'Sally4Ever' is proof the future of comedy is dark and cringe-worthy: 5 shows to date to prepare you for what's coming next
As it is apparent now that the fate of comedy is headed towards dark, twisted realities of pain and laughter, let us look at the five best cringe-comedy series to date
The two episodes of British-import dark comedy 'Sally4Ever' that has aired so far on HBO has been enough to determine the evolution of what we call cringe-comedy and how this, the latest of Julia Davis' creation, has struck baffling new limits to the genre and pushed the boundaries of what's okay on TV and what is not.
If you are following the new 'love it' or 'hate it' show, chances are you are no stranger to cringe-comedy and you enjoy the discomfort the show offers. However, it may be a just too much for beginners, who have not yet had a dose of British humor, especially Julia Davis'.
Given the raving reviews for 'Sally4Ever,' I cannot help but wonder about the significance of dark comedy today and why it's becoming more and more relevant. Gone are the days of punchlines and funny puns, it's now about how tense and awkward the situation is. That, seemingly brings out the best laughter in us.
As it is apparent now that the fate of comedy is headed towards dark, twisted realities of pain and laughter, let us look at the five best cringe-comedy series to date to make America ready for what else is to come.
1. Curb Your Enthusiasm
'Seinfeld' creator Larry David returned with the ninth season of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' last year after a six-year hiatus only to cause even more discomfort to fans and they totally loved it!
For eight seasons between 2000 and 2011, David, who played a fictionalized version of himself, earned an irreplaceable spot and a huge fan-following, as a character so cringe-worthy, he commits transgressions stumbling through one faux-pas after another. Even as he returned after a long absence, this has prevailed. David's comic awkwardness stems from the fact that he misunderstands social situations which ends up putting him at odds with just about every person he interacts with.
2. The Office
Ricky Gervais cited 'The Larry Sanders Show' as an influence to yet another genre defying cringe-comedy. The groundbreaking BBC series about a soul-deadening paper company, got its own American version. In the British edition, Gervais plays the narcissistic and delusional boss, David Brent, a general manager of Wernham Hogg paper merchants.
The cynical show centers around an uncomfortable work environment with Brent's dysfunctional staff as they come across both as endearing and agonizing. This refreshing mockumentary, has interview segments that give us insight into the characters’ thoughts and feelings, heightening the cringe in the cringe-comedy genre.
Rely on Louis C.K. to channel awkward situations naturally. As a forty-something divorced father, Louie tries to navigate his professional and personal life with little social nuance, but also ensures to take the character into extreme, bizarre situations that become funny simply because he is in them.
Ridiculous and relatable, there are scenes that aren’t even supposed to be funny because let's face it, he is a single stand-up comedian, shouldered with the responsibility to raise his two daughters in New York City. The series will make you roar with laughter for being so deeply dark and wrong.
4. Da Ali G Show
Sacha Baron Cohen may have won an Oscar nomination for 'Borat,' but Ali G was created to be immortalized in the cringe-comedy series that trolled unsuspecting celebrities, journalists and political figures. Cohen's alter ego as a suburban white man who is too fond of black culture, somehow managed to convince his subjects to sit down with him as he posed rather inappropriate questions, making himself look ridiculous, but also putting his guests in a tough spot.
It is a hell of a ride to see the reaction of his guests as they wonder if they should take him seriously, answer his outrageous questions or just walk away. The show received backlash from those who were trolled and controversy raged on, but fans loved it and cringe-comedy was revolutionized.
5. The Eric Andre Show
2012 was the year late-night shows started making parodies of low-budget, public-access programs, relying heavily on obscurity, thanks to The Eric Andre Show. As one of the most bizarre series on television, the episodes revolved around celebrities being subjected to a extremely awkward interviews and the occasional prank, along with 'on the street' segments. The humor of the show bordered on dark and mean spirited with Hannibal Buress working alongside Andre as his sidekick.