The fall season grows nearer, which means pumpkin picking and sweaters and fall foliage and (of course) a new television schedule. If you’re in the market for some female-led comedies, I’ve got you covered. These five shows prove again and again that women ARE funny.
The Mindy Project
Starring: Mindy Kaling
Why you should watch: If you liked Mindy Kaling’s character in “The Office,” you’ll love her in “The Mindy Project.” Not only does she star in the show, but she also created it, and exists as a co-executive producer, director, and writer for many of the show’s episodes. Beyond that, “The Mindy Project” is essentially a romantic comedy on television — but with extra wit and less sap (although if you like sap, there’s plenty of that, too). It follows Dr. Mindy Lahiri, a successful gynecologist in NYC, in her work and home life. It’s got a cast of quirky characters, from the clueless, but lovable, Morgan Tookers to the beautiful, but self-obsessed, Jeremy Reed. And then, of course, there’s Danny Castellano, whose friendship with Mindy will keep you pining over him long after the episodes are over. But mostly, this show is about Mindy: a witty, shopping-addicted, sometimes-selfish, often flawed, hopeless romantic thirty-something who’s just trying to figure her life out.
Inside Amy Schumer
Starring: Amy Schumer
Why you should watch: Comedian Amy Schumer uses her Comedy Central show “Inside Amy Schumer” as a vehicle for combining her stand-up comedy with comedy skits. Although Schumer’s history is in stand-up, those bits are often the weakest parts of her show; it’s hard for them not to be when the rest of the sketches are so great. Some are silly for the sake of silly, like her take on “The Newsroom” set in a fast-food place or what it’s like trying to select something to watch on Netflix. Others, however, are smart (and funny) observations on life — like the tendency women have to call themselves “bad” whenever they discuss eating; how sometimes it’s hard to take a compliment; and the occasional ridiculousness of magazines like Cosmopolitan.
Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Why you should watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus has always been a fantastic comedic actress, from her iconic role as Elaine in “Seinfeld” to her somewhat-underrated comedy “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (hey, I always liked the episodes I sometimes accidentally caught on Lifetime!). As the star of “Veep,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus does exactly what she’s good at, playing Selina Meyer, the ambitious and snarky vice president of the United States. Meyer often feels unhappy playing second fiddle to the president, who she feels is incompetent. As the VP, she constantly has to figure out a way to gracefully handle the sometimes mundane, often ridiculous tasks that come along with being second-in-command, all while trying to further her political career and keep her ragtag crew in line.
Starring: Zooey Deschanel
Why you should watch: Thankfully, Zooey Deschanel’s “New Girl” has proven that it’s more than its (eyeroll-worthy) tagline “adorkable.” The show features Deschanel as Jessica (Jess) Day, a young teacher learning to live with three male roommates, who are all varying degrees of weird, while struggling professionally and figuring out who she is. While the characters aren’t always grounded in believability, “New Girl” is a show with heart.
Starring: Carrie Brownstein
Why you should watch: Former guitarist and vocalist of Sleater-Kinney, Carrie Brownstein is one-half of “Portlandia.” The satirical sketch comedy also stars SNL comedian Fred Armisen. Together, the two manage to create some pretty memorable characters — from the feminist bookstore clerks Candace and Toni at Women and Women First to Peter and Nance, a nerdy but loving couple who embark on new adventures, like opening a B&B. The show, which is set in Portland, OR, has sketches about brunch; binge-watching television; old-school MTV; and the little things that make Portland so quirky. Plus, they have had at least two fantastic musical numbers, like their opening skit for the show, “Dream of the ’90s.”
Which current female-led television comedies are your favorites?