Ok then, let’s get into Part 2 of my 30 Top Sitcoms of All Time.
Remember, these are just my opinion, so I urge some of the more sensitive souls out there not to get too upset.
25. The Office (US Version)
To me there’s not much of an argument to be had.
The US version of the Office has perhaps a less realistic set of characters (I mean, how did Michael Scott actually get the job as manager in the first place?) but it had better actors, funnier and more diverse plots and achieved success over a much longer period.
I talk about it like it’s a thing of the past, despite it still – as of April 2013 – being on the air, and that’s because I stopped watching it.
So what’s it doing on the list? Well this, like many more shows that will feature probably go on longer than they should. As it stands, the Office has had 195 episodes, and it would be remarkable if they were all funny.
From Season 2 (because Season 1 was a terrible rehash of the UK series) through to Season 6 it was must see TV for me.
Best Episode: Safety Training
There’s a consistency about the Office that runs through the seasons I mention, but one of the defining moments for me – and one that still makes me laugh just thinking about it – is the bit where Michael plans on jumping off the roof onto a trampoline, and they try it first of all by using a watermelon.
The whole episode is good, but that bit still makes me laugh just thinking about it.
Smothered a bit by the more popular – and by that time for less creatively satisfying – Matt Groening show, the Simpsons, Futurama is one that is deserving of anyone’s time.
Much like a lot of comedies, the first few episodes aren’t that great, and it’s easy to switch off before things start to get interesting. I only got into Futurama after it had originally stopped airing on TV.
The stuff they did after the series was initially cancelled was poor though, and while I’ve not seen much of the Comedy Central stuff, the straight-to-DVD efforts like Bender’s Big Score were brutal.
Best Episode: The Problem With Popplers
Even though – as far as I can remember – it doesn’t include the always amazing Hypnotoad, the Problem With Popplers is a gem.
23. Modern Family
Here’s a show that started out really strong, dipped a lot and is now operating on a bit of a hit and miss basis.
The first two seasons are consistently excellent, the third became fairly terrible (the episode for example where they go to Disneyland was Modern Family at its worst, with all the characters having become caricatures) but now it’s mostly back on form.
By a long way, the worst character is Luke, but the odds of them killing him off aren’t especially high.
Best Episode: Not In My House
IMDB lists this as an episode much worse than the Disneyland one, so there’s no accounting for taste.
They all blend in a bit, if I’m honest, but the episode with Jay’s statue of a canine butler stands out for me as the funniest.
22. Parks & Recreation
When I recommend Parks & Recreation, my advice is to skip the first season entirely.
The key to the success of Parks is that it turmed the character of Lesley Knoppe from being an incompetent moron – a poor woman’s Michael Scott if you like – into a silly, but incredibly talented and enthusiastic Government employee.
Still on and into its fifth season, Parks & Rec has suffered a bit by making some of the characters – like Andy Dwyer – unrealistically stupid, but there have still been some excellent episodes in 2012/3.
And it’s got Ron Swanson in it; one of TV’s finest characters.
Best Episode: Hunting Trip
There’s a fairly high standard set from Seasons 2-4 at least, and my top one in my opinion is the episode where – and you might be able to guess this from the title – they go on a Hunting Trip.
Outnumbered is – or at least was – a brilliant premise for a TV show.
It was one of the best representations of a real British household ever seen on TV, and in the first three seasons it was a sensation, mostly down to the character of Karen.
The problem is that the kids have grown up into the sort of unlikeable brat you’d cross the street to avoid and the semi-improvised nature of the show has made way for a fully scripted and largely unfunny show.
The Christmas Special was the classic example of a show that should never have been made, and I’d urge them to forget about any further episodes, but when it was good, it was terrific.
Sadly, there does appear to be a new season in the works.
Best Episode: The Wedding
Probably the best example of how the show worked, you had the Brockmans going to the wedding of a member of their extended family they’d slagged off, Karen telling all this to the bride and the kids questioning the Vicar about God and how it didn’t make sense.
It was superb.
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
You can also follow me on twitter @sgmilne
Feel free to get involved in the debate.