5 Underrated Sitcoms to Keep You Laughing Through Midterms

If you’re like me, you’ve seen sitcoms like The Office and Parks and Recreation at least five times through and are looking for something new. Perhaps you’re preparing for when both shows leave Netflix in 2020. You may even be in a sitcom funk, not knowing where to turn for your laughs during midterms. No matter the reason, here are five sitcoms you may not have seen yet:

Schitt’s Creek (Netflix)

What it’s about: After losing all their money, a once-rich family—parents Moira and John Rose, and grown-but-dependent children David and Alexis Rose—is forced to move to a motel in Schitt’s Creek, a town John bought as a joke. There, the Roses are forced to adapt their extravagant (and ridiculous ways) to the small town lifestyle. The show’s sixth and final season premieres in 2020, but you can catch seasons 1-5 on Netflix.

Why I love it: I’m three seasons into this show, and I’ve loved every episode (if you don’t trust me, my roommate can vouch for my frequent and obnoxious laughter). With each episode at a cool 22 minutes, it’s easy to let Netflix do its thing and count down to the next episode. Each season is only thirteen episodes, too, so this is a good show if you’re on a time crunch. Besides its bingeability, I love the characters and main themes of the show. It’s a feel-good story that ultimately comes down to love and the bonds between family, so I can always count on it to put a smile on my face. 

Favorite episodes (so far): “Bad Parents” (Season 1), “Milk Money” (Season 2), “New Car” (Season 3)

Community (Hulu)

What it’s about: After getting caught with a fake Bachelor’s degree, lawyer Jeff Winger is forced to attend Greendale Community College to obtain a real degree. He starts a Spanish study group to earn a date with a classmate, Britta, but his idea backfires and he ends up as a the ringleader of a gang of somewhat-lovable misfits. The Russo Brothers, directors of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame” got their start with this show (in the Marvel movies they directed, you can spot many of the Community actors as minor characters). 

Why I love it: I have endless love and appreciation for Community. If you’re a pop-culture fan, this is a must-watch. Many episodes are spoofs of popular tropes or franchises, including the Old West setting, zombie movies and Star Wars. At first, Community seems like a fairly normal sitcom, but once you settle into the later seasons, it reveals itself to be zanier and more ridiculous than any sitcom I’ve ever seen. Plus, at its core, Community is fundamentally about flawed people trying their best to be friends with each other and find their way in life.

Favorite episodes: “Contemporary American Poultry” (Season 1), “Anthropology 101” (Season 2), “Cooperative Calligraphy” (Season 2), “Basic RV Repair and Palmistry” (Season 6)

AP Bio (Hulu with Live TV or NBC.com)

What it’s about: Jack Griffin, a Harvard graduate, doesn’t receive his dream job as a philosophy professor, so he moves back to Toledo, Ohio to teach AP bio to high school juniors. But instead of teaching biology, he utilizes his students to engineer revenge plots on his nemesis, who did receive the job. Despite its initial cancellation after two seasons, it will be returning for a third season on NBC’s new streaming service, Peacock. 

Why I love it: As I mentioned before, I adore Community, and tonally, AP Bio is the most similar show I’ve found. It’s irreverent and dry; watching it, you know Jack Griffin would be fired immediately in the real world, but it doesn’t matter because the show sells his antics. Jack Griffin, played by Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), carries the show, but the background characters shine as well—Disney fans will recognize Allisyn Ashley Arm from Sonny With a Chance as one of Jack’s students. Overall, if you like a good revenge story, this is the sitcom for you.

Favorite episodes: “Eight Pigs and a Rat” (Season 1), “Wednesday Morning,” “8 AM” (Season 2), “Sweet Low Road” (Season 3)

Superstore (Hulu)

What it’s about: Superstore follows the trials and tribulations of the minimum-wage workers at Cloud 9, a Walmart stand-in in this universe. America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)  leads the cast as Amy, the ever-exhausted and sensible floor leader, while Ben Feldman (Mad Men) is the male lead as Jonah, a new hire who dropped out of business school. 

Why I love it: Superstore is reminiscent of some of the best elements from The Office—a wacky boss, the exhausted workers, the hilarious dynamic of conference room meetings. Unlike The Office thought, Superstore isn’t afraid to get political, tackling issues like maternity leave, racism and sexism, union rights and more. In one of the most daring moves I’ve ever seen onscreen, the show is currently airing a storyline about an undocumented immigrant who worked at the store being detained in an ICE raid. Furthermore, they do all this while managing to be one of the funniest sitcoms still airing (its fifth season airs Thursdays at 8:00 on NBC)

Favorite episodes: “Mannequin” (Season 1), “Sal’s Dead” (Season 3), “Lovebirds” (Season 4)

The Good Place (Netflix and Hulu)

What it’s about: After dying in a grocery store parking lot, Eleanor Shellstrop makes it to the Good Place. One problem—she knows she doesn’t belong there. To maintain the ruse, Eleanor enlists the help of her soulmate, ethics professor Chidi Anagonye, yet everything is not what it seems in paradise. The fourth and final season of The Good Place is currently airing on NBC. 

What’s I love about it: The Good Place watches like a drama, with cliffhangers and heightened stakes at the end of every episode, but delivers jokes like a comedy. It’s fresh and funny without being mean-spirited or overly didactic for a show largely about ethical dilemmas. With thirteen-episode seasons, it’s fun to watch large portions at once (and eliminates the hair-pulling that comes after a cliffhanger). The cast has undeniable chemistry, and personally, I adore the heartfelt romance between Eleanor and Chidi. With the show coming to an end soon, new viewers will have the complete story without the wait. 

Favorite episodes: “Michael’s Gambit” (Season 1), “Derek” (Season 2), “Jeremy Bearimy” (Season 3)