Interestment’s Top Four: Current US Sitcoms

Published: 11th May, 2010

Including one with this guy!

If you’re anything like a certain member of the Interestment Family, then you’ll like to spend your evenings methodically working your way through a pile of television boxsets. They’re literally the best thing ever invented, besides perhaps weak lager, and the very real possibility of one day making it rich. Oh, and cheeseburgers. Lovely, delicious, great big bags of cheeseburgers. In fact, whoever thought of adding a slice of processed cheese to a hamburger should have a statue erected and be WORSHIPED for generations. Can you imagine a world without cheeseburgers? It’d be totally lame. Yeah, cheeseburgers are cool. Anyway, stomach rumblings put to one side, the point is that much “research” has been done to uncover the best US Sitcoms OF THE MOMENT – shows that could follow Larry Sanders, Arrested Development, Seinfeld, Cheers and Friends into the pantheon of greatness, and these are the four that are in with a shot. Just missing out were Eastbound and Down,  Parks and Recreation, Two and a Half Men, and Curb Your Enthusiam (simply because it’s already made the aforementioned pantheon)….

The Office

The UK version of the show was a masterpiece, but – dare we suggest it? – the US version is EVEN BETTER. Now stretched out to six brilliant seasons and counting, it is quite probably the funniest show currently on TV. The premise is more or less the same as the original, but as things have progressed, the show has become more conventional in terms of set up and humour, but without losing any of its magic. Literally every single character is magnificent, but in particular Steve Carrell as Michael Scott, and Interestment favourite Ed Helms as Andy Bernard (aka The Nard Dog). Plus there’s a genuinely touching romance spanning throughout.

Entourage


Entourage is basically Sex and The City for boys, and although that sounds like a really bad thing, actually it’s not. If anything, it’s rather good. Both shows run the parallel of featuring a main character who you would joyfully observe clumsily sliding in dog dirt on a wet pavement, and yet both shows make up for the hideousness of the programme’s official face with a host of magnificent supporting characters. In Sex and The City, it’s the one from Mannequin who bangs like a sailor, whilst here it’s Hollywood actor Vinnie Chase’s agent, Ari Gold.  Matt Dillon’s brother, Kevin, is great in it too.

30 Rock

30 Rock deserves “props” for numerous reasons. Firstly, for creating a female character who isn’t pristine, and totally desperate to be loved. Secondly, for taking the already-excellent Alec Baldwin and shooting him somewhere into the stratosphere. And thirdly, for surrounding them with fantastic maniacs. On the downside, whilst the shows above seem to steadily peak, this one does seem to have lost some of the original lustre. Interestment’s advice would be to rely less on famous cameos, cut the annoying stable boy out completely, and then let nature take its comedy course. Still better than anything in the UK. For years, actually.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia


Ridiculously, this hasn’t been picked up by any UK TV channels. It really should be. It’s essentially the story of Cheers, only, in this case, the bar is run by a gang of unbelievable/brilliant cretins. Plus there’s the added thrill of Danny DeVito dusting down his sitcom tights, and appearing as a regular character from season two onwards. Primary themes include: racism, abortion, underage drinking, cancer and guns. And that’s literally just the first five episodes. This is edgy stuff. And it’s definitely more hilarious than everything we’ve just said.

Josh Burt
About the author:
Josh has been a writer and journalist for the best part of twenty years and has written for modern staples like FHM and Cosmopolitan and The Daily Telegraph and The Sun. He has also written a small handful of so-so books that you can still buy.

3 Responses to Interestment’s Top Four: Current US Sitcoms

  1. Alan Glazzard says:

    While I whole-heartedly agree with your introductory comments of US sitcom greats such as Arrested Development, Seinfield and even the cult classic Eastbound and Down I can’t help but feel uneasy with some of the throw away comments. The fact that the bigoted, one liner low-brow comedy of Two and a Half Men should even be considered is, if anything, an insult to US comedy. The US version of the Office better than the original? Hardly, the show became funnier once it was able to create its own storylines which, after six seasons has just become stale and uninteresting.

    This is exactly the kind of mass marketed, money spinning, dead horse flogging attitude we’ve seen from our transatlantic cousins for years regarding comedy shows. The best example I can think of is Scrubs. Easily one of the best US comedy shows of recent years but watching it limp on after major cast members leave was torturous. I’m also genuinely shocked that 30 Rock has been described as better than any UK comedy “for years” hmm Arrested Development, maybe. But are we quickly forgetting such cutting edge comedy as Peep Show, The In-Betweeners, Black Books, Pyschoville, League of Gentlemen, The Royale Family, Early Doors and Spaced? Any one of these blow 30 Rock well out of the water, plus they didn’t need A-list actors, guest appearances, multiple seasons and lifetimes of advertising to boost ratings.

    America may be the big exporter of the sitcom, but all in all its probably lacking the creativity and originality UK comedy possess. Not that Chuck Lorre cares, he’s laughing. All the way to the bank.

  2. Dondi says:

    Community should be added to this list.
    When it’s good it’s perfect.

  3. kaoss pad 2 says:

    Hello, this is a great blog!

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