English comic actor, filmmaker and composer Charlie Chaplin once said: “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it.”
A rather relevant piece of advice given our current circumstance and general emotional malaise as we try to adjust to this period of uncertainty and widespread fear.
Dr Stephanie Schnurr, an Associate Professor at the Centre for Applied Linguistics in Washington DC, supports Chaplin’s sentiment and explains why humour in times of distress is a powerful tool.
“Fundamentally, humour is a tool people can use to challenge, resist, and possibly change current thinking and talking about the virus. It constructs an alternative, better – and in the context of Covid-19 – a more habitable, less scary, reality,” she says on the Centre’s website.
Taking our inspiration from Chaplin and Schnurr that humour can enable us to let off steam, The Citizen has compiled a menu of four hilarious shows for you to stream on Netflix.
1. Arrested Development
With tremendously hilarious dialogue and outstanding performances by the entire cast that includes comedy icons such as Jason Bateman, Jessica Walter, Jeffrey Tambor and Ron Howard (narrator), the series is a laugh-a-minute feast.
The multi-award-winning show is about level-headed and ever so sarcastic son Michael Bluth (played by Bateman) taking over the family affairs after his father (played by Tambor) is imprisoned for fraud.
But the rest of his spoiled and hilariously dysfunctional family don’t make his job easy.
2. Grace and Frankie
There is a good reason why this series is the longest-running show on Netflix. In addition to reuniting two legendary female stars – Jane Fonda and Lilly Tomlin – the writing is outrageously hilarious and the acting is raw.
The show is about what transpires after the two lifelong rivals learn that their husbands have fallen in love with each other and want to get married.
If you do not know who Phoebe Waller-Bridge is, then you obviously haven’t yet watched Fleabag, the wildly inventive BBC comedy series that’s currently available on Netflix.
Based on Waller-Bridge’s 2013 one-woman play of the same name, the series is a day-to-day account of a dry-witted no-filter woman, known only as Fleabag, as she navigates life and love in London.
4. Schitt’s Creek
With the economic status of the world now in rapid decline as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, this show seems fitting and imparts some great advice on how to muddle through dire financial situations.
With the outstanding comedic talents of Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Annie Murphey and Daniel Levy, the show is about a married couple going bankrupt and having to fall back on their only remaining asset –an ugly small town named Schitt’s Creek.
Remember: Laughter is literally the cheapest form of therapy and by far the most pleasant one. So, add these shows to your streaming list.