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To me, one of the most compelling arguments you can have when it comes to television is whether the 90s or the 2000s were the prime for sitcoms. Both periods had incredible shows that’ll have you laughing your butt off. But which is better?
Thankfully, we don’t have to figure that out today. What we do need to figure out, though, is which 2000s sitcoms are the best. We’ve picked our ten favorites out of the massive amount of good shows out there. And to make it harder, we’ve even put those 10 in order.
Note: A show must have had the majority of its run in the 2000s or 2010s. For example, King of Queens debuted in 1998, but it ran through much of the 2000s, so it counts.
The Big Bang Theory is one of those shows you either love or hate. Whichever side you’re on, it’s hard to deny the overwhelming popularity of the show. I enjoyed it right down to the end. Just don’t go into it taking all of the nerd culture too seriously, because some of the show’s portrayal of geeks can rub you the wrong way.
Curb Your Enthusiasm is quite similar to Seinfeld. Seeing as it’s written by Larry David, one of the creators of Seinfeld, the parallels make sense. Not only did Larry David write this HBO sitcom, but he stars in it. I like Seinfeld better, but there are people out there who feel this is Larry David’s finest work.
Parks and Recreation is a hilarious show with an incredibly simple premise, as many of the best sitcoms tend to be. It features some of the funniest actors and actresses in the sitcom game, and each one brings their own flavor to the show. Of course, it’s really Nick Offerman who carries the show as Ron Swanson, but all of the main characters are entertaining in their own way.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has its own very distinct style of humor that you either think is hilarious or annoying. There’s very little middle ground. But for the people who love it, this is one of the most quotable shows on the list. The show ran for an impressive 14 seasons, so it’s doing something right!
Two and a Half Men is one of these shows that deserves respect purely on the fact that it managed to keep going successfully after losing one of its main characters. Charlie Sheen’s struggles are well documented, and they ultimately let to him leaving the show. Instead of canceling, they managed to keep going with Ashton Kutcher, and while I don’t think the show was as good, it still maintained a high level of quality.
How I Met Your Mother had a terrible ending. However, everything leading up to that ending is fantastic. Every major character on the show brings something to the table. The overarching plot of a father telling his children a painfully long story makes it stand out from the sitcom crowd. The show ran for nine seasons with 208 episodes—that’s one massive story those kids sat through.
The King of Queens technically came out in the late 90s, but the bulk of its run took place in the early 2000s. The show is centered around a fat guy and his out-of-his-league wife as they go through their daily lives. Like all good sitcoms, there’s a wrinkle in the form of a father-in-law (RIP Jerry Stiller) living in the basement. The dynamic between the three, along with their friends, makes for a funny show that stands the test of time.
Modern Family is the newest show on the list, having started in 2009. But don’t let it’s relatively young age scare you off—the show has plenty of depth and maturity. From its handling of delicate relationships to the accurate depiction of growing up, the show does so much right. And to top it off, it’s hilarious.
2. The Office
For the purposes of this article, I’m referring to the US version of The Office, though the UK one is a great show in its own right. The Dunder Mifflin crew is one of the most iconic casts of characters in recent memory. Every episode brings something new to the table. And like all great sitcoms, it’s not always about humor, as the show manages to tug on your heartstrings quite a bit throughout its long run.
Scrubs is not only my favorite sitcom of the 2000s, but it’s also my favorite show of all time. When I started working on this list, this was the only show that had a locked position from minute one. Scrubs is a masterpiece of modern television with its blend of comedy and drama. One minute you’re laughing and the next you’re crying. Either way, you’re always feeling something when you watch Scrubs.