Friends is one sitcom that totally changed the world. Very few shows manage to garner such popularity and continue honing that popularity even after it has ended. Premiering in 1994, Friends ran for ten seasons, ending in 2004. Even after its end, it continued to attract audiences through its reruns and remains one of the most popular shows, even though it ended over 17 years ago.
The cast reunited in 2021 for a special reunion episode, where it was revealed that Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer had feelings for each other while shooting, but never acted on them. What soon followed were reports that they’re spending time together in Jen’s house and probably are dating! This rumour has undoubtedly stirred the imaginations of dedicated Friends fans.
Here are 7 sitcom shows you can watch while awaiting further news –
A precursor of Friends of some sort and one of the most influential sitcoms of all time, this show was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. It premiered in 1989 and ran till 1998 for 180 episodes.
Seinfield follows the life of a stand-up comedian (played by Seinfield himself) and his three friends – George Costanza (Jason Alexander), his ex-girlfriend Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and neighbour Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards).
The sitcom is often described as “a show about nothing”, as it follows a slice-of-life narrative, with the group of friends finding humour in mundane situations of life.
No. of seasons – 9
2. The Office
An adaptation of the British sitcom of the same name, this mockumentary was written for the American screen by Greg Daniels. The show ran from 2005 to 2013 on television.
The series followed the everyday lives of the Scranton-based paper company Dunder Mifflin and featured Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and B. J. Novak as the main cast. Several cast members changed during the show’s run, with many names included in the main cast, including Mindy Kaling and Ed Helms.
The show received mixed reviews for its first season but received significant widespread acclaim for its subsequent ones. It won several awards and was also included in Rolling Stones Magazine’s list of 100 greatest television shows of all time.
No. of Seasons – 9
3. How I Met Your Mother
Often pitted against Friends, this show created by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays ran from 2005 to 2014 for 208 episodes.
Starring Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alyson Hannigan, the sitcom follows the lives of five friends living in NYC. The show starts in 2030 and is narrated as a flashback by Ted (played by Radnor, narrated by Bob Saget). He recounts to his children the story of how he met their mother and the series of events that led to it, including the shenanigans of his friends.
The show generally received positive reviews in its initial years, but ratings became mixed as it moved towards its end.
No. of seasons – 9
4. Modern Family
Winner of multiple Emmy awards, this hit mockumentary sitcom was created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan. It premiered in 2009 and concluded in 2020.
The series follows three interconnected modern-day families who live in suburban Los Angeles, navigating life through hilarious situations. They are linked to each other via the patriarch Jay Pritchett. The show featured an ensemble cast starring Ariel Winter, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Ed O’Neill, Eric Stonestreet, Jeremy Maguire, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Julie Bowen, Nolan Gould, Rico Rodriguez, Sarah Hyland, Sofía Vergara, and Ty Burrell.
The show was met with critical acclaim throughout its run and was hailed for normalising same-sex marriage and parenting.
No. of seasons – 11
5. 2 Broke Girls
Stylized as 2 Broke Girl$, this American sitcom was made by Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings. It ran on the air from 2011 to 2017.
The show is primarily set in a diner located in the neighbourhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, where two 20-something waitresses work. Max (Kat Dennings) has always led a hard life, but Caroline (Beth Behrs) falls into a life of poverty when her millionaire father is sent to jail for running a Ponzi scheme. Though their personalities clash and are as different as night and day, Max and Caroline become friends, roommates, and even business partners. At the end of each episode, a tally is shown on the screen, which sports the amount of money they currently have, and how much more they need to reach $250,000 – with which they’ll open a cupcake business.
The show received mixed reviews – the chemistry of the cast was lauded, but the excessive sexual humour, double entendres, and stereotypes didn’t sit well with a lot of people.
No. of seasons – 6
This American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre, Eddie Gorodetsky, and Gemma Baker premiered in 2013 and concluded in 2021.
The series follows Christy (Anna Faris), a single mother with addiction issues who decides to restart afresh in Napa, California. She attends an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting where she meets Marjorie, Jill, and Wendy, who become her close friends. Her life is turned upside down when her mother, Bonnie (Allison Janney), who is also an addict, reappears in her life.
The show consistently received critical acclaim and was the recipient of numerous awards as well. It was lauded for its balance of humour and the darker aspects of life by portraying alcoholism, drug addiction, teen pregnancy, addictive gambling, homelessness, relapse, cancer, death, domestic violence, and overdose.
No. of seasons – 8
7. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Dan Goor and Michael Schur created a police procedural sitcom, premiered in 2013, with its series finale scheduled to air on September 16, 2021. Andy Samberg features as Jake Peralta alongside an ensemble cast.
The show is set in the fictional 99th precinct of the New York Police Department. It follows a group of detectives led by Captain Raymond Holt. Jake, a laid-back investigator with a high rate of closing cases, often clashes with the captain because of their conflicting personalities. Jake and Amy’s (Amy Santiago) relationship is also one of the highlights of the show.
The series has received critical acclaim throughout and has also received numerous awards at the Golden Globes, Primetime Emmy Awards, and the Critics Choices.
No. of seasons – 8
You can also watch New Girl, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Cougar Town.
Edited by Prakriti Arora