The Top 10 Best Netflix Original Sitcoms, Ranked
Get your LOL on with these top-flight TV comedies
En español | The mega streaming platform Netflix may be more closely associated with prestige dramas (like The Crown and Ozark) and twisty true-crime tales (like Tiger King) than sitcoms, but the streaming service boasts a surprisingly deep bench of laugh-out-loud comedies — and that list continues to grow. The past few months have seen the release of the NASCAR-set series The Crew, starring Kevin James, and Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!, with Jamie Foxx and David Alan Grier. And this month will see the premiere of The Upshaws, starring Wanda Sykes, Mike Epps, and Facts of Life star Kim Fields. From high-concept political satires to effervescent romantic comedies to classic TV reboots, there are dozens of Netflix original sitcoms to choose from, but these 10 top the list (have you watched our number one pick, below?).
10. Space Force (2020-)
The Gist: Comedy writer Greg Daniels, 57, and star Steve Carell, 58, made magic out of workplace tedium with The Office, and in their new show, they turn their satirical gaze toward the bureaucracy of the military-industrial complex. Carell stars as General Mark R. Naird, who is assigned to help establish the United States Space Force — the military's real-life sixth branch — alongside chief scientist Dr. Adrian Mallory, played by John Malkovich, 67. The show didn't get much critical love last year, but if you can get on its Dr. Strangelove wavelength, there's a lot to enjoy about its gentle skewering of modern politics.
Awards Attention: 4 Emmy nominations, including stunt coordination
What to Watch For: The series marks the final acting role of the late great comedian Fred Willard, who died two weeks before the premiere of the first season.
Watch It: Space Force
9. Emily in Paris (2020-)
The Gist: Co-created by Darren Star, 59 — the man behind Sex and the City and Beverly Hills, 90210 — this Paris-set romantic comedy is as light and airy as a soufflé. Lily Collins (the up-and-coming actress daughter of Phil Collins, 70) stars as our namesake heroine, who moves to the City of Lights to offer an American perspective at a respected marketing firm. The dialogue is frothy, and the French settings will make you want to book a flight.
Awards Attention: 2 Golden Globe nominations, including best comedy series
What to Watch For: The kitschy and colorful couture — expect lots of berets! — comes courtesy of legendary Sex and the City costume designer Patricia Field, 79.
Watch It: Emily in Paris
8. One Day at a Time (2017-2020)
The Gist: TV legend Norman Lear, 98, had the brilliant idea of updating his 1970s family sitcom for the 21st century, and his new version centers around a Cuban-American Army veteran (played by Six Feet Under's Justina Machado) and her family in Los Angeles — including the scene-stealing Rita Moreno, 89, as matriarch Lydia. Netflix canceled the show after three seasons, but Pop TV revived it for a final seven episodes.
Awards Attention: 2 Emmy wins (for editing) out of 4 nominations
What to Watch For: Perhaps the country's most famous Cuban-American, Gloria Estefan (63), guest stars as Lydia's estranged sister and sings the Latin-tinged update of the classic theme song, “This Is It!”
Watch It: One Day at a Time, 39 episodes on Netflix; 6 episodes on Paramount+
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7. Dead to Me (2019-)
The Gist: Stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini both earned best actress Emmy nominations for this twist-filled dark comedy about two women who become best friends after meeting in a grief support group. Jen (Applegate) is angry and resentful over the loss of her husband, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident, while Judy (Cardellini) is mourning the death of her husband from a heart attack — or so she says.
Awards Attention: 5 Emmy nominations, including best comedy series
What to Watch For: Ed Asner, 91, guest stars as Abe Rifkin, who lives at the retirement home where Judy works and dispenses wisdom and support.
Where to Watch: Dead to Me
6. Russian Doll (2019-)
The Gist: If you liked Groundhog Day, you'll love this twisty comedy-mystery series, starring Natasha Lyonne as a video game designer caught in a time loop who keeps dying and being reborn during her 36th birthday party. With her husky New York accent and rapid-fire delivery (she's partial to noir-era terms like “cock-a-roach"), Lyonne makes for a timeless lead who would be equally at home in a 1930s gangster flick or at Studio 54.
Awards Attention: 3 Emmy wins (including cinematography) out of 13 nominations
What to Watch For: Just as Sonny & Cher's “I Got You Babe” restarted the daily time loop in Groundhog Day, this show includes its own catchy reset song, “Gotta Get Up” by Harry Nilsson — and you won't be able to get it out of your head.
Watch It: Russian Doll
5. Grace and Frankie (2015-)
The Gist: Think of this sun-drenched, San Diego–set sitcom by Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman, 64, as a 21st century answer to The Odd Couple. Jane Fonda, 83, and Lily Tomlin, 81, star, respectively, as uptight cosmetics mogul Grace Hanson and free-spirited art teacher Frankie Bergstein, who form an unlikely friendship when their husbands (played by Martin Sheen, 80, and Sam Waterston, 80) make a surprise announcement: After decades together as law partners, they've fallen in love and are leaving their wives for each other.
Awards Attention: 13 Emmy nominations, including best actress for both Tomlin and Fonda
What to Watch For: You'll love the opening theme song, a cover of “Stuck in the Middle With You” by singer-songwriter Grace Potter.
Watch It: Grace and Frankie
4. The Kominsky Method (2018-)
The Gist: The comedy mastermind behind Emmy-winning shows like The Big Bang Theory, Cybill, Mom, and Two and a Half Men, Chuck Lorre, 68, conjured another hit with this poignant dramedy about Hollywood acting coach Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas, 76) and his agent Norman Newlander (Alan Arkin, 87). Tackling such big topics as cancer, widowhood and dating as a senior, this frank but sweet look at aging returns for its third and final season on May 28. Also returning are Paul Reiser, 65, as Sandy's daughter's boyfriend, and Kathleen Turner, 66, as Sandy's ex-wife.
Awards Attention: 6 Emmy nominations; 2 Golden Globe wins (best actor and best comedy series) out of 6 nominations
What to Watch For: The Hollywood-set series is filled with celebrity cameos, including Jay Leno (71), Patti LaBelle (76), Elliott Gould (82), and Allison Janney (61).
Watch It: The Kominsky Method
3. GLOW (2017-2019)
The Gist: This time machine back to the 1980s offers a fictionalized look at the real-life Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling from the producers of Orange Is the New Black (which, before you ask, was left off this list because the hour-long dramedy was officially reclassified as a drama by the Emmys). If the big hair and pop-friendly soundtrack aren't a dead giveaway of the Reagan-era setting, look no further than the characters’ wrestling personas, including the Soviet-inspired villain Zoya the Destroyer (Mad Men's Alison Brie) and the all-American heroine Liberty Belle (Nurse Jackie's Betty Gilpin).
Awards Attention: 3 Emmy wins (for stunt coordination and production design) out of 18 nominations
What to Watch For: Geena Davis, 65, shows up in Season 3 as a Las Vegas hotel's entertainment director.
Watch It: GLOW
2. Master of None (2015-)
The Gist: Created by and starring Aziz Ansari of Parks and Recreation fame, this semi-autobiographical series follows Dev Shah, a thirtysomething actor navigating dating, work and family in New York City. Far from plot-driven, it's meandering in the best way possible, with each episode feeling like a self-contained short film. One follows his parents’ struggles as newly arrived immigrants from India; another dives into his best friend Denise's (Lena Waithe) coming-out story; and for a few episodes in Season 2, Dev jets off to Italy to become an apprentice pasta maker — because, why not? The series returns in May after a four-year hiatus with a third season dedicated entirely to Denise.
Awards Attention: 3 Emmy wins (for writing and editing) out of 12 nominations; 1 Golden Globe win (best actor) out of 3 nominations
What to Watch For: If Ansari seems to have natural chemistry with the actors playing his parents, that's because he cast his real-life mother, Fatima, an OB/GYN, and father, Shoukath, a gastroenterologist, in the roles. Say it with us: Awwww!
Watch It: Master of None
1. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015-2019)
The Gist: Sitcoms don't come much zanier than Tina Fey's follow-up to 30 Rock, bursting at the seams with musical numbers, absurdist plot twists and tons of celebrity guest stars. After being kidnapped by a doomsday cult leader and spending 15 years in a bunker, fun-loving but clueless Kimmy Schmidt (The Office's Ellie Kemper) moves to New York to start a new life. Once there, she moves in with larger-than-life aspiring actor Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess), befriends her possibly criminal landlady Lillian Kaushtupper (Taxi legend Carol Kane, 68) and begins working as a nanny for the socialite Jacqueline Voorhees (Jane Krakowski, 52). If you were a fan of 30 Rock, you're sure to love this wild ride of a show.
Awards Attention: 20 Emmy nominations, including best comedy series
What to Watch For: You might be surprised to see who plays the crazy bearded cult leader who sets the plot in motion: Mad Men star Jon Hamm, 50!
Watch It: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Nicholas DeRenzo is a contributing writer who covers entertainment and travel. Previously he was executive editor of United Airlines’ Hemispheres magazine and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Sunset and New York magazine.