Top 10 Comedies, 2012

Posted on December 27, 2012 

Here's my picks for Top 10 comedies for 2012. The criteria was pretty simple -- the show had to make me laugh. So, you won't see "Girls" on this list, even though it made many critics' Top 10 lists for some incomprehensible reason.

So, here's the Top 10 in an order that could be easily flipped around:

10. "Episodes" (Showtime): I didn't find this show quite as good in Season 2 as I did in Season 1, but Matt LeBlanc continues to shine as a warped version of Matt LeBlanc, including a brilliant subplot when he has an affair with the wife of the network's president.

9. "Go On" (NBC): Speaking of former "Friends," it's nice to see Matthew Perry finally find a comedy in his wheelhouse. TV's best-rated new sitcom, it's the supporting cast that blends perfectly with Perry that makes this show a keeper.

8. "Key & Peele" (Comedy Central): Not a sitcom, but a sketch show that's biting in its satire and also the funniest thing on the network since Dave Chappelle left. From the inappropriately hilarious sketch on a slave auction to the extremes two characters will go to in order to call their wives a "b----" without getting caught, Key & Peele definitely take an outside-the-box approach to their comedy.

7. "The League" (FX): I was an early proponent of this series about a group of lunatic fantasy football fans, and the show has gained popularity each year. Sometimes, the writers take things to extremes, but it's almost always funny.

6. "Veep" (HBO): Created by the same writer who wrote the brilliant "The Thick of It" in Britain, "Veep" is a biting political satire as to how things really get done in the Beltway, with a perfectly cast Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a vice president trying to make herself relevant. How this show gets less attention than "Girls" is beyond me.

5. "Happy Endings" (ABC): This is a series that continues to improve each season. It's definitely a "Friends" for the 21st century as the cast blends together in a great way.

4. "Don't Trust The B--" (ABC): As good as Matt LeBlanc is in sending up Matt LeBlanc, James Van Der Beek has taken it to another level with his egocentric antics on this series, be it releasing a sex tape to get publicity for his career or going on "Dancing With The Stars." It meshes well with the main plot of a fish-out-of-water Midwestern woman (Dreama Walker) coping with her self-involved and slightly evil party-girl roommate (Krysten Ritter).

3. "Modern Family" (ABC): It's hard to imagine that the show which has cleaned up every comedy Emmy for the past three seasons to be only No. 3 on the list. Some critics have said the show has gotten stale, but I think it's still one of TV's best half-hours, even if the Cam-Mitchell subplots can be a bit grating sometimes.

2. "Parks & Recreation" (NBC): Every year, this show manages to raise its game another level and hasn't had any mis-steps I can think of. The romance between Leslie and Ben is one of TV's best, and the character of Ron Swanson may be the best supporting character on TV. It's also got some of TV's best guest appearances, including Lucy Lawless as Ron's new girlfriend and Christie Brinkley as Jerry's unlikely wife.

1. "Louie" (FX): Arguably one of the most groundbreaking shows on TV, it's really an updated "Seinfeld" based on the adventures of comic Louis CK. While the show won't appeal to everyone, it took its game up a notch with subplots including a romance with a quirky Parker Posey (I hope she comes back next season) and Louis' flirtation with replacing David Letterman on "The Late Show."

So, which comedies did you like in 2012?

No best bets tonight, since everything is a rerun.

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