7 Hilarious Non-Comedies That Need To Be On Your Watchlist

By DA Staff 6 April 2024 3 mins read

Here's a list of the best dramas that also come with a hefty side of laughs.

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A good TV show is always capable of striking the perfect balance between comedy and drama. It’s equally important for comedies to have compelling plotlines as it is for dramas to have a humour quotient that breaks the tension and gives the viewers a moment of ease and respite. Even though both the genres aim to evoke a different set of emotions and aim to emulate a different viewing experience, the two cannot be mutually exclusive. Comedies require something to ground their writing in reality and dramas require jokes to humanise their characters so it’s easier to empathise with them.

Earlier this year, The Bear’s clean-sweep at the Emmys in the comedy categories sparked a debate about about dramas being dubbed as comedies. While we don’t have an answer to this nuanced discussion, we couldn’t help but notice that there are tons of other dramas that are sometimes funnier than the average sitcom. Cousin Greg and Tom Wambsgans quips in Succession. The physical comedy in Fargo. And there are many other shows that deliver on both fronts. So here’s a list of dramas that have actually made us bust out a chuckle more often than sitcoms with laugh-tracks.

Better Caul Saul

Better Caul Saul, Vince Gilligan’s prequal to Breaking Bad, is a show that uses humour to break the high-intensity tension of the plot. It also displays the duality of the show’s protagonist—a sympathetic bloke who is bogged down by his self-destructive tendencies—played to perfection by Bob Odenkirk. The show expertly uses situational comedy to make the tense narrative palatable, making it one of the best drama series out there.


Donald Glover’s Atlanta chronicles the lives of two cousins who are trying to make it big in the music industry. While that sounds like a pretty casual premise the show tackles with some heavy topics including race discrimination, identity-crises, class, existentialism and modern African-American culture. Despite the subject matter that comes with these loaded topics, the show’s writers excel at mining jokes out of the uncomfortable. Naturally, a lot of the humour is dark and ironic but Atlanta manages to find a light and accessible way to highlight these important issues.

Orange Is The New Black

A prison doesn’t sound like the ideal setting to generate laughs. If you’re someone who has seen HBO’s Oz, you would be convinced that a prison is anything but funny. However, even while addressing topics such as police brutality and prison reforms, Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black manages to introduce some amusement. It’s an impressive feat to juggle the tonality, jumping from light-hearted college level pranks to hard-hitting truths about the prison life.

Killing Eve

Killing Eve is a cat and mouse story. An MI6 agent (played by Sandra Oh) becomes obsessed with tracking down a ruthless assassin (played by Jodie Comer). The two characters’ polarity is a treasure trove for the writers introduce jocular moments. With Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the head writer on the show’s first season, Killing Eve masterfully weaves humour into high-octane action-packed scenes, making it a thriller series well worth watching.


Fargo is an anthology show that is deeply inspired by the works of director-duo Coen Brothers. It goes without saying then that the series incorporates their zany sense of humour with characters dishing out one-liners in the most ludicrous situations and some of the best physical gags. Each season follows a new set of characters in a different time period, with minor overlaps across seasons, if at all. In season 1, Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton’s murderous game of tag takes various comedic turns, keeping the viewers at the edge of their seat and giving them enough chances to lean back with laughter.

The Sopranos

For starters, the premise of The Sopranos is funny enough. Tony Soprano, a merciless mob boss seeks psychiatric help after his work takes a toll on his mental health. No job is free of burnout, right? But the show largely plays out as a drama with bloodshed and internal politics playing a central role in the narrative. However, much like Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, the gangsters’ choice of words, annoyance and obsession with customs is where the laughs come in. Not to forget the black comedy that arises from their murderous escapades.


A story about power-hungry billionaires who are constantly at each other’s throats to inherit the mother lode doesn’t scream funny. But in the hands of creator Jesse Armstrong it manages to pump up the humour quotient. Armstrong’s stint on works such as Peep Show, Fresh Meat and Four Lions has attuned his eye for high-quality awkward humour, copious amounts of which are available on Succession. In addition to that, the show can also serve as a masterclass in dishing out insults and profanities that will definitely make you belly laugh and in no time they’ll be part of your repertoire.


DA Staff

Damn straight. Dead Ant has staff. You’d better believe it.


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