Today's Paper Latest Elections Coronavirus 🔵 Covid Classroom Cooking Families Core values Story ideas iPad Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive
ADVERTISEMENT

Are you a TV enthusiast who never got around to "Breaking Bad" or "Friends" or "Seinfeld"? This list, compiled without judgment and in no particular order, is for you. We scoured streaming services for shows so iconic you might not publicly admit you missed out on them.

Have fun enjoying a pop culture phenomenon (or two) for the first time!

"Seinfeld" (1989)

This sitcom, from Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, remains a classic more than three decades after its debut — not too bad for "a show about nothing." Be sure to watch it while eating a big salad. (Streams on Hulu)

"Friends" (1994)

If you can get past the unrealistically attainable Manhattan apartments and (as with most '90s sitcoms) jokes that haven't aged particularly well, you're in for a fun and memorable binge. And you'll finally understand all those "We were on a break" references. (Streams on HBO Max)

"The Sopranos" (1999)

The late James Gandolfini won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for playing introspective mobster Tony Soprano on this HBO drama, which helped usher in the prestige TV era. (Streams on HBO)

"Veep" (2012)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is Selina Meyer, a vice president who just can't catch a break, in this occasionally all-too-real political satire. (Streams on HBO)

"Living Single" (1993)

"Living Single," about a group of young Black professionals living in absurdly spacious New York housing, was "Friends" before "Friends" was "Friends." (Streams on Hulu)

"Martin" (1992)

The popularity of this '90s sitcom was perfectly captured in a scene from Ryan Murphy's acclaimed "American Crime Story" installment, "The People v. O.J. Simpson," in which the sequestered jury was torn between watching "Seinfeld" and Martin Lawrence's eponymous series. (Streams on BET Plus)

"The West Wing" (1999)

Creator Aaron Sorkin promotes Martin Sheen from chief of staff (in "The American President," that is) to POTUS in this beloved drama about an idealistic White House administration working toward the greater good. (Streams on Netflix)

"ER" (1994)

This medical drama marked the breakout of so many talented actors: George Clooney, Maura Tierney, Eriq La Salle, Noah Wyle and Julianna Margulies among them. (Streams on Hulu)

"Mad Men" (2007)

This acclaimed, Emmy-winning period drama follows dapper advertising exec Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his Madison Avenue colleagues. (Streams on AMC Plus and Amazon Prime)

"Stranger Things" (2016)

If you were in the Upside Down when Netflix's massively popular sci-fi horror premiered, you can catch up ahead of the show's fourth season premiere, which has been pushed back due to coronavirus production delays. (Streams on Netflix)

"Star Trek" (1966)

The Star Trek universe is vast and spans decades. For the uninitiated, there is no better place to start than Gene Roddenberry's original series, which follows the Enterprise crew, led by the brazen Capt. James T. Kirk (William Shatner), and set the franchise's groundbreaking tone on diversity and inclusiveness. From there, you can tackle the spinoffs and the original films, followed by a trio of more recent spinoffs. (Streams on CBS All Access; first five shows also on Netflix)

"This Is Us" (2016)

Dan Fogelman's multigenerational family drama is centered on the loss of a beloved patriarch and the values he taught those he loved so deeply. (Streams on Hulu and Peacock)

"The Simpsons" (1989)

Over its three-decades-and-counting run, Matt Groening's animated comedy has predicted Donald Trump's presidency, the horrors of auto-correct and several Super Bowl outcomes. Maybe we should all watch it. (Streams on Disney Plus)

"Breaking Bad" (2008)

Even if you missed Bryan Cranston as a mild-mannered high school teacher turned drug kingpin, you've undoubtedly heard the name Walter White: Vince Gilligan's Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning drama was just that popular. (Streams on Netflix)

"The Office" (2005)

You know a sitcom is iconic when it gets sampled on the Grammys' album of the year — 15 years after the show came out. One quick spoiler alert, borrowed from our friend Pam: "Every so often, Jim dies of boredom." (Streams on Netflix until 2021, when it will move to Peacock)

"Girlfriends" (2000)

Fans of this beloved sitcom, starring "Blackish's" Tracee Ellis Ross, rejoiced when it became available to stream in September. Issa Rae has cited the show (along with "Living Single" and others) as inspiration for her HBO dramedy "Insecure," which counts "Girlfriends" alumna Prentice Penny as its showrunner. (Streams on Netflix)

"Sex and the City" (1998)

Explore love and sex in Manhattan (and very occasionally, the outer boroughs) through the eyes and newspaper column musings of Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie Bradshaw. (Streams on HBO)

"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1990)

With a drama reboot in the works, it's high time you watch Will Smith's breakout role, you know, while you're "chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool" on the couch. (Streams on HBO Max)

"Game of Thrones" (2011)

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss' eight-season take on George R.R. Martin's fantasy series became a ratings and water-cooler bonanza. Winter is coming, so it's the perfect time to visit Westeros. (Streams on HBO)

"Chappelle's Show" (2003)

As comedian Dave Chappelle noted during his post-election "Saturday Night Live" hosting gig, his brilliant (and famously short-lived) Comedy Central show is now available on not one but two streaming services. (Streams on Netflix and HBO Max)

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsor Content

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with the Democrat-Gazette commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. The Democrat-Gazette commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT