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Popular sitcoms

From satirical comedies, to popular rom-coms and family stories, sitcoms are an important part of the television hoistory. Some of these series made us laugh, others we watched them time after time and others have raised generation after generation. Here are 10 of the most popular sitcoms that we have watched. We hope you too.

1. Everybody Loves Raymond

Scenes from Ëverybody Loves Raymond”

This CBS classic deserves to be remebered as an old time classic. It ran from 1996 to 2005. There is something charming about this series. Although it received a lot of negative criticism-bad writen characters, boring, all the same problems coming down to the same predictable solutions and unrealistic sets before the era that sitcoms started to adapt a more cinematic design-somehow it stayed very high in popular demand and it is to this day a TV show that most people would remember with a dose of nostalgia. I may have some reasons for that.

First of all, the series brought a very deep examination of human relationships and gave also depth to its characters. While it was comedy, with punchlines and peak moments, it somehow masked a real degree of pain, dissapointment and self discovery.

To continue with my defence of the series, the characters changed during the seasons. Television is often seen as somehow more “realistic” because its characters can go on long-term journeys, from point A to point Z and back again. A character can start in one place and become something completely different by the series finale, and you’ll never once question any step of that journey. But that’s not always true in real life, is it? Well, that is the point “Everybody Loves Raymond” is trying to make. The characters change, but circumstances remain the same. Everything evolves into their possible realm of the series reality. Those who have watched the series know what i mean.

Finally, how can I not mention the cast? Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle are only some of the amazing actors which decorate this worthy, classic TV sitcom.

2. Cheers

The cast of Cheers

When someone says 80s TV series, for sure Cheers is one of the first that come to mind. A popular favorite, this amazing sitcom evolved around its succesful slogan ‘A place where everyone knows your name’. It is funny, smart, quick, soulful, filled with indelible characters, and reliable in quality. For many is considered the predecesor of later famous TV series like Friends and Seinfield. It even had its own spin-off, Fraser. Apparently no one can deny the heritage and influence of Cheers. This timeless product however, seems to have failed to get a grip on younger generations. But what do they know, right?

3. Seinfield

The Seinfield main Cast

Speaking about Seinfield, how can we leave this legendary sitcom out of this list. Despite its pilot episode airing on July 5th, 1989, the show continues to be the most influential sitcom in TV history. It changed how we watch television and rewrote the playbook for every comedy that followed it. This show transformed the landscape of comedy on the small screens. Before Seinfeld, most comedies had an A-story and a B-story, with the show having a joke that runs throughout the episode.

Seinfeld blew apart the format of the sitcom. Each character in the series had their own plot story before the gang came together. Its impact resonated beyond comedy. Its honest belief that characters did not have to be likable as long as they were interesting foreshadowed a change in TV drama that wouldn’t settle until the late ’90s, when HBO turned a show about violent gangsters into an award-winning hit,” writes Matt Zoller Seitz for Vulture in 2014 when talking about the TV legacy left by both Seinfeld and The Sopranos. “We tend to forget that the first coldly expedient hero to anchor an influential, long-running series named after him wasn’t Tony Soprano. It was Jerry Seinfeld.”

Adding to that, Seinfield was one of the few TV series that managed to make audiences like its horrible characters. In a poll conducted at the time, Kramer was the favorite character of male fans of the show. Two-thirds of the men who watch the show say the “hipster doofus” was their favorite Seinfeld character. 

4. M*A*S*H

M*A*S*H

This amazing sitcom had an unbelivably good cast and terrific writing. It was able to balance the comedy and seriousness of war to make a successful series. In fact, in the middle of the show’s run, it transformed into a dramedy rather than a flat-out comedy series, and it only increased the greatness of the show. The series finale, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” still stands as the most-watched episode of a scripted series with an estimated 121.6 million viewers.

M*A*S*H ran for 11 seasons, more than three times the length of the Korean War itself, and ended in 1983.

5. Family Guy

The Griffith family

In an age of ‘Cancel Culture’ how is Family Guy managing to stay relevant? Also, many animators have labeled the program “problematic”, however that didn’t stop it from winning a myriad of awards including 9 Emmys.

The show is famous for its bizarre cut-aways, zany characters, and bringing odd bits of Americana back to the surface. In a world where a human male gets into fistfights with a rooster, where people survive horrific accidents unscathed, and where a talking dog can write a book and drive a car, you can’t take anything too seriously. You have to take what you are seeing at face value, even if it is an oddly shaped face. 

The show has also offended almost everyone. Every group of people, every religion and any nationality you can imagine. However it does so in a ridiculous over-exaggerated way that makes it just, well, ridiculous. This is the reason why the show has met such success and is acceptable. For most at least.

6. The Simpsons

The Simpsons

We can’t talk about the 10 most popular sitcoms and not include this one! The Simpsons is more than just a TV series. The Simpsons is a billion dollar merchandise and media franchise. Although the series has had its up and downs over the years, it always excited audiences arounnd the world. After 34 seasons, 750 episodes, and a decades-long funk, the show innovated its way back to popularity and relevance.

Though criticism has followed the show’s outrageous irreverence and allegations from corrupting America’s youth to even causing the decline of Western civilization. These claims have only made the show is a hit. Time magazine called it the best TV show of the 20th century. Loyal fans have a seemingly unquenchable thirst for anything Simpsonian, annually spending millions on collectibles.

7. The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory Cast

Debuting in 2007 in CBS, this show didn’t become a hit immidiately. The pilot had to be remade, as it didn’t impress the studio executives and the initial idea included less characters. They had to add three more main players in Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Howard (Simon Helberg), and Raj (Kunal Nayyar). From there on, Big Bang Theory gradually grew its fan base. By season 4 it added more regular characters and it ran for an additional 8 years. It wrapped up in 2019 with a honorable12 seasons.

The Big Bang Theory remained to be CBS’ premiere sitcom when it wrapped up. It became so big that the studio was willing to pay the cast $1 million each per episode just so it would continue. It stood along ather giants in the rankings like Friends and Seinfield, but it was often criticized that its humour was racist, sexist, or offensive, but this only added to its audience growing.

How exactly it became so famous then? Well, it seems that The Big Bang Theory came out in the right time. In the late 2000s, comic books films and nerd culture, in general, were becoming more mainstream thanks to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies, as well as, the birth of the MCU in 2008 via Iron Man. Since The Big Bang Theory focused on social outcasts who love these things, they resonated with so-called geeks, who may have also been discriminated against in real life.

8. Married With Children

Married with Children cast

Married With Children was one of the first anti-sitcoms. The most popular sitcoms of the day was wholesome, family-oriented shows. Married With Children changed that with its hook being anything opposite of heartwarming, and as such, it was one of the first shows that established Fox as a real player among other networks.

The show made its triumphant debut on April 5, 1987 and ran for 11 seasons, making it one of the longest lasting sitcoms in television history.

Sitcoms have been a staple of American television ever since the beginning. But when Married with Children first debuted, it offered something altogether new to the genre: at the center of the story is a household that isn’t always wholesome and happy and heartwarming. Though the structure of the series is still quite similar to other sitcoms, every single other element of the show turns tradition on its head in hilarious and refreshing new ways.

9. How I Met Your Mother

When “How I Met Your Mother” premiered in 2005, critics weren’t sure if it would survive beyond its first season. Nine years later, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) and his friends siad goodbye on their own terms, with the popular show coming to an end March 31.

Despite a rocky start, the series attracted a cult following, revived the word “awesome” in everyday lingo, ushered in new catch phrases and spawned three books. This super popular modern sitcom had its time under the sun for a long time and it will be watched by generations to come for sure.

10. Friends

Friends is proven to be the most beloved sitcoms of all time, and even though it has been so many years since the show first aired, it has remained popular. The show’s enduring appeal can be attributed to a variety of factors. Over 200 episodes, Friends explored stories of love, friendships, relationships, heartbreaks, and career aspirations – they had it all covered. With a cast of lovable and quirky characters who have become iconic figures in pop culture, it’s hard to argue that this sitcom shouldn’t be considered one of the best of all times at least.

One of the most common reasons why millions of people still hold the show close to their hearts is the characters: Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Monica (Courtney Cox), Ross (David Schwimmer), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Chandler (Matthew Perry), and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow). As viewers have spent countless hours watching Friends, many naturally feel emotionally attached to the characters, and some even consider them their real friends.

Many viewers who had grown up in the 1990s and early 2000s and religiously watched Friends when the show originally aired considered it an integral part of their lives. Not only does Friends allow the viewers to reminisce about the good old days, but it can also bring back memories of the ’90s. Pop culture and references and popular trends at its best. For some, it may also remind them of simpler times when people were not glued to their phone screens.

The thing with Friends is that since it is not a topical TV show, it will stay relevant forever. Who can imagine a world that people will stop watching the show and get a good laugh and a dose of nostalgia. It doesn’t matter how old they are.

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