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The 20 Best TV Comedies of the 21st Century, Ranked

We rank the best TV comedies of the binge era — a list of great shows you'll be savoring for decades to come.

Party Down 30 Rock Tina Fey Louie Louis CK


<<Page 1: Shows 20-16

15. “Modern Family”

MODERN FAMILY - "The Graduates" - In the season finale, Manny's father, Javier (guest-star Benjamin Bratt), shows up for his graduation and takes him out on a wild night of celebration, and then Jay steps in to pick-up the pieces. Meanwhile, the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan is getting ready for Luke and Manny's big day and dealing with the emotions that come with seeing your kids grow up and leave the nest. "Modern Family" airs WEDNESDAY, MAY 17 (9:00-9:31 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Richard Cartwright)ED O'NEILL, TY BURRELL, SOFIA VERGARA, JULIE BOWEN, ERIC STONESTREET, JESSE TYLER FERGUSON

2009 – present

“Modern Family” may have started to feel a bit old hat by its fifth Emmys win for Outstanding Comedy Series, but Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan’s series doesn’t deserve to be disrespected because it earned (arguably) too much respect. Family comedy is hard to do well without becoming redundant or predictable, and the Dunphy-Pritchett families were never either for more than 100 episodes. Moreover, their exploits were told with a formal elegance adults could admire and by a cast no one can resist. “Modern Family” is one of the last, great broadcast comedies, and that’s something we hope never goes out of style. – BT

READ MORE: ‘Modern Family’ Cast & Writers Teach You How to Campaign For an Emmy

14. “Peep Show”

"Peep Show"

Channel 4
2003 – 2015

Setting aside the sheer high-wire balancing act of its formal trickery, “Peep Show” would merit inclusion on this list strictly on the samurai-sword-blade precision of its 21st century “Odd Couple” deconstruction. Over nine seasons of romantic turmoil, professional upheaval, and the general pitfalls of stagnant London life, Mark and Jez managed to be two of the most self-destructive protagonists in modern comedy. But even as the audience had the chance to literally listen in on their thoughts, David Mitchell and Robert Webb — along with writers Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain — still managed to find ways to move these two men into uncomfortable situations, born on the waves of an endlessly quotable string of insults, puns, and defeated proclamations. (The fact that this and “That Mitchell and Webb Look” aired concurrently is nothing short of a benevolent British comedy miracle.) – Steve Greene

READ MORE: Check Out ‘Peep Show’

13. “Community”

Gillian Jacobs and Joel McHale, "Community"

2009 – 2015

“Community” is a show for misfits who find belonging in their very outsider-ness. The series may have been on the bubble for most of its existence (hence the consistent #sixseasonsandamovie hashtag plea), but it never faltered in how it approached its love of TV in all its glory. While a study group at a community college was the entry point for the series, these were just the players who would usher us into a world of puppetry, espionage, horror, stop-motion animation, musicals, documentary and so much more. Reality and rules are mere guidelines on this supremely playful show that never settled for the status quo or expectation. And isn’t six seasons of fan devotion the ultimate reward for a misfit show that made good? We’re still waiting on that movie. – HN

12. “Transparent”


2014 – present

Credit where credit is due to Amazon for the first scripted series that tackled a trans woman as a main character while finding the funny in her journey to embracing her true self. Beyond this groundbreaking territory, though, is an emotionally spirited story about a family in all of its unsubtle, messy glory. You need patience and understanding to deal with Pfeffermans, and it pays off in rewarding ways because they are pushing boundaries of gender, class and race that some would never even consider, yet happen every day. Watching “Transparent” is a transformative process not just for the characters on screen, but for the viewer who cannot help but be pushed to question one’s own beliefs and experiences. – HN

11. “You’re the Worst”

"You're the Worst"

2014 – present

Brash and wickedly funny, this FX comedy’s celebration of our worst tendencies was a joy from the start. But over the course of its first three seasons, it began to evolve and deepen in surprisingly heartfelt ways that allowed our shallow heroes to become more than their labels. Its exploration of depression and trauma in its many forms has been eye-opening, understanding and tender. The ability to move into trailblazing emotional territory and create real stakes in relationships that makes it one of the most romantic series out there. – HN

Continue for Shows 10-6

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