Last year, I wrote a post about shows to binge watch during spring break but I thought it’d be a great idea to share some of my favorite sitcoms to watch during the semester. Sitcoms are perfect to binge watch during the semester because you don’t necessarily have to pay as much attention as you would to an episode of Game of Thrones or Scandal and sitcoms are usually light-hearted and funny. The best sitcoms are the ones with several seasons and lovable characters. I always find myself getting attached to the characters and speaking about them as if they’re real. I came up with a list of my favorite sitcoms to binge watch throughout each semester, even if I’ve already seen every episode a million times.
When Black-ish came out in 2014. My family has been recording it and constantly watching every episode over and over. We love the Johnsons and all the fun that they have together. Dre, Rainbow, Zoey, Junior, Diane, Jack, and the rest of the Johnsons honestly have my heart and I love how the show has become even more educational in recent seasons. I also love that the cast is full of people that I love: Anthony Anderson (Howard alum), Tracee Ellis Ross (an inspiration on so many levels), Yara Shahidi (teen sensation and my imaginary best friend), and Marsai Martin (my favorite child actress, she’s growing up soooo fast!!). Plus, a black family on network television doing nothing but being black? How could you not love Black-ish? Black-ish is currently in its fourth season on ABC and can be binge watched on Hulu.
Favorite Character(s): Rainbow, Zoey, & Diane Johnson
Favorite Episode(s): “The Word” (S2E1), “Twindependence” (S2E15), “Black Nanny” (S2E18), “Super Rich Kids” (S2E22), “40 Acres and a Vote” (S3E3), “Liberal Arts” (S3E23), & “Juneteenth” (S4E1)
P.S. If you haven’t started watching Grown-ish (the spinoff that follows Zoey’s adventures in college), you definitely should!
Bob’s Burgers (2009-present)
A true cult classic and you’re either going to love it or hate it, there’s no in between. I am in the group of those that love the show and can’t get enough of it. This animated series features Bob Belcher and his family as they run a burger restaurant while trying to keep their heads above water. I love this show because it’s hilarious and also shows the importance of family and shows that you don’t need it all to be happy. Whether it’s Bob and Linda figuring out which bills to pay or Tina going through puberty or Louise coming up with yet another scheme, the episode is always sooo much fun and it never fails to make me laugh. It’s also been confirmed that a Bob’s Burgers film is on the way (it’s scheduled for 2020)! This show is currently in its eighth season on FOX and can be found on Hulu.
Favorite Character(s): Bob, Linda, Tina, Gene, and Louise Belcher (I couldn’t pick just one, they’re all great in their own way)
Favorite Episode(s): “Bad Tina” (S2E8), “Ear-sy Rider” (S3E1), “Lindapendent Woman” (S3E14), “Late Afternoon in the Garden of Bob and Louise” (S5E10), “Glued, Where’s My Bob?” (S6E19), “Large Brother, Where Fart Thou?” (S7E5), & “Thelma & Louise Except Thelma is Linda” (S7E19)
Friends is my all-time favorite sitcom. Sure, it’s an all-white cast and it can be a little problematic at times but I’ve seen every episode at least fifteen times and can probably recite an entire episode. I started watching Friends when they started airing it on Nick-at-Nite and finally got a chance to watch the entire series in order when it came to Netflix a few years ago. I love that Friends follows the characters as they’re still trying to get the hang of being adults. They’re still looking for their dream jobs and significant others during the series. At the beginning of the series, the characters are around the age of 26, which is a nice reminder that I don’t have to have my entire life together by 23. I love that a lot of the episodes are still relatable in terms of adulting and living life. You can find all ten seasons of Friends on Netflix.
Favorite Character(s): Chandler Bing, Phoebe Buffay, & Monica Geller
Favorite Episode(s): “The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate (S1E1), “The One with Five Steaks and an Eggplant” (S2E5), “The One with Russ” (S2E10), “The One with the Prom Video” (S2E14), “The One Where Ross and Rachel…You Know” (S2E15), “The One Where Dr. Ramoray Dies” (S2E18), “The One Where No One’s Ready” (S3E3; Jay-Z’s “Moonlight” music video is based on this episode), “The One with the Flashback” (S3E6), “The One with Phoebe’s Uterus” (S4E11), “The One with the Embryos” (S4E12; my all-time favorite episode), “The One with the Free Porn” (S4E17), “The One with All the Kissing” (S5E2), “The One Where Everybody Finds Out” (S5E14), “The One Where Ross Got High” (S6E9), “The One That Could Have Been” (S6E15-16), “The One with Monica’s Thunder” (S7E1), “The One with the Nap Partners” (S7E6), “The One with All the Cheesecakes” (S7E11; features a rare and much-appreciated Chandler and Rachel storyline), “The One with the Secret Closet” (S8E22), & “The Last One” (S10E17).
P.S. Friends is basically the white remake of Living Single, which also features six friends in NYC trying to figure out life–except they’re black. You can find Living Single on Hulu.
The Good Place (2016-present)
I just watched the first season of The Good Place on Netflix during winter break and I fell in love with it. I loved that philosophy was used in the show’s plot because I just took philosophy during the fall semester and really felt like I had learned something when Chidi was naming each theory and philosopher. This show was clever, funny, and has a great plot twist that shocked everyone. It’s basically a continuing episode of Black Mirror and it’s awesome. I also love that the cast is a little diverse and that there are mentions of Friends and how Christopher Columbus is in the Bad Place. The Good Place can be found on Netflix and Hulu. Season 2’s finale airs on NBC next Thursday!
Favorite Character(s): Eleanor Shellstrop & Chidi Anagonye
Favorite Episode(s): “Everything Is Fine” (S1E1), “The Eternal Shriek” (S1E7), “Chidi’s Choice” (S1E10), & “Michael’s Gambit” (S1E13)
Grace and Frankie (2015-present)
I’ve mentioned Grace and Frankie before and I’m mentioning it again because it’s hilarious and you should watch it. Grace and Frankie are two women in their 70s whose husbands are best friends and business partners that announce they’re gay, in love, and leaving their wives. Grace and Frankie are forced to move on and end up living together, becoming best friends (despite their differences), and starting a business together. This show is a Netflix original and is waaayyyy better than Orange is the New Black in all honesty. You can find all four seasons of Grace and Frankie on Netflix. Fun fact: Season four was just added on January 19!
Favorite Character(s): Frankie Bergstein, Sol Bergstein, Brianna Hanson, & Bud Bergstein
Favorite Episode(s): “The End” (S1E1), “The Spelling Bee” (S1E7), “The Loophole” (S2E10), “The Pot” (S3E6), & “The Floor” (S3E7)
P.S. Grace and Frankie was created by the same woman who created Friends and season four stars Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay from Friends)!
The Office (2005-2013)
I had been hearing about The Office since I was in middle school but never took the time to start it because it never interested me but after seeing all the memes, I had to start. Over winter break, I downloaded as many episodes as I could on my Netflix app and watched The Office during literally all of my free time. I quickly got attached to each of the characters and found myself looking into the camera whenever someone said something out of pocket. I really loved the documentary style of the show and how it made me feel as if I really knew each of the characters and they really were just a few hours away up in Scranton, PA. There have been rumors of a tenth season coming soon and I’m honestly excited and hope it’s true (even if Michael’s not included). You can watch all nine seasons of The Office on Netflix.
Favorite Character(s): Jim Halpert, Pam Beesly, Stanley Hudson, Oscar Martinez, Darryl Philbin, & David Wallace
Favorite Episode(s): “The Dundies” (S2E1), “The Client” (S2E7), “Diwali” (S3E6), “A Benihana Christmas” (S3E10), “Cocktails” (S3E17), “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” (S3E18), “Beach Games” (S3E22), “Dinner Party” (S4E9), “Did I Stutter” (S4E12), “Weight Loss” (S5E1-2), “Stress Relief” (S5E14-15), “Company Picnic” (S5E28), “Niagara” (S6E4-5), “Viewing Party” (S7E8), “Goodbye, Michael” (S7E22), “Stairmageddon” (S9E19), & “Finale” (S9E23)
P.S. If you like The Office, you should watch Parks & Recreation!
She’s Gotta Have It (2017-present)
The results on this show are conflicted. The soundtrack is great but I’ve heard lots of people say they wish the acting was better. I think that DeWanda Wise was a great choice to play the role of Nola Darling, she brought the right charisma to the job and I felt as if she could really be Nola. However, there were times when I agreed with everyone else but overall, I really liked the show and the topics that were covered in each episode. I love shows that break the fourth wall so it definitely got bonus points just for that lol. Catch season one of She’s Gotta Have It (and the film) on Netflix. Season two coming soon.
Favorite Character(s): Nola Darling & Mars Blackmon
Favorite Episode(s): “#DaJumpoff (DOCTRINE)” (S1E1), “#LBD (LITTLE BLACK DRESS)” (S1E3), & “#NolasChoice (3 DA HARD WAY)” (S1E10)
I really love all of these shows and enjoy watching and re-watching them because they are quality content and constantly bring a smile to my face. What are your opinions on the shows I’ve listed? What are your favorite things to binge watch during the semester? Let me know in the comments!