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

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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?