Comedy series to spark a little joy ahead of finals

“Our Flag Means Death,” which premiered March 3 and stars Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby, follows two of history’s most famed pirates. (Photo courtesy of HBO)

Getting show recommendations from your friends is quite common (especially if you’re close with an SCA student), but choosing the right show can be a challenge. How many pilots have you watched before realizing that you and the person who told you about the show have very different tastes in TV? With the semester nearing its end, it can be impossible to find the time to sit down and watch an episode or two, but no matter how dedicated of a student you are, breaks are important. And what better way to escape from your responsibilities than by watching comedy? 

No matter what streaming platform you have, there is a comedy show recommendation that is perfect for you. Here are five current comedy shows for you to watch and rewatch right now. 

“Our Flag Means Death”

(HBO Max) 

Out of all the shows on this list, “Our Flag Means Death,” created by David Jenkins, certainly gets the most buzz — not only for its overwhelming popularity, adoring fans and powerful performances — but because HBO has not announced its fate for a possible second season. Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby star in this 1717 pirate rom-com that follows Stede Bonnet (Darby), also known as “The Gentleman Pirate,” who has a non-traditional way of captaining his crew. After we meet the hilarious cast, history’s greatest pirate Blackbeard (Waititi) hops on board Stede’s ship, “The Revenge,” and changes everything forever. “Our Flag Means Death” has outstanding queer representation that has sparked massive support from the LGBTQIA+ community, ultimately giving the show a large and supportive online fanbase. 

There really is no excuse to not find time to watch this show, especially since students are given access to HBO Max through the school. So log in, click “Approve” on that Duo Mobile Two Factor Access and set sail on your journey on board “The Revenge.” 

“Barry” (HBO Max)

Want to watch a comedy show on HBO Max but pirates aren’t really your thing? Check out “Barry,” created by Bill Hader and Alec Berg. This dark comedy follows Barry Berkman (Hader), a skilled hitman who contemplates his profession when he follows a guy he is hired to kill to a Los Angeles theater class, which unlocks a newfound passion for acting that Barry grapples with throughout the series. This show has everything: it’s action-packed and finds humor in uncomfortable and dreary situations. Hader shows off his range and proves he can do much more than just comedy as he brings to life this complex character.

Now, if you are not a fan of violence or anything gory, “Barry” is a show you may wish to steer clear of. But if you are fine with it, get watching. The third season of “Barry” premieres April 24 on HBO Max, and this hit show is one you won’t want to miss. 

“Dollface” (Hulu) 

Are you looking for more of a “feel-good show?” Do you enjoy female-led comedies or stories about friendship and connection? Then Hulu’s “Dollface,” created by USC alumna Jordan Weiss, is perfect for you. “Dollface” follows the tale of Jules (Kat Dennings), who, after a messy breakup with her five-year boyfriend, must learn how to survive in the girl world that she has been removed from for so long. Jules learns how she wants to live her life now that she’s single again, and discovers that just because she’s not someone’s girlfriend, it doesn’t mean she’s alone. 

“Dollface” is a lighthearted comedy with an element of fantasy that is all about reconnecting with old friends and learning which relationships are most important in your life. This show is perfect if you just got out of a relationship and need a good laugh, or if you couldn’t be happier with just having your best friends by your side.

“What We Do in the Shadows” (Hulu) 

Vampire enthusiasts, night owls and horror comedy fans — this show’s for you. Based on the 2014 feature film with the same name and created by Jemaine Clement and Waititi (which was based on their 2005 short film), “What We Do in the Shadows” follows the same premise as the originals but with a new set of characters. 

WWDITS is about vampires Nandor, Laszlo, Nadja, Colin Robinson and their human familiar Guillermo living together in a house on Staten Island. The vampires face the struggles of fitting in with modern society while still holding true to their way of life that they have held up for hundreds of years, which, of course, creates amusing clashes with the humans around them. 

One of the great things about the show in comparison to the film is that the dynamic between the characters is more varied. The TV show introduces the audience to Nadja, a female vampire who is married to Laszlo. She gives the show a female perspective and a couple dynamic and all the issues that arise with being married to someone for over 100 years. WWDITS is truly one of the funniest shows out there and consistently maintains this level of excellence throughout the three seasons. The fourth season is set to premiere sometime later this year. 

“Derry Girls” (Netflix)

And finally, if you’re looking for a show on Netflix, look no further than “Derry Girls.” Created by Lisa McGee, this coming-of-age comedy only has six episodes per season and two seasons (with a third on the way), so it’s a quick watch. “Derry Girls” is the story of five teenagers growing up in Derry, Northern Ireland, in the ‘90s, during the Northern Ireland Conflict. The series starts when four friends — Erin, Orla, Michelle and Claire (played by “Bridgerton’s” Nicola Coughlan) — are joined by Michelle’s English cousin, James, who just moved to Derry. The five of them embark on many different adventures as they attend Catholic school under the leadership of a witty and deadpan nun, and enjoy other classic teenage milestones like school dances and crushes, all while Derry experiences car bombings and protests. 

While the release date for the third season in the United States has yet to be announced, “Derry Girls” just started their weekly release of episodes on Channel 4 in the U.K., which is scheduled to finish May 17, so expect it on Netflix sometime soon after.