Iconic American Sitcoms


American sitcoms have captivated the hearts of many people since the rise of television popularity during the 1950s. Throughout the last eight decades, many shows have gone on to become representations of American society and life in general. Below are a few iconic sitcoms that everyone should watch, if you haven’t already.


(Photo courtesy of the New York Times)


I Love Lucy

Aired: October 15, 1951 to May 6, 1957


Premise: Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball), the naive and wacky wife of bandleader/singer Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz), yearns to make it in show business, but manages to get into a lot of trouble along the way. The couples best friends and landlords, Fred (William Frawley) and Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance) are former vaudevillians, and often times Ethel becomes Lucy’s unwilling partner in crime.


(Photo courtesy of Amazon)



Aired: September 30, 1982 to May 20, 1993


Premise: Sam Malone (Ted Danson), a former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, Diane Chambers (Shelley Long), the snobby and beautiful waitress, and many other wacky characters make the cozy bar, Cheers, a second home.


(Photo courtesy of Time Magazine)


Full House

Aired: September 22, 1982 to May 23, 1995


Premise: When Danny Tanner’s (Bob Saget) wife passes away, he gets support from his brother-in-law Jesse (John Stamos) and comedic friend Joey (Dave Coulier) in raising his three daughters - D.J (Candace Cameron Bure), Stephannie (Jodie Sweetin), and Michelle (Mary-Kate/Ashley Olsen)


(Photo courtesy of Amazon)



Aired: October 18, 1988 to May 22, 2018


Premise: This relatable and brutally honest sitcom explores the ins and out of life through the lens of the working class in the Conner household. Roseanne (Roseanne Barr), her husband Dan (John Goodman), and their three children D.J (Michael Fishman), Darlene (Sara Gilbert), and Becky (Lecy Goranson) tackle daily life and current issues through hilariously fresh stories.


(Photo courtesy of The Independent)



Aired: September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004


Premise: Six best friends: Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey, and Ross live in the same apartment complex in New York City. Together they face love, heartbreak, careers, and life in their mid-20s.


*If you haven't watched this show, what are you even doing with your life?


(Photo courtesy of MovieWeb.com)


Malcolm in the Middle

Aired: January 9, 2000 to May 14, 2006


Premise: Malcolm (Frankie Muniz), the middle child of a dysfunctional working-class family, narrates their chaotic life. Malcolm is the genius of his family but despises being the smart one. On the other hand, his dad, Hal (Bryan Cranston), is immature, his mom, Lois (Jane Kaczmarek), is an ill-tempered control freak, older brother Francis (Christopher Masterson) is a rebel, Reese (Justin Berfield) is a bully, and his younger brother Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan) is a ‘space cadet.’


(Photo courtesy of Amazon)


How I Met Your Mother

Aired: September 19, 2005 to March 31, 2014


Premise: Narrated by Bob Saget, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) tells his children the story about how he met their mother. It all begins when his best friend, Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel), announces that he plans on proposing to his girlfriend Lily (Alyson Hannigan). Suddenly, Ted realizes that he needs to get a move on if he’s ever going to find true love. His friend with outrageous opinions and a foolproof way to meet women, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), becomes his wingman. When Ted meets Robin (Cobie Smulders), he is certain it is love at first sight. The question that boggles viewers until the very end is who is the mother?

(Photo courtesy of CBS)


The Big Bang Theory

Aired: September 24, 2007 to May 16, 2019


Premise: Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), physicists at the California Institute of Technology, may know a lot about quantum physics, but when it comes to basic social situations, they are at a loss. When the beautiful waitress/aspiring actress Penny (Kaley Cuoco) moves across the hall, the boys, including friends and fellow scientists Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar), are in over their heads.


(Photo courtesy of ABC)

Modern Family

Aired: September 23, 2009 to Present


Premise: Told from the perspective of an omniscient narrator, this series follows the lives of the Pritchett, Dunphy, and Tucker family clan. Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen) yearn for an open and honest relationship with their three children, but this proves a little more challenging than they thought. Claire’s dad, Jay (Ed O’Neil), and his wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara), are raising two sons together; her gay brother Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and his partner Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet) have adopted a little Asian girl.


Start your summer break off the right way by binge watching some of these shows, all of which are available for streaming on sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vudu, or Youtube.