March Madness Round 2: Dark Places vs. Workplace Comedies

No alarms and no surprises in this category, but the second round should be vexing if your tastes run, like our editors’, to dark places and workplace comedies. {The next section should be read in the awkward voices of your favorite celebrities} Dark narratives give us insights into what makes human souls tick. While And the second round berths go to…

First Round Winners

The Good Place


In the second season, Michael Schur’s unique afterlife comedy twisted and turned and doubled back multiple times (quadrupled back?), burning story arcs at an unprecedented speed. And it was brilliant. We wear our The Good Place love on our sleeve here at Screen Scholars, and you agreed as it absolutely shut out newcomer Corporate, and moves onto the second round to face another excellent show from the Parks and Recreation writers room tree…

Brooklyn Nine-Nine


Given their heritage, it’s as unsurprising as a Pawnee mural being offensive that both these shows have stars at their center but thrive on an ever-expanding universe. Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s appeal partly lies in its ability to lean on the familiar (see the annual Doug Judy and Halloween heist episodes), while being unafraid to throw its characters into entirely new environments, whether throwing Peralta and others into a pastel-infected Florida witness protection program or a Lou Diamond Phillips-led prison gang. In any case, it faced a close call from The Guy and all its green-gilled goodness, but the cop comedy fights on to another round. In the region’s second match of the day…

Bojack Horseman


In its fourth go-around, Bojack had no overarching achievement (at least at first) to act as a theme for the season. In fact, in the first episode, Bojack didn’t even have Bojack, as the titular horse-man was at large, his location mysterious. And it may have been its best season yet, featuring everything, the kitchen sink, and Aparna Nancherla as Bojack’s daughter(?). It’s deep heart embedded in the bowels of blackness propelled it (barely) past the apparent soulless void that may be television’s other most real show, UnReal. Think about that, some of the most real characters on television are animated animals and fake-reality show Machiavellis. Anyway, Bojack advances in the dark to face…



Earn’s having more success doing his namesake, but, along with Paper Boi and Alfred, he’s still struggling to stay ahead of his demons, and all the usual cast of characters who pop up with a little success. Donald Glover’s universe is one of the most brilliantly etched, while also one of the hardest to watch (or, as is often the case, turn away from), and we editors will have a hard time watching y’all as you try to choose between Atlanta and Bojack–two of the best examinations of depression ever to hit television.


Voting begins now, so head this way to Brackets Ninja to cast your ballot!

And check out our earlier contests. If you haven’t yet, throw them some votes:

Family Comedy vs. Family Dramedy
Spooky vs. Superhero

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