#atozchallenge: Dramedy

dramedy =
drama + comedy


A dramedy is a TV series that’s basically a drama, but has elements of a comedy. The term was coined in the 1980’s when many dramatic shows started adding elements of comedy. A good example is the long running series JAG, which starred David James Elliott and Catherine Bell as judge advocates in the US Navy. There was plenty of courtroom drama and investigation, but there was usually a second story line that was a little more light-hearted and provided comic relief. The spin-offs from that show, the NCIS family, are more good examples. More recently, The Mysteries of Laura starring Debra Messing and Hawaii Five-O, starrring Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, employ a good deal of humor along with the action.

Which shows do you watch that you would consider dramedys?


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

40 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: Dramedy”

  1. I do not think I watch any that are as I watch only Music and Cooking Shows
    And The Big Bang Theory.
    And then Hallmark movies and that is it.
    But I have heard of all the shows you mentioned I just do not watch any
    of them even though they have great Actors and sometimes the stories
    look exciting.


  2. Maybe Downton Abbey? The Dowager Grantham always provides a good laugh. Saw an episode the other night where she was viewing a lavishly laid-out dinner table and her comment was, ” Nothing succeeds like excess.”


    1. Maggie Smith’s scenes are pretty funny, and the episode where they’re carrying around the dead diplomat was funny. We watched the first season and some of the second, then we gave up on it.


  3. I think all good films/TV series are dramedies to a certain extent because that is what life is like – serious day-to-day life interspersed with light-hearted moments. I’m trying to think of some good examples. I suppose MAS*H is one of the more famous ones. I’m watching the Hap and Leonard series at the moment, which has many comic moments. Then there’s series like Six Feet Under, Elementary and Scrubs. The list goes on! Around My Kitchen Table


  4. I liked watching Hawaii 5-0, although that was a long time ago! I’m not sure what else I’ve watched that’s would be considered a dramedy other than what was mentioned already–I really liked Sherlock. And I agree that most good shows contain elements of both.


  5. I watch Black-ish, which I’d consider a dramedy that is heavy on the comedy. I agree with the comment Jack Connelly made that Downton Abbey could fits the bill, though it was basically quite dark. There are definitely good elements of comedy woven though it though it is primarily a dramatic series.


  6. I used to like NCIS until Ziva left. Now I understand Tony is leaving too? Kind of lost its allure for me. On the other hand, NCIS New Orleans with Scott Bakula is a must watch at our house. The intro alone is worth it. 🙂 We also enjoy The Mysteries of Laura. Another fun dramedy was Desperate Housewives, which begat Devious Maids.


  7. I think more and more shows are fallingi that dramedy category. People want some lighthearted with their serious. I think MASH did it very well (and they were before the 80s). However, most shows in this category are hour long shows, to be sure. NCIS injects some comedy into their shows, but I’m not quite sure I’d label them a dramedy. I thought Ally McBeal was an excellent example of this. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and even MARVEL’S Agents of SHIELD are excellent examples. I’m not sure Joss Whedon knows how to write any other way (which is a good thing in my book). JJ Abrams managed it with Felicity and even Fringe. John Noble is a wonderful character actor who can’t hardly help being funny for being so odd. Sleepy Hollow manages to infuse humor into what could be a very dark show. Supernatural did the same, but I’m not current with that one. Even The Blacklist, which can be very dark, has hilarious lines in it thanks to the comedic timing of James Spader. John Noble recently joined the cast of Elementary and his brand of humor works well on that show, too. I think it combines the elements of drama and comedy quite well. Jonny Lee Miller plays a very quirky Holmes. I could go on, but you don’t want me monopolizing your comments section.


  8. I think Castle, a police procedural with a male writer who follows the female detective on her calls, could be a dramedy. He is writing a book and throws in the humor with a quip, teasing and his partial family.


    1. That, more than anything, is a dramedy. The way Castle and Kate Beckett banter with each other, the way he plays with his daughter in the apartment, the interaction with his mother, all comedy genius, but there’s a serious element. Another one is “Bones,” with Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, based on Kathy Reichs’s books. 

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  9. What I hate is when a comedy transforms to drama, like Mash you mentioned. I say stick with the comedy or write another show. I think The Wonder Years and The Goldberg’s would probably qualify as dramadies.


    1. The Wonder Years, certainly. I haven’t seen The Goldbergs. MASH started out practically all comedy with the occasional serious story line, and by the end it was all serious with the occasional comedy. That might have been Alan Alda’s doing. The more directing he did, the more it became a drama.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love dramas, but when it comes to tv, I think I’m really a comedy kinda person. Downton was dramedy, as were Dexter (dark, but still hilarious at times) and House. I watch Castle, which must surely be more comedy than drama, but murder is pretty dramatic. That’s all I can think of. I think my husband watches more dramedy than I.


  11. I like a good dramedy! Such a good word. Elementary is a good dramedy, as is Hawaii Five-O. James Caan’s son is hilarious in that show, as is the Shrimp Food Truck guy (can’t remember his name). I think Rizzoli and Isles is another dramedy that I enjoy… So many good ones out there…

    Michele at Angels Bark


    1. Kamekono… Taylor Wily was a sumo wrestler, I think. Jorge Garcia added a lot of humor when he joined the cast. Haven’t seen R&I since we got rid of cable, and I’m kind of surprised one of the local channels hasn’t picked it up as they did with The Closer.


    1. Those are a couple I’m not familiar with. If thhey’re on a cable network, that might explain it.

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  12. Many dramatic or tragic stories need a little comedy mixed in. Take the musical Les Miserable for example. Definitely nonstop heartache but the elements with the innkeeper and his wife are needed to break up the sorrowful parts.


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