It's a shame when funny shows are often misinterpreted as juvenile, because a lot of these shows aren't actually stupid at all. There are countless "stupid" shows that are, in fact, really smart, but often get overlooked due to the seemingly unsophisticated nature of their premise. Recently, television has seen a massive spike in the rise of the "smart" comedy which is, fortunately, prompting audiences to look at certain comedy series with a deeper lens.
Nonetheless, take a look at these "stupid" shows that are secretly (or not-so-secretly) brilliant.
- 1Photo: Fox
Although it might appear relatively tame by today's standards, Married... with Children was the (often crude) answer to the classic suburban family sitcom dynamic. Al Bundy's misanthropic view on humanity, mixed with a lazy, entitled family and some vulgar humor, made the show a massive hit with younger audiences.
In 1997 it was named the "least family-friendly show" by the Parents Television Council, proving that the show's writers were successfully able to bring a blowtorch to the then-sterile tropes of family-based sitcoms.Low-key genius?
- Photo: ABC
Police Squad! was way ahead of its time not only in the way it parodied the police procedural but the way it parodied "comedy" as a whole. Created by the team behind Airplane!, Police Squad! was a short-lived ABC series that not only lampooned the detective and police procedurals of its time but also police in general.
Leslie Nielsen, a master of offbeat humor and non-sequitur jokes, originally starred in police procedurals himself, adding a bit of self-aware irony to his portrayal of a TV detective. Although Police Squad! was canceled after only four episodes, the cult fandom led to Nielsen reprising his role of Detective Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun film series.Low-key genius?
- Photo: ABC
The character Batman is naturally identified with darkness, especially when it involves Gotham, but back in the 1960s, the first-ever Batman series threw a few more jokes than punches.
While most comic book adaptations nowadays try to go down a darker, grittier route to appeal to wider audiences, Batman appealed to its teenage audience by leaning into the campiness of comic book heroes, opting to not take itself very seriously. Adam West and Burt Ward's Batman and Robin will go down in history as two of the most honest portrayals of these characters.Low-key genius?
- 4Photo: MTV
To some, Beavis and Butt-Head was the lowest form of comedy. The show focused on two juvenile and illiterate high-schoolers who did nothing but exhibit crude behavior like laughing at dirty jokes, headbanging to the devil's music, or sitting in front of the television for hours and hours like zombies.
But the show wasn't perpetuating this kind of behavior as much as it was using Beavis and Butt-Head as vehicles to comment on everything wrong with society through the lens of Gen X couch potato adolescents.Low-key genius?