If the sudden streaming success of Suits is anything to go by, people seem to be coping with the effects of the writers’ and actors’ strikes by revisiting old TV favorites. It’s something we’ve found ourselves doing, too, cueing up some of our favorite comfort watches to get us through the dry spell. And it’s not a surprise that a lot of the series we keep returning to are comedies; in general, they make for an easy, satisfying watch. We’ve also been spoiled for choice this century. Since 2000, we’ve had one-season wonders like Undeclared, cultural juggernauts like Parks And Recreation, and feel-good hits like Schitt’s Creek to keep us laughing. In short, there’ve been a lot of great comedies over the past 23 years, and we figured it was time to reflect on—and, of course, rank—them.
Before we get into it, we need to acknowledge that comedy, and what counts as comedy, is ultimately subjective. For this list, we tried to limit ourselves to “comedy-first” series, or series that you’d describe as a comedy before anything else. We did include a few dramedies, but we tried to limit them to ones that lean heavily into comedy. Maybe it’s a fine line, or maybe it’s an arbitrary distinction, but either way, we had to narrow down our parameters somehow. See what made the cut for the best TV comedies of this century below.