The Best Sitcoms of the Decade
After we end another decade, it’s fun to look back on how we spent most of our free time: watching TV. With Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, cable channels and other options at our fingertips, it often felt like a challenge to keep up. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t try! Choosing what to watch became a task unto itself, but we’ve narrowed down the best television sitcoms to grace our screens during the 2010s.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
After over a dozen seasons on the air, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is still wreaking havoc on TV week after week. The series follows the gang, a group of five codependent narcissists who run an ailing bar in Philly. They’re usually working on some scheme that fails in the most hilarious way possible.
Though the show first aired in 2006, 30 Rock remained a fan favorite until it ended in 2013. The sitcom centered on Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon, the head writer of a fictional sketch show, as she dealt with work, love and "having it all." The cast was rounded out by Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Alec Baldwin and Jack McBrayer.
At first glance, Bob’s Burgers seems to be just another animated series about a weird family, but it’s so much more. The show focuses on the Belcher family as they go to school, celebrate holidays and try to keep their burger restaurant afloat.
Modern Family takes an honest, comedic look at being a parent, growing up and what it actually means to be a family in today’s age. It focuses on three related families: Jay Pritchett, his new wife Gloria and her son Manny; Jay’s son Mitchell and his partner Cameron; and Jay’s daughter Claire Dunphy, her husband Phil and their three children (Haley, Alex and Luke).
Parks and Recreation
Running for seven seasons on NBC, this workplace comedy follows the members of the parks and recreation department of a small Midwest city as they attempt to turn an abandoned pit into a park. The cultural impact of the show, though, is immeasurable.
No sitcom better encapsulates the 2010s as well as Veep does. The political comedy centers on Vice President Selina Meyer, following her through the ups and downs of her career as a politician. Meyer navigates the pressures of the office with the aid of her staff — Amy, Dan, Mike, Sue, Kent, Ben and Gary.
YAS, kween! Of course Broad City is one of the best sitcoms of the decade. The show follows the everyday lives of best friends Abbi and Ilana, two twenty-somethings living in New York City. With these two, even the smallest and most menial of tasks becomes entertaining and hilarious to watch.
Atlanta is a show that’s hard to define. Much like Donald Glover himself, the show doesn’t neatly fit into one box. It is at once a dark comedy, a riveting drama, a coming of age story and much more. The show follows Earn and his cousin Alfred as they try to make their way in the Atlanta rap scene.
Rick and Morty
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Back to the Future was an animated series? Well, thank goodness someone did, otherwise we may not have ended up with Rick and Morty. The show focuses on Rick Sanchez, a genius scientist and alcoholic, and his grandson Morty, an anxious and ordinary boy, as they go on adventures throughout the universe.
The Good Place
When The Good Place premiered in 2016, nobody knew what it would become. During the first season, Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) wakes up in "The Good Place" after her untimely death. She’s greeted by an otherworldly being named Michael (Ted Danson), but quickly she comes to realize that she doesn’t belong.
Few sitcoms experienced as much success in the past decade as Black-ish has. The series follows an upper middle class African-American family living in a mostly white neighborhood. In each episode, the characters tackle familial, personal and sociopolitical issues.
2019 was the year of Fleabag. And with this show, all the hype was justified; Fleabag might be one of the greatest comedic shows ever made. It centers on Fleabag (yes, that’s her name), an unapologetic mess of a woman who’s navigating life and love while trying to come to terms with a recent tragedy.
BoJack Horseman is about your average washed-up, half-horse celebrity trying to stage a comeback while struggling with depression, addiction, relationships and a transformation into a better person (or animal). The show has a way of tackling these serious subjects and skewering Hollywood that’s equal parts hilarious and poignant.
The Big Bang Theory
We already said goodbye to one of the most popular television shows of the decade. The Big Bang Theory follows four socially awkward scientists and friends, Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj.
Fresh Off the Boat
Fresh Off the Boat is loosely based on the childhood of chef and restaurateur Eddie Huang. He and his Taiwanese-American family overcame many obstacles as they struggled to assimilate into life in Orlando, Florida, in the 1990s. The series is the first to feature an Asian-American family as the main characters in over 20 years.
This Canadian sitcom from Dan and Eugene Levy was a big success in its native country. But, after appearing on Netflix, it achieved a cult following in the United States, too. The show follows the wealthy Rose family who, after losing all of their money, must move to the rural town that they once bought as a joke.
A family comedy set in the suburbs during the 1980s? What more could you want? The Goldbergs centers on the everyday lives of the Goldberg family and their dysfunctional, loving relationships. It’s loosely based on the childhood of the show’s creator, Adam Goldberg.
In Catastrophe, strangers Sharon (Sharon Horgan) and Rob (Rob Delaney) become life partners in a matter of days when, after a night of passion, Sharon becomes pregnant. Rob, an American, then decides to pack up his life to move to London and become a father. The episodes that follow explore their life as a couple and a family.
The Mindy Project
This sitcom revolves around Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling), a young OB/GYN who’s trying to balance life and work while living in the big city. Her quirky coworkers surround her at the health clinic, and there's a revolving cast of attractive boyfriends.
Following a breakup, Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) moves into an apartment with three single men, Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Morris). Though the three men find her quirky behavior unusual at first, the four grow to love and support one another.
Community is easily one of the most well-made but sort of neglected sitcoms of the 2010s. The show revolves around Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) who, after losing his legal license, has to go back to community college. The cast is rounded out by his Spanish study group, his Spanish professor and the dean of the college.
After years, Archer proved itself to be one of the most persistent and best shows on television. The series takes place at an international spy agency where the missions take a backseat to interpersonal relationships and drama between the secret agents and the support team.
Nobody could have guessed that a musical sitcom about a woman with mental health issues would be so incredible. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend centers on Rebecca Bunch. Following a nervous breakdown, she abandons her high-paying job and moves from NYC to California in search of true love and happiness.
Silicon Valley centers on Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch), a software engineer and entrepreneur, as he and his friends try to get their tech company off the ground. Though the group experienced a series of missteps, in the final season we see them achieve the success that they worked so hard for.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Those who spent the early part of the 2010s mourning the loss of 30 Rock quickly rejoiced when they heard about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The Netflix show tells the strange story of an Indiana woman who, after spending years locked in an underground bunker, decides to move to New York City and reinvent herself.
This isn’t your average cop show. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is more of a workplace comedy that takes place in a New York police station full of eccentric cops. The series begins when the precinct gets a new captain, Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher). He and the immature but talented detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) immediately butt heads.
Nathan for You
As a satirical take on business makeover reality shows, Nathan for You follows comedian Nathan Fielder as he helps real small businesses achieve success. Despite having "graduated from one of Canada's top business schools with really good grades," his ideas are often ridiculous and unsustainable.
Tuca & Bertie
This one-season wonder will continue to live on in our hearts for a long time to come. The animated series created by BoJack Horseman’s Lisa Hanawalt followed the lives of Bertie (Ali Wong) and Tuca (Tiffany Haddish), two ex-roommates and best friends who also happen to be birds.
What happens when you mix Downton Abbey with Keeping Up With the Kardashians? You get Another Period. This mock-reality show focused on the Bellacourt family and the servants who work in their mansion. The show takes place in Newport, Rhode Island, during the early 1900s.
As the longest-running scripted series in television history, it would be criminal not to include The Simpsons on this list. The animated show follows the antics of the Simpson family, made up of Homer, the oafish patriarch; Marge, the hard-working housewife; Bart, their underachieving son; Lisa, their genius middle daughter and Maggie, their silent and adorable baby.