Sometimes all you need in life is a few hours chilling out in front of a classic American sitcom. The good news is you can check out our recommendations for much-watch sitcoms below. Try them all if you can!
Frasier is a classic American sitcom with a twist. Instead of following the lives of normal average folk, Frasier tracks the experiences of a radio psychiatrist Dr Fraiser Crane, as well as his equally eccentric brother, his English wife Daphne, and the brother’s father ex-cop Marty Crane. Then there are Frasier’s radio colleagues including the strong-willed Roz, his producer and BullDog, a tiny powerhouse of a radio presenter with whom Frasier strikes up an unlikely and often unreliable friendship.
Marty’s dog Eddie also shows up in many episodes as the rivalry between Fraiser who is trying to keep his modern Seattle apartment immaculate, and Eddie who has no such concerns is both hilarious and legendary. Oh, and the cameos from Daphne’s mother played by Millicent Martin steal just about every scene we see her in!
Some of the best bits of Frasier is that it pokes fun at how snobbish and pompous the two Crane brothers are, while the rest of the cast around then looks on. There is even a new series that is currently showing on Paramount Plus to catch up with, and it’s not bad at all. Although fans of the original series will note that Frasier has moved from Seattle to Boston to take up a position at Harvard, and is surrounded by a different but still amusing cast including the English actor Nicholas Lyndhurst, famed for his role as Rodney in Only Fools and Horses.
Everybody Loves Raymond
Documenting the lives of the Italian-American Romano family, Everybody Loves Raymond is a classic American sitcom at its very best. To find out where to watch Peacock in your location, just click on the link. Then you can start watching Everybody Loves Raymond, a show devised by and starring Ray Romano.
This show really has everything you’d expect from a sitcom of this generation. Ray himself is a self-obsessed sports writer who is desperately trying to balance living across the street from his parents and keeping his wife Debora happy, without too much stress. Of course, everything he does and doesn’t do results in lots of stress for everyone involved, and hilarity usually ensues.
In Everybody Loves Raymond, which you can watch on peacock TV, the characters include an overbearing and judgemental mother Marie Barone who believes Ray’s wife Debra ( played by Patricia Heaton who also plays Frankie Heck in The Middle) is never good enough. Then there is Ray’s deadpan brother Robert who despite his size and career as a cop can never quite live up to Ray. The true hero of this ensemble piece, however, has to be the indomitable Frank Barone played by Peter Boyle who is a tour-de-force when it comes to being the uninterested husband, father, and grandfather in the show.
The sets are top-notch too with Marie’s mid-century home complete with plastic-covered couches, and a kitchen in which she regularly demonstrates to Debra who is the better cook is a real treat.
Maybe the most classic sitcom of all time. Friends are a comfort show. That is, they put it on when they are feeling down, or want to relax even though they have seen every episode multiple times before. It’s not hard to see why either, as the quality of acting and the chemistry between the cast is legendary and still stands up to scrutiny today! Indeed, Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey remain some of TV’s most favourite characters, with many of us grieving the sad, and all too early loss of Mathew Perry (Chandler) earlier this year.
Of course, there are a few things that haven’t aged quite as well, including that all the Friends are white and straight. However, as long as you can see it as a product of its time, the 1990s you can still get a lot out of this show.
The Middle is such a lovely show about a family living in the middle of America, Indiana to be precise and their challenges and celebrations through life and as their kids grow up. The show starts every episode with Frankie, the mom doing a quick voice-over that covers the main theme of the episode and then the whole family including Mike (dad), Axel, (oldest son), Sue (middle child) and Brick (youngest child) get into all sorts of scrapes.
One of the best things about this show is that it’s fairly current, but how it’s filmed and the set give it a real retro, Americana feel. There’s also some good disability representation as Brick, their youngest child displays some tics and social skills issues that are covered in a realistic way that is dry rather than saccharine-sweet.