Netflix Presents: The Characters
|Netflix Presents: The Characters|
|Written by||Lauren Lapkus|
Paul W. Downs
|Directed by||Andrew Gaynord|
Paul W. Downs
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company||Jax Media|
|Original release||March 11, 2016|
Netflix Presents: The Characters is an American streaming television comedy sketch show that premiered on Netflix on March 11, 2016. It features eight up-and-coming comedians, who each write and star in their own 30-minute show. The comedians featured in the show are Lauren Lapkus, Kate Berlant, Phil Burgers, Paul W. Downs, John Early, Tim Robinson, Natasha Rothwell, and Henry Zebrowski. Eight episodes were released on March 11, 2016. The following month, Netflix cancelled the series after one season.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"Lauren Lapkus"||Andrew Gaynord||Lauren Lapkus||March 11, 2016|
|2||"John Early"||Andrew Gaynord||John Early||March 11, 2016|
|3||"Henry Zebrowski"||Andrew Gaynord||Henry Zebrowski||March 11, 2016|
|4||"Kate Berlant"||Andrew Gaynord||Kate Berlant||March 11, 2016|
|5||"Natasha Rothwell"||Andrew Gaynord||Natasha Rothwell||March 11, 2016|
|6||"Paul W. Downs"||Andrew Gaynord||Paul W. Downs||March 11, 2016|
|7||"Tim Robinson"||Andrew Gaynord||Tim Robinson, Zach Kanin||March 11, 2016|
|8||"Phil Burgers"||Andrew Gaynord||Phil Burgers||March 11, 2016|
The series was met with a positive response from critics upon its premiere. The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes's critical consensus reads, "Some Characters prove funnier than others in this sketch anthology, but they cumulatively add up to a hilarious showcase for a new generation of comedic talent." 
In 2020, Jason Zinoman of the New York Times revisited the series, saying "...if The Characters was a failure, it belongs to the tradition of Fridays and The Dana Carvey Show: noble experiments, unjustly overlooked, that in retrospect were a hotbed of comedy talent in early-stage careers."
In December of 2019, Vulture cited three sketches from the show (Natasha Rothwell's "Chiggers", John Early's "The Toast," and Tim Robinson's "Sammy Paradise") in their list of "The 50 Best Comedy Sketches of the Decade." 
- "Netflix Orders Innovative Sketch Series 'The Characters' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- "Netflix Sets New Sketch Comedy Series 'The Characters' For March". Deadline. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- "Netflix's newest comedy is The Characters, and it looks super weird". The Verge. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- "Netflix Presents: The Characters". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- Zinoman, Jazon (2020-09-09). "Rediscovering an Ambitious Sketch Comedy That Never Caught On". New York Times. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- Hoepfner, Fran. "The 50 Best Comedy Sketches of the Decade". Vulture. Retrieved 1 December 2020.