20 Best Dark Comedy Shows to Watch Right Now

Updated November 18, 2023 • Staff

There’s nothing quite like the sting of a dark comedy. It pulls you into off-limits territory while putting a smile on your face, forcing you to question pre-established notions about what counts as taboo and what counts as funny, or more generally, what counts as acceptable and what doesn’t. A well-made dark comedy will muddy the fine line between those categories, or else completely dismantle it. 

It’s a paradox of a genre, and it’s what makes them so addictive to watch. Below, we list the best dark comedy shows of all time and where to stream them right now. 

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Totally Completely Fine

Every episode of Totally Completely Fine begins with a trigger warning, and rightly so—the show's entire premise is about mental health, grief, and self-harm. Vivian, the lead (a captivating Thomasin McKenzie), is an orphan who goes on benders and ideates about killing herself. Things escalate when she inherits a cliffside house that doubles as a popular suicide spot and gains a prying (albeit good-natured) psychiatrist as a neighbor. All these elements, and a couple more, force her to confront her repressed trauma once and for all. 

It sounds bleak, and it should be difficult to watch, but the show is a successful dark comedy. It strikes that rare deft balance between tragedy and comedy, highlighting painful truths with cutting humor and delivering jokes tinged with poignant insight. Vivian and her siblings are not entirely likable, but their brokenness and vulnerability make them all the more relatable, the perfect guides to hold your hand through this totally messy, completely enthralling, and finely compassionate show.

Our staff rating: 7.8/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Devon Terrell, Rowan Witt, Thomasin McKenzie

Mask Girl

Mask Girl is a dark comedic thriller that follows people on the fringes of beauty norms trying to live with their pain and shame. Low self-esteem and a desire for attention are at the center of the drama, making it relatable and easy to empathize with even when everything goes awry. Although Mo-mi, the titular Mask Girl, is at the forefront of the narrative, subsequent episodes switch to new perspectives, allowing us to interact with Mo-mi in different ways. And with each new character's POV, we witness how other ostracized people find comfort in and hurt each other when there's no one else to turn to. The first three episodes are intense and surprisingly violent, but ultimately seeing the extremes of the discrimination that beauty standards perpetuate makes the story worthwhile.

Our staff rating: 7.8/10
Genre: Drama
Actor: Ahn Jae-hong, Ko Hyun-jung, Lee Han-byul, Nana, Yeom Hye-ran
Director: Kim Yong-hoon
Rating: TV-MA

Russian Doll

Nadia is a game developer and proud aging hipster living in New York. Her story starts at her thirty-sixth birthday party looking at herself in the bathroom mirror. On her way out, she finds a friend who hands her a joint laced with cocaine, “that’s how the Israelis do it” her friend says.

Nadia hooks up with a guy and they stop at a bodega on the way back to her place. So far everything seems normal (in a New York-hipster kind of way). But on her way out of the bodega, she is hit by a car and dies. The story restarts, at the same birthday party, staring at herself in the mirror.

Russian Doll can be summarized in what Nadia screams later that night: “the universe is trying to f*ck with me, and I refuse to engage”. Her strong personality and the events that happen to her allow the show to explore themes of vulnerability, trauma, and even life and death. Russian Doll repeats almost every episode, but its originality and plot twists make it more refreshing with every repeat.

This rhythm takes some quick getting used to, but the moment you do you will not be able to look away. Natasha Lyonne from Orange is the New Black is masterful at playing Nadia. She co-created the show with Amy Poehler and Sleeping With Other People director, Leslye Headland. She packs a lot of the originality and character that possibly makes Russian Doll the most fun and original show you will watch in 2019.

Our staff rating: 8/10
Genre: Comedy, Mystery
Actor: Brendan Sexton III, Brooke Timber, Charlie Barnett, Chloe Sevigny, Dascha Polanco, Elizabeth Ashley, George Aloi, Greta Lee, Jeremy Bobb, Jes Davis, Natasha Lyonne, Rebecca Henderson, Whitney Devlin, Yul Vazquez
Rating: TV-MA


This is an HBO dark comedy that was intensely loved by anyone who knew about it before it was inexplicably canceled. Laura Dern plays a corporate executive who has a full-blown meltdown. I’m talking mascara streaming down her cheeks and screaming “I’m going to destroy you” to a coworker. When she comes back from a retreat in Hawaii she is forced to take, Den’s character is no longer filled with corporate rage but with inexplicable and almost obnoxious positivity. She tries to spread her new outlook around by giving people books like “Flow Through Your Rage” and telling them about sea turtles. Things get more real when she decides to take on her old company’s abuses. I think the reason this show has such hard-core fans is that they fell in love with Laura Dern’s character. Watching this show is like letting in a flawed, dependent, but extremely determined and well-meaning person into your life. Enlightened is funny, engaging, and all-around near-perfect TV.

Our staff rating: 8/10
Genre: Comedy
Actor: Diane Ladd, Laura Dern, Sarah Burns
Rating: TV-MA


Undone is a rotoscoped, genre-bending fever dream of a show. It’s a mystery in that the lead Alma is tasked to discover the truth about her father’s death, but also a fantasy in that she bends the limitless possibilities of time and space to achieve her goal. It's a surreal adventure bolstered by daring animation, but it remains grounded largely because of its impeccably flawed characters. At the heart of this trippy show is a woman trying and failing (and trying again) to come to terms with herself, and that's something any one of us can get behind. 

Our staff rating: 8/10
Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Science Fiction
Actor: Angelique Cabral, Bob Odenkirk, Constance Marie, Daveed Diggs, Rosa Salazar, Siddharth Dhananjay


Sometimes, nothing beats the easygoing entertainment of watching two attractive characters flirt and fall in love on screen, or seeing a group of ride-or-die friends get into trouble together. HBO's Insecure, which ran for five successful seasons, knows that it doesn't need to exaggerate or put a subversive twist on the romantic comedy to find relatable and affecting storylines. The series stays mostly locked in to South Los Angeles, California as it follows Issa (Issa Rae) navigate the modern dating scene, try to settle on a career path, and manage her friendships as an ambitious and somewhat awkward thirtysomething Black woman.

Even if you don't have much in common with Issa, Insecure is a massively comforting watch. Rae and co-creator Larry Wilmore have an impeccable eye for the messy, unspoken rules of social and romantic interaction that other shows might write off as too trivial. But this show lives and breathes in the ordinary, realistic problems—while still indulging in the warm and fuzzy feelings brought about by meeting someone new or seeing yourself grow up just a little more.

Our staff rating: 8/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Actor: Issa Rae, Jay Ellis, Yvonne Orji


Warning: this workplace series takes everything you hate about corporate life and mirrors it back to you with alarming clarity. It takes place in a morally corrupt multinational called Hampton DeVille, and we mostly follow “junior executives in training” Matt and Jake in their daily goings-on in the office. Sometimes, they’re able to cope by sneaking a nap here or making watercooler jokes there—absurd imaginings and occasional protests also help allay their boredom—but for the most part, they’ve given up on the system and are just trudging through the everyday. While Matt optimistically hopes for a better life outside the cubicle, Jake cynically lets him (and us) know that “There no way not to waste your life.” 

Like Office Space and Better Off Ted before it, Corporate is endlessly nihilistic, but unlike them, it doesn’t have a redemptive moment where the protagonists find a silver lining in their jobs. No, Corporate is as bleak as it gets. But buoyed by ridiculous hilarity, sharp social commentary, and the insane ability to perfectly describe corporate life, it remains highly watchable, like a dystopian tragicomedy inching closer and closer to real life. 

Our staff rating: 8/10
Genre: Comedy
Actor: Anne Dudek, Lance Reddick
Rating: TV-14

This Way Up

Two incredibly funny women are the stars of this authentic and heart-felt British comedy: writer, stand-up comedian, and main actress Aisling Bea, and the amazing Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe), who also co-produced the show. Irish teacher Áine (Bea) lives in London, yes, like Sharon Horgan's character in Catastrophe, and works as an English-as-a-foreign-language teacher, but instead of getting knocked up by an American, she suffers a nervous breakdown and goes to rehab. When Áine checks out, she has to re-navigate all the aspects of real life that brought her to rehab in the first place. She does so with her sister Shona (Horgan) at her side. This is very clever and honest comedy about mental health, recovery, and loneliness, and about creating meaningful connections with the people around you. In true Bea and Horgan style, though, the humor is dark and will make you flinch and laugh at the same time. The chemistry between them is incredible!

Our staff rating: 8.1/10
Genre: Comedy
Actor: Aasif Mandvi, Aisling Bea, Daniela Spataru, Dorian Grover, Ekow Quartey, Indira Varma, Jassem Mougari, Kadiff Kirwan, Pik Sen Lim, Sharon Horgan, Tobias Menzies, Todor Jordanov
Director: Alex Winckler
Rating: 0

The Boys

From the producers of Superbad and Pineapple Express, stoner filmmakers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, comes a deft deconstruction of the ubiquitous superhero genre on Amazon Prime. Based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, it is set in a world where god-like superheroes, or Supes, are recognized as heroes but are increasingly self-absorbed, arrogant, and corrupt underneath their flying capes. The best of them are called The Seven, aggressively marketed and monetized by the Vought Corporation, complete with Instagram likes, energy drink advertisements, and TV appearances. It all starts to slowly deteriorate when the girlfriend of Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) gets obliterated by A-Train (Jessie Usher), a super-fast hero modelled on Flash, galvanizing The Boys, a crazy normal-human vigilante group led by Butcher (Karl Urban, pictured above), who are sick and tired of the Supes and their corruption. This show packs a multitude of wacky characters, including Frenchie, our favorite, a hilarious and romantic French bomb expert. Don't forget to fasten your seatbelts because this is a fast-paced, mean-spirited bloodbath that is as wild as it is entertaining.

Our staff rating: 8.2/10
Genre: Action, Action & Adventure, Comedy
Actor: Antony Starr, Aya Cash, Colby Minifie, Dominique McElligott, Erin Moriarty, Jack Quaid, Jessie T. Usher, Karen Fukuhara, Karl Urban, Laz Alonso, Nathan Mitchell, Tomer Kapon
Rating: 16

The End of the F***ing World

An amazing binge-worthy show that is a mix between a coming-of-age story, a romance, and a crime thriller. It tells the story of James, a 17-year-old who believes he is a psychopath (for some very convincing reasons). James decides he wants the victim of his first murder to be a new schoolmate, Alyssa.  He befriends her and keeps waiting for the perfect moment to kill Alyssa until he finds himself on a journey with her to escape her home. Somewhere near the middle of the show, and without you fully realizing it, it transforms from an original coming-of-age story or odd-boy-meets-odd-girl story to an intriguing view on adolescent insecurities and the role of parents into shaping them. It transforms from a mysterious, almost charming story to an interesting character study.  This is when the show will blow your mind.  It's a fresh, smart, funny yet disturbing emotional thrill ride.


Our staff rating: 8.3/10
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Romance
Actor: Alex Lawther, Christine Bottomley, Eileen Davies, Gemma Whelan, Jayda Mitchell, Jessica Barden, Jonathan Aris, Josh Dylan, Naomi Ackie, Navin Chowdhry, Steve Oram, Wunmi Mosaku
Rating: TV-MA

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