Favorite Sitcoms

I consider myself a TV sitcom connoisseur. My dream job would be writing for a sitcom — if only I had the foresight to realize this in my 20s. I’m not going to think too hard about which is properly a “sitcom”. I generally think of sitcoms as lasting under 30 minutes — with some longer things noted. Also, I’m generally excluding sketch comedy shows — though I’m including a separate list for that. Generally I like all sitcoms (I’m easy to please). If a show doesn’t wow me, I’m still going to list it for the sake of keeping a reference. Maybe it’s not good to put animated comedies on my list, so what. Decade will be listed in alphabetical order. *** means it’s my fave. All Bold indicate that it’s great comedy. Ses Futon Critic for more. If a show is not listed in the right decade, it might appear at the end under the Overrated List.

Update: It never occurred to me to include sitcoms not in English. With all kinds of streaming options, I will start doing so.

Warning: I am a sucker for show reboots and continuations into spinoffs 10 years later. Will and Grace is the best example of that.

Wikimedia has 1950s sitcoms, 1960s sitcoms | 1970s sitcoms | 1980s sitcoms | 1990 sitcoms | 2000 sitcoms | 2010 Sitcoms | 2020 sitcoms

Directory: HBO/MAX Shows, Instawatcher Comedy Series by Newness

Other lists: Top Disney/Teen comedies,

Fave Sketch Comedy Series (not including variety shows)

  1. Catherine Tate Show. She is a force to be reckoned with!
  2. Sifl & Olly Show **. Surreal and postmodern musical puppet show on 1990s MTV. Brainchild of prolific songwriter Liam Lynch. Lasted only 2 seasons, but each episode was packed with surreal fun and catchy songs. All episodes are on YouTube.
  3. Jack Benny show. More of a variety show & sketch show which over the years (I’ve been told) have become more of a classic sitcom. I’ve seen some of the variety show, not the later episodes.
  4. Mad TV (Fox’s more risque version of SNL).
  5. Whose Line is it Anyway (US Version starring Drew Carey).
  6. Mr. Show with David and Bob. David Cross and Bob Odenkirk.
  7. Monty Python’s Flying Circus. They literally invented a new format.
  8. In Living Color
  9. SNL. Even though individual episodes might flag, some of the sketches and actors will live on forever.
  10. Tracey Ullman Show
  11. What’s My Line? Improv comedy.
  12. Your Show of Shows (Sid Caesar). Sid Caesar invented the sketch comedy show, and “This is Your Story” is probably the funniest sketch ever.
  13. SCTV

Other Variety Shows (which I haven’t seen)

  1. Harry & Paul. (2007 – on).
  2. I think You should Leave with Tim Robinson.

Special mention needs to go out to dramas (esp supernatural dramas) with significant comic elements: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, West Wing, Columbo, Lou Grant, Hijacking of Flight 603.

The Fifties

  • Amos and Andy (which I’ve never watched)
  • Donna Reed Show
  • George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. I’ve watched some of the episodes (which I love).
  • Honeymooners *** I only watched the original show — and not the reboots), but the minimalism of both the plots and sets make it doubly brilliant.
  • I Love Lucy. So many things about the show are great, but having the Mertzes as next door neighbors offered endless comic opportunities.
  • Leave it to Beaver. When watching as an adult, the show seemed a lot more sly than I remembered.
  • Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. The most vanilla corny show on TV, but I like watching innocent teenage dating fun!
  • Meet Millie. Never seen. Forerunner to MTM “urban working girl” premise.
  • Mr. Peepers. Never seen. wacky school comedy with Wally Cox, later Tony Randall joined cast.

See the bottom of this blogpost for a discussion of shows which were never digitized.

The Sixties

  • Adams Family — great show with quirky humor and characters. It was so repetitive but I never minded. Laugh track is bothersome. ***
  • Andy Griffith Show. It wasn’t that good, but it captured small town life that is now part of the past. Minus Andy Griffith it became Mayberry RFD which I didn’t see.
  • Batman. Funny superhero parody.
  • Bewitched. Fantasy family sitcom. Nothing special; fun for kids. See short-lived 70s spinoff called Tabitha.
  • Beverly Hillbillies
  • Car 54 where are you. Great TV cop show Season 1 is fantastic, Season 2 is bad.
  • Courtship of Eddie’s Father. starring Bill Bixby.
  • Dick Van Dyke show. Topnotch actors, but stories were a little bland.
  • Flintstones. Memorable characters, but I didn’t find it that funny.
  • Gilligan’s Island. Interesting premise and cast, but stupid mindless entertainment.
  • Get Smart. This show ages very well. *** I’ve into Season 4, and quality still hasn’t flagged even if the show feels like it’s on autopilot. Don’t for a moment think this show has anything to do with politics! Buck Henry has the magic touch in this show.
  • Green Acres
  • Hazel
  • Hogan’s Heroes. Watched as a kid. Clever premise, grew old quickly, but good cast. Compare to Allo Allo 2 decades later.
  • I dream of Jeannie. This seemed ridiculously formulaic; I would watch it again just to see Bill Daily as the ever-cheerful sidekick.
  • Jetsons. This futuristic cartoon definitely affected my expectations about the future. It was a great discussion about the “normalcy” of future life.
  • Lucy Show. Gosh, I need to watch this!
  • Make Room for Daddy. Fun for kid/family watching. Nothing special.
  • McHale’s Navy. Watched as a kid. Great cast, probably doesn’t age well.
  • Munsters. Never liked as a kid, but I’ve heard critics praise it for its inclusiveness during a decade when segregationists still ran rampant.
  • My Favorite Martian, haven’t seen.
  • My Three Sons. I don’t remember any of what I watched as a kid, but I’d rewatch just to see William Demarest’s antics.
  • Patty Duke Show, clever show. I’d love to see more.
  • Phil Silvers Show. Great season 1, Phil Silvers is the best!
  • Room 222. History American history class created by James L. Brooks. Starring an idealistic African-American teacher.

The Seventies

  • Alice. Don’t remember much of that show, but I watched it religiously with my parents and liked its depiction of the single mother.
  • All in the Family **** My number 1 favorite show on this page. Still the best, though I wish there was a way to remove the annoying laugh track. Watching it in middle age, I realize how reasonable some of Archie’s opinions actually are and how strident Mike Stivic’s attitudes really sound. Therein lay the show’s genius.***
  • Archie Bunker’s Place. Spinoff from AITF, but after Edith’s death. Only saw a few episodes, not that impressed. But I’d like to watch it again!
  • Barney Miller. I only saw one or two episodes.
  • Benson. Susan Harris created spinoff from Soap.
  • Bob Newhart Show. There’s a lot of love in this show. Susanne Plyshette who plays the wife was superbly sexy and cynical. The key to Bob Newhart is the telephone calls (which he used to do comedy routines about). He always played the straight man reacting to people. He played a more active curmudgeon role in the 80s sequel Newhart.
  • Brady Bunch — more interesting as a premise than for the actual show.
  • Chico and the Man. Wonderful and promising show which unfortunately was cut short by the suicide of the star Freddie Prinze. Wow, just read on Wikipedia that it was inspired by a Cheech and Chong comedy act!
  • Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. (British). Show about dystopian work and self-actualization. The show had a really funny formula and routines, but after two seasons, it started to get darker and more repetitive. Inspired by David Nobbs series of books, which I’d love to read.
  • Fawlty Towers. Enjoyed this short lived British series (and watched everything dozens of times). Just want to say that Cleese is the perfect sitcom guest star. Interestingly, Fawlty Towers was the inspiration for Cheers; can’t you tell? Special mention needs to be made to Connie Booth (who often played straight roles in Monty Python things) and Prunella Scales who plays the proper wife. 2023 Update: A reboot is in the works starring John Cleese’s daughter and Cleese himself.
  • Good Times
  • Grady. Spinoff from Sanford and Son which lasted one season. Never seen it, but I’m sure it’s great.
  • Happy Days
  • Jeffersons. Besides the rousing theme song, I liked the fact that the elevator and the hallway played such a major part on this show. Also, George Jefferson’s mother was great!
  • Laverne and Shirley
  • Love American Style — not a sitcom proper, but an anthology show which I have fond memories of.
  • Mash — actually not much of a fan. Too holier than thou. Truthfully I hated the canned laughter so much that it probably prejudiced me against the show.
  • Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Norman Lear backed this and co-created by Gail Parent (who also wrote for MTM and Golden Girls). never have seen.
  • Maude — never really watched this show produced by Norman Lear, but critic Michael Barrett swears by it.
  • Mary Tyler Moore — actors were outstanding and some shows were great, but overall not a big fan. Ok, I’m just being provocative here, but I felt the show just wasn’t daring enough. The show was just about Mary’s embarrassment and plight of the single working woman. I recognize its cultural significance and see how the show succeeded on its own momentum, but I never found the plot directions of the show to be that interesting. Update: Revising my opinions, especially for the early seasons, which were terrific. Although the entire cast was great, Ed Asner who played Lou Grant was the absolute best. He absolutely made the show.
  • Mork and Mindy — rewatched recently, the first season or two was absolutely terrible!
  • Nancy Walker Show. Norman Lear wishes that he did a better job developing this show because of Walker’s talent.
  • Odd Couple. Great adaptation of the movie. Klugman and Randall were fantastic. I rewatched two episodes and was surprised at how funny Jack Klugman was.
  • One Day at a Time.
  • Partridge Family. Perhaps the only funny thing about this show is that besides David Cassidy (and Shirley Jones), nobody on the show really could sing or play instruments. The show had to be cancelled because Cassidy was running himself ragged on solo concert tour and had to give it up.
  • Porridge. Iconic British comedy about prison. This is a delightful series, which I just started.
  • Rhoda. I loved Rhoda and her mother, but I don’t remember loving this show that much. It felt too much like Mary Tyler Moore (btw, watching clips later on, I realize just how hot Valerie Harper was back then).
  • Room 222
  • Sanford and Son. Every moment of this show is laugh-filled. As “black” as the show seems, I could imagine even the most bigoted whites would find it hilarious. “Grady” was a short lived spinoff.
  • Soap *** I laughed my head off nonstop, although the later seasons got ridiculous. Never got the chance to watch Benson. This was Susan Harris’ baby.
  • Tabitha. Bewitched Sequel.
  • Taxi *** Consistently funny with a stellar cast. Danny Devito really made the show spectacular.
  • Three’s Company. Despite the repetitiveness, when rewatching, I found the shows a lot funnier than I remembered.
  • Welcome Back Kotter. Warm and entertaining school comedy that launched several careers.
  • What’s Happening. Liked the African-American teen characters and families; they seemed very real to me.
  • WKRP in Cincinnati. A silly pointless show, but enjoyed rewatching DVDs.

The Eighties

  • Alf. Haven’t seen.
  • ‘Allo ‘Allo. Wacky longrunning story about an amorous French cafe owner who must accomodate the Nazis while helping the British to defeat them. Show is absurd and repetitive, but I always laughed my head off. I think I only watched 3 of 9 seasons, but I would gladly watch more. ***
  • Anything but Love, Richard Lewis and Jamie Curtis star as coworkers at a magazine.
  • Black Adder.
  • Blossom. Light hearted teen comedy. Nothing special, but I thought the lead actress was really quite cute and funny.
  • Bosom Buddies. Never saw an episode, but just learned that it was an early role for Peter Scolari, meriting it a second look.
  • Brooklyn Bridge. About a Jewish family starring Marion Ross.
  • Cheers***. Early seasons were unbelievably great and dramatic. Diane Chambers was just one great character. Later seasons were silly, but I loved every part of it. ***
  • Colin’s Sandwich. British. Described by one person online as “12 episodes of overthinking punctuated by occasional psychotic fits.”
  • Cosby Show — just mentioning to say how much I hated this show. I found this show to be way too politically correct. Never watched more than two episodes! Different World was much better and more fun.
  • Day by Day. short-lived show with pre-Seinfeld Julie Louis Dreyfus. Never watched.
  • Dear John. Judd Hirsch stars as a divorced man who joins a support group for other divorcees. Lasted 4 seasons. Not to be confused with a British sitcom with the same title and overall concept which premiered a few years earlier.
  • Designing Women. Workplace sitcom with absolutely phenomenal cast. (Jean Smart, Julia Duffy from Newhart). Just started watching.
  • Different World is an offshoot from Cosby show which was much better than it. Lots of great slapstick and political and social themes. Show feels dated, but I like that quality. The cast has gotten together for reunions, and apparently depicting a black college inspired a generation of African-Americans to go to college. That’s great, but it shouldn’t be considered just a sitcom for African-Americans; it touches upon lots of universal themes. ***
  • Different Strokes
  • Facts of Life
  • Family Matters.  The precocious boy Earkle just made the show;  (Fun fact the actor Jaleel White has the same birthday as me!)
  • Family Ties. Michael J. Fox stars in this family comedy. I never got into it, but I’m sure it’s fun.
  • Fresh Fields. British sitcom about a middle aged couple living in London.
  • Golden Girls. Another Susan Harris creation. Just started, prepared to love.
  • Growing Pains.
  • Gary Shandling Show — brilliant comedy. Haven’t watched all of it! ***
  • Hooperman. Police inspector sitcom starring John Ritter
  • It’s Your Move.
  • Just the 10 of Us
  • Married with Children. Fun raunchy anti-family comedy.
  • Mama’s Family. Continuation of the dysfunctional Southern family on the Carol Burnett Show starring Vicki Lawrence as Eunice with cameos by Harvey Korman and Carol Burnett. Wow, this ran for multiple seasons and I’ve never seen.
  • Mr. Belvedere. English butler works at a house in Pittsburg.
  • Newhart. Just as good as (if not better than) the first Bob Newhart sitcom. Perfect cast too.
  • Nightcourt. Never watched. Plan to soon. Update: The reboot was so awful that maybe the original was bad too? The story structure was too loose and random to make me invest anything in it.
  • Only Fools and Horses. Intermittent British show which lasted more than a decade, then was rebooted in the 1990s and was spun off into another series Green Green Grass between 2005-2009 and a prequel, Rock & Chips between 2010-2011. Am marking as a major show even though I’ve never watched an episode — though I see it’s available through Britbox, so maybe I can watch in 2024.
  • Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Imaginative and subversive kids show starring Pee Wee Hermann.
  • Perfect Strangers.
  • Police squad. Great, but does it really count? Update: Great as it is, Angie Tribeca is even better.
  • Punky Brewster.
  • Red Dwarf *** Unbelievably imaginative British sci fi with absurd plot about a human, his cat, his Hologram and his computer are stranded in space. Amazed that they could carry the concept as far as they did — and that every few years they come up with an unexpected sequel.
  • Saved by the Bell. Never seen, but it has a following apparently.
  • Seinfeld *** Bet you didn’t realize it started in the 1980s. So ahead of its time.
  • Silver Spoons.
  • Slap Maxwell Story starring Dabney Coleman.
  • Who’s the Boss? Never watched this sitcom starring Tony Danza, but it lasted 8 seasons and racked up a lot of awards.
  • Yes, Minister.
  • Young Ones. British farce. haven’t seen.

The Nineties

  • Ally McBeal. Dramedy.
  • Almost Perfect. Written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs.
  • As Time Goes By. Droll British show about former flames getting together after their spouses have died. I love the drollness of this show plus how much they mine a show which is basically about 5 characters.
  • Bakersfield P.D. More relaxed version of Police Squad (also a classic). Brian Doyle-Murray’s appearance usually means that the show will be hilarious and get cancelled quickly.
  • Becker. Ted Danson show. Enjoyed what little I saw, very surprised to learn that Terry Farrell of Deep Space Nine starred in it. (DS9 had a lot of funny actors, as did the whole Star Trek franchise).
  • Beverly Hills 90210. It’s an hour long teen dramedy with occasional comic flourishes. I watched two seasons of it in my 50s and found that it was better than I would have thought.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is more supernatural dramedy than sitcom, but there was so much comic potential with a gang of assorted teenagers and adults that eventually the shows became almost parodies. The famous “Once More with Feeling” episode was hilarious. Also, the episodes with the dorky trio provided lots of opportunities for jokes about D&D and what not. I guess supernatural shows just have to take their genre ironically.
  • Caroline in the City. 4 seasons, saw maybe one episode.
  • Coach. Watched it all on Netflix. Didn’t expect to love it, but I really did. Dick Van Dyke’s brother Jerry was great! Also William Fagerbakke played the dumb student jock — really great!
  • Critic — Animated TV show about movie critic starring Jon Lovitz. Somewhat amusing.
  • Commish. Dramedy.
  • Daria.
  • Dharma and Greg. Newlywed comedy. Watched religiously, probably not that great, but Jenna Elfman has the kinetic talents of Lucille Ball. The scripts were so-so, but Greg’s parents were just inspired.
  • Drew Carey Show — one of my alltime faves *** Always surprising, and the cast quality was high, with a lot of surreal effects and transitions. Sadly the show was never digitized after Season 1, though perhaps unauthorized copies of the show are probably available somewhere on the net.
  • Ellen. Never watched!
  • Entourage. There’s a sort of vicarious guilty pleasure in watching these boys get showered with wealth; the characters are sort of flat, but Ari (Jeremy Piven) is a hoot. Characters were kind of funny, but I got sick of it. Typical HBO “Sin Comedy.”
  • Father Ted. Widely beloved Irish sitcom about priests who live in a remote Irish location. Never seen, but can’t wait to.
  • Flying Blind. Haven’t seen.
  • Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Clever I guess, but the humor is too upwardly mobile and with a “let’s pretend we’re affluent” Cosby-ish feel. But I look forward to the Peacock reboot called Bel -Air (which is more of a dramedy).
  • Frasier *** Unusually good supporting cast and guest stars — Frasier’s agent Bebe Glazer, Roz, Bulldog, Daphne and her family. My hot take was that the show declined after the idiotic wedding episode. On rewatching, was not as negative. Also loved the audio cameos played by very famous people on the radio show. Update: There’s a 2023 reboot–horray! This silly comedy sketch underscores how great the characters are and how they could be transplanted in any context.
  • Freaks and Geeks. I don’t consider this to be a sitcom, but some do.
  • Friends. I don’t love the show as much as some people, but it sure was entertaining. See my piece Why Friends does not suck.
  • Get a Life! I loved this quirky Chris Elliott vehicle, though it was probably fated to die an early death. Kudos to Fox for trying it. The first show that dropped all pretense of realism.
  • Grace Under Fire
  • Herman’s Head. Clever cute youth-oriented show where Herman is guided by internal voices who urge him/warn him. Cancelled too soon, the talent was first rate and you’ll see these actors practically everywhere.
  • Home Improvement. Never watched this show!
  • I’m Alan Partridge. British sitcom about an inept broadcaster. Cocreated by Armando Iannucci who created Veep.
  • Jeff Foxworthy Show — Never saw.
  • Just Shoot Me. Mediocre work comedy starring celebrity crush Laura San Giacamo (she was great). Actually the actors were all great, but they ran out of fresh ideas after a season or two.
  • Keeping Up Appearances. I only watched select episodes of this British sitcom, but loved it to death.
  • King of the Hill. *** Laid back animated series set in Texas. Mike Judge’s masterpiece of gentle social satire.***
  • King of Queens. *** This one-camera show was scandalously ignored by Emmy’s. Every detail of this show is great. I don’t think audiences appreciated the appeal of this 1 camera comedy and how far out the plots were. All the characters seemed familiar. The show is mainly about envy and wanting more.
  • Larry Sanders Show*** Every episode of this show was perfection itself. The supporting cast in particular (Rip Torn, Jeffrey Tambor and even the straight roles of people like Penny Johnson were great).
  • League of Gentlemen. Surreal horror British comedy.
  • Living Single.
  • Mad About You. Bland New Yorkey newlywed sitcom. The show is fluff, but I like the fact that the show is all about that romantic spark and that at heart Helen Hunt is a despicable person (and proud of it). Update: there was a 2019 reboot with the two lead characters. Can’t wait to sample.
  • Maggie Winters. 1 season. Early creation by Kari Lizer.
  • Malcolm in the Middle — ground-breaking and fun, but the concept got old very quickly. I burnt out after 2 seasons. Try Young Sheldon instead which is 10 times better.
  • Martin.
  • Murphy Brown. Never watched!
  • Nanny. Fran Drescher was great, and the show borrowed a lot of cliches from other sitcoms. Looking back though I don’t know if I’d like it as much as I did.
  • Newsradio. Excellent work comedy with an amazing cast. Tragically the show changed with Phil Hartman’s unexpected death. Jon Lovett did a good job of filling Hartman’s shoes, but by then the show began to seem a little too formulaic.
  • PJs. adult claymation black series created by Eddie Murphy and Larry Wilmore.
  • Roc — really great African-American family dramedy with occasional dramatic moments.
  • Roseanne. Never really watched, but it never impressed me even during its heyday.
  • Sex and the City. I’ve watched more episodes than I should admit, but never really liked it.  I like some of the quirky details (Carrie’s love of shoes for example), but the relationships were handled too glibly for my taste. Also, the sentimentalization of motherhood seemed excessive. The Mr. Big romance seemed realistic enough, but at times they seemed like dream projections.
  • Simpsons. First few seasons were inspired. The show stayed the same — full of pop culture references and satire, but later seasons just tried to keep doing the same thing. Can you blame them?
  • Soul Man. Dan Akroyd plays a widowed Episcopal priest dealing with 4 children, parishioners, etc. Not to be confused with the 2012 series with the same name.
  • Sponge Bob Square Pants. Kids love it to death.
  • Sports Night
  • Step by Step. Divorced parents raise several kids, starring Suzanne Somers and Patrick Duffy (from Dallas). In the one episode I saw, Sasha Mitchell was the breakout star. Formulaic show which (unbelievably) lasted 7 seasons.
  • Steve Harvey Show.
  • That Seventies Show. ***A charming funny nostalgic show with retro-vignettes. I love the political incorrectness and the pop culture parodies. I love the fact that the guys are always hitting each other and complaining incessantly about their boyfriends/girlfriends or ex’es. Kelso is an inspired character. Also, loved that Tommy Chong showed up randomly as the neighborhood pothead. God this cast couldn’t be beat! *** The 2023 reboot (That Nineties Show) is also great.
  • Third Rock from the Sun. *** Alltime favorite farce. Really I could gush about this show for pages.
  • Vicar of Dibley. 13 season British sitcom about a female vicar in the Church of England.
  • Will and Grace. as good as the slapstick farce formulas were, it became even funnier during the 2017 reboot. ***
  • Wings — Nice characters and actors. Also, great scripts by Cheers writers. Early show with Tony Shalhoub.
  • Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane. Fun teenage/college sitcom about Zoe, a spunky girl played by Selma Blair. I enjoyed it to the bitter end.

The 2000s

  • 30 Rock. Didn’t watch enough shows to have an opinion, but the cast seemed stellar.
  • 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter. Ill-fated but great sitcom starring John Ritter and Kaley Cuoco as the daughter. Update: I rewatched the first few episodes; they were awful!
  • Accidentally on Purpose. Jen Elfman plays a movie critic who has a baby. Not much there except Elfman’s Lucille Ball-like antics.
  • According to Jim. Jim Belushi, that is.
  • Amanda Show. Nickelodean Teen sitcom/variety starring Amanda Bynes.
  • American Dad.
  • Andy Barker, P.I.  Andy Richter, like Chris Rock, is one of those comic geniuses who can’t be fit easily into a TV series. Great premise and writing, but doomed to be cancelled quickly.
  • Arrested Development. *** I don’t know how great it really is, but it is very fun to rewatch and all the jokes and characters and celebrity cameos are memorable.
  • Bernie Mac Show. *** This is not just a funny family-oriented show, it has lots of social messages and interesting backstory. Almost every show has a twist or surprise. I’m upgrading this to one of the best shows ever on TV. One of the alltime great one camera sitcoms about family, with lots of poignant moments thrown in. Watch anything with Larry Wilmore writing scripts. ***
  • Better off Ted. Hilarious dysfunctional work comedy. Loved every part of this show! ***
  • Big Bang Theory. Despite its alleged intellectualism and longevity, I consider this a competent but mediocre sitcom. Young Sheldon is much more interesting!
  • Black Books. British series taking place at a bookstore.
  • Big Mouth. Animated coming of age raunch comedy. Didn’t warm over to that one.
  • Boondocks. Animated series, never watched an episode!
  • Boston Legal, legal comedy with some actual plot thrown it, starring William Shatner and James Spader.
  • Chuck. One hour comedy about computer store worker turned spy. Very much like GET SMART. The drama and romance are so superficial, but there are outrageously funny moments with the non-spy characters getting entangled in spy stories. I really loved this show — Yvonne Strahovski was the ultimate dream girl, Adam Baldwin was great, and so was the sidekick Joshua Gomez and Mark Christopher Lawrence (who played the clueless but big-hearted box store manager). Fun fact: I watched a lot of episodes in October 2013 when trying to pass a kidney stone.
  • Comeback. Stars Lisa Kudrow as a former sitcom star who is simultaneously acting in a teen-oriented sitcom while participating in a reality series about her comeback acting career. Just started.
  • Corner Gas. Canadian show about a convenience store.
  • Cougar Town. Never seen (but heard it referenced on Community sitcom).
  • Coupling. British version of Friends with more raunch.
  • Courting Alex. Haven’t actually watched, but stars Jenna Elfman.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm. I don’t love this show (I think it focuses too much on Larry David’s character and pettiness), but the show has been around for so long it can’t help but be good. Update: I’m warming up to this show, if only because it has lasted so long. I still have a problem with the “rich guy comedy” premise, but to his credit, David has added lots of side characters which are better grounded. J. B. Smoove is making the show great!
  • Eastbound & Down. Sports comedy produced by Adam McCay and Will Ferrell.
  • Everyone Hates Chris. Fantastic nostalgia show about Chris Rock’s childhood.  Finally a working family’s comedy.
  • Everyone Loves Raymond. Probably better than I give it credit for (and the actors are stellar). I actually liked the less whiney King of Queens a lot more.
  • Family Guy. Mainly brilliant. I love all of Seth MacFarlane’s spinoffs — American Dad, Cleveland Shows, but the humor gets old.
  • Flight of the Concords. New Zealand comedy.
  • Futurama. Animated sci fi.
  • Game. WB dramedy centered around college football.
  • Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. British horror parody starring Richard Ayoade who starred in IT Crowd.
  • George Lopez show. Never watched! (Saw one or two. didn’t get into).
  • Girlfriends. CW long running comedy with Tracee Ellis Ross.
  • Goode Family. Mike Judge’s ill-fated sequel to King of the Hill. One season. I actually loved this gentle satire on political correctness
  • Green Green Grass. British series which was the spinoff of Only Fools and Horses from the 1980s.
  • Grounded for Life
  • Guild — brilliant Youtube comedy series about some a group of online friends who get together and play a videogame together. Created by Felicia Day (who stars in it). Netflix bought it out and helped its development. Really fun
  • How I Met Your Mother. Funny roundabout storytelling, with lots of diversions, routines and lore (Robin Sparkles, etc). My main complaint is that they are yanking the audience’s chain for the purpose of fake suspense. I really didn’t care who was the mother after three seasons.
  • Inbetweeners. British teen sitcom. Might have seen, don’t remember.
  • IT Crowd. An unbelievably funny show about social misfits who inhabit the basement of an office building — and how a clueless but pretty and vain female is assigned to be their supervisor. Several episodes are classic, but the Dinner Party episode towers above them all.
  • It’s always sunny in Philadelphia. One season was okay, but after that, it got really old.
  • Joey. Friends spinoff with Matt LeBlanc. I loved it; no one else seemed to.
  • Kath & Kim. Long running Australian comedy described as surreal character study.
  • Modern Family. I really haven’t watched this single-camera show enough to have an opinion about it, but it seemed a little too predictable and inclusive and mainstream to appeal to me. ABC/Disney seems to have a thing for bland family shows.
  • Mohawk Girls
  • Monk. Mystery dramedy starring Tony Shalhoub. Lasted 8 seasons!
  • My Name is Earl. In later seasons it’s apparent that it’s getting boxed in by the show’s story frame, but still it’s good having unconventional characters thrown together for prime time. Update: This show is growing old by season 3. Season 3 takes place in prison. That’s inspired! This show was unceremoniously ended before the show’s creator could actually finish it.
  • New Adventures of Old Christine. I love this show! *** Created and written by Kari Lizer. I love how suburban the stories are and the fact that Old Christine is allowed to be an unapologetic lush and even kind of a slut. The ex-husband is wonderfully played by Clark Gregg (who is also a multitalented director and writer).
  • Nurse Jackie. Never seen. Stars Edie Falco.
  • Office (both versions, but US version is incredible)
  • Party Down. haven’t seen.
  • Peep Show. Long running Brit sitcom. Never seen.
  • Parks and Recreation. This show grew on me, but it’s basically the Office in a government setting.
  • Psych. Clever detective comedy. But formula got old very quickly.
  • Pushing Daisies. 2 seasons gorgeous and imaginative show. Cancelled too soon (probably because of the writer’s strike and the lavish budget).
  • Reba. Single mother sitcom starring country singer Reba McEntire.
  • Reno 911!
  • Rules of Engagement. I loved this show, had a lot of characters and interactions. Younger couple and older couple was a great dynamic. Adhir Kalyan (who played David Spade’s assistant) was particularly great.
  • Samantha Who — funny sitcom romance about Christina Applegate’s character getting amnesia after an accident and forgetting how horrible a person she used to be. Fun, but average.
  • Scrubs. Hated the few times I watched it. We need fewer shows about doctors! (Not a big fan of Zac Braff btw)
  • South Park. I teeter between being grossed out and intellectually impressed, but the show remains funny — if only the raunch factor could be taken down a notch. Probably too vulgar and moralistic for its own good, but kudos for breaking a lot of barriers.
  • Still Game. Long running Scottish sitcom about eccentric old people. First episode was brilliant — but I needed to turn on the subtitles to understand everything!
  • ‘Til Death. Philadelphia family sitcom starring Brad Garrett.
  • Two and a half men. Very sexist and raunchy show about playboy basking in luxury. I enjoyed moments, but the show really irritated me because it seemed focused on mocking the boring dentist brother. Ok, the setup is good, but the show relies solely on vulgarities for its humor and ludicrous plots. (Wow, looks like TV guy Mitchell Bard agrees with me ten times over about this showUpdate:  I’ve been watching some first season episodes, and they seem well-written. The problem, I think, lies in their willingness to be as vulgar as possible to increase audience. The thing is, the show has enough variety and characters to satisfy any demographic, plus that luxurious house is enough to turn on any woman who watches this show.  I just love the crazy/psychologist/stalker who pops by every so often; great touch.
  • Tyler Perry’s House of Payne
  • Ugly Betty. Had a lot of funny moments. It was maudlin at parts but America Ferrera and Becki Newton were the best. Update: Rewatched a few episodes. (See “Bad Amanda” episode which I absolutely love!). I forgot how visually delicious all the wardrobe and sets are. Forget the comedy and writing, just enjoy the colors! Also, I really love the show’s intro — and Betty’s monstrous face at the end of it with braces.
  • United State of Tara. dramedy starring Toni Collette who plays multiple characters.
  • Wanda at Large. Wow, short-lived sitcom starring Wanda Sykes directed by Bruce Helford.
  • Weeds
  • What I like about You. *** Hilarious teen comedy about the popular Amanda Bynes wading through high school social life. Starring jenny garth and amanda bynes. Really formulaic show, but the formula works, and there’s lots of screwball comedy moments. Update: I just find this show hilarious! Amanda Bynes has the magic touch. Many things about the show seem predictable, but I always laughed!
  • Yes, Dear

The 2010s

  • $#*! My Dad Says. One season. created by Will & Grace founders, starring William Shatner? Never seen.
  • 2 Broke Girls, haven’t seen.
  • American Vandal. Netflix. True crime mockumentary. Netflix.
  • Alpha House. Great farce about male US senators living in the same house. Ended too soon.
  • Angel from Hell. fantasy sitcom where Jane Lynch plays a crazy angel.
  • Angie Tribeca, quirky police comedy starring Rashida Jones. Lots of visual jokes in classic Police Squad style. Seasons 1-3 were great! (4 seasons total).
  • Another Period. Strange historical sitcom spoofing reality shows and Downton Abbey. Sounds fascinating.
  • AP Bio. God, I wanted to like this series, but after four seasons, I still don’t like it.
  • Archer. Animated raunchy dysfunctional spy series. They take advantage of the animation to add a lot of R-rated sex and to totally change the show’s concept every few years. Great cast and you have to admire the bold plots.
  • Atlanta. Dramedy starring Danny Glover. There’s a general story theme, but the writers felt free to write episodes only loosely connected to the characters. As a result, some shows seem like set pieces, and the show’s tone changes from episode to episode. I’ve watched 2 1/2 seasons in 2022 when I was really sick — had a bad cough which prevented me from sleeping for 3 days!
  • Awkward. MTV Teen dramedy starring Ashley Nicole Rickards.
  • Barry. I’ve heard great things about this show — haven’t watched. Update: Not impressed, but Bill Hader is accomplished as a writer and comic actor.
  • Big Mouth — vulgar high school teen animated sitcom. I didn’t get into it (and didn’t have time to get used to it), but the most interesting thing is that almost all the teen characters were played by actors in their 30s.
  • Blackish. Two family comedies about black families: one in modern times, the other in the 1980s. I enjoyed watching it — and the preachiness sometimes were fun (and sometimes annoying). The social climbing/ dream life felt a little like the Cosby Show, but 8 seasons worth of episodes gives it a complex history and case of characters. Pehaps it’s better to compare it with Modern Family — which attempted to squeeze in 8-10 characters of various ages to appeal to every demographic.
  • Bless This Mess. 2 seasons.
  • Blue Mountain State. College football sitcom.
  • Bob Hearts Abishola
  • Bojack Horseman. Only watched 2 seasons of this animated show about an angsty middle-aged sitcom actor. Imaginative and sometimes profound, but I still found the whole concept kind of silly (see Archer). Update: Given that other animated sitcoms have emphasized the raunch, Bojack deserves kudos just for being conventional and not too outrageous.
  • Brain Dead. One season political comedy/satire about an invasion from the alien insect species.
  • Broad City. Acclaimed and lasted for 5 seasons, but low ratings. Outrageous and fast-paced farce about two single girls getting in all kinds of trouble in NYC. Great scripts and immensely talented cast; I just wish it didn’t rely too much on gross humor, masturbation and sexual references. Hey, it would be nice to be able to recommend this show to other family members!
  • Brooklyn 99. Silly Brooklyn cop show. Bigger budget and more ambitious than Angie Tribeca, with a twist that one by one all the cops retire in the last season — having become disillusioned in the wake of George Floyd, etc. Amazing cameos. ***
  • Bunheads. On my To Watch list.
  • Call my Agent! French dramedy about a talent agency and their actor clients.
  • Club de Cuervos (Club of Crows). Mexican comedy on Netflix.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Musical comedy which is hilarious, but I grew tired of it very quickly.
  • Community Unbelievably great comedy which breaks multiple genres. So many things about the show were revolutionary; it was unafraid to play around with postmodernism, but the cast and writing was superlative. (Check out “Collaborative Calligraphy” and Conspiracy Theories” in Season 2, which were absurd and subversive). ***
  • Conners. Roseanne reboot (without Roseanne Barr). I don’t hate it, but the episodes get maudlin, preachy and trying too hard to be socially relevant. I can’t imagine how terrible it would have been if Roseanne had stayed on.
  • Corporate. Dark comedy about two downtrodden employees in a big corporation. 3 seasons.
  • Dear White People. Netflix dramedy.
  • Detroiters.
  • Disjointed. Netflix show about store that sells weed for medicinal purposes in California.
  • Defending the Guilty. Short-lived British series about London barristers.
  • Derry Girls. Mom and I love this outrageous Irish show about high school girls growing up during the Troubles in the 1990s. There are political aspects, but merely in the background; the main characters don’t notice or even care.
  • Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23. Hilarious show about midwest girl who arrives in NYC and rooms with a socialite (played by Kristin Ritter). The midwest girl is played by Dreama Walker who was just as good as Ritter. Lasted only two seasons unfortunately. Created by Nahnatchka Khan. ***
  • Episodes. British sitcom writing team comes to Hollywood to write a series starring Matt LeBlanc as himself. Not bad, but the writing should have been much sharper.
  • Exes. Wonderful sitcom about female attorney who lives across the hall from some of her divorce clients… Kristen Johnson stars. Amazed to discover that it lasted 4 seasons (Only 1 year was on Netflix). Update: Started watching later seasons. It’s very formulaic, and the writing is not great (it’s mainly about divorced men dating and such), but the actors are so wonderful that they make it work. Kelly Stables who played the assistant is also a laugh riot. It’s impressive that particular in Seasons 3 and 4, the comedy was still going strong.
  • F is for Family. Animated family sitcom created by and starring Bill Burr.
  • Fresh off the Boat. more Nahnatchka Khan.
  • Galavant. Musical fantasy comedy series. Described as “the bastard child of Monty Python and The Princess Bride”. Never seen.
  • Girlfriends — Long-running African-American series created by Mara Brock Akil. Never seen.
  • Girls. Sex and the City dramedy, but with more nudity and fucking and a different decade and more economic angst.
  • Glow — female wrestling sitcom on Netflix.
  • Go on. Matthew Perry stars as a sports talk radio host trying to move on from the death of his wife. 1 season only.
  • Goldbergs
  • Good Fight. This legal procedural fell off the rails and instead became a subversive satirical look at political dystopia. By season 3 it turned into a surreal political dramedy — quite appropriate for the Trump era. This was a sequel to the Good Wife (which tried to take itself seriously, but had lots of sex and sexy lawyers and also laughs.
  • Good Girls. crime dramedy.
  • Good Place. Fun moralistic show with special effects, but it’s a bit too clever and computer-generated. I preferred My Name is Earl more.
  • Grace and Frankie. Watched half a season.
  • Great News. Newsroom comedy.
  • Grinder. Unbelievably funny premise about Rob Lowe playing a TV lawyer who due to the show’s cancellation has to live at the family home of his brother (who actually is a lawyer with a boring law practice played by Fred Savage). Fun fact: Rob Lowe’s son plays the daughter’s boyfriend. One season because Fox TV is stupid.
  • Happyish. Dark satire (3 seasons) about a depressed middle-aged man working in advertising.
  • Happy Endings. Funny so far.
  • Happily Divorced. Crazy sitcom starring Fran Drescher and her real-life ex-husband who ran the show The Nanny with her.
  • Happy Together. 1 season about a couple whose life goes awry when a pop star moves in with them.
  • Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. David Cross. Funny premise, but eventually I grew sick of it.
  • Insecure. African-American sitcom created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore (who created Bernie Mac Show).
  • Jamz promising 4 episode sitcom bought by Netflix and never renewed. About 2 radio writers working at a disfunctional radio station. I loved it.
  • Jeff and some aliens. 1 season animated sci fi sitcom.
  • Hot in Cleveland. Interesting premise and stars, but I could only get through one season.
  • Instant Mom. 3 seasons.
  • Kevin can wait (with Kevin James). Haven’t seen, but Leah Remini from King of Queens is also in it. . 2 seasons.
  • Kim’s Convenience. Wonderful Canadian Korean-immigrant comedy. Cancelled unceremoniously after 5 seasons, but the show’s quality never flagged. ***
  • Komisky Method. Alan Arkin/Michael Douglas comedy about actors growing old. Definitely had great moments.
  • Lady Dynamite. Maria Bamford starts as a mentally ill comedienne who gets in crazy situations. Netflix creation by Mitch Hurwitz of Arrested Development.
  • Last Hangover.
  • Laura Clery Show . Comedy show where one actress plays a variety of characters (See Catherine Tate or Tracey Ullman)
  • Life’s Too Short.
  • Louie. Never seen? I’ve heard wonderful things about the show which is a vehicle for comedian Louie C.K. which unfortunately is stuck on FX. I’d love for another streaming service to carry this show.
  • Loudermilk. Hilarious sitcom about a substance abuse counselor and the people who go to the AA group meetings he runs. This ain’t the Bob Newhart show. It’s grittier, raunchier and funnier. Two seasons in, I’ve been waiting for it to lose its snappy writing; so far it’s stayed very sharp. Til the very end, it was fresh and heart-warming.
  • Love. Cringey dramedy (with lots of sex and nudity btw). I love the codependent romantic comedy with Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust. These characters all feel like real California types. Tragically ended after 3 seasons.
  • Lovesick. Netflix.
  • Mad About You (Reboot).
  • Man with a Plan. Basically Joey Tribiani (Matt LeBlanc) plays a dad. It was fun, and the other characters were fine, but it definitely felt like the typical middle aged dad screwing up genre.
  • Maron. Sitcom about the fictionalized life of podcaster March Maron. Big budget, had moments, but it seemed like a younger version of Curb Your Enthusiasm (with lots of female flings).
  • Marvelous Mrs. Maisal. Didn’t love the show, but the actress is clever and pretty, and I liked how it was set in the 50s. Update: The show should be funnier, but I’m bored with several of the characters
  • Master of None. Fun dramedy starring Aziz Ansari which unfortunately changed into something else when it decided to demphasize Ansari’s character in later seasons.
  • Meet the Family (Canadian show)
  • Melissa and Joey. Bland sitcom starring veteran kid actors Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence. I occasionally liked it.
  • Merry Happy Whatever. To watch on Netflix.
  • Mick. Tough foul-mouthed woman has to raise the sheltered children of her wealthy older sister Starring Kaitlin Olson.
  • Middle. Dysfunctional poor family survives in Indiana. A little Married with Children, Malcolm in the Middle. Started watching and am liking it.
  • Mike and Molly. Never seen. Overweight couple in love starring Melissa McCarthy.
  • Mixed-ish. Funny prequel to Black-ish which lasted only 2 seasons. Parents met at a commune and now they were trying to raise a family in a semi-normal way. Same style as Black-Ish, but I thought this was funnier and edgier. I really dug the 1980s nostalgia, but the social issues were interesting too.
  • Mom. Will watch it when I get around to it. Chuck Lorrie, with lots of sitcom veterans.
  • My Dead Ex. Teenage sitcom starts with an absurd premise (a nerdy boy accidentally dies while romancing his childhood sweetheart) and adds another absurd premise (he returns from the dead and has to stay within 30 feet of her at all times); this short-lived but very charming show just has so much fun with everything.
  • Neighbors. 2 season sci fi comedy created by Dan Fogelman. Would love to see it.
  • Neighborhood. Dopey 3 camera comedy starring Cedric the Entertainer. Old African-American guy feels uncomfortable with his new white neighbors. I am enjoying this a lot! There are lots of cliches and sitcom tropes, but the actors are first rate, and so is the writing. Structurally and plot-wise, there are enough characters to explore lots of stereotypes. I knew the writing is still first rate and the two couples complement each other so well. (Compare to I love Lucy or The Rules of Engagement).
  • One Day at a Time. Netflix reboot of 70s series. It had a strange overly theatrical feel which I didn’t like.
  • Orange is the New Black. Netflix.
  • Orville. Sci fi comedy. It has funny moments, but many of the scripts were terrible! I gave up. Seth McFarlane property.
  • Out of Practice. Not a great lawyer show, but glad to see Henry Winkler onscreen again.
  • Parenthood
  • Pure. Unbelievable Scottish dramedy about a young lady who likes to image all kinds of perverse couplings. The gimmick is that every 60 seconds there’s a subjective scene of someone without clothes in coitus. It’s fun, I guess, but I gave up (temporarily?) after 2 episodes.
  • Retired at 35. Son is suprised to learn his parents are getting divorced.
  • Rick and Morty. Raunch animated sci fi comedy by Community show’s creator Dan Harman. Still watching, but I don’t love this show as much as I expected to.
  • Rosehaven. Outrageously funny Tasmanian sitcom with Celia Pacquola (who was also in Utopia) ***
  • Russian Doll. Fun existential supernatural comedy that’s a sort of reply to Groundhog Day. Season 2 takes a pretty incredible jump — which I’m not sure I endorse. (I only watched its first episode).
  • Santa Clarita Diet. Netflix comedy starring Drew Barrymore.
  • Servant of the People***. Culturally significant and idealistic political comedy which brought Vladimir Zerensky to the public eye. The writing is good but not great, but I appreciated the idealism inherent in the show and the contrast it made to super-idealistic West Wing and super-cynical Veep. Update: I started watching again and found the writing very mediocre, which is a shame because I love the premise and the Ukrainianness of it.
  • Sex Education. British teen sex comedy. Netflix.
  • Shameless. Dramedy starring William H. Macy set in Chicago.
  • She’s Gotta Have it. TV adaptation of Spike Lee’s 90s movie. Netflix.
  • Shitt’s Creek — always a fan. Just wanted to say that the last season rarely made me laugh — mainly because the show was trying too hard to end on a warm note.
  • Sick Note.
  • Soul Man. (Not the 90s Dan Akroyd series with the same name). Cedric the Entertainer plays a high rolling Vegas dude who was called to be a reverend in St. Louis.
  • Space Force. With this many great comic actors, the show’s guaranteed to succeed at some level despite its predictability. Update: Season 2 definitely sags.
  • Superstore. Politically subversive show about the big box store. ***
  • Superior Donuts . 2 season Judd Hirsch based on a play with the same name.
  • Surviving Jack. One season.
  • Tacoma FD. Fire station work place comedy.
  • Take Two – crime procedural dramedy.
  • Teachers. Great show about several young dysfunctional female elementary school teachers at Millard Fillmore Elementary School (wow, great historical reference!). Created by and starring the Katydids (young actresses who share the name Kate/Katie). A lot more wild and silly than Abbott Elementary. I particularly enjoyed the students and the “no hugging” premise the show seems to have adopted. Update: Probably raunchier than it needed to me, and the story lines are rather skimpy. But I haven’t given up hope!
  • The Tick — superhero satire with Patrick Walburton.
  • Tuca & Bertie. Netflix animated series about animals starring Ali Wong, Tiffany Haddish and Steven Yeun.
  • Ugly Americans. animated dark comedy about a mild-mannered man who moves to Manhattan and meets space alien zombies or something like that.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I love the main actress, but the show got old quickly.
  • Underemployed. MTV sitcom
  • Utopia. Funny Australian office comedy about a totally dysfunctional city planning agency. If you like this, see also Rosehaven which featured the same female star.
  • Veep. I think the raunchy humor could have been toned down, but I’m not complaining!
  • Vicious. British Elderly gay people fighting all the time.
  • Wilfred. Australian-American comedy.
  • Working Moms. Canadian “Sex and the City for Moms,” but a little raunchier. Several moms who recently gave birth swap stories of their own crazy lives. Warning: There are a lot of bare boobs and some sexual humor and language. What flies in Canada would never fly in the states!
  • Young and Hungry. Show with great comic actors and theme song, but the stories and premise were crazy and even offensive. The lead females were just so pretty.
  • Young Sheldon — **** this spinoff of Big Bang theory is a major show, impeccably written and with an all-star cast. Despite the formulaic premise, a lot of interesting things are happening: sibling rivalry, intellectualism vs. middle America, religion, etc. Also, lots of Texas culture, 80s culture, generational squabble. Much much better than Big Bang Theory. Season 5 and 6 started exploring the whole family — which is a lovable mess.
  • Younger. Sutton Foster is great, but all it is really is is a wish fulfillment Sex in the City MILF meets young stud comic soap opera.
  • You’re the Worst.

The 2020s

  • Abbott Elementary. Work comedy taking place at an elementary school. Lots of characters (not to mention an endless supply of parents and children). First season was madcap, but the following seasons seemed to focus on the love interest between the protagonist and another teacher (who cares!). It’s like Superstore, but at an elementary school. I like its attempt to depict social issues in a light-hearted way. Update: Season 2 was dull.
  • American Auto. NBC/Peacock show. Workplace comedy which feels like Better Off Ted. It’s a very cynical show which captures corporate America.
  • Animal Control. Starring Joel McHale. Light-hearted workplace comedy, with animals occasionally thrown in. I love the fact that there’s lots of animals in every episode, plus it takes place in Seattle!
  • Avenue 5. Armando Iannucci’s spoof of space dramas. I would call it a comic disaster aboard a cruise ship set in space. Hilarious. Cancelled after 2 seasons. It was brilliant, but probably too expensive for its own good.
  • Beef. Dramedy about a successful Asian businesswomen and an Asian man who end up in a vicious unending argument and eventually losing all control and inhibition. This isn’t that funny (surprising given that it was written by and stars the outstanding comedienne Ali Wong). It had moments, but it wasn’t farce but done seriously.
  • Bookie (HBO). Starring Sebastian Maniscalco.
  • Call me Kat (HBO). Starring Mayim Bialik.
  • Call Your Mother. One season. Great wacky comedy about midwest mother moving to Los Angeles so she could intrude in the life of her estranged children. Starring Kyra Sedgewick, created and directed by Kari Lizer who also created the outstanding New Adventures of Old Christine. Apparently, panned by critics, this show was a lot better than people gave it credit for. Cancelled really soon!
  • Colin from Accounts. Australian cringe comedy about a bar owner who accidentally hits a dog with his car and ends up having to take care of it with it with the girl he met after the accident. Like the equally brilliant Wellmania, besides having lots of wacky characters (both friends and family), it’s unexpectedly revealing about Australian culture/ Oh, wow, the two main characters Patrick Brammall and Harriet Dyer are also the show’s writers and married as well. Interestingly, Brammall was also in the US comedy Call your Mother.
  • Crew. Nascar garage comedy starring Kevin James.
  • Extraordinary Attorney Woo. (Korean). Dramedy about autistic attorney. Cute and surreal and one giant romantic cliche. But I still liked it.
  • F#Ck1Ng Social Media. Has-been Youtube celebrity tries to maintain her fame. Amazon Prime show.
  • Fisk. Wonderful Australian sitcom about a middle age attorney who handles probate cases at a small law firm.
  • Fired on Mars. Animated dramedy about an ordinary Joe working on Mars. After being unceremoniously fired for incompetence, he finds he has nothing to do and get in further trouble.
  • Five Bedrooms — fun Australian dramedy. This had some great moments.
  • Frasier (reboot). About as great as expected. First class acting and scripts, though the plots seem formulaic. I don’t care! I predict it will only last one season though.
  • Ghosts (I prefer the US adaptation, but the UK version is almost as hilarious). The delicious premise behind a show — that a woman can see and talk with the ghosts at a hotel, but her husband cannot, makes for tons of comic situations. So far they haven’t run out of ideas . The ghost-seer cannot tell if people are living people or ghosts, so if she talks to a ghost on the street, the ghosts are totally startled about it. (In one episode she goes to a doctor about why she is seeing ghosts; unbeknownst to her, she is explaining all this to a doctor who had been dead for 20 years;). Another great gimmick is how ghosts are fascinated about TV and Internet culture and how they miss some important details. (One person who died in the 1980s said that OJ Simpson was his favorite football player and thought he was the coolest athlete ever).
  • Girls5Eva. Reunion of all girls band when they are middle aged. Nice premise with lots of cameos from NBC actors.
  • God’s Favorite Idiot.
  • Grown-ish.
  • Hacks. Way overrated HBO sitcom
  • Hitman. British.
  • Home Economics.
  • How to with John Wilson. HBO/Max. More like a 30 minute documentary, but each episode is an essay around certain urban themes, and even though the videographer John Wilson is the main star, most episodes follow certain real people and even their stories. Really cutting edge with hybrid forms.
  • House of Lies. 5 season show about a sleazy management consultant starring Don Cheadle.
  • I Hate Susie. Starring Billie Piper. Wow, episode 1 made clear that it’s a kind of horror dramedy. Not a good vibe so far.
  • I’m Sorry. Created by and starring Andrea Savage. Cringe raunch comedy about a mother.
  • I love that for you. Semi-autobiographical sitcom starring Vanessa Beyer who cowrote it.
  • I’m a Virgo. Boots Riley satire about the misadventures of a 13 foot tall African American
  • Indebted. Dan Levy show about indebted parents living with children with Fran Drescher and Steve Weber from Wings. Definitely had moments, shouldn’t have been canceled after one season.
  • Intelligence (British).
  • In the Know. Mike Judge hybrid animation/live-action sitcom about a public radio station. Can’t wait to watch.
  • I think You should leave with Tim Robinson.
  • Kevin can f** himself. Starring Anne Murphy from Schitt’s Creek. The gimmick was that the Murphy character inhabited this unpleasant three camera sitcom world (full of audience laugh track) which would alternate with this banal real world. I might give it another shot, but this first episode sucked.
  • Kenan. Hated this Kenan Thompson vehicle.
  • Lopez v. Lopez. Latino family sitcom starring George Lopez (who has to move in with his Gen Z daughter).
  • Mr. Mayor. Ted Danson comedy playing LA mayor. Anything spoofing LA has potential in my book. Everything about it was formulaic and predictable but the satire of California was first class.
  • Minx. HBO sitcom about a retro-sexist magazine. Never seen, but want to.
  • Mythic Quest. Workcomedy at videogame company, created by Rob McElhenney (of Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame). I’m liking this more and more, mainly because the actors are great. The overall premise is — well, who cares!
  • Never Have I ever. Mindy Kaling project focused on a high school girl.
  • Nightcourt (Reboot). I want this to be great. Update: It’s terrible!
  • Nobody’s Looking. Brazilian fantasy-comedy on Netflix about an angel.
  • Only Murders in the Building. Cozy mystery sitcom starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selene Gomez and a star-studded cast. Two egotistical old guys and a young girl do a true crime podcast and discover murders happening all around them. Not as great as it is reputed to be, but still fun.
  • Other Two. (Note: started in 2019). Fun story of a tween singer who becomes famous and his older brother and sister (both struggling actors) have to deal with it. This sort of reminds me of Entourage (about how a star needs to be handled). Differences: lots of sex scenes/even gay scenes plus the use of social media and mobile devices. So far I’m enjoying it.
  • Platonic. Seth Rogen + Rose Byrne comedy about two friends from college who support each other a decade later. I am loving this show. At least one major laugh per episode.
  • Rutherford Falls. small town comedy with Ed Helms, cowritten by American-Indian Sierra Teller Ornelas.
  • Scavengers Reign. Animated scifi comedy about survivors of a spaceship disaster
  • Shmigadoon. Musical comedy which seems a little too magical and corny. Still lots of fun. Aha, Season 2 apparently goes in a different direction. Interesting!
  • Sex Lives of College Girls. Mindy Kaling project.
  • Star Trek Lower Decks. Animation. Fun and even racy extension of Star Trek franchise. In the 70s they made a (serious) ST animation series; it’s hard to believe it took so long to do an animated sitcom.
  • Ted Lasso — a little too bland and feel-goody for my tastes. Season 3 got better though.
  • That Nineties Show. I feel so nostalgic for the 70s show that I give this sequel an A just for showing up. The grandparents are always great, and the kids are just as wild as they were in the original show. This show has the same showrunners so it probably will capture the same magic. Update: It is formulaic and predictable, but the actors are great and I laughed a lot.
  • Tires. Workplace comedy about a tire shop.
  • Trying. Charming Brit dramedy about a London couple trying to adopt a child. On one level the show is earnestly presenting the challenges and travails in going through the adoption process. On another level, the show depicts the silly adventures of a couple trying to pick up parenting skills on the fly. Immensely likable, the supporting characters are also a laugh riot.
  • Unicorn. Widowed man encouraged by his two daughters to re-enter the dating scene. 2 seasons.
  • Unstable. follows Row Lowe as successful biotech entrepreneur Ellis Dragon as he struggles to regain his footing following the death of his wife. Funny, feels like Better off Ted.
  • Upload. Amazing fast-paced sci fi comedy about dead people being uploaded to a videogame resembling heaven. Second season got a little more sci fi dystopian — with less comedy, dragging a little.
  • Upshaws. *** Wanda Sykes vehicle. Its first two seasons prove that the dramedy format really works, especially without the network censorship rules. Seasons that follow are just as entertaining.
  • We are Lady Parts.
  • What We Do in the Shadows.*** The original movie was brilliant satire; this version for US Tv is just as brilliant and funny. I love all the characters and mishaps. It’s a great satire of pop culture — a la Third Rock from the Sun.
  • WandaVision
  • Welcome to Flatch.
  • Wellmania. Fun and outrageous Australian series about a food writer living in NY who has a health scare during her visit home. So she has to make radical alterations to her lifestyle to improve her health; can she do it? Slightly on the raunchy side, but I laughed very hard. 1 season so far, and apparently the star Celeste Barber is a well-known comedienne in Australia.
  • White Lotus. Vacation escape dramedy with lots of HBO titillation. Satisfying escapism and beautiful bodies and good characters, but it didn’t rise above the stereotypes — and didn’t have much comedy.

Griping about Shows which were never digitized.

My critic friend Michael Barrett wrote a wishlist article about TV sitcoms from the 1950s and 1960s which were never digitized. My #1 show on that Wish list would be the less obscure and highly successful 1990s show “Drew Carey Show” — only the first season is on DVD and streaming. That show was brilliant in so many ways and it showcased many rising stars — including of course Drew Carey. Carey has been interviewed about this several times, and basically said that the financials just didn’t add up — not a lot of demand, plus the need to pay music licensing fees. I mean, there’s not THAT much music on the show — certainly not on the level of Glee or Community or Crazy Ex Girlfriend. The production company is Warner Brothers — I mean, it’s not that WB doesn’t know how to negotiate these things.

The Overrated (or didn’t like) List

  • AP Bio.
  • Bewitched
  • Big Bang Theory
  • Beverly Hillbillies.
  • Cosby Show
  • Dick Van Dyke Show
  • Family Ties
  • Fleabag
  • Home Improvement
  • How I met your mother. Liked the early seasons though.
  • Lady Dynamite
  • Mork and Mindy. Rewatched season 1. Wow, these scripts were terrible!
  • Munsters
  • New Girl . hated this show.
  • Night Court (2023 reboot). I wanted to like it, but the jokes were stale and the situations dull. Perhaps the original series was decent, but I’m doubting it.
  • Roseanne. Connors reboot is somewhat better.
  • Scrubs. I never got into.
  • Stath Lets Flats
  • Ted Lasso.
  • 30 Rock.

References: Screenrant’s Best British Sitcoms of all time,