The situation comedy has evolved over the last century. From canned laugh tracks, and studio audiences, to endearing and enduring characters and stories. Where once the sitcom acted as a primetime filler before procedural police shows, now has taken dominance on both network television and modern entertainment apps.
While some shows still rely on the formulas of old, below are some of the best modern sitcoms to be found on your favorite at-home apps that will keep you laughing for hours and even days.
'The Office (U.S.)'
I will admit the first season of 'The Office (U.S.)' is filled with so many cringe-worthy moments that at first glance some might have a hard time powering through it. For those who can, the pay off is well worth it.
The show follows the lives of the employees at a paper sales company branch in Scranton. Filmed in the style of a documentary — including well-timed looks directly at the camera, confessional-style one-on-one interviews and a reunion special at the end of the series — the show takes a 9-season look at the social interactions between a diverse cast fo characters. Some of said characters we have a firm opinion of at the beginning of the series may drastically change by the end.
Comedic timing, fantastic storytelling and a true ensemble cast carry the viewer on a real journey of excellence in television that few have matched. And one would be remiss to mention the show is the home of one of the greatest television love stories of all time.
'Parks and Recreation'
I know, I know. Another mockumentary sitcom created by the same team as "The Office (U.S.)" seems a bit like favoritism, but hear me out.
'Parks and Rec' launched the careers of Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari and Retta, reinvigorated the career of Rob Lowe, and lifted Amy Poehler up as one of funniest stars in television.
Similar to 'The Office (U.S.)', the show was created by Greg Daniels and showcases the lives of co-workers. This time, instead of inside the structure of corporate America, we see the struggles of good people trying to do their best in small-town municipal government.
Seven seasons of running jokes, character development and some of the best one-liners, 'Parks and Rec' delivers a plate of laughs with a healthy side feels that is worthy of your time.
There is no doubt that the Simpsons holds the honor of the longest-running sitcom of all time. Some – not me — might even consider it the greatest. But in the last several years, on the same network, another irreverent family comedy has been a hidden gem on FOX.
"Bob's Burgers" is the story of the Belcher family. Owners of a burger joint in an unnamed beachside town, the Belchers are aided in running the restaurant by their three children. In the very first episode, their youngest daughter starts a rumor that the restaurant serves human meat.
Personally, I don't think I need to explain anything else to get you to watch it, but I understand that cannibal comedy is not everyone's go-to cup of meat.
The show is an endearing look at the American family living paycheck to paycheck and doing their best to stick together. No matter the plot of the episode and who sides with who, in the end, the Belchers always come together as a family.
One of the stand-out characters is the older daughter Tina, a young teen starting to become boy crazy. The audience sees her deal with all the problems that we at that age had to deal with. We also see the parents deal with her burgeoning obsession with butts, which at many times are some of the best episodes.
'The Good Place'
Much like cannibal comedy, not everyone can get into philosophical after-life humor. But I'm going to put "The Good Place" out there anyway. The show stars Kristen Bell as a young woman who recently died.
I know. Hilarious.
We soon discover that she has gone to The Good Place. A heaven-like non-religious state of being where, as the name suggests, everything is good. But from the start, Bell's character knows that something has gone wrong because she wasn't a good person — at all and should not be in The Good Place.
Throughout the series, she tries to become worthy of the place she finds herself in by learning about ethics, morals and all the ingredients it takes to be a good person.
Co-starring Ted Danson, the show instills both a sense of morality otherwise not often seen in sitcoms, but also teaches the audience a lot more about actual philosophy than one would expect to enjoy.