The best comedy shows returning to Netflix in 2018

Portia de Rossi as Lindsay Bluth in Arrested Development. (Netflix)

While the return to Netflix of beloved dramas such as House of Cards, Ozark and Mindhunter is understandably a source of great anticipation, the platform’s comedy slate is also well worth getting excited over.

There are several upcoming new comedy shows that will be undoubtedly be worth keeping an eye open for. This includes Matt Groening’s new animated show Disenchantment and the Jonah Hill and Emma Stone-starring dark comedy Maniac to name but two. However, it’s the comedy favourites make a grand return to Netflix in 2018 which really stand out:

Arrested Development – May 29th

Jessica Walter, Will Arnett and Jeffrey Tambor as Lucille, Gob and Oscar Bluth. (Netflix)

The fourth season of Arrested Development undoubtedly split opinion upon release. While it was still praised by many, it just didn’t reach the levels of critical acclaim obtained by earlier outings.  A “remixed” version of the fourth run was recently released which reordered the episodes and abandoned its focus on single character-centric outings. However, after nearly five years since the fourth season first aired, the countdown is well and truly on for some fresh Bluth-related adventures.

The original cast are all aboard once more and the fifth season’s official synopsis suggests that much of this outing’s focus could revolve around a foray into politics:

In the aftermath of Cinco de Quatro, the Bluth family are all facing one question, that no one quite has the answer to; where is Lucille Two? As this Netflix (semi) original series returns on May 29th, the Bluths are back together, and finally getting the award they think they deserve – for family of the year. A development which will help Lindsay as she begins her campaign for Congress, to become ‘part of the problem’. But whatever happens, Michael will always come back to save the family. Probably.

A glance at season 5’s trailer suggests that the irreverence and originality that made Mitch Hurwitz show such a critically acclaimed success is very much still present and correct. 

 

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – May 30th

Tituss Burgess and Ellie Kemper as the irrepressible Titus and Kimmy. (Netflix)

Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s endearingly upbeat comedy makes a welcome return to Netflix later this month. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a ray of sitcom sunshine that stands out from the crowd thanks to its winning blend of incisive wit and unabashed silliness.

The show benefits hugely from its ensemble cast, each of whom brings their own vital element to proceedings. From Ellie Kemper’s irrepressible Kimmy and Titus Burgess’ iconic Titus Andromedon, to Jane Krakowski’s wonderfully condescending Jacqueline and Carol Kane’s utterly demented Lillian.

Netflix recently revealed a list of the guest stars who would be appearing alongside the regulars in season 4 and it’s an impressive array of comedy talent. SNL alumni Bobby Moynihan and Aidy Bryant will both appear, and the likes of Greg Kinnear, Amy Sedaris and Jon Hamm are also onboard.

The show’s fourth season will arrive in two parts, with the first six hitting Netflix at the end of May. In less positive news for fans however, recent news reports do seem to suggest that this season will be the show’s last. Enjoy it while it lasts!

GLOW – June 29th

Alison Brie and Marc Maron as Ruth and Sam on GLOW. (Netflix)

The first season of comedy-drama GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) proved to be something of an unlikely hit for Netflix in 2017. The show took an endearing cast of colourful characters and immersed them into the OTT world of pro-wrestling; all while embracing a healthy dose of 80s nostalgia.

At the centre of the story is Alison Brie’s Ruth, a struggling actress who has turned to professional wrestling as a last resort. Ruth joins a group of strong and capable women who bravely enter a typically male-dominated world. Betty Gilpin, Britney Young, Kate Nash, Sydelle Noel and Kia Stevens (known to wrestling fans as Awesome Kong) all shine as the spandex-clad misfits who come together under the watchful eye of Marc Maron’s exasperated director, Sam.

GLOW returns to Netflix on the 29th June and after season 1 saw the formation of the organisation and the team gaining an initial TV deal, this time out we can expect to see the wrestling show itself taking centre stage. A gloriously 80s trailer featuring the girls lip-syncing to pop-rock classic “maniac” has set the tone for the new run perfectly.

 

The Good Place – Sept 2018

Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper and Ted Danson in The Good Place (Colleen Hayes/NBC)

At the tail end of summer 2018, Mike Schur’s wonderful comedy creation The Good Place will make its return to NBC. So far we’ve had two seasons of afterlife-related comedy, complete with bouts of complex moral philosophy and wonderfully inventive twists. After the mind blowing revelations that ended season 1, season 2 again closed with another unexpected development. I won’t spoil the exact details of either here just in case, but needless to say fans will be itching to find out how this latest curveball plays out.

The show has turned mixing thought-provoking theoretical debates with light-hearted comedy into a fine art and it’s going to be fun seeing where they take this winning formula next. An exact release date is still to be confirmed, but expect it to hit Netflix shortly after it airs on NBC in September. Forking spectacular.

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