7 Great Sitcoms That Didn't Get The Buzz They Deserved

    Great shows I'd recommend to anyone with my sense of humor and also to everyone else.

    Much to my mom's chagrin, I love television. Like, borderline obsessed. But even I can say there's just too much to keep up on. So not only do we all spend more time asking our friends, "Wait, what is that show on again?", but we also inevitably miss out on some great TV.

    graphic of different characters on in a tv screen

    So, this is a list of recent sitcoms I absolutely adore, but that I don't hear much about. Check them out for yourself and let me know what you think!

    1. Stath Lets Flats

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    Channel 4 / Via youtube.com

    Streaming on: HBO Max (Originally from Channel 4 in the UK)

    Watch if you like: Toast of London, Peep Show, I Think You Should Leave

    Run: 3 Seasons (Ended)

    Yes, the title of this show is a bit confusing at first (hint: in the UK, they say "lets flats" rather than "rents apartments"), but it inadvertently gives you a bit of insight into the main character, who is in a near constant state of confusion and has a very poor grasp of English idioms. Created by and starring Jamie Demetriou (who you may remember as the big teeth guy in Fleabag), Stath Lets Flats is about an absolutely ludicrous leasing agent named Stath who works for his dad's small company. 

    To get a good idea of the show, all you have to do is watch the opening of an episode. They all start with Stath trying his best to show a terrible apartment by saying things like "the interesting thing about this one is that it was built around a time in history," or "and as you can see there's an absolutely shower," and "sometimes it's annoying to just have windows on the walls so you can just like see what's going on outside your house, so that's why we popped one up on the ceiling and only one on the ceiling.

    But unlike some other shows about completely incompetent people, Stath is never mean-hearted. He's an idiot, but he's also very earnest, like when he tells his sister (played by Jamie's real sister, Natasia Demetriou) that he loves her or when he heaps praise on his awkward best friend. Overall, it's an incredibly silly show filled to the brim with laugh-out-loud jokes and unmatched physical comedy.

    2. South Side

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    Comedy Central / Via youtube.com

    Streaming on: HBO Max

    Watch if you like: Sherman's Showcase, Broad City, Key & Peele

    Run: 3 Seasons (Canceled 😡)

    South Side is centered around two friends/hustlers who work at a rent-to-own company on the South Side of Chicago, but what makes the show a standout is how far it gets from that premise. In fact, many of the episodes have little to do with it. Some of my favorites include an episode about a rent-to-own vigilante known as the Laughter, one about a city Alderman pursuing his dream of being a DJ, and even an episode about the life of an ottoman. It's this sort of zaniness that reminds me of Broad City episodes, like when Abbi reveals her alter-ego Val, except South Side gleefully goes a step further. The writers are completely unafraid to take the show places you'd never expect and then they take things past that.

    Another wonderful part about this show is the big cast. No matter how small their role is, all of the characters bring something hilarious. My two favorites are the goofy cop Officer Goodnight and the city Alderman Allen Gayle (who are both played perfectly by two of the show creatorsDiallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin). There are also some great guest stars, like Chance The Rapper, Ed Lover, and Kel Mitchell who add a lot more than just stunt casting. The show is so consistently funny with nonstop jokes, and I'm still so mad they canceled it. 

    3. Paul T. Goldman

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    Peacock / Via youtube.com

    Streaming on: Peacock

    Watch if you like: Nathan For You, The Rehearsal, Borat

    Run: 1 Season (Ended)

    This show is a hard one to describe because I desperately don't want to give anything away. I discovered it when it auto-played after an episode of Poker Face, and nothing was better than going in blind and letting it take me for a ride. So if you want to go into it that way, just know that it's a docu-series created by Jason Woliner, who's directed a lot of great comedy, including Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Human Giant, and two episodes of Nathan For You. But if you want to know more, here you go. 

    Paul T. Goldman is about... Paul T. Goldman! A middle-aged man living in Florida who found out that his (now ex-) wife was up to no good. After obsessively investigating her on his own, he gets in touch with Woliner to create a documentary about what he uncovered, and surprisingly, Woliner agrees. To sum it up briefly, the show feels like a true-crime documentary if the lead investigator were Michael Scott. It's impossible to guess where the show is going at any point as the story rapidly evolves and the characters start to break the fourth wall. With twist after twist, it won't be long until you're saying, "Beam me up, Scotty. I'm in the Twilight Zone," just like Goldman (yes, that's an actual quote from him).

    But that doesn't mean that Paul T. Goldman doesn't have some more profound moments too. Both the show and Goldman himself are forced to re-examine his true motivations, touching on the risks of self-confirming biases in a way that feels especially relevant today. It reckons a bit with the consequences of making a regular person the star of a television show too, (and more successfully, I'd say, than in a similar show, The Rehearsal). Oh, and Goldman plays himself in the documentary reenactments, which is reason enough to check it out. 

    4. This Fool

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    Rotten Tomatoes TV / Via youtube.com

    Streaming on: Hulu

    Watch if you like: Corporate, Shameless, Parks And Rec

    Run: 1+ Season (Renewed)

    I'll be honest, I was sort of half-watching this show for the first episode, but by the time it got to the part where one character agrees to get kicked in the balls by his ex-fiancee in exchange for his engagement ring, I was sold. The show is about Julio, a 30-something-year-old who lives at home with his family and works at a gang rehabilitation center, where he mentors his recently-released cousin Luis.

    I've seen people online praise the show for its funny and relatable depiction of the LA Latine community, but even if you're not personally familiar with that (as I am not), you'll be giggling along too. There are absurdist, laugh-out-loud moments in every episode, which really made me consider the profound power and importance of humor that can reach across demographics. Like when Julio gets explosive diarrhea on a hiking trip with his girlfriend.   

    This Fool was created by Chris Estrada (who stars as Julio), along with Pat Bishop, Matt Ingebretson, and Jake Weisman, who created the show Comedy Central show Corporate. It has some of the same satirical style as Corporate, so if you liked that show, definitely give this one a try too.

    5. Starstruck

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    HBO Max / Via youtube.com

    Streaming on: HBO Max (Originally from BBC in the UK)

    Watch if you like: Notting Hill, Heartstopper, Lovesick

    Run:  2+ Seasons (Renewed)

    If you've been loving the current rom-com revival (RomComaissance? RomCom-eback?) as much as I have, this is your show. Often I find that rom-coms lean too hard into either the rom or the com and end up being just cheesy, but Starstruck has a perfect balance of both. Much of that is due to the star and co-creator, Rose Matafeo, who is so effortlessly funny and charismatic, while also bringing real vulnerability to the role. 

    She plays the lead, Jessie, a New Zealander in London who hooks up with a gorgeous man (played by Nikesh Patel) on New Year's Eve only to realize the next day that he's a massive movie star. While the plot is a bit outlandish, the characters and their issues feel so relatable and real. (Who knew I could emphasize so much with a beautiful movie star having relationship troubles.) It's cute, charming, and actually hilarious, which makes it the perfect show to binge on a stormy Sunday while you cozy up inside, or to use as a pick-me-up when you're feeling a bit blue. 

    6. We Are Lady Parts

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    Peacock / Via youtube.com

    Streaming on: Peacock (Originally from Channel 4 in the UK)

    Watch if you like: Derry Girls, Never Have I Ever, Girls5Eva

    Run:  1+ Seasons (Renewed)

    Part sitcom, part ode to punk music, this uproarious comedy is fresh, fun, and funny. It stars Anjana Vasan as Amina, a nerdy grad student who teaches guitar on the side. She hesitantly agrees to join the all-girl, all-Muslim punk band Lady Parts after the lead woman Saira agrees to set her up with her crush in return. But Saira, who is fierce and headstrong, ends up giving Amira a lot more than that by pushing her to work through her stage fright and become more confident in all aspects of her life. 

    The show balances both the sweetness and toughness of the characters wonderfully and Anjana Vasan and Sarah Kameela shine as the leads Amina and Saira. The other women in the band are also well-developed, each bringing their own big personality to the band. Unlike so many tv shows in the past where Muslim characters were relegated to a one-dimensional side role, in We Are Lady Parts they are each allowed to be unique individuals, like in the real world. 

    And then, on top of all of that, the music in this show absolutely rocks. Like, I would actually go see them in concert if they were a real band. The songs are original, and they also incorporate some of the show's humor, like in the clip above of the song "Voldemort Under My Headscarf." If that's not enough to get you interested, then I don't know what to tell you.

    7. Somebody, Somewhere

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    HBO / Via youtube.com

    Streaming on: HBO

    Watch if you like: Ted Lasso, Fleabag, Freaks And Geeks

    Run:  2 Seasons (Season 2 airing now)

    There are a lot of wonderful fictional worlds out there (Hogwarts, the Shire, Wakanda...), which is why it's so weird that if I could pick a place to go right now, I think I'd choose to be with Sam and Joel, shooting the shit in a fast food drive-through line in Kansas. While Somebody, Somewhere has a lot of great things going for it, the best part is absolutely the friendship between the two main characters, Sam and Joel (played magnificently by Bridget Everett and Jeff Hiller). The show starts with Sam feeling lost and aimless a year after her sister, whom she moved back to her hometown to care for, dies of cancer. Joel recognizes her from high school (although Sam can't say the same for him), and the two strike up a beautiful friendship, bonding over singing, step-counting, and small-town gossip.

    The show oscillates between heart-wrenchingly sad and hilariously funny, sometimes even within the same scene. It's not unusual for me to cry from both sadness and from laughing too hard in just one episode. (And I don't say cry figuratively. If you don't believe me, watch the episode where both Joel and Sam call each other while getting explosive diarrhea after eating something called "St. Louis Sushi.") Some of the jokes come from well-written scenarios, but others seem so organic that they make me feel like I'm just hanging out with (ridiculously funny) friends. Isn't that kind of what we all want from good tv?

    But Somebody, Somewhere handles its themes of grief and complicated family dynamics just as well as it does the comedy, which is what makes the show so special. And even though there are some heavy moments throughout, it also makes me feel so good, like my heart is being filled. The second season is still airing as of now, so I don't know if it will get renewed, but if it doesn't I may have to mail HBO a special box of homemade St. Louis sushi. 

    Alright, there you go! Seven new shows to check out, and way too much writing about each one (I did say I was obsessed with TV, right?)

    Comment below to tell me what you think about these picks, and to shout out recommendations for other shows you think we're sleeping on!