Heartstopper season 2 has arrived on Netflix – and it's already recaptured our hearts after another superbly, well, heart-warming installment.
One of the best Netflix shows in recent memory, Heartstopper is a tremendous coming-of-age TV series that's packed with positive LGBT-plus representation. That was one of many reasons why it was one of the best shows of 2022, with its charming cast, endearing narrative, and inclusive nature turning it into an overnight sensation for the world's best streaming service.
Alas, though, Heartstopper's second season has already come and gone. Well, if you streamed all eight episodes on launch day (August 3) anyway. But the feel-good comedy shows don't stop there, dear reader. Below, we've rounded up six other uplifting comedies to stream on Disney Plus, Prime Video, and more. So, if you need further laughs after watching Heartstopper, pop one of these shows on next.
Sex Education (Netflix)
Netflix hasn't completely cornered the coming-of-age, feel-good comedy market, but Sex Education – in tandem with Heartstopper – has helped to make it a strong contender for that crown.
Like its fellow British-developed TV show, Sex Education tackles numerous themes surrounding identity and sexuality, particularly from a teen perspective. It doesn't shy away from exploring difficult and timely topics of being a young adult today, nor is it afraid to interject plenty of wisecracks, one-liners, or slapstick moments into the equation where necessary. Another top-tier TV show that wears its heart on its sleeve, and portrays its characters in the most authentic way possible.
Sex Education season 4, the trailer for which you can watch above, arrives on Netflix on September 21, so you don't have much time left to catch up on its first three seasons.
Ted Lasso (Apple TV Plus)
Considered by many to be the feel-good comedy of the last few years, Ted Lasso is the warm hug of a TV series many of us needed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The hugely successful and popular soccer-based Apple TV Plus show sees the titular character relocate from Kansas to London, with the aim of trying to turn fictional soccer team AFC Richmond's fortunes around in the English top division. Across its multi-award-winning three-season run, Ted Lasso ran the gamut of emotions, all with a twinkle in its eye and a corny joke to hand.
Like Sex Education and Heartstopper, it wasn't scared to occasionally dip its toes into darker plot territory, but it did so with poise and respect that made its dramatic moments all the more enthralling. One of the best Apple TV Plus shows, it certainly is.
Abbott Elementary (Disney Plus/Hulu)
This underrated sitcom gem is, as its title implies, another school-based comedy series.
Unlike Sex Education and Heartstopper, though, Abbott Elementary, which is based in Philadelphia, takes place in a predominantly black school. As such, it focuses on class and racial divides, as well as other sociopolitical issues, including the underfunded school system.
Don't let its serious subject matter fool you, however. Abbott Elementary handles them with a deft hand and side-splitting mockumentary-style humor, which make it delightfully sweet in its tone and makeup. One of the best Disney Plus shows of modern times – and its burgeoning awards cabinet proves it. US audiences can catch it on Hulu, while UK and Australian viewers can tune in via Disney Plus.
Upload (Prime Video)
A oft-dark sci-fi series dressed up as a comedy series, Upload is an underappreciated Prime Video show from Greg Daniels, the man behind huge TV hits including The Office US, King of the Hill, and Parks and Recreation.
It's 2033, and computer programmer Nathan Brown unexpectedly dies in a car accident. However, thanks to technological advances, humans can be 'uploaded' to virtual afterlife programs to preserve their consciousness, where they're watched over by 'angels', aka the program's living customer service representatives. Nathan find himself uploaded to Lakeview, an expensive afterlife, at his living girlfriend's request. However, he soon falls for Nora, his 'angel', who uncovers a conspiracy that suggests Nathan was murdered.
If that sounds too complex to follow narratively, don't worry. It takes an episode or two to wrap your head around Upload's story and neo-futuristic world. But, once you do (and once the plot gets going), it's an entertaining and witty genre-bending series that pokes fun at numerously timely topics. Two seasons of one of the best Prime Video shows are available now, with a third on the way.
Our Flag Means Death (Max)
Speaking of TV shows stuffed with subversive storytelling, this Max period rom-com was an unexpectedly wonderful addition to the streamer's back catalog in 2022.
Loosely based on the life of Stede Bonnet, it tells the tale of a high-born Barbadian who turns his back on his wealthy lifestyle to pursue his dream of becoming a pirate revolutionary. Hiring a dysfunctional crew to set sail for adventures on his ship, Bonnet soon realizes the pirate life may not be for him. That is, until he runs into the legendary swashbuckler known as Blackbeard.
Saying anything else about Our Flag Means Death's plot and character development would give its biggest surprises away. And, while some of its jokes don't make *ahem* waves, its endearing, humorous, and commendable approach to colonialism and queerness make it stand out from the crowd. In fact, it proved so popular last April, it dominated the streaming high seas for weeks. Stick one of the best Max shows on your watch list immediately.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
The premise of this charming Netflix show might not make it sound all that cheery, but Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will restore your faith in humanity.
15 years after she was kidnapped and held captive by a doomsday cult, Kimmy Schmidt is viewed as a victim of her situation after she's finally rescued by her jailer. Determined to prove she's more than someone to feel sorry for, however, she embarks of a mission – armed with a steely resolve and buckets of optimism – to spread positivity across New York City, all the while regaining her own sense of self and freedom after her incarceration.
Viewed by many as the first great sitcom of the streaming era, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the kind of oddball but heart-warmingly series we could use more of. It's witty, edgy, unashamedly feminist, and – led by the outstanding Ellie Kemper as the titular character – finds a positive outlook in life even in the most trying of circumstances.
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.
An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.
Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.
Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.