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    16 Shows On HBO Max For Anyone Who Could Really Use A Good Laugh

    TBH, I think we could all use a laugh right now.

    We hope you love the shows and movies we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of revenue or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh and FYI — platform, prices, and other availability details are accurate as of time of posting.

    1. Friends (1994–2004)

    Rachel Green, Chandler Bing, Monica Geller, Joey Tribbiani, Phoebe Buffay, and Ross Geller from Friends
    Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    If you were to look up "binge-worthy" in the dictionary, Friends would probably be the first TV entry you'd find. Once you get wrapped up in the lives of Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Ross, you'll understand what I mean. Monica with a giant turkey on her head, Rachel putting beef in a dessert trifle, or, my personal favorite, Rachel, Ross, and Chandler carrying a couch up a flight of stairs and shouting "PIVOT!" — when you're in need of a laugh, this show will be there for you.

    2. Insecure (2016–present)

    A still of Molly Carter and Issa Dee in Insecure
    HBO

    This dramedy, created by and starring the wonderful Issa Rae, explores what happens when two best friends (Issa and Molly) learn to navigate the Los Angeles landscape and the social and racial stereotypes young Black women face. Issa and Molly's friendship is one filled with hilarious (and relatable) moments, like scheduling emergency time during the work day to talk about things that simply can't wait...or oversharing their fantasies. Of course, there are plenty of heartfelt moments that might not make you laugh, but will certainly make you smile, and perhaps even prompt you to call your own bestie.

    3. Veep (2012–2019)

    A still of Selina Meyer in Veep
    HBO

    As you may have guessed from the title of this show, Veep centers around the life and career of fictional VPOTUS Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who later becomes president. Louis-Dreyfus has gained quite the reputation over the span of her multi-decade career as an incredibly talented physical comedian — and in Veep, she's able to make an already hilarious script that much funnier. There's a good reason why she won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series a whopping six years in a row.

    4. Rick and Morty (2013–present)

    A still of Rick and Morty in Rick and Morty
    Adult Swim / Courtesy Everett Collection

    What happens when your grandfather who has been missing for 20 years shows up at your house, uses your garage as his own personal laboratory, and brings you and your sibling along for his out-of-this-world adventures? Rick and Morty is what happens, that's what. Now, I know what some of you might be thinking. An animated show? Isn't that for little kids? Well, for starters, this is a cartoon aimed at an adult audience, so you can expect NSFW dialogue and swearing. Furthermore, the series is created by Justin Roiland, who voices both Rick and Morty. He also voices Blendin Blandin on Gravity Falls, Earl of Lemongrab on Adventure Time, and he is the creator of Solar Opposites on Hulu. So you can say he has a pretty strong batting average when it comes to animated television.

    5. Love Life (2020–present)

    A still of Darby Carter in Love Life
    HBO Max

    This romantic-comedy series, starring Anna Kendrick as Darby Carter, is all about the roller coaster ride of dating. Each episode in this binge-able show explores a different relationship she has with a significant person in her life, and extends over a 10-year span of time. I don't know about you, but I think Kendrick being cast in the lead role here is a perfect fit. Just think back to her role as Beca in Pitch Perfect! The quick wit and snarky sense of humor Kendrick brings to the table is just too good.

    6. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990–1996)

    Will Smith, Philip Banks, Vivian Banks, Carlton Banks, Hilary Banks	, Ashley Banks, and Geoffrey Butler from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
    NBC / Getty Images

    Chances are, if you haven't actually watched this show before, you know all the words to its iconic theme song. And if you know the theme song? Well, you probably understand the gist: A teenager (Will Smith) moves from his neighborhood in West Philadelphia to live with his wealthy aunt, uncle, and cousins in Bel-Air. The show is filled with sassy remarks, LOL-worthy fails, and funny burns you'll want to save and use on your own loved ones. Plus, there's never been a better time to stream this throwback! HBO Max recently added an hourlong non-scripted cast reunion special to their growing catalogue AND a two-season reboot of the show was recently picked up by Peacock!

    7. The Big Bang Theory (2007–2019)

    A still of Penny, Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, Amy Farrah Fowler, and Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory
    CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images

    Sheldon and Leonard are introverted, geeky physicists/roommates. Penny is a waitress/aspiring actor who moves into the apartment across the hall from theirs. Hilarity ensues when their two worlds collide in this beloved sitcom that just happens to be one of the most-watched television shows of the past decade. You can expect lots of geeky humor: references to famous scientific theories and scientists like the late Steven Hawking (who once made a guest appearance on the show), as well as pop culture references to greats like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Even if geeky humor isn't your thing, you're still bound to adore the friendship dynamic of this show and the way their experiences with love, their careers, and life in general draws parallels to Friends.

    8. Young Sheldon (2017–present)

    A still of young Sheldon Cooper in Young Sheldon
    CBS

    And if you love The Big Bang Theory (Sheldon specifically), you may want to also add Young Sheldon to your watch list. As you may have guessed, it's a spinoff series about the early years of Sheldon's life that shaped him into the man he is in The Big Bang Theory, but contrary to what you may think, this show's humor is different. Whereas The Big Bang Theory had a friendship dynamic, Young Sheldon revolves more around family and much of its humor is rooted in family members poking fun at one another. You may also recognize the actor from the still above as Ian Armitage, who played Ziggy Chapman in Big Little Lies, which you can also stream on HBO Max. So if you love his performance on that show, Young Sheldon is definitely worth a watch.

    9. Sex and the City (1998–2004)

    A still of Charlotte York, Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes, and Samantha Jones in Sex and the City
    HBO

    Carrie Bradshaw is a thirtysomething single woman exploring the challenges of dating in NYC with her three best friends by her side. It all makes for surprisingly juicy fodder for her weekly column — well, at least juicy for the late '90s/early '00s. It's the kind of show where you can picture yourself in the friend group, and it is hysterically relatable. Like when Charlotte admitted that she'd rather stay home with The Rabbit (sex toy) than go out with men, or when Carrie threw up after seeing her pear-shaped, gold-band engagement ring, because, well, she'd obvs never wear that! Fun fact: the show is created by Darren Star, who also happens to be the creator of some other series you may recognize and love, including Beverly Hills, 90210; Melrose Place; Younger; and, yes, Emily in Paris.

    10. The Office (UK) (2001–2003)

    A still of David Brent in The Office (UK)
    BBC

    You've probably seen The Office (US), or at least definitely heard of it. So why not give the original, aka the UK version, a watch? Some people feel strongly that it's actually the superior version, despite the pilots being exactly the same. Why? Well, for one: It boasts dialogue that's much more raw and vulgar than the one many of us have come to know and love in the US. Not to mention the comedic genius that is Ricky Gervais — or as I like to think of him, British Michael Scott. If you're someone who loves a show that dials up the crass humor, then chances are you'll ADORE this version.

    11. The Middle (2009–2018)

    Sue, Brick, and Axl Heck in The Middle
    ABC

    This wonderful sitcom, starring Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn, follows the day-to-day struggles of school, work, and home for the Heck family. Frankie, Mike, Axl, Sue, and Brick are truly a quirky bunch of people with different, but also kinda similar, personas — awkward, geeky, and somehow always finding themselves in some sort of trouble. For example, when Sue starts her very own four-person cheer squad, or when Frankie finds herself in a face-off with their neighbor, Rita (played by Brooke Shields in a special guest appearance).

    12. Silicon Valley (2014–2019)

    A still of Monica, Bertram, and Jared in Silicon Valley
    HBO

    This comedy series, which mocks Silicon Valley culture, follows the founder of Pied Piper, a tech startup, and its programmers and developers trying to make it big. Since it's a satirical show, you can expect to find a lot of dry humor, which I'd personally say is one of the best types of humor. You can also expect to see an incredible cast lineup, including Thomas Middleditch, Josh Brener, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, Amanda Crew, Zach Woods, and so many more!

    13. Awkwafina is Nora from Queens (2020–present)

    A still of Nora in Awkwafina is Nora from Queens
    Comedy Central

    The incredibly hilarious and talented Awkwafina stars as Nora, a fictionalized version of herself. The show is based on her life in Queens being raised alongside her cousin by her dad and grandma, and it's filled with tons of hilarious hot-mess moments that you may find relatable (and if you don't find them relatable, you'll at least find them comically compelling). For example: the episode in which Nora's bank assumes she's dead because her account has been inactive for two years, or that conversation with God (guest voiced by Laverne Cox), who is very judgmental of Nora's questionable life choices. And, of course, don't forget the wonderful supporting and special guest-star cast, including Lori Tan Chinn, Chrissie Fit, Bowen Yang, Harry Shum Jr., and Natasha Lyonne — just to name a few!

    14. Camping (2018)

    A still of Kathryn and Walt in Camping
    HBO

    The concept behind this comedy created by Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner is a unique one — Walt Jodell's (David Tennant) 45th birthday camping trip, intended to be a nice weekend spent in nature, goes awry due to clashing, self-involved personalities. (The self-involved personalities part of this draws similarities to the show Girls, which was also created by Dunham and Konner). You have Walt's wife, Kathryn (played by Jennifer Garner) — obsessively organized and often overbearing — who completely clashes with Jandice (Juliette Lewis), who is adventurous and free-spirited. Kathryn also has a rule in place that children aren't invited, which applies to everyone but her own son of course. That rule is quickly broken when her sister shows up with her teenage daughter.

    15. Inside Amy Schumer (2013–2016)

    A still of Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in Inside Amy Schumer
    Comedy Central

    This hysterical series, created and hosted by Schumer herself, is everything you'd expect from the stand-up comedian and actress and more. Episodes are a mix of sketches, street interviews, and stand-up, so this is truly the perfect need-to-laugh show. Some of the most iconic sketches include "12 Angry Men," a parody of the 1957 film of the same name, where a jury made up entirely of men decide whether Schumer is hot enough to be on television. Another sketch you won't want to miss is "Last Fuckable Day," starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Patricia Arquette, Tina Fey, and of course, Schumer herself, in which the four women have a comical but very real talk on ageism in the industry.

    16. Chelsea Handler: Evolution

    a still of chelsea handler in evolution with text that reads "I want him to flatten my curve and then I want to flatten his curve"
    HBO Max

    And I can't leave without telling you to watch Chelsea Handler's latest comedy special, Evolution, which happens to be her first return to stand-up comedy in six years! I know this isn't a television series, but I really wish it was because you can never have too much Chelsea in your life. The special was filmed a few months into the pandemic, so you can expect jokes related to that...or rather, jokes about her attraction to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She also makes jokes about her experiences with therapy after the 2016 presidential election, drug use, and life in Los Angeles, aka jokes about kale chips.

    If you want to read more about this hilarious — and at times heart-wrenching — comedy special, check out my write-up of Chelsea Handler: Evolution.

    Intrigued? Sign up for HBO Max for $14.99 a month and access countless TV shows and movies.

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