The problem with "life" and "responsibilities" and all those other things that require frowny-faced finger quotes is that they keep you from sitting at home all day eating ice cream directly from the carton and watching the best comedy that daytime TV has to offer. It's an issue.
Thankfully, the miraculous ability to DVR shows has visited us from the future, allowing us to balance that whole responsibility mess with the thing that's really most important in our lives: The LOLs. So here's how you can catch them while you're out doing all that dumb stuff like working a "job" and "making a living."
'Archer' (2010 - )
Though "Archer" lives on in nighttime TV, it has become a daytime syndication staple -- and all "Archer" is good "Archer," no matter what time it happens. We can't put it any better than Den of Geek's James Stanfield: "It's like MI5 run by Dunder Mifflin."
In every episode, Sterling Archer -- voiced by the impeccably dry H. Jon Benjamin -- sends up all things spy movie with a complete lack of self-awareness and a heaping helping of egotism wrapped up in a big idiotic burrito. Plus, Jessica Walter is there to help us get over our post-"Arrested Development" depression. This is the kind of show that you can DVR episode 10 or episode 32 and jump in just fine -- it's always funny and never, ever appropriate.
'Raising Hope' (2010 - 2014)
Ever wonder how every sitcom character ever -- who works about three minutes per season at a TV-land job -- has the swankiest flat in Manhattan and eats the trendiest tapas three times a day? You will not wonder that when you DVR "Raising Hope," the straightforward but surprisingly joyful tale of an earnestly dysfunctional lower-middle class family. As Lucas Neff, Cloris Leachman, and the rest of the brilliantly off-kilter ensemble struggle to afford a pizza and delight in hand-me-down tees, you will be reminded of the words of Confucius: The struggle is real.
But "Raising Hope" is less "struggle," more "real." The family never navel-gazes about their situation -- they're too busy layering jokes on top of jokes, stocking groceries at the local shop, and raising the adorable baby of a deceased serial killer. Because life is good like that.
'Seinfeld' (1989 - 1998)
"Archer" and "Raising Hope" might be modern-day syndication standbys, but "Seinfeld" is the Zeus that stands atop the Mount Olympus of daytime TV. We hardly need tell you why "Seinfeld" is heralded as a pop-cultural legend -- its absolutely perfect ensemble cast, its "yadas yadas," its Soup Nazis, and its big ol' bowl of thirst-inducing pretzels already do all that. "Seinfeld" is an icon, and its number of laughs per minute earn it that status in a big way. Might as well start collecting each episode like a neurotic, irreverent little sitcom Pokemon.
'How I Met Your Mother' (2005 - 2014)
Say what you will about its, erm, "divisive" series finale, "How I Met Your Mother" is the pizza of syndicated TV comedy -- not only is it complete comfort food, even a "bad" slice of HIMYM is still a pretty good slice of television. Worst-case DVR scenario: You get Jason Segel's marshmallow-y lovableness, Neil Patrick Harris' smarmily lovable-yet-hateable electricity, and Cobie Smulders' "I just love everything about you" charm soaked in often-boozy mishaps and hilariously contradictory retellings of past events from different perspectives. It's like if "Rashomon" made you pee yourself a little.
'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' (2003 - )
You know a show is good whenever people start referring to it with one noun. Like, "Time to watch 'The Wheel,'" "Gotta get home in time for 'Ellen.'" And while daytime TV might be a minefield of soaps and talk shows, Ellen DeGeneres is a mine that explodes with awesome.
It may not be scientifically possible for human beings to not like "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." This thing has more Daytime Emmys than Shark Week has teeth, and that's because everybody can find something to love -- and something to laugh at -- on "Ellen." Wanna hear George Clooney riff about his sex life? Got it. SNL-caliber sketches starring DeGeneres herself? Check. Adorable genius kids showing up for off-the-cuff interviews about dinosaurs? That's in there. One of the best talk shows in the history of the format? Of course.
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- "Raising Hope" Is the Corrective to Poverty Porn
- 10 Reasons to Unbury "How I Met Your Mother"
- Daytime Emmys 2015 Complete Winners List: Soaps, Talk Shows Win Big