Netflix is a welcome refuge in an ever-changing, unpredictable world. We find comfort in entertainment. Sitcoms are the epitome of feel-good viewing material: funny characters, happy endings, relatable problems. We hope our suggestions provide hours of feel-good viewing. Most of these shows are also great to share with the family – whether you watch them together in person, or chat on the phone about your favourite scenes and episodes.
We’ve put together a list of Oldies: shows that were popular years ago, but whose timeless humour and charming family dynamics you can still enjoy. And then we’ve thrown in a true gem from more recently. Read on to find out what it is.
1. That 70s Show — This is like a double-dip into a time machine. Not only do you get a classic early 21st-century sitcom, but you also get a parody of what life was like 30 years prior. With Topher Grace (playing teenager Eric Forman) and Ashton Kutcher (as Michael Kelso) at his silliest and his parents at their most clueless, That 70s Show will make you laugh at the gestures and fads of times past.
2. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air — This one is a must-see, and if you’ve parented Millennials, you are probably familiar. There’s no time like the present to get comfortable with the Fresh Prince. As far as iconic ‘90s sitcoms go, this is near the top of the list. This is when Will Smith first captured all imaginations and infiltrated living rooms across North America. If you’ve never rewatched this, get ready to laugh out loud and, surprisingly, shed a tear or two. (And if those Millennial kids are around, they might just join you.)
3. Full House — Just thinking about this sitcom should bring a smile to your face. I bet you can hear the theme song in your head right now. While Danny Tanner is trying to raise his daughters (wow, the Olson twins were so young!), Joey and Jesse keep things interesting. This is as family-friendly as it gets. It’s sure to take you back to a time when life was simpler (at least on TV, if not in real life).
4. Friends — ’Classic’ doesn’t begin to define how Friends shaped a generation. We all have memories of Rachel and Ross and we get to relive those times again and again on Netflix. Remember the one where Ross kept a monkey as a pet? Friends might have more universal appeal than any sitcom since.
5. Grace and Frankie — This one is not an oldie, but it sure is a goodie. Here’s the premise: two wives with very opposite personalities find themselves living together in a beach house after their husbands leave them for each other. Grace (a high-powered, self-made business woman with an affinity for early-afternoon Martinis) and Frankie (an artist, Reiki practitioner, and lover of all things bohemian) are a match made in desperation, but the results are hilarious. And this show really does remind us that unexpected (even unwanted) friendships can be the most formative.
Here’s a bonus: Coming to Netflix worldwide in 2021 is Seinfeld! Everyone’s favourite New Yorker is definitely something to look forward to. (And by ‘Everyone’s favourite New Yorker we, of course, mean Julia Loius-Dreyfus, whose amazingly funny show, VEEP is also a must-see, though sadly it’s not on Netflix)
We’d love to know what you think in the comments below, and to hear any other suggestions you’ve got.
And, if you’re looking for an alternative to Netflix, check out Boomerang workshops, where we bring online experiences – from book clubs to baking – to you in the comfort of your home.
View a list of our upcoming classes and workshops.