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And no show has ever embodied that desideratum like Cheers, a sitcom as cozy as it was zany and as brilliant as it was puerile.

Alongside him in the chafing-dish trenches are aspiring comedienne Casey (Lizzy Caplan), wannabe screenwriter Roman (Martin Starr), untalented actor-singer-model Kyle (Ryan Hansen), and catering captain “Ron” Donald (Ken Marino), whose life goal is to own his own Soup R’ Crackers franchise.

Samantha What: A sitcom starring Christina Applegate as a 30-year-old real-estate exec whose life as a bitchy-cosmopolitan type is upheaved when a hit-and-run leaves her with amnesia.

The greatest sitcom spinoff of all time, which happened to win more Emmys than its predecessor (see: Cheers) and co-holds the record (for now, with Modern Family) for the most consecutive Outstanding Comedy Series Emmys at five. When the cult-favorite “putting the fun in dysfunctional” comedy was cancelled after three seasons on ABC, it sent fans into a crazed frenzy, even prompting us at Vulture to strongly bemoan the decision. It’s Always Sunny is often called “Seinfeld on crack,” and like that seminal sitcom, Sunny offers its fans a fount of one-liners and in-jokes that now stand as its own vernacular. K.’s stand-up material and his discomfiting offstage persona.

Seriously, what about Frasier was not just perfect? Following a group of six best friends as they navigate their intertwining lives in Chicago, Happy Endings took a tired formula and turned it into something distinctly its own. Watch the entire episode where Lucy and Ethel go to work on a candy assembly line, not just the smidgen of it that Julia Roberts watches in Pretty Woman, and know that that episode is actually called “Job Switching.” Be able to say “Vitameatavegamin girl” ten times fast and get the reference you’re making. Amy Poehler’s post-SNL comedic vehicle, about do-gooder Leslie Knope and her quest to better the tiny town of Pawnee, Indiana, may be the quintessential network sitcom of this decade: a low-key but often hilarious observational comedy about the family we make out of our friends and co-workers.

Caustic as sulfuric acid, this new Hulu original series is neatly summed up when bitter TV recapper Julie Kessler (Julie Klausner) says to her bae, bitterer wannabe-comic Billy Epstein (Billy Eichner), “I’m so funny when I write mean things about TV shows. ” And Billy replies, “Because our lives are garbage and it’s the world’s fault.” Self-obsession isn’t just Difficult People’s milieu; it’s a jumping-off point for mining the minutiae of our pop-culture-drenched lives and, ultimately, for illustrating that failure is the stuff that really makes us interesting (and probably insufferable, too).

Bonus points for one of the year’s best guest-star rosters (Martin Short, Gabourey Sidibe, Kate Mc Kinnon, Fred Armisen, pretty much everyone else who’s ever been on SNL).

You don’t have to care about sports to love The League; you just have to be cool with raunchiness so raunchy it should be coined ultraraunch.

Hugh Laurie’s origin as a daffy sketch comic is something many Americans have read about but rarely seen.

TV is great and all these days, except where are the genuinely funny, family-oriented sitcoms, the ones that sidestep treacle for levity, that maintain a PG-bordering-on-PG-13 worldview without sacrificing smarts or sass? ), that gorgeous Seattle high-rise bachelor pad, the title cards between scenes, the celebrities who made voice cameos as callers on Frasier’s radio show, the occasional return of Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth).

It took the blue-streak-cussing Chris Rock to deliver us the rare worthy Wonder Years successor, a sitcom so intelligent yet so cute, with a teen-boy protagonist (Tyler James Williams) who’s equal parts knowing and naïve, an imposing yet tenderhearted father figure (Terry Crews), and a narrator (Rock himself) who looks back on his own childhood with cheeky compassion. Heck, even Eddie the dog is a sitcom legend in his own right. Not so much a situation comedy as a living, breathing, rumbling, gurgling organism that feeds off life’s hard, funny truths, grafted from the organs of Louis C.

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