Photo by Jenn Murphy

The holiday season brings many lovely things, like cheer, decorations and that Christmas Shoes song, but it can also be a time of strife and woe. Between panicking about getting the perfect gifts for friends and family and the never-ending barrage of holiday parties and gatherings, the “happy holidays” can often wind up more stressful than enjoyable. If you’re getting to the point where you might kick the next person you see wearing a Santa hat, then this list is for you. These five excellent comedy series (all of which you can stream online) will help get you through the next few weeks of craziness and into the new year! You can thank me later.


1) “You’re the Worst

“You’re the Worst” is the perfect antidote to all of that Christmas cheer. The series follows Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere), two slightly despicable people who meet at a mutual friend’s wedding and find love with one another, despite doing everything in their power to avoid it. It’s extremely funny and well done, and isn’t afraid to cover tough topics like PTSD and clinical depression. It’s already two seasons in (with a third reportedly on the way) and is finally starting to get the love it rightfully deserves, with three 2016 Critic’s Choice Award nominations, including Best Comedy Series. To put it in the most plain of terms “You’re the Worst” is truly the best. Be the cool person at your holiday office party who saw if first and stream the first two seasons on Hulu.


2) “Master of None

If Tom Haverford was your favorite part of “Parks and Recreation,” “Master of None” might be the show for you. Created by and starring Aziz Ansari (of “Parks and Rec” fame), the show focuses on Dev (Ansari) an actor trying to make sense of life in New York City. The show thoughtfully covers a wide range of topics, like race in film and excitement of the beginning of a new relationship, and almost plays like a “Louie” for a slightly younger generation. The second episode, “Parents,” is particularly brilliant and it will definitely make you much more interested in going home and visiting your own parents. Check out “Master of None” on Netflix and then call your mother. I’m sure she’d be happy to hear from you.


3) “Playing House

“Playing House” is a wonderful, woefully under-appreciated gem from the USA network that deserves a lot more love and attention than it currently receives. The show tells the story of Maggie and Emma (played by Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair, respectively), two life-long friends who move in together to team up in raising Maggie’s baby daughter. The real-life friendship of Parham and St. Clair (who also co-created the show together) is very evident in the friendship of Maggie and Emma, and it’s delightful to see. The show’s second season aired over the summer and sadly USA has yet to renew it for a third season. Check out the first two seasons on Amazon Prime now, and then join me in the fight to keep it on air. Trust me, all you’ll need is one episode to be hooked.


4) “The Last Man on Earth

The concept of this series is wonderfully insane: two years after a virus kills of most of the human population (in the post-apocalypse movie trend) we meet Phil Miller (played by series creator and former falconer Will Forte), the presumed “last man on earth,” who is just trying to get by. Spoiler alert: he is not in fact that only human left alive, and his interactions with the remaining survivors he meets along the way fuel this strange and wonderful series. It just had its winter finale on December 13 and it ended on a heck of a cliff-hanger, so now would be the perfect time to catch up on Hulu before it returns next year.


5) “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

If you somehow missed the huge buzz around “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” back in Spring 2015, now is your chance to get on board the “Kimmy” train. Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (aka the brilliant minds behind “30 Rock“), the show follows the titular Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), a woman who was recently rescued from a doomsday cult (you know, typical) starting over in New York City. The show has the same zany sense of humor that could be found on “30 Rock” and introduced the world to Tituss Burgess, someone who we are all much better for knowing. Dig into this delightful series on Netflix before the second season premieres some time in 2016.


Well, there you have it! I hope that one of these shows will pull you out of a potential holiday funk. Especially loved one or several of these shows? Have your own series recommendation? Let me know in the comments. And in this holiday season, may you and yours…


Stay classy.