Sitcoms make some of the best television in the world and are always happy watching. With sitcoms you have all the benefits of a soap opera – you get attached to the characters and you want to watch how relationships will develop; but at the same time you have the added bonus of comedy and a more lighthearted feel. The best sitcoms are undoubtedly some of the best evening entertainment for families, and often become something that brings everyone together. Here we will look at the top 10 sitcoms that have the most lovable characters, the funniest gags and the best cliff hangers.
10 Two & a Half Men
The show might be somewhat overshadowed by the antics of its star, but Two & a Half Men was undoubtedly a master class in sitcom making. The characters were likable and despite a simple premise (up-tight brother and son come to live with wild single man-child) it managed to stay fresh for its whole run. An underdog certainly, but probably one of the top 10 sitcoms.
9 Everybody Loves Raymond
Everybody Love Raymond is a sitcom with great characters and some bizarre scenarios, and while the titular Raymond is a great personality, it’s the put-upon and sarcastic brother who wins the prize for one of the funniest characters in a sitcom. A household name and one of the top 10 sitcoms.
Coupling was a British sitcom that ran for three series and was penned by current Doctor Who writer Stephen Moffat. It has some fantastic observational comedy in the vein of Seinfeld, as well as some very cleverly put together plots that seem random and disconnected at the start but all come together fantastically for the end.
Despite never being quite as successful as Friends, Scrubs was what kept people going after that classic series was finished. Set inside a hospital and narrated by the surreal imagination of JD, it was completely unhinged at times but still managed to have a lot of heart and get you to care about what happened to the characters. One of the top 10 sitcoms of all time but sadly one that often goes unnoticed.
6 Fawlty Towers
Many people would argue that this should be at the top of a top 10 sitcoms list and it is often held up as the shining example of what a sitcom can be. However while it has dated fairly well, it’s still starting to show its age and it’s also disappointingly short – but it’s still most definitely one of the top ten sitcoms of all time with many highly quotable and hilarious lines surviving in every day lexicon.
5 The Office
The American Office is one of the top ten sitcoms as well, but it’s the British version that’s really classic being both the progenitor of the series and also having some very subtle and nuanced moments and deep characters. The Christmas special is actually quite moving!
Frasier is a universally loved character who came from another sitcom (Cheers – which just missed out on the top 10 sitcoms) and then became the star of his own show. The unique feel of the show makes it stand out among the other top 10 sitcoms and there are some very clever episodes that play with interesting psychological, narrative and philosophical concepts (such as the butterfly-effect inspired episode, or the episode that consists entirely of just one conversation).
Seinfeld is also on the top 10 sitcoms list for its ingenuity, and because it really captures a lot of modern life through the ideas and observations of Seinfeld and his friends. Almost any situation in real life can be described by an idea in Seinfeld and it’s also got all the other hallmarks of great sitcoms such as memorable characters and only-just-believable situations.
While the Flintstones might have created the template for cartoon-as-sitcom, it was the Simpsons that perfected it. The show’s been going roughly forever and there’s even a successful film. The characters are deep enough to be believable while still having a very cartoon-esque quality, and the whole town of Springfield is so well imagined that it feels like a living, breathing place. Truly classic.
But topping off the list of top 10 sitcoms is Friends. It might not be the most original or the most unique, but everyone can identify with one of the characters in Friends and everyone knows someone like Ross or Monica. It also had genuine heart that saw a lot of people in tears come the last episode and particularly in the first six series there were just as many laugh-out-loud moments. Ross and Rachel’s relationship has become a thing of legend, and if there was any sitcom we all wanted to see more of it’s undoubtedly this one.