Best Sitcoms – what’s that?

Can an animated show be considered?

Barney MillerRecently. Rolling Stone listed the 100 Best Sitcoms of All Time. There was a time I’d be all over this.

But as Mark Evanier noted, the meaning is fuzzy. Does The Best mean the Most Influential? Beloved? Enduring?

Can an animated show be a sitcom? The Simpsons are #1 on the list.

But the real issue for me is that there are shows that I have NEVER even HEARD of, let alone seen. #98 Derry Girls, #96 Bluey (animated), #95 Baskets, #94 Insecure, #93 Big Mouth (animated), #88 Party Down, #83 Letterkenny, #78 Peep Show, #72 The Comeback, #64 What We Do in the Shadows, #61 Catastrophe, #59 Spaced, #57 You’re the Worst, #40 Review. Do any of you recommend some of these shows?

And some of these are on a platform called Channel 4, which I assume is NOT the British news programme.

I’m not planning to go through all of the rest. You can assume, however, that whatever CBS shows that are on this list from 1965-1980, and the NBC shows from 1983-2000 I probably watched.

Some shows

#99 Frank’s Place – I’m glad this obscure dramedy made the list, though I haven’t seen it since it first broadcast. Ditto #91, Buffalo Bill.

#85 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show – in the 1950s, it broke down the fourth wall.

#65 Phineas and Ferb. I know more about this animated show than any adult should. I liked it.

#49 Barney Miller, was not only one of my favorite shows but had one of the best theme songs. Interesting, though, the attempt to make this a work and home show (like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and, The Dick Van Dyke Show, for two) just didn’t click here. The home segments, with Barbara Barrie, were abandoned quite early.

#38 Friends – I’m surprised the phenomenon didn’t rate higher, though the show irritated me as often as entertained.

#36 – Sex and the City – a sitcom? The writeup describes it as beginning “as a clumsy, loud, and only occasionally funny attempt at social anthropology… By the end, it was almost purely a drama…”


#15 Arrested Development – I watched a few episodes the first season and gave up. Yet I watched the second season and grew to like it.

#14 The Andy Griffith Show. When flicking through the channels, I’ll still watch it.

#11  The Dick Van Dyke Show – the only sitcom for which I own the entire run on DVD. Yes, DVD on DVD.

#6 MASH – as early as the middle of Season 1, it dealt with serious subjects.  The “Sometimes, you hear the bullet” episode. e.g. 

#4 I Love Lucy – we’ve been to the museum. From a comment by the late Dustbury: “I Love Lucy invented the sitcom as we know it, with three-camera coverage, film instead of kinescope, and reruns (39 new shows a season, plus 13 repeats). Its influence is incalculable.”

#3 Seinfeld – I liked it much more when it really WAS about nothing, such as getting lost in a parking lot. I thought it became mean-spirited after a while, and I gave up on it.