddle buddy, so get cozy on your couch (or in your bed), and enjoy.