Okay, we at ThatShowSucks realize the task we are undertaking here by even trying to narrow down the decades of Television into one simple list. But fear not! We have pondered over this for some time and this is what we have concluded.
To make it a little simpler, this list does not include anything in the realm of reality TV, variety shows, or entertainment/performance programs. We are keeping this list to what many people term “sitcoms”. You’re bound to disagree with at least one of them so be sure to tell us what you think in the comments section.
Interestingly, TV shows that did well in our list had many similar characteristics, including: An easy-to-relate-to cast, a show that captured real life, an interesting narrator, and of course, humor. Enjoy our list of the best tv shows ever!
Top 10 Best TV Shows of All Time
10. Arrested Development
9. The Simpsons
8. The Andy Griffith Show
6. The Wonder Years
4. The Office
3. The Cosby Show
2. I Love Lucy
Some of you may be shocked to find Arrested Development within this top 10 list. However, I feel justified in having it beat out thousands of other TV series from over the decades. It’s simple. Arrested Development was genius. It’s a crying shame that it was taken off the airwaves after 2 seasons. Today, there is still a loyal following of fans who love the uncanny behavior of the Bleuth family that is so wittingly narrated along the way. If you haven’t see an episode of Arrested Development I suggest you do so quickly.
Again, some of you may be shocked to find this one, especially because it’s a cartoon. Still, The Simpsons has been on the air for 20+ years! That’s amazing. Now, length of time on the air doesn’t have everything to do with it (look at #10), but it does say something. Aside from that, The Simpsons has captured Americana in a wonderfully hysterical (and often exaggerated) way over the past 20 years. And that’s what makes it so good–it can poke fun at what America is and the faults it has.
How do you write whistling? That catchy theme song is the first thing that pops into my head when I think of The Andy Griffith Show. I think what makes this show is its lovable characters. If you are an Andy Griffith fan and you’ve never visited Mt. Airy, NC, then you are missing out. Mt. Airy (kinda sounds like Mayberry if you say it with a southern accent) is where Andy is from. Though the show was never filmed there the town has built a replica of some of the set, including the jail.
Who would’ve thought that a show about friends sharing their woes and life stories at a bar would be a big hit? Maybe the show’s success is due in part because so many could relate to it. It was the ideal world, if you will; have a beer, talk to your friends, and get advice from your friendly bartender. But Cheers was successful, in my opinion, because of a stellar cast. A lot of big names were in that show. Each character was like one of your pals or buddies. You loved them, and you couldn’t stand them–a perfect combination. I love shows that revolve around a single location, like a bar, and still are able to entertain you.
I suppose it was the on again, off again relationship between Kevin and Winnie that made this show so wonderful (No pun intended). Or perhaps it was the intriguing narratives that led us through the lives of a typical 60s family. If you were watching The Wonder Years when it first aired in the 80s then maybe you could relate to growing up in that era. It was a different America back then and I believe the show did a great job of capturing those feelings, both in the plot and in the narration. That’s what kept us coming back.
Friends was never a show that was actually believable, but it was still so much fun to watch. Each cast member was the stereotype of someone we knew. Over the decade they were on the air we watched those characters define pop culture and we came to love them. (If that’s possible. They weren’t real after all, right?) So what made Friends so great? In my opinion it was the cast’s chemistry with one another, the great scripts, and the hilarious moments coupled with serious emotional hard times. It was a show that provided consistent laughs with just the right dose of sappy, tear-jerking moments.
I love The Office. Who cares that it was ripped off of a British comedy, it’s freaking hilarious! Certainly, the show has had it’s choppy moments (i.e. a few episodes we wish never were conceived) but overall, The Office delivers consistent punches of crude and surprising humor. Plus, the show is full of characters you hate and characters you adore. Michael is a good example. At times you can’t help but feel sorry for the guy and at other times you want to curl up in a ball and hide because he’s acting so idiotic. Overall, the show is unique.
The Cosby Show was one of those traditional comedy/drama TV shows that dealt with and solved real-life situations in just 30 minutes. The Cosby Show perfected it (then Full House came along and ruined it). Despite being unrealistic in that sense, the show was downright enjoyable and laugh-out-loud funny. Bill Cosby was a hoot. When the Huxtables weren’t busy solving vexing family situations, they were making us laugh. This is on the list because it’s one of the most memorable TV shows ever. Yet, two remain…
I Love Lucy is number 2 in this list for two main reasons. First, if it weren’t for this show I don’t think modern Television nor the TV sitcom would be here today–at least it would have taken much longer. I Love Lucy was the first 30 minute sitcom. It was the first to use the 3-camera TV set. Second, this show was simply funny. It was slap-stick humor at its finest. Arguably, there hasn’t been much better on the airwaves since then, except for…
The show about nothing. Genius! Jerry Seinfeld and the writers of this show were simply geniuses. It’s the only sitcom I’m aware of that was truly about nothing and was yet still wildly entertaining. Seinfeld is true life at it’s worst, and we’ve all been there. Yes my friends, Seinfeld is the greatest TV show of all time.
There have been many other shows throughout the years. Check out our list of old TV shows and see if you remember any of them.