By ERIC MCKENZIE
Student life in autumn can get as mixed up as the yellow, orange and red leaves that fall. Between assignments, presentations, work placements and jobs there doesn’t seem to be much time left for recreational activities such as watching TV.
With an overwhelming fall schedule jam-packed full of new and returning comedies and dramas, some students will find it impossible to keep up with their schoolwork and catch their favourite shows every week.
For young adults with little time to spare but who enjoy a good laugh, here’s a Top 10 guide to comedy shows on TV this fall.
10. 2 Broke Girls (CBS) airs Mondays at 8:30 p.m.
In this new show, young college-goers will identify with Max and Caroline’s financial woes, as they attempt to make a name for themselves and up their status in society.
Much of the comedy is based on being strapped for cash, Caroline’s realization of the value of a hard-earned dollar and Max’s honest disbelief that her Paris Hilton-like counterpart was raised with so much.
The two form a solid and believable bond that makes this show both funny and heart-warming, and definitely worth a watch.
9. Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO) airs Fridays at 10 p.m.
Real Time is the only “serious” show on this comedy list because, much like his peers Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, Maher formats the hour-long show in a generally funny direction.
Maher does his research on issues, forms an opinion and, being very outspoken, has no problem telling it like he sees it.
After nine seasons much of his fan base is college students, partially because of his libertarian beliefs such as legalizing marijuana, and the popularity of his film Religulous, which criticizes religious extremism across the world.
8. Workaholics (Comedy Network) airs Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m.
Entering its second season, the three immature lead men from the comedy troupe Mail Order Comedy are gut-wrenchingly funny in Workaholics as recent college grads transitioning into adulthood. Workaholics is an ironic title for a show about three dudes who spend most of their time trying to avoid work and still impress their co-workers and boss. This show is a glimpse for college students into their future. It shows when schools over, things might not be so different.
7. South Park (Comedy Network) airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m.
Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who recently won nine Tony awards for their musical The Book of Mormon, have sharpened the crude early seasons of South Park to a show acclaimed for its satire and sharp writing that lampoons everything from politics to pop-culture. Stone and Parker, who also do all the male voices on the show, have developed a perfect knack for mixing dark humour with timely criticisms and themes.
A show that was once considered rude can now be proudly watched in its 15th season for its intelligent story arcs, smooth animation and expert character development.
6. Modern Family (ABC) airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m.
The third season of this critically-acclaimed mockumentary returns, following the stories of three families who live in Los Angeles. Students away from home for the first time will remember home life from the relationships between the ensemble cast. Not only is there a traditional middle-class family, but also an unconventional family with a re-married Columbian mother and her pre-teen son. Two gay partners who have adopted a Vietnamese daughter round out the cast, showing a different family dynamic and more chances for people to relate.
5. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) airs Thursdays at 8 p.m.
The BBT is the show that made being smart cool again. Returning for its fifth season, the sitcom that follows the lives and relationships of three nerdy physicists and an engineer has changed how students feel about being intelligent. You can feel comfortable knowing this show will teach you something you didn’t know, as the writers actually consult real physicists and scientists for information. Through the genius blowhard Sheldon (Jim Parsons), hordes of trivia and information are given to the viewer in between jokes. It’s no surprise that at the end of a BBT episode one feels entertained, yet educated.
4. The Office (NBC) airs Thursdays at 9 p.m.
After Steve Carell left the cast many doubted that his hilarious shoes could be filled in the eighth season. The writers of The Office took Carell’s departure as an opportunity to develop some of the other characters in the show’s ensemble cast, such as Andy (Ed Helms) who will be taking over as regional manager. The introduction of James Spader as super-genius CEO of the company was a fresh twist to the long-running show and die-hard fans will be delighted to see the writing is as focused on the fears, hopes and dreams of their favourite Pennsylvania office workers as ever.
3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX) airs Thursdays at 10 p.m.
In its seventh season, It’s Always Sunny has been called “Seinfeld on crack.” Maybe because they are a gang of self-centered people or maybe because it’s the biggest Fox comedy since the original Seinfeld rocked the airwaves in the ’90s. College students and young people alike will enjoy the post-modern, dark humour that drives the show.
The characters are almost despicable in nature but you have an understanding of their motivations. Fans of Charlie Day in Horrible Bosses can also see where Charlie got his jumpstart, as he writes, directs and acts in the show.
2. Bored to Death (HBO) airs Mondays at 9 p.m.
This semi-autobiographical comedy, follows a young writer (Jason Schwartzman) in his 20s as he struggles in his career as a novelist, and turns to posting Craigslist ads on the Internet, offering his services as an unlicensed “private detective.”
The show is very relevant to young audiences with witty hipster dialogue and situational humour.
The cinematography is beautiful and captivating, a benchmark for HBO programming. Ames is supported by the brilliant performances of Ted Danson, who plays a liberal magazine editor and the innocent Zak Galifanakis, who plays his cartoonist sidekick.
1.Picnicface (Comedy Network) airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m.
This new sketch show is the only Canadian comedy that made the list. Picnicface, executive produced by Mark McKinney from Kids in the Hall, was picked up for 13 episodes this fall, following a successful Canada-wide comedy tour.
Picnicface is originally an eight-person comedy troupe with a show on CBC radio and a live weekly improv show in Halifax, N.S. Several videos have gone viral on Youtube, including All About Halifax and Powerthirst, which has been viewed over 20 million times.
The show’s editing and subject matter are very random, in a similar fashion as Tim and Eric Awesome
The show often uses static-like or jump cut editing, as well as Monty Python-eske animations and original songs and music.
This show will appeal to a college crowd stressed out from classes and work, looking for a colourful and unpredictable world to escape into.