drawkcabi

Your Top 5 Favorite Sitcoms

62 posts in this topic

4 minutes ago, mormont said:

You may be right about the show's dark themes and subversiveness. Doesn't change the fact that there aren't any laughs in it, which is really quite important for being considered a top sitcom.

I just realised I omitted Third Rock From The Sun, which I love, for the performances more than anything. Another couple of somewhat more obscure American sitcoms I remember fondly: Due South and Dream On. They might not stand up to rewatch but I never missed them when they were on.

 

1 minute ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

Have to disagree on that too, its genuinely funny, and contains some genuine comedic stars like Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle. I can put it on and find plenty of laughs from the sheer hatefulness. 

Yeah, that's totally fine if someone isn't a fan and doesn't find any laughs in it. Part of it may be a cultural thing, as an Italian American I find so much of the show hysterically funny and it gives me great big belly laughs.

Also I can see it's subversive side and its darkness, but not as far as Channel4s does. Divorce seems to be the writing on the wall for Ray and Debra. The family is functionally dysfunctional. But I also find the humor in the lighter aspects of it. Again, maybe due to my cultural upbringing, I like some of the characters, mainly Frank, Marie, and Robbie, but I never liked Debra, and Ray's antics I find quite comical but he's a coward at heart and it's hard to like a character that never tries to overcome their cowardice as a protagonist. But that's not the sole gag, there is much more there.

But I can rewatch episodes of Raymond over and over, it feels like hanging out with my family, whether that's for good or for ill is in the eye of the beholder, for me it's mostly comfortable.

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27 minutes ago, drawkcabi said:

 

Yeah, that's totally fine if someone isn't a fan and doesn't find any laughs in it. Part of it may be a cultural thing, as an Italian American I find so much of the show hysterically funny and it gives me great big belly laughs.

Also I can see it's subversive side and its darkness, but not as far as Channel4s does. Divorce seems to be the writing on the wall for Ray and Debra. The family is functionally dysfunctional. But I also find the humor in the lighter aspects of it. Again, maybe due to my cultural upbringing, I like some of the characters, mainly Frank, Marie, and Robbie, but I never liked Debra, and Ray's antics I find quite comical but he's a coward at heart and it's hard to like a character that never tries to overcome their cowardice as a protagonist. But that's not the sole gag, there is much more there.

But I can rewatch episodes of Raymond over and over, it feels like hanging out with my family, whether that's for good or for ill is in the eye of the beholder, for me it's mostly comfortable.

This maybe part of it for me too, growing up in an Irish Catholic family there are a ton of similiarities there. I also see a lot of Ray's motivation to stay away from drama and keep Debra happy in a lot of the couples I know. Ray might be seen as a horrible human but Debra is no better, neither are Rays parents.

Sure Ray's antics can be a bit broad and over the top, but the same argument could be levelled a many shows. Curb your Enthusiasm is completely ridiculous at times, but you have to buy into that and it makes it a very funny show.

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I'll echo what you two are saying wrt ELR. I grew up with an overbearing Italian mother and a lot of that show rings true for me. I always liked it and definitely found it funny.

A couple others I haven't seen mentioned; King of Queens. Nowhere near a top tier comedy for me, but I find myself watching re-runs of that one quite a bit. Jerry Stiller's Arthur wasn't as good as his Frank Costanza, but he was still damn funny on that show. 

I also really liked Northern Exposure back in the day. 

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1. WKRP in Cincinnati - Always been my favorite. Shout Factory put out a box set a few years back that used about 90% of the original songs that had been missing from syndicated episodes for copyright reasons.  It's dated, but still funny today.

2. Seinfeld - Someone upthread said it was not re-watchable enough, but I'm in the opposite camp.  Every episode seems to have introduced a bit of pop culture.  It got away with so much because the main characters are all despicable and don't really care.  Genius level stuff.

3. Scrubs - Inventive, slapstick, but caring at its core.

4. Leave it to Beaver - The family sitcom mold that set the standard.

5. Frasier - Every episode is basically the same farce, but they pulled it off for 10 seasons. I never expect it to be funny, but each episode worth a few deep laughs. And were two actors ever born to be onscreen brothers more than Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce?

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45 minutes ago, The Wedge said:

5. Frasier - Every episode is basically the same farce, but they pulled it off for 10 seasons. I never expect it to be funny, but each episode worth a few deep laughs. And were two actors ever born to be onscreen brothers more than Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce?

QFT

I remember seeing a cast photo in TV Guide promoting the debut of the comedy series David Hyde Pierce was in before he did Frasier, it was called The Powers That Be. I remember looking at that cast photo and seeing Pierce and thinking Is Kelsey Grammar leaving Cheers?

53 minutes ago, Nictarion said:

I'll echo what you two are saying wrt ELR. I grew up with an overbearing Italian mother and a lot of that show rings true for me. I always liked it and definitely found it funny.

A couple others I haven't seen mentioned; King of Queens. Nowhere near a top tier comedy for me, but I find myself watching re-runs of that one quite a bit. Jerry Stiller's Arthur wasn't as good as his Frank Costanza, but he was still damn funny on that show. 

I also really liked Northern Exposure back in the day. 

For me, Frank is definitely my dad but Marie is more like my aunt, my dad's sister. Debra is a lot like my mom. When my sister got married it brewed a situation completely fitting an ELR arc. Sometimes I feel I'm Raymond and Robert rolled into one, but not the good one, Raybert, but Robmond :P 

King of Queens would have been in my top 10 years ago. I've cooled a little towards it but I still like it. It's got a great supporting cast/recurring characters. Arthur definitely, but Patton Oswalt too, Nicole Sullivan, and the actors who play Deacon and Danny, and Lou Ferrigno too.

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I'm happy that almost nobody has mentioned Friends or Big Bang Theory yet. I was worried 

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My old school ones I grew up with would be

All in the Family

WKRP in Cincinnati

Cheers

Barney Miller

Taxi

The not precisely sitcoms would be The Muppet Show and Monty Python's Flying Circus

My favorites among current shows would be

The Good Place

Brooklyn 99

Silicon Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

I'm happy that almost nobody has mentioned Friends or Big Bang Theory yet. I was worried 

Same here.

For me though, both of these shows are watchable if on in the background or there's nothing else on, but to seen on a list of must have shows would be disappointing.

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I find them to be laughter free zones, mostly popular due to your not really having to concentrate when watching them, bright colours and comedy that is so heavily signposted that you laugh despite never really knowing why, purely because of the way it's structured.

i remember they did a video of Big Bang without the laughter track and it really highlighted just how unfunny and downright disturbing it was 

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5 hours ago, Nictarion said:

I also really liked Northern Exposure back in the day. 

I love, love, love Northern Exposure, except for the last series, but - a sitcom? No way. That programme was not a sitcom.

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1. Seinfeld

2. South Park

3. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

4. Cheers

5. Scrubs

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Veep, Arrested Development, Father Ted, Simpsons, Scrubs -- all absurdist, typical of an Irish sense of humor.

Honorable mentions to Frasier, The Office (US) and more than you want me to list. All the staples of my early years, like Cheers, MASH, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools And Horses, etc, seem too remote now and I'm scared to rewatch in case they can't live up to my memory and it just spoils them.  Blackadder and Red Dwarf suffered that fate: exquisite in my memory, but pretty uneven on rewatch.  I can remember laughing myself sick at Bottom but I guess it would fall flat now until my son is 13 and ready to inherit. 

Also, cringe humor like The Office (UK) is less funny for me now.  England always seemed to the biggest fan of cringe humor.

Obscure mention: does anyone remember Sunnyside Farm?  It disappeared after a single short season but at the time it felt like a hilarious absurdity.  Why we close gates on a farm and hiding a safe in a tree disguised as an owl still stick in my memory.  I haven't been able to find a way to rewatch in the US; perhaps for the best.  

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1. Seinfeld

2. Office (US)

3. Parks and Rec

4. Arrested Development

5. Curb Your Enthousiasm

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2 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

All the staples of my early years, like Cheers, MASH, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools And Horses, etc, seem too remote now and I'm scared to rewatch in case they can't live up to my memory and it just spoils them.

My kids love Fawlty Towers, though there are bits that are undoubtedly of their time. But it holds up reasonably well, on the strength of the characters and dialogue. The key is that none of the characters are entirely sympathetic or entirely unsympathetic, with the possible exception of Polly, who usually is an audience-identification character. 

My kids (like, I'm sure, many others) are huge Frasier fans but have never watched Cheers which leads to me having to explain who various guest characters on Frasier are. :P

2 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

 Blackadder and Red Dwarf suffered that fate: exquisite in my memory, but pretty uneven on rewatch.

Agreed on Red Dwarf, but Blackadder is uneven? It's very consistent in my view. I genuinely can't think of a poor episode. Red Dwarf is fine for the first two or three seasons but then does become very uneven: there are still gems, but there are also episodes that lean too heavily on in-jokes and feel quite recycled.

Bottom was never funny. I was so disappointed when that series came out. I could see what they were trying to do, but it didn't work for me. Too crude, in every sense.

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Hard to tell on Blackadder whether its dated or not, I still find it incredible, almost perfect, but it might be a sort of muscle memory that harks back to my days of constantly rewatching it. I suspect it is perfect however. 

Red Dwarf does feel quite dated now, the humour is a bit stupid and doesn't work all that well. The stories are great though. 

As for Bottom, its tricky because I do feel like the first two series managed to walk the tightrope between clever character comedy and pure disgusting slapstick. Richie was such a sad individual and they did manage to make him genuinely likeable. But I think the soon ran out of steam and the show really descended into violence and wanking jokes with not much else to keep it going. It doesn't hold up that well now, but at the time I did enjoy it a lot. 

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Seinfeld, Arrested Development, Veep, Cheers, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Some others I enjoy:

Eastbound and Down, Get A Life, News Radio, Parks and Rec

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2 hours ago, Astromech said:

Seinfeld, Arrested Development, Veep, Cheers, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Some others I enjoy:

Eastbound and Down, Get A Life, News Radio, Parks and Rec

If you like Veep I suggest Yes Minister.

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  1. Only Fools and Horses
  2. Blackadder
  3. Father Ted
  4. Red Dwarf
  5. Spaced

It's tough after the first three because there are so many others I could name but OFAH, Blackadder and Father Ted are, IMO, head and shoulders above the rest.

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In no particular order:

Cheers, Veep, The Office(US), Curb, Fresh Prince.

Other great ones: The Wonder Years, South Park, Eastbound and Down

 

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Firstly, this narrowing down to only five for "all time" is a nigh impossible task for me. So some of these shows would change if you asked me the same question in a week. Secondly, I'm glad to see so many people listed Scrubs. I was worried putting that on my list was gonna put me in the minority. Now, in no particular order because I can't even right now...

* Scrubs

* Seinfeld

* Curb Your Enthusiasm

* New Girl

* South Park

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