As you may have heard, the fine folks over at Vulture are following up last spring’s Drama Derby (determining the best TV drama of the past quarter-century — The Wire, unsurprisingly) with the Sitcom Smackdown, an attempt to pin down television’s best situation comedy since 1982 (the year of Cheers’ debut). It’s the kind of project — from choosing of semi-finalists to justification of exclusions to ultimate crowning decisions — guaranteed to get people all worked up (that might even be why they do it!), and your Flavorwire is no exception. It’s hard to argue with too many of their Sweet 16 (which includes 30 Rock, Louie, The Cosby Show, Roseanne, and Arrested Development), but man did they leave a lot of great stuff out. The logic for some of their also-rans can be found here, but when many of our favorites weren’t even on that list, we decided it was time to offer up some alternates — great sitcoms that don’t get their due, there or elsewhere.
This writer’s most strenuous objection to Vulture’s Sweet 16 is Sex and the City — which I realize is a popular favorite, but remains to these eyes/ears, as Chuck Klosterman best put it, “four peculiar-looking women pretending to talk like gay guys.” And besides, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte couldn’t hold a Cosmo to Julia, Suzanne, Mary Jo, and Charlene, the ensemble of sassy, funny, whip-smart women at the center of Linda Bloodworth-Thomason’s uproarious Southern comedy. For five seasons (we’re not counting the last two, when the four OG cast members were busted up), they had the flawless timing and exquisite chemistry of a great comedy team — and, unlike SATC, these shows haven’t aged a day.