Louis C.K. has no immediate plans to revive “Louie,” reason enough to chuck your TV set and dedicate the rest of your waking hours to chasing squirrels on Pokemon Go.
Except C.K. hasn’t really abandoned us. Far from it. The comic genius has been busy producing some of our smartest, most daring comedies, including “Horace and Pete” (louisck.net), which is like “Cheers” on a rage-infused bender; FX’s “Baskets,” which landed Louie Anderson an Emmy nomination, and FX’s “Better Things,” which debuts Thursday with the goal of shattering any notion that women can have it all without going slightly nuts.
Add “One Mississippi” to his hit list.
Tig Notaro stars in the quasi-autobiographical journey of a comedian who returns to small-town Mississippi and discovers, much to her chagrin, that she misses more than the state’s sweet potato pie. Notaro, who created the series with former Minnesotan Diablo Cody, has a deadpan, low-key style that suggests she’s just phoning it in. Don’t be fooled. Her comedy has always been sneaky smart, whether she’s simply pushing a stool across a stage during one of her hilarious appearances on “Conan” or ruminating without pathos about her bout with cancer.
That approach works here, as well. Her scenes with a stepdad who seems more worried about his missing cat than the loss of his wife cry out exasperation without expletives. Her conversations with her deceased mother are so casual and natural that you forget you’re watching dream sequences. Sometimes less is more, and sometimes, as in this case, it’s great.
“Mississippi,” which debuts Friday on Amazon, may not trend right away, but it’s an example of how popular fare can inspire you to go off the main thoroughfare and discover some delightful, often neglected, treasures.
In addition to the suggested streaming services, these recommendations are mostly available on DVD:
If you like ‘Game of Thrones’
Try “Rome” (2005-07): All apologies to George Martin, but the “GoT” author’s repertory company is no match for the rich roster of characters in this sprawling series, from the duplicitous Marc Anthony to the comedy stylings of fictional soldiers Titus and Lucius, our finely chiseled guides on a tour designed for those who like their TV big and bold. HBO on demand
If you like ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’
Try “The Green Room With Paul Provenza” (2010-11): Diner joe and vintage wheels provide a nice scenic drive through the comedy scene, but if you’re looking for a trip in the fast lane, try these short-lived roundtable discussions that require shock absorbers. The likes of Jonathan Winters, Margaret Cho and Ray Romano let it all hang out. YouTube and Showtime on demand
If you like ‘Sherlock’
Try “Cracker” (1993-96; 2006): I used to recommend this series about a brilliant but troubled detective a lot, but not since Benedict Cumberbatch mixed sex and suspense so effectively in his hit PBS series. True, star Robbie Coltrane is not exactly dashing, but if you want cases with lots of twists and a hero that makes Dr. House look like Marcus Welby, he’s your man. Acorn TV
If you like ‘Stranger Things’
Try “Amazing Stories” (1985-87): Steven Spielberg has everything and nothing to do with the current Netflix talker. He’s not listed as a producer, but his brand of storytelling — wistful without being wimpy — is all over the ’80-set drama. Same goes for this anthology series with imaginative fables directed by Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese and the master himself. nbc.com
If you like ‘The Walking Dead’
Try “Special Bulletin” (1983): No matter how many quips or machetes you have, sometimes you can’t fend off the end of the world. That’s the premise of this stark TV movie that plays out in real time as anchor Ed Flanders delivers the grimmest of all newscasts. Creators Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz would go on to make “thirtysomething.” YouTube
If you like ‘BoJack Horseman’
Try “Duckman” (1994-97): We tend to be quite forgiving when it comes to animated animals with enormous egos, but a certain quacked-up detective will test the patience of the most die-hard pet lovers. Jason Alexander provides the lead voice in this caustic comedy featuring Tim Curry as supervillain “King” Chicken. YouTube