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Let's Rank the Best and Worst New Comedies of the Fall TV Season

Laughing: Unless you are a joyless robot from the planet Buzzkill in the faraway Unfunny Galaxy, you love to do it. And television sitcoms are known for helping viewers free imprisoned laughs from their body jails. But it is a fact of life that all television sitcoms are not created equally, and one might go far as to say that some of them even "suck." This term is most commonly applied during the fall TV season, generally with regard to the new network comedies, and 2013 is no different. 

And being that this is the internet, nothing shall ever go unranked. So below you'll find the official, indisputable, unquestionable ranking of the 2013's new fall comedies as determined by the lord of television, me!




THE GREAT

1. Trophy Wife

Though some people got a bad first impression based on the title (I never cared, I mean look at the picture above, there are three trophies and two wives in it!), Trophy Wife has been consistently good and at times great, starting with a stellar pilot and peaking with Episode 4, "The Breakup," which showed just how good this comedy can be when everything is working. The series hasn't quite reached the same heights since, and the most recent episode, "Lice and Beary White," may have been its weakest effort—personally, I think Trophy Wife works best when the family is operating as a functioning unit, but later episodes have pitted Kate against Diane, sapping some of the love that made the show so charming in the beginning. Still, with an excellent cast, some great kid characters, and a fun spin on the family sitcom, Trophy Wife should be around for a while. If ABC can get its head out of its ass and put it behind Modern Family, that is.

Status: Picked up for a full season!


2. The Goldbergs

I didn't care for the pilot, but since The Goldbergs has turned down the volume on what I initially dubbed a scream-com, no recent show has surprised me this much. Remember how The Americans used the '80s to simplify the spy game for great effect? The Goldbergs does something similar by using it to magnify the sweetness of this quirky family unit. There's no hiding behind cell phones and Kardashian jokes. I know I sound like an old man by calling the '80s "simpler times," but The Goldbergs uses the decade to bring the family together in closer quarters, instead of just relying on lame zingers about Zaxxon and telephone landlines. The series boasts a solid cast that's full of established talent (Jeff Garlin, Wendi McClendon-Covey, George Segal), not to mention one of the best new characters in comedy (Troy Gentile as Barry). And I'm declaring Episode 7, "Call Me When You Get There," the best episode of a new comedy of the season. Watch it! 

Status: Picked up for a full season!




THE GOOD

3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine 


On paper, I was all over B99 when the show was first announced. A cop comedy from two of the Parks & Recreation guys? Yes! Police Academy: The Series! My ninth-birthday wish would finally come true! (There actually WAS a Police Academy: The Series, but nobody remembers that.) But in reality, Brooklyn Nine-Nine hasn't turned in a single episode that's met my nine-year-old-self's expectations. Yes, even at age nine, I was difficult to please. One recent episode, "Old School," did show improvement by spending less time on Jake's smug face and giving Captain Holt a legitimately hilarious gag (his flashback), so I'm going to take that as a sign that some course-correction is happening. I'm less worried about this series than its peers, though, because it definitely feels fresh and features a cast with plenty of room to grow.

Status: Picked up for a full season!


4. Back in the Game

Just like the mighty Major League Baseball player, this family comedy disguised as a jock-fest is streaky. One day, it's like, totally crushing it; the next, it's whiffaroo. Remember when those kids went to prison? That was a total touchdown! Remember when Terry got that job at the pizza joint? That was an airball. Despite the show's inconsistency, stars Maggie Lawson and James Caan are fantastic, and Ben Koldyke has proved that he's better at playing gross manly men than transvestites. And those kids! Win or lose, I want to take them all out for pizza.

Status: Canceled, but it will air all 13 episodes!




THE WATCHABLE

5. Mom

I have gone full-blown crazy and placed a CBS multi-camera comedy relatively high on this list. Put me in an insane asylum and swallow the key and then carpet-bomb that insane asylum with napalm and broccoli (I hate broccoli). I was surprised to find a certain charm about this show, which deals with heavy subjects (uncontrollable boozing and broken family relationships) head-on. Anna Faris and Allison Janney are great as a team, and the humor is one notch ahead of most of Chuck Lorre's other sitcoms.

Status: Picked up for a full season!


6. The Michael J. Fox Show

This is one of those pleasant little shows that goes in one eye and out the other over the course of its half hour because it isn't remarkable in any way but it isn't horrible in any way either. The first few episodes had the right amount of feel-goodness to them, but since the promising start, the follow-ups have been as plain as can be. This is the comedy season's "'Oh, this show is on, maybe I'll watch it' but then you end up watching a Futurama repeat instead" show.

Status: Picked up for a full season before it even aired!


7. The Millers

With all the great faces (Will Arnett, Margo Martindale, Jayma Mays, Beau Bridges, JB Smoove) on this CBS multi-camera comedy, wasn't it always obvious that we would try our darndest to like this show? And when Martindale farted in the pilot wasn't it obvious that no matter how hard we tried we wouldn't like this show? That's The Millers!

Status: Picked up for a full season!



THE BAD

8. The Crazy Ones

Listen, I'm sure this is totally watchable for some people out there, but if you can somehow ignore the musical cues, hammy good times (just look at that picture above for crying out loud), and teary-eyed close-ups, you'll find that The Crazy Ones rarely makes sense and these characters are just puppets designed to attack and take advantage of your emotional weaknesses. And can we just admit that SMG's character is terrible?

Status: Picked up for a full season!


9. Welcome to the Family

The most redeeming part of Welcome to the Family was that it was canceled before we could really get to know it. This was a comedy that was created in a lab out of network notes and scraps of other shows. One of these days, Mike O'Malley will be in a great sitcom and we'll all see how talented he is on a weekly basis. But this wreck that was supposed to be about cultures clashing after a teenage pregnancy bound them but was instead about two dads who hate each other was not it. Goodbye, family!

Status: Canceled!



THE TERRIBLE

10. Dads


BOOM! Your head just exploded at the fact that I think there are three shows that are worse than Dads. But it's true! And the only reason that's the case is because I honestly believe that Dads knows it's terrible and offensive and doesn't give a firetruck. Shows are like friends, the ones who know they're dirtbags are easier to get along with than the ones who don't know they're dirtbags. Dads is what it is and knows it, and because of that it has earned my respect. But it's still stinky trash.

Status: Picked up for a full season! Yes, I'm being serious. Fox ordered a FULL SEASON of this. 


11. We Are Men

Man oh man, this manly show was bad. This pathetic attempt at slapping humor on the depressing lives of desperate divorced men with macho chest thumping and drunk driving was so far off base that I may never be able to watch an episode of Monk again. This show didn't just have zero heart, it had anti-heart and was arguably more offensive than any new show this season. Dudes being lame-os is not fun to watch. This makes me want to add a leg to my Y chromosome.

Status: Canceled!



THE PAINFUL TORTURE THAT SHOULD BE OUTLAWED BY THE INTERGALACTIC FEDERATION FOR CRIMES AGAINST THE UNIVERSE

Infinity x a billion (tie). Super Fun Night

This black hole of laughter can go three or four episodes without even one trace of a chuckle, which is actually very impressive for a supposed comedy. ABC threw a bunch of money at this Rebel Wilson project without even caring if it had a plan, and it showed! If Wilson's Kimmie weren't completely annoying, Super Fun Night could have been entertaining. That's a basic rule of comedy: make your main character likeable! Instead, Super Fun Night is a disaster of dead-end punchlines and awkward physical humor that backfired into a single-camera comedy that should have been a zero-camera comedy. 

Status: Four more episodes ordered (total of 17)!


A billion x infinity (tie). Sean Saves the World

Good lord, this show. In a recent interview, Sean Hayes said he thought Sean Saves the World was the funniest show on television right now. That means Hayes is either the greatest hype man in the business or has truly lost his mind. The tone of the series was set in the show's first joke in the pilot: Sean is making toast and his bread shoots out of the toaster and Todd can't find it. Yup! That's the joke! And the laugh track loved it. Sean should stop saving the world and start saving Thomas Lennon by letting the best part of the show go on to something more deserving of his skills.

Status: NBC ordered five more episodes.

Trending: Down.



How would YOU rank this season's new comedies? 


Comments (206)
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Brooklyn Nine-Nine will get a second season, but since its season one finale got scheduled too soon, then its second season might get a little but more tougher for this series to resume. The only way to make this show last longer is to move it along with Enlisted to a new night together.
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Moves I would make:
- Mom and Trophy Wife to the bad category.
- The crazy ones to the watchable category.
I still don't see what Tim see in Trophy Wife (besides Malin, of course). I don't find it funny at all, even though I gave it a couple of chances and actually watched until episode 5 (which is more than many, going by the ratings).
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I know it's not new, but Two Broke Girls is still painfully unfunny.
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idiot? ofc
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You have a serious lack of humor

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NO-B9, Moms, Dads, Sean, Rebel, Crazy, GOLDBERGS

The rest, yes!
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I have to admit, I was one of those people who was initially put off my the title but Trophy Wife is seriously a great show.
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I like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Back in the Game & The Goldbergs. The Watchable category was spot on, that's exactly what they are just...watchable. Not really feelin' Trophy Wife though, never really made me laugh or entertained me enough to stick around :/
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I would put Brooklyn Nine Nine in the Great category. It's very funny and it's quite simple, I find it really refreshing.

And I quite like The Crazy Ones.

Back In The Game is fun, too bad they canceled it.

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I agree with the list for the most part, I consistently enjoy The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife, but I must admit I like The Crazy Ones.
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Mom
Trophy Wife
Brooklyn Nine Nine
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I love The Goldbergs! The pilot was ok but by episode 3 I found that the show never ceased to make me laugh and give me the warm and fuzzy feels. I also like Trophy Wife and Brooklyn Nine Nine.
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I consider such lists kinda stupid. Different people like different things. None of these shows are anywhere close to something like Seinfeld or Veep, so people watch whatever they think they'll like.

Of these new shows, I only watch The Crazy Ones, and it's largely because of SMG's being on it. But it's a delightful show and so I keep on watching. But then, people likely largely tuned into Veep simply because Julie Louis-Dreyfus is on it.

And, BTW, at least The Crazy Ones makes sense. Mad Men stopped making any sense the moment Pete Campbell turned down the opportunity to be head partner of a larger firm than Sterling Cooper. And Pete could have easily taken Peggy Olson with him. Sterling and Cooper would probably leave the business and Draper would have had to crawl to some other company and Pete could have immediately informed the authorities about Draper and therefore -- I forget his real name -- Draper would perhaps be thrown in prison or at least wouldn't likely be able to work anywhere.
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I agree whole heartedly that comedies are completley "To each, their own". I like Mad Men, don't think it's the best thing since sliced bread, but I have to chime in. Pete didn't make those choices you mentioned so he could hold leverage above Don Draper. He was able to get vetted by Don as a partner in their new firm, which is a bigger step up than becoming a head hunter for another firm.
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So far this season, my favorite comedy has been Whedon fans trying to defend Agents of Shield as a good show. That never ceases to make me laugh. Of the ACTUAL comedy shows I like

Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Back in the Game
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For me, its:

  1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  2. Trophy Wife
  3. The Millers

I've initially dropped The Goldbergs, but will give it another shot per your review.
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In terms of comedy shows (sitcoms), I only enjoy New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Michael J. Fox Show. I watch Big Bang, too but I don't like it a lot. I like the characters (except Sheldon-I almost hate him), their nerdiness and comics and science but it rarely makes me laugh. The fact that it's so popular means nerds rule the (TV) world.
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The best new comedy is Brooklyn Nine Nine! I love everything about it, even Samberg, who really isn't aweful for a change.
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It doesn't matter if it's funny if the characters are unwatchable because they are whinny and bitchy= Trophy Wife.
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My personal top three:

1. Back in the Game : (
2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
3. The Michael J. Fox Show
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PLEASE! Brooklyn Nine Nine is a 'Great' easily! I wouldn't call it Police Academy, i'd almost call it a spiritual successor to Scrubs!
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I love "Mom". Allison Janney is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. She's funny in "Mom" and she's a wonderful drama actress in "Masters of Sex".
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This is pretty accurate. The only thing I would change would be to switch Trophy Wife with Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I really like BNN's one-liners. During the last episode I literally laughed out loud several times which rarely happens any more when I watch comedies. Despite the fact that it focuses heavily on Jake, I'm still willing to say it's "great".
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I THINK ''MOM'' IS A GREAT SHOW.....BROOKLYN 9-9 IS ALSO GREAT FUN.PROBABLY WE SHARE A DIFFERENT SENSE OF HUMOR!
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B99 is the only one I care to watch. Although, I do want to see super fun night, just to see how bad it is :D
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Save your eyes and brain the pain of Super Fun Night and just trust damn near everybody.
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hahah .. ok. Thx for the tip :)
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Oh, I so much agree regarding Trophy Wife, and am so happy I tried watching it. And I was so excited about Crazy Ones in the beginning... alas, it turned out to be a total disaster
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I don't agree with your top 2!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Back in the Game and The Crazy Ones are the only ones I stuck around for (the first being the best).
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For me, the one show that should be totally expunged from the very fabric of the multiverse, is the one that makes me ashamed to admit that I come from the same country as the main 'star'. Super Fun Night is that one show that truly stands out, not for how good it is, but how bad it really is. It is not one bit funny or clever. There are a number of bad shows this season, but they have something at least watchable in each of them. Super Fun Night is just plain beyond terrible.
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Seeing as how I've only watched two of these shows, I'll put Trophy Wife and Brooklyn 99 both in the great column.
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well brooklyn 99 is great in my opinion!
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What a deception Tim ...
I value your opinions but how can you put Brooklyn 99 only in "The Great" and one of the best new comedies The Crazy Ones in "The Bad"
Sorry that doesn't make any sense !

1 - Brooklyn 99
2 - Crazy Ones
8 - Dads

The rest I don't have time to see ...
I have a lot of other and much better Comedy's to see from zero

Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Entourage
Community
Parks and Rec
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Start watching Always Sunny first! Give it at least half a season. It takes a few episodes to find it's footing. You'll know whether or not you can handle the political in-correctness right away. My personal fav.
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Sorry i forgot Michael J Fox
So

1 - Brooklyn 99
2 - Crazy Ones
3 - Michael J Fox Show
8 - Dads (last)
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The only one I've watched is Brooklyn99, and I think it's way better than Tim does. The latest Thanksgiving episode was the funniest yet. I know some people hate Samberg but he is really toned down in this. It's the other cast members that make it though, and they are getting more stories as the show goes on.
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Am i the only one that haven't watched any of the new comedies this season?
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1 Hello Ladies
2 Brooklyn Nine nine
3 The Goldbergs
4 Trophy Wife
5 Back in the game
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1. Trophy Wife
2. The Crazy Ones
3. Michael J. Fox Show
4. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
5. Back in the Game

Can do without the rest ...
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I've enjoyed every ep of B99 so far. Samberg doesn't annoy me and I think the show finds a good balance between him and the rest of the stellar cast. Great show. Hope it sticks around a couple seasons.
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I actually gave all the new comedies the full '4 Episode Test' which is a first for me (except for We Are Men and Welcome To the Family which were cancelled). It's been a poor season for comedies, but it's always a poor season for comedies. If two of them make it past four seasons it'll be classed as a relatively successful season, only time will tell. Anyway, my rankings:

The Great:
1. Trophy Wife. I agree with Tim on this one, but after his first choice his list got jumbled up somehow.

The Good:
2. The Crazy Ones. This show needs to tone it down just a little and we need to be introduced to the characters home lives but I like the cast, including Geller, and I can see this growing into something much more than it currently is.
3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Good cast, good setting and it's easy to watch. I've only seen the first four at the moment so I need to catch up but it's a decent comedy with the potential for better.
4. Back in the Game. I'm really disappointed that this one got cancelled. The cast was great and, while it was a bit up and down, it was a good little with show with some real heart.

The Fair (or Watchable):
5. The Michael J Fox Show. It's not bad but it's not particularly good. It's watchable.
6. Mom. I like the cast for this show but it failed to hook me during it's four episodes. I suspect, if it doesn't get cancelled, I might start watching this in three seasons time when it's really matured and everyone is raving about it.

The Poor:
7. Welcome to the Family. It certainly wasn't the worst new sitcom, but the writing was very poor. I don't think they had a bad cast they just didn't have the right people behind the cameras.
8. We Are Men. This was borderline Poor/Terrible, but it just wasn't as bad as those listed below, other than that it had no redeemable features.

The Terrible:
9. The Goldbergs. Lots of shouting and heavy handed '80s references. The daughter was used as a plot device rather than a character and the grandfather was the only likeable character in the first four episodes. This really wasn't my cup of tea - and yes I was an '80s child.
10. Super Fun Night. This is terrible. Liza Lapira and Kevin Bishop need to move on from this trash quickly. The only slight positive is that it did have a little heart, just not much of one.
11. The Millers. What a big disappointment. They must have spent all the money on the cast because everything else is very cheap and nasty - especially the writing. The cameo from Eliza Coupe almost pushed this up to the number 10 spot but she is capable of so much more, as is the rest of this talented cast, but the writers just can't give them what they deserve. I wonder what the writers of Community could do for this lot?
12. Dads. Utter garbage. Not one single redeemable feature.
13. Sean Saves the World. No surprises that this is last. If it wasn't for Whitney this would be the worst new "comedy" of the last five years (or more). The fact that it's worse than Dads should speak volumes. I've seen enough of Sean Hayes to last several lifetimes.
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Hello Ladies had a very good first season on HBO. Stephen Merchant brought his and Ricky Gervais' awkward comedy stateside to great effect. The show was consistently funny, and the wedding episode had one of the biggest laugh out loud moments in any comedy in recent history
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The Crazy Ones & Michael J.Fox show best of the new ones. Dads saw 1 ep & couldn't watch no more, and Mom had promising pilot but then in 2nd episode teen daughter got pregnant and blah. The others haven't even interested me to see even an episode
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Love the Crazy Ones and really enjoy the Millers not thrilled with the Goldbergs expected much more.
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I really love the Crazy Ones ... its my fav comedy this season
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I really love the crazy ones, I think its good!
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I really like Trophy Wife and anything with Andy Samberg is a crime against humanity.I haven't seen and have no interest in any of the others mentioned and I very much enjoy a good sitcom.I have seen the first 3 episodes of Ground Floor and think it is funny despite everyone but John McGinley being terrible actors.I can only imagine how much funnier it would be with quality actors.It also has a sort of cheesy old school sitcom feel to it which I hope they correct.
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Only one I'm sticking with is Trophy Wife, and man oh man is it hilarious! All the characters are the right amount of likeable and quirky......I think the success is that they get on each others' nerves, but not the audience's, so I love them all.
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I really wanted to like this show, but unfortunately, the characters do get on my nerves. I still watch it because my husband likes it. :)
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I have watched all the top 8 mentioned except Goldbergs. The only one I am still watching is Mom largely because of Anna Farris and a very good Alison Janney. If you watched her both here and on Master of Sex, you will appreciate her acting even more. I have given up on all the rest. Then again I am not a sitcom guy. I might return to Trophy wife & check out the Goldbergs during the Christmas downtime.

I liked Hello Ladies which just finished its 8 episode run. I will probably watch it again if there is a season 2.
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I actually haven't checked a single one of these out yet. With new comedies, I prefer to let the weeding out process begin without me. I will definitely check out The Crazy Ones at some point, purely due to the cast, but I'm pleased to read some of the comments of people below saying they like it. Crossing my fingers that I will too. After reading this, I think I may check out Mom, as well. The rest I'll need to hear significantly more positive feedback about before I take the time. It's amazing how different everyone's opinions are on all of these!
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I think that MOM and THE MILLERS are the great comedys, The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife the good and the Crazy ones watchable... i think thats the way the order should be :P and i judge this on the xast cast though the crazy ones has amazing cast and how much i actually lough while i'm watching it...still its a comedy and it should be inleast loughble and those two shows wins it gor me :P
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I disagree about The Crazy Ones. Not the greatest but definitely better than Mom and the Michael J. Fox show (which I find cute).
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  1. 1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  2. 2. Mom
  3. 3.The Crazy Ones
  4. 4. Back in the Game
  5. 5. The Goldbergs
  6. 6. Dads
  7. 7. Super Fun Night
  8. 8. Sean Saves the World
  9. 9. The Millers
  10. 10. Trophy Wife
  11. 11. We Are Men
  12. 12. Welcome to the Family/
  13. 13. The Michael J. Fox Show
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I completely agree with your ranking, to the point that I want to check out The Goldbergs. Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Trophy wife are the best for me. The Michael J Fox was nice at first but then made me want to tear my eyeballs out.
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to begin with: crazy ones are much better than the millers, and goldbergs.. and mom should be way at the bottom of this list.. it is the worst..
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Why all the hate for Dads? I watch dozens of shows and this is genuinely one of the funniest shows this season.
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I am a comedy nerd, but this season really is the worst I remember

The only one where I care a little bit about the characters
1) The Goldbergs

Fresh and funny, but the characters are just puppets
2) Brooklyn Nine-Nine
3) The Crazy Ones

Not funny, but at least trying to find its own tone
4) Mom
5) Super Fun Night

Boring, but somehow I still watch
6) Trophy Wife
7) Michael J Fox Show

Boring and I managed to stop
8) Back in the Game

So bad I gave up after the first episode
9) Welcome to the Family
10) The Millers
11) Dads

Sounded too bad to even try
12) Sean saves the World
13) We are Man
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totally agree, not a single show can replace How I met your mother, or is similar to friends, seinfeld, etc. I'm only getting decent comedy from SNL.
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