Like every millennial, I love watching sitcoms. They often help keep a positive frame of mind whenever things get a bit bleak.
For a long time, I was stuck watching the same sitcoms, and it was not till the recent lockdown that I decided to explore more. Now, I have the attention span of an ant and find it hard to sit through shows or movies that I watch on streaming sites.
Here are my picks for top 5 sitcoms that’ll help you get through these testing times in descending order (from honourable mention to my personal favourite):
Never Have I Ever (Netflix):
Co-created by Mindy Kaling (The Office, The Mindy Project) Never Have I Ever centres around an Indian-American teenager (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) as she navigates her way and makes her life better after an especially horrible year. This teen sitcom is relatable for those who have been a part of the Indian diaspora abroad. The show received acclaim for its representation of South Asians — something rare in western media.
I’m Not Okay With This (Netflix):
This is not a sitcom but more of dark comedy-supernatural thriller; it’s not for the faint-hearted. Starring Sophia Lillis and Wyatt Olef of ‘It’ Chapters One and Two, this show is about a teenager coming to terms with a tragedy, her sexual orientation and newfound superpowers, based on a series of graphic novels by the same name. If you want something dark yet fun at the same time, this criminally underrated gem is worth the watch.
Despite being an adaptation of an iconic BBC comedy, The Office has cemented its place amongst classics. Known to be one of the funniest shows in the recent history of television with witty jokes and one-liners being thrown left, right and centre, the show is known to have one of the greatest ensemble casts ever with the likes of Steve Carrel, Rain Wilson, John Krasinski and Mindy Kaling, just to name a few. It was one of the first shows to attempt to show diversity on a mainstream level.
While I felt that the show was slow to pick up (especially since the first season only has eight episodes), it gets better Season Three onwards. With the show having being adapted in various countries (including India), it’s obvious that its legacy still lives on. The show has found a new generation of fans especially since all its seasons are available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
This show was US Network NBC’s comedic staple during the early 2010s along with The Office and Parks and Recreation, yet never gained the same popularity while on-air as the other two; which is a shame since it was known to be one of the most creative shows on air during its six-season run. The show is about seven community college students who constitute a Spanish study group. It has a very simple idea but a clever execution. The show can be credited for making Paintball games cool again and giving us one of the greatest TV bromances ever with Troy and Abed. It also launched the careers of Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, and was instrumental in landing Captain America Winter Soldier to the Russo Brothers. The show is available on Amazon Prime and Netflix.
This Netflix original co-created by Tina Fey (30 Rock, Mean Girls) stars Ellie Kemper (The Office) in the titular role of Kimmy Schmidt. The show is about 30-year-old women trying to figure out life and the world after she was kept in a bunker for 15 years by a rabbi who told her and four other women that the world had ended and they were the only survivors. One sees her struggle as she goes through her new reality with a child-like optimism while trying to forget her past. Despite having somewhat of a dark background, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one to the easiest shows to binge-watch due to the light-hearted tone it decides to take and the characters.
This post-life sitcom is one of the most original shows I’ve seen since Community. The show is about four now-deceased people who live in a neighbourhood of ‘The Good Place’ (synonymous for heaven) designed by Micheal who also runs it with the help of Janet (neither a girl nor a robot). However as their time goes by, things are not as great as they seem. Kristen Bell, who stars as the protagonist Eleanor Shellstrop, leads one of the most diverse casts in recent years. The show is full of witty writing, some of the most lovable characters (especially Janet). It surely deserved a longer life on TV. If anyone had missed this gem, it’s on Netflix and definitely worth the watch.
This is one of the best shows currently being aired and my favourite sitcom of recent times. The fact that this show was booked by NBC only 24 hours after it was surprising cancelled by Fox in 2018 says a lot about its greatness and popularity. A take on the genre of buddy cop comedy, the show revolves around the 99th precinct in New York’s Brooklyn. While the protagonist of the show is Andy Samberg, every character has cemented its place in popular culture. The show is particularly appreciated for its down to earth representation and portrayal of LGBTQ characters.
I would say more but there’s nothing that hasn’t already been said about this much-loved show by everyone else. If you haven’t watched it make sure to catch up on it ASAP on Netflix.
These are tough times and we need a reason to laugh; while sitcoms aren’t exactly the most enlightening forms of entertainment, they help in lightening the mood.