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Monday, April 22, 2024

Four fan-favorite sitcoms to keep you laughing for the rest of the quarter

Each pick follows a unique cast of characters as they undergo life’s daily struggles and odd situations 

 

By SAVANNAH ANNO — arts@theaggie.org

Sometimes, all you need is a TV show that can provide you with simple entertainment. There’s no murder plot, no mind games or big mystery; sitcoms are easy and enjoyable. 

A sitcom, or situational comedy, is defined as a television series that follows a consistent cast of characters that experience funny, everyday situations and problems within a realistic setting. “The Office,” for example — one of the most popular sitcoms of all time — follows a cast of coworkers as they navigate their jobs, relationships and an unprofessional boss. 

In an interview with Sean Evans on “Hot Ones,” sitcom writer and comedian Quinta Brunson weighed in on why she thinks sitcoms are so special. 

“It doesn’t take up your emotional energy,” Brunson said. “Some of my favorite shows emotionally drain me, but my favorite comedies don’t do that. I just had a ball with [“New Girl” characters] Nick and Jess and Schmidt. We just had fun, and we went on our little adventures.” 

With accessible humor and relatable settings, sitcoms invite viewers into the story and include them in the lighthearted chaos. If you’re looking to take your mind off of more serious matters, try watching any one of these four sitcoms. 

 

New Girl” (2011)

When 29-year-old Jessica Day catches her long-term boyfriend cheating on her, she quickly leaves and moves in with three random guys. Becoming the “New Girl,” the show follows Jess as she navigates her new friendships with her roommates: the overly dramatic Schmidt, big-hearted Winston and the grumpy but loyal Nick. 

As the seven-season series continues, the unlikely group of friends becomes closer and closer as they experience career changes, heartbreak, new romances and more. Their apartment, referred to as “the loft,” becomes the center of the series as the characters rely on each other for support through each conflict and strange scenario. Hilarious and heart-warming, “New Girl” is the perfect watch for a group of roommates, Taylor Swift fans (she does, in fact, make a cameo) or anyone who enjoys the friends-to-lovers trope. 

 

Abbott Elementary(2021)

Currently airing its third season, “Abbott Elementary” has gained popularity not just on streaming services like Hulu but also on network television. With an average of eight million viewers each episode, “Abbott Elementary” has brought new life to network comedy

Starring the show’s own writer and creator Quinta Brunson as elementary school teacher Janine Teagues, the series highlights the struggles of both teaching and learning in an underfunded, predominantly Black public school in Philadelphia. The cast of teachers — all with different backgrounds and education methods — solve student problems and deal with the difficult school district and challenges of their personal lives. “Abbott Elementary” shows the love and joy within the community as they tackle each aspect together. If you’re an education major or remember loving Tyler James Williams in childhood Disney movies like “Let it Shine,” be sure to tune in weekly on ABC or search for the series on Hulu. 

 

“How I Met Your Mother” (2005)

Feeding nostalgia for the early 2000s, “How I Met Your Mother” is the sitcom to watch for anyone who feels like they are living in the wrong decade. Spanning nine seasons, the show focuses on Ted Mosby, as the entire series revolves around his retelling of the years that led up to him meeting his eventual wife and mother of his children. 

Along with his four best friends, Ted goes on dates all across New York City in order to find “the one.” The ensemble cast features break-out actors like Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel, as well as a handful of notable guest stars like Britney Spears and Katy Perry. Similar to “New Girl,” the cast goes through adulthood together: attending weddings, going out to bars and finding themselves in hilarious situations that test the strength of their friendship. With great outfits from best friends Robin and Lily and a noteworthy soundtrack featuring Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Vampire Weekend and more, “How I Met Your Mother” is a quintessential sitcom of its time. 

 

“Community” (2009)

“One of the most inventive shows in TV history,” according to Vox, “Community” follows lawyer Jeff Winger who is forced to earn a college degree after his law firm discovers he lied about graduating from Columbia University. Interested in one of his classmates, he once again decides to lie and tells her he runs a Spanish study group. When he finds other community college students who want to join the study group, he is forced to keep up with the meetings. 

The group quickly becomes close, and the sitcom follows their journey through Greendale Community College as the episodes become progressively imaginative. The series features a stop-motion Christmas episode, futuristic and action-packed concepts, giant pillow forts and a thousand other pop culture references. Each episode is named after a made-up college course, adding an element of humor specific to university students and life. “Community” is also a necessary watch for any Donald Glover/Childish Gambino fans who got one of his first jobs as Troy in the cult-classic series. 

 

With these four suggestions, you’re ready to begin your journey into the world of sitcoms. As the quarter comes to an end and finals start popping up, remember to take breaks and enjoy things that make you happy. A lighthearted, 20-minute episode of TV while you eat a snack or unwind after class may be just what you need to keep going. 

 

Written by: Savannah Anno — arts@theaggie.org

 

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