Stuart’s Top 30 Sitcoms of All Time: Part 1 (#30 – #26)

Following the interest and debate stirred up by my Top Wrestling Themes article, I’ve decided to branch out a little more in that direction.

This series of articles – which will be spread over the coming weeks and months – will include everything from TV dramas, films, Kids TV shows from my youth and more.

Last year I also did one on TV Theme tunes, which you can read here

This article though is about my Top 30 Situation Comedies of All Time. The 30 shows that I consider to be the best sitcoms ever shown on TV.

Unlike the other list articles I’ve done – and at the request of some of the blog’s readers – I’m going to list them in order of preference (#30 downwards). It’s been pretty tricky, but I’m happy enough with my choices.

Now obviously these are just my opinions and there are plenty of shows I’ve not seen or shows that I just don’t like.

For example, I’ve never seen 30 Rock, a show which is considered by many as one of the best sitcoms or indeed comedy shows of the last 10 years.

So – and I can’t believe I have to say this – don’t get upset if your favourite show isn’t there.

30. Only Fools & Horses

What? Only Fools & Horses so far down the list? But it’s a British institution?

You know what? I had to consider whether or not I wanted to put this show into the list at all.Only_fools_logo

Why? Because I just don’t think it’s aged all that well.

You watch an episode of Only Fools in 2013 and it’s just not as funny as it once was.

There are loads of comedies – comedies that have made this list – that are just as old or even older than Only Fools that have stood the test of time better.

Maybe it’s that it’s so ingrained into our psyche that I don’t appreciate it any more. How many times have we seen Del Boy fall through the bar or the witness the chandelier fall through the roof?

And maybe in amongst the quality, we see that it relied heavily on lines like “You plonker” and “This time next year we’ll be millionaires”.

And it also made the massive mistake on coming back after finishing on such a high. The final few episodes were just rubbish.

But despite all that, there are still some moments to be appreciated, and for what it was, it deserves inclusion on the list.

I must admit that in spite of everything I’ve just written, I still laugh when I see the Batman & Robin bit.

Best Episode: The Unlucky Winner Is…

The episode where Del Boy wins a holiday to Spain stands out as the best of the lot.

29. Scrubs

As a sitcom, Scrubs is the sort that you could describe as pleasant to watch, but not necessarily “laugh out Scrubsloud funny”.

But it’s a show that I’ve seen fit to buy the boxed set of, and will happily watch whenever I see it on E4 or other such channels.

Sure, it’s silly, and yes, Zach Braff just has something about him that oozes “unlikeable”, but Scrubs had a certain level of depth beyond the surface that few sitcoms contain.

Best Episode: My Lunch/My Fallen Idol

The two-part story where J.D. blames himself for the suicide of a patient and Dr. Cox blames himself for the death of three transplant recipients typifies what Scrubs is like when it’s firing on all cylinders.

28. Black Books

At one point, Black Books was considered an under-appreciated, little known hit tucked away on the Channel 4 schedule where nobody knew it existed.

In the age of Netflix and cheap DVDs, I’m not sure that’s really true any more though.

The show about Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey running a book store is a British comedy gem, with some Black Bookswonderful moments.

Who can forget the episode where they try to write a children’s book because “they are so bloody easy”.

Best Episode: Grapes of Wrath

For me, the episode where Bernard & Manny house-sit for a friend and accidentally drink all the expensive wine instead of the cheap stuff is gold.

27. The Goodies

Whether the Goodies is a sitcom or not is up to your own interpretation.

For the first few seasons at least, they operate from their own house and take on different jobs under the auspices of “We Do Anything, Any Time”, so I think it does.

When I was a child, I thought The Goodies was one of the funniest things in the world, but as I’ve grown up, I the_goodies_titlemust admit I find it…well…a bit too childish.

And I also feel that the later seasons are of a generally poorer standard, going further and further away from the initial concept. I’ve never even bothered with the ITV stuff.

Having said that, there are still excellent episodes of the show that you can enjoy, including The End, The Race, Earthanasia, The Stone Age and Snooze.

Basically, the better ones tend to be the ones that focus more on dialogue than wacky video montages.

Best Episode: Bunfight at the OK Tearooms

A very clever, well written and performed episode that is still laugh out loud funny in 2013.

Not just that, but the whole setup of the final confrontation between the three men as they battle for control of the “Gold Rush” for Clotted Cream, Scones and Strawberry Jam is brilliant, and has a top-notch song to accompany it.

26. The Office (UK version)

I know a few people who absolutely love The Office and can’t see anything wrong with it.

It was funny, clever and unique for the time and it had some terrific characters, but I must admit that I soured a little bit to it when I realised that almost everyone in it was acting in the only style they knew how.TheOfficeUK

Maybe I’m wrong; maybe directors have cast the likes of Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crooke and Lucy Davis to act in exactly the same way as they did here in everything they’ve subsequently been in, or maybe they just aren’t as good as people think.

And what sours it more for me is that I just cannot stand Ricky Gervais.

I suppose then that’s it’s a testament to how good it is that it makes the list in spite of that.

Best Episode: The Office Christmas Special: Part Two

The conclusion to The Office is a television at its best.

It wrapped up all the storylines and characters in a perfect way, with Brent finally being liked by his former co-workers and Tim finally – and at the last moment – telling Dawn how he feels about her.

Excellent, feel good viewing for Christmas time.

Get Involved In The Debate

Stuart Reviews Stuff is a free entertainment blog. If you enjoyed this or any other article on the site, please consider taking a moment to Like the official Facebook page. You can do that by clicking like on the side panel, or visiting the site here

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Feel free to get involved in the debate.


5 Responses to Stuart’s Top 30 Sitcoms of All Time: Part 1 (#30 – #26)

  1. Eugene says:

    Good idea for a list – I’m very keen to see what follows. For me, Only Fools… is a really variable show. The first three seasons, with Grandad were first-rate. Fourth season – not bad. And then. Oh dear oh dear, and then. The introduction of the two female characters was a massive mistake. Firstly, because the show was at its best demonstrating the leads dealing with the outside world – which included women. Secondly, neither of them could act for shit. Raquel was slightly better than Cassandra, but only just. The move to longer episodes dragged the whole thing down, resulting in ghastly laugh-free hours of Del saying “fahmily” again and again, and terrible plots such as Cassandra’s miscarriage being set up for a cheap gag at the end of the episode. And yet it became more popular as time went on. Shocking.

  2. sgmilne says:

    I think it’s overrated, but I enjoyed it as a kid and think it’s held up better than some of the other shows I watched back then, like Keeping Up Appearances, Birds of a Feather and the Brittas Empire

  3. Eugene says:

    That’s not massively tough competition…

  4. […] can read Part One and Part Two of the Countdown by clicking on the […]

  5. […] can read Part One and Part Two of the Countdown by clicking on the […]

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