Most Underrated Sitcoms of All Time

Photo Credits:

Photo Credits:

Many people find comfort in their favorite sitcoms. From “The Office” to “Parks and Rec” to “Friends,” almost everyone has a favorite sitcom that they can relax and calm down while watching. What many people struggle with, however, is finding a new show to fit into this staple genre of television.

As a self-proclaimed sitcom buff, I have my fair share of popular sitcoms that I believe deserve the hype and popularity surrounding them. I also have quite a few sitcoms that have avoided the limelight during their time on the air and deserve more praise.

So if you are looking for some underrated sitcom recommendations, I’ve got you covered. Here are (what I consider) the most underrated sitcoms of all time.

(Slight plot spoilers for these shows, so if you’re not into that, just keep scrolling!)

5. “Happy Endings”

Clocking in at number five on my list of TV sitcoms that are grossly underrated is the ABC comedy “Happy Endings.”

The show follows a group of six young adults on their adventures in Chicago after Alex, a young and free-spirited business owner, leaves her fiancé, Dave, at the altar. Dave and Alex have to learn how to be civil and friendly with each other after the breakup in order to keep their mutual friend group from falling apart.

From the very first episode, the show gives off some sass. I mean, having a wedding catastrophe as the first scene of a pilot really sets a precedent.

What I find most impressive about “Happy Endings” is its ability to maintain high energy and funny quips while the group discusses serious issues about themselves and their lives.

The show is super well-balanced and the castmates never really upstage each other, something that I find endlessly impressive since some episodes clearly structure their plots to frame one character over another.

The only real criticisms that I have for the show comes from the lack of a multi-season plot structure that most likely occurred due to the series’ premature cancellation. The show ran for only three seasons and just as it seemed the writers were gearing up for some new plotlines and shaping the series to move in a different direction, but the show was axed by ABC and the series ended rather abruptly.

The series did, however, receive a proper sendoff over quarantine when the full cast and some writers returned to do a live stream performance of a newly written episode (and I can’t complain since the references of cast member Damon Wayans Jr. also playing the role of Coach on New Girl were plentiful).

4. “Superstore”

Next up is NBC comedy, “Superstore.” The show always flew under the radar when it aired, but apparently pulled in a big-enough audience to save it from the chopping block since it ran for a solid six seasons.

“Superstore” follows floor supervisor, Amy, around her daily duties and interactions with fellow employees and coworkers. When Cloud 9 employs former business student Jonah as a floor worker, he shakes up Amy’s monotonous routine. The story follows them through their messy relationships with both each other and their coworkers.

This show is unique, touching on things that most sitcoms would not even dare to discuss, let alone center entire plotlines around them (read: Filipino employee, Mateo, revealing that he is undocumented, causing problems with his employment at the store).

The show, although not very subtly at times, brings up important issues that many part-time and minimum wage employees in modern America face: healthcare, childcare, job security and climbing the corporate ladder. It boasts a diverse cast and a diverse characterization including a Latina woman as the forefront leader of the show, a pregnant teen employee, many people of color in main and supporting roles and LGBTQ characters as well. It has its white characters learning about racial inequalities, its male characters understanding the struggles of their female counterparts and its straight characters learning about the inequalities between people of different sexual orientations all on screen.

While the show may not always give the most sensitive and gentle approach to these topics, it gets the point across in a lighthearted way, giving the audience the ability to see these issues brought to the forefront, rather than pushed behind as many workplace comedies do.

3. Now we have entered the top three most underrated sitcoms. Ranking at number three: “Schitt’s Creek.”

Although the comedy originally began airing in 2015, it recently began to gain traction over quarantine as its sixth and final season aired.

The show follows the spoiled and formerly wealthy Rose family after they lose their fortune and are forced to live in a town that they bought as a joke. The family moves into a motel in Schitt’s Creek and begins to learn how to live as a family, rather than four people who are related.

The Roses grow to gain the confidence to distance themselves from money and begin careers that they find fulfilling, something that makes the show so special.

What really piqued my interest about “Schitt’s Creek,” however, was the show’s ability to spread a message of equality and love for all people in such a subtle way. The show very rarely mentions things like a character’s race or sexuality when it is not just brushing over it in casual conversation, but when these heavy conversations happen, the show handles each situation with the same grace and dignity that we hope for in real life.

That being said, by not having these heavy conversations very frequently, the show is able to normalize things that we are hoping to normalize in today’s society.

Same-sex couples are given the same development and story arcs that straight couples are given, the female characters are never treated like sidekicks to the male characters, and characters of all races are treated the same.

It is also impressive how the show manages to give the audience not only four fully fleshed out characters by the end of its run, but is able to give full stories and personalities to many members of its supporting cast.

The show had the perfect balance of heart and sarcasm, leading to many running jokes among fans, along with the message that the people who care about you will always have your back.

2. NBC’s “The Good Place” ranks number two, mainly for the sheer brilliance of the show’s concept and writing.

It seemed like every time the audience thought they knew what direction the show was going in, the writers had different ideas and would spin the story in a completely different way.

“The Good Place” follows Eleanor Shellstrop, a young woman who dies and wakes up in the afterlife, a.k.a. “The Good Place.” Since everyone around her seems to be the epitome of perfection, Eleanor believes that she was put there by mistake and enlists the help of her “soulmate,” Chidi Anagonye, to help maintain her cover. Everything about the show is absolutely gorgeous.

Having a dynamic and diverse cast that mesh incredibly well together is the backbone for having a show with such a dense plotline. The show also brushes on philosophical concepts, something that typically is not present in TV show, especially sitcoms.

The show touches on moral dilemmas and philosophical beliefs in ways that are revolutionary to the TV world. It ensures that the audience is educated enough on the topics to understand the true meaning behind the plot points, but does not bog them down with unnecessary information.

It is easy to understand while allowing the overarching message of fixing a broken system to shine through. Although the show only ran for four seasons, the fact that it was able to end so beautifully and completely on its own terms is something that is endlessly impressive.

1. Finishing the list off at number one (the best and most underrated sitcom) is Fox Network’s quirky comedy, “New Girl.”

“New Girl” follows quirky teacher Jess Day after she catches her boyfriend cheating on her and has to move out. She moves in with three guys she found on Craigslist and, along with her roommates and best friend, Cece, learns to navigate her newfound single life.

“New Girl” has been one of my personal favorite shows for a long time, but I never saw it getting the credit that it deserved. It always seemed to be overlooked and was never truly in competition with sitcom giants such as “Friends” and “The Office.” But what “New Girl” lacked in ratings, it made up for with heart.

The characters gave the same quick-witted humor that a sitcom typically has, but are able to show the strong, familial bond that the members of the loft grow to form.

The show follows a simple sitcom format, but in no way is there a lack of creativity. The show’s simplicity in concept allows it to foster creativity by giving the characters depth and putting each character into interesting situations in order to strengthen bonds between characters.

Another thing that works to its advantage is the tight-knit cast. Since each member has great chemistry with one another, the cast is able to seamlessly flow with the show and each other and no character pairing ever feels boring or forced. Their passion and love for the show and their cast members allowed for many of their funniest moments to be improv.

Even though the comedy was scripted, the cast was able to put much of their own banter into the show, helping to shape their characters into the fully developed ones that they closed the series out with. In fact, the cast’s drive and passion to close the show out on their own terms actually gave the series the closure it deserved.

The series was originally set to be canceled after the season six finale, but the cast and crew had other ideas. The efforts of the cast were so persuasive that the show received an eight-episode final season.

So there you have it, the most underrated sitcoms of all time. I hope you enjoyed my never-ending rant about how much I love these shows, and at the very least, have a new show to try out for an episode (or a season).