Geektown Awards – Best New & Returning Comedy Series
If there is one thing that the last twelve months needed, it was something to make you laugh, and that’s what we have in the New Comedy and Returning Comedy categories! Whilst 2020 sucked as a year, it did introduce us to a really strong collection of new comedies, one of which would not have even existed had it not been for us finding ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic. We also had a great collection of returning comedic series to help us keep laughing through a difficult year. We’ll start with the New Comedy series which had you chuckling the most.
Best New Comedy Series
Nominees: Awkwafina is Nora from Queens – BBC, Breeders – Sky One, I Hate Suzie – Sky Atlantic, Love Life – BBC One, Miracle Workers – Sky Comedy, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet – Apple TV+, Righteous Gemstones – Sky Comedy, Run – Sky Comedy, Staged – BBC One, Upload – Amazon Video, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist – E4
Bronze: Upload – Amazon Video
Silver: I Hate Suzie – Sky Atlantic
And the Gold goes to …
Winner: Staged – BBC One
Whilst 2020 was an awful year, one bright light in the darkness was this utterly hilarious comedy which came out of the fact that everything was shutdown. Written and directed by Simon Evans, ‘Staged’ starred Michael Sheen and David Tennant (or David Tennant and Michael Sheen) playing versions of themselves who are furloughed when their upcoming West End production is suddenly brought to a halt. Evans also plays a version of himself as director of the play, who suggests they try their best to keep the rehearsals on track in lockdown via Zoom calls.
Filmed in the actual homes of the cast, remotely, by the cast themselves, they manage to produce one of the most hilarious and poignant comedies of recent times. It really helped capture the mood of the UK as everyone was struggling to adjust to this strange “new normal” we found ourselves in.
Alongside Sheen, Tennant, and Evans, the series also starred Georgia Tennant, Anna Lundberg, and Lucy Eaton, along with some notable guest stars (which I won’t spoil here for those of you that haven’t watched it yet). Season 1 is available on iPlayer, and also on Netflix, which has extended versions of the episodes.
The great news is that ‘Staged’ when down so well that they have filmed a 2nd Season, which premieres Monday, 4th January 2021 at 9:45 pm on BBC One.
Best Returning Comedy Series
Nominees: After Life – Netflix, Ballers – Sky Comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine – E4, Cold Feet – ITV, Curb Your Enthusiasm – Sky Comedy, Dead To Me – Netflix, Inside No 9 – BBC, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – Sky Comedy, Modern Family – Sky One, This Country – BBC, What We Do In The Shadows – BBC Two
Bronze: Modern Family – Sky One
Silver: Brooklyn Nine-Nine – E4
And the Gold goes to …
Winner: After Life – Netflix
Having won the ‘Best New Comedy’ last year, it should come as no surprise that the second season of the unstoppable Ricky Gervais’ brilliant dark comedy ‘After Life‘ landed the Best Returning Comedy gold this year.
Set in the small fictitious town of Tambury, the comedy-drama series follows Tony (Gervais), a writer for the local newspaper whose life is upended after his wife dies from cancer. In Season 1, Tony contemplated taking his own life, he decided instead to live long enough to punish the world by saying and doing whatever he likes from now on – not caring about himself or anyone else – but it turned out to be tricky when everyone is trying to save the nice guy they used to know. Season 2, continued with Tony trying to become a better friend to those around him. With everyone grappling with their own problems, the situation is only intensified by the looming threat of the local newspaper being shut down.
Once again, Ricky hit it out of the park with the second season. It’s a series that manages to continue to thread the needle of being hilariously funny and heartbreakingly tragic in equal measure. A third season is on the way, which Ricky has said will be the finale one. It’ll be the first time he’s ever done three seasons of a show, and joked when announcing the renewal about ending with an asteroid taking out Tambury to stop Netflix convincing him to do more!
‘After Life‘ Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix around the world right now, and we urge you to go and watch!
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.