Binge Central’s Top 10 Comedies of 2014

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By Josh Axelrod, David Oliver and Anamika Roy

10.) Big Bang Theory

Eight seasons in and most shows would be showing signs of a permanent decline. “Big Bang Theory,” on the other hand, is just as funny as ever. It’s not exactly redefining the comedy landscape, but when you turn on an episode of “Big Bang Theory,” you can always expect to chuckle a lot and laugh out loud a few times. And sometimes you cry too, like when Sheldon FINALLY told Amy he loved her. More often you’ll cringe, like when Stuart had a date with Howard’s cousin who Howard had, umm…I take it back, this is a stupid show. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. – Josh

9.) Saturday Night Live

It’s no secret that “SNL” is about as hit or miss as TV gets these days. The misses can be almost unwatchable, but the hits are as good as sketch comedy gets. We got a sequel to “Do It (On My Twin Bed)” with “Back Home Ballers.” Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong tried to sell us Sunseeker Yachts (now and forever pronounced Yack-its). And of course, there’s that brilliant “Serial” parody. I think Jingle did it. – Josh

8.) Archer

“Archer” shook things up this year by rebranding itself as “Archer Vice” and making the ISIS gang go from spies to drug mules. Granted, they were the worst drug mules ever. Pam definitely used more cocaine than they were able to sell. And lord knows what Cheryl/Cherlene was doing all season with her country music career. But of course, no matter how weird things got, it was all hilarious in ways only “Archer” can be. And that cliffhanger! Sterling Archer is a father. May a higher power have mercy on that child. – Josh 

7.) The Mindy Project

Mindy, Mindy, Mindy. Season two’s #blessed rom-com ending gave me high hopes for season three, and in most ways, I’m pretty content. Mindy and Danny as a couple works on this show more than it did with Nick and Jess on fellow Fox comedy “New Girl,” but the show’s revolving door of supporting cast is still distracting to the show’s central plot. I’m guessing it’ll get a renewal for season four in the New Year, but I’m not sure I see it going beyond four unless season five is super short. – David

When season three started, I was worried that it was going to have a Nick/Jess fiasco and ruin all the great comedy we saw in season 2 (remember that finale!?). But it did exactly the opposite. Mindy and Danny defy all the typical relationship milestones we see in most other shows. It keeps them fresh and funny. Initially this season, we were worried that the ensemble cast wasn’t being used properly. Mindy (Kaling) fixed that problem as well. – Anamika

6.) Girls

After it stumbled during season two, I thought “Girls” returned to form in its third season. The episode where they’re all at the lake house in particular was amazing – Shoshanna’s freak-out is one of the most memorable scenes of the series, perhaps of all 2014. Plus, it looks like all four girls will have major challenges come season four, including a change of locale for Hannah. We’ll see how long that lasts. – David

Shoshanna was the breakout star this season, Marnie crashed and burned, Hannah sort of got her shit together and Jessa was…Jessa. When the season began, I was taking it week by week, looking for a reason to quit watching. But I never found one. I was hooked again, just the way I was during season one. – Anamika

5.) Veep

Oy vey, “Veep.” The series’ biting cynicism and frequent cursing has me roaring with laughter each episode. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is phenomenal, and although it pains me she keeps winning Emmys over Amy Poehler, you can’t really blame the Academy here (though maybe Amy can win, I don’t know, just once, since it’s her show’s final season). Now that Selena is president, I’m a little worried the show’s general flow will change a bit. Then again, maybe that’s just what it needs to stay fresh. – David

I binged all three seasons of “Veep” this summer and I have no regrets. It’s not always hysterically funny, but it’s the perfect combination of crude insults and smart political humor. Plus, Jonah is the best “love to hate” character I can think of on TV right now. And now we have President Selina Meyer. Good luck with that U.S. – Josh

4.) Orange Is the New Black

This show really needs to be in a “dramedy” category (“Shameless” would also join it in that), but here we are, so there’s that. Season two of the Netflix sleeper hit was stronger than its first, delving further into characters’ backstories and introducing some exciting new members to its supporting cast. The story shifted focus away from Piper, but that was honestly a good thing as it opened up the world of Litchfield that much more. Here’s to season three. – David

The best part about season two was that it moved away from Piper’s story and became a strong ensemble show. It delved into different characters we had only seen in the background in season one. My favorite part about this show is that the people in prison seem much more sane than those on the outside (I’m looking at you, Larry and Polly). – Anamika

The supporting cast crushed it in Season 2, especially Rosa, Morello and Poussey. Is it June yet? – Josh

3.) Brooklyn Nine-Nine

For my money, this is the funniest comedy on TV that isn’t “Parks and Rec.” This is definitely the second funniest ensemble on TV (Ugh, RIP “Parks and Rec”). Andre Braugher should just be handed a Best Supporting Actor Emmy now for his deadpan as Captain Ray Holt. Andy Samberg has improved by leaps and bounds as an actor, and I’m actually way more invested in his flirtation with Santiago than I ever thought I could be. Oh, and the guest stars! Kyra Sedgwick, Ed Helms, Craig Robinson, Nick Cannon. I want to make a “title of Santiago’s sex tape” joke here, but I feel like I’d be Trying Too Hard. – Josh

2.) Silicon Valley

Tip. To. Tip. Efficiency. It’s the world’s most high-brow dick joke, and it’s the scene that put “Silicon Valley” on the map. The entire eight-episode first season was an amusing buildup to the best joke of the year. And the best part is the math supposedly all works! If the jokes in Season 2 are half as hilarious as this gem, “Silicon Valley” is going to have a very long and prosperous run. – Josh

1.) Parks and Recreation

UGH I CANNOT BELIEVE WE HAVE TO SAY GOODBYE IN 2015. This year saw Chris and Ann leave, a crazy three-year time jump, TRIPLETS and so much more. I LITERALLY cannot handle even writing about this that’s how angry I am it is ending, though I hope I’m not hyping it up too much… – David

I’ve been rewatching this show on Netflix and I cherish every joke and emotional moment the way I did the first time. A good comedy makes you laugh, a truly great comedy makes you laugh and cry. Not in that weird Chris Traeger way though. – Anamika

“Parks and Rec” is the rare show that you can pick any random episode and it’s guaranteed to be funny (Season 1 doesn’t count). And Season 6 was no exception, with Ann and Chris’s emotional goodbyes and the Unity Concert being standouts. And that time jump! I’m fully prepared to cry during the series finale. Mostly because it’s ending, but also because I expect to never stop laughing – Josh

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