The best sitcoms we wish would come back

"The Tick" returns! Jemaine Clement is coming back to HBO! Now, where are these faves?

Topics: The Tick, Flight of the Conchords, Bored to Death, andy richter, The Office, Arrested Development,

The best sitcoms we wish would come back

OK, so the restrained and hasty response from Jemaine Clement Wednesday that “Flight of the Conchords” is not returning to HBO was a bit of a letdown. Nevertheless, comedy geeks have had plenty to rejoice over this week, with the news of a new “four-episode comedy” Clement is developing for the network with sometime “Conchords” director Taika Waititi. Combine that with the announcement that the live action version of Ben Edlund’s gloriously loopy “The Tick,” which burned brightly and briefly as a Fox sitcom in 2001, is being developed as a pilot for Amazon – complete with the original big blue dude himself, Patrick Warburton — and you’ve got another good reason to smile. The Wrap reports that Warburton himself is behind the deal with Sony television, which has held the rights to the series for the past 13 years. SPOOOOOON!

Hooray for second chances. In 2011, MTV revived “Beavis and Butt-head” after a 14-year hiatus. And in 2013, “Arrested Development” returned on Netflix several years after its cancellation by Fox – to a robust response and Netflix’s vow that more episodes are coming. And if the Tick and Jemaine and the Bluth family can come back, surely there’s room in our entertainment roster for other far too short-lived comedies that we’ve been obsessively rewatching for much too long. Yes, we miss “Firefly” and “Freaks and Geeks” too, but we’re talking strictly laughs here. And I don’t care how successful the stars of these shows have become in the ensuing years — bring back David Brent!

The Office (U.K. edition)

It inspired a durable U.S. version, but Ricky Gervais’ original, painfully awkward show – which only ran for two seasons in the early 2000s – was unparalleled. Gareth Keenan, you could outweird Dwight Schrute any day.

Better Off Ted



The 2009-2010 corporate satire would have been worth it for the fake Veridian Dynamics ads alone. Throw in Portia de Rossi’s frosty, brutal boss Veronica and you’ve got an unsung comic gem. At least you can binge-watch the original series on Netflix.

Bakersfield P.D.

Some might say that a fish out of water cop comedy that only aired briefly – and 21 years ago at that – might be gone forever. I say that anything involving Giancarlo Esposito, Ron Eldard and Brian Doyle-Murray is not dead so SHUT UP.

Bored to Death

The offbeat adventures of a Brooklyn novelist/amateur private eye lasted only two seasons on HBO, but the brilliant comic chemistry between stars Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson deserved a much longer run.

Andy Richter Controls the Universe

Three words: Suit of puppies. 

Party Down

The short-lived Starz series about a dysfunctional catering company boasted one of the most heavyweight comedy casts ever assembled: Jane Lynch, Ken Marino, Adam Scott, Martin Starr and Megan Mullally, among others. Last year, rumors of a movie version were squashed by Scott,  to the heartbreak of hopeful fans everywhere.

Spaced

It might be a little weird bringing a 1999–2000 British series that is so resolutely about the messiness of early adulthood back, but who wouldn’t love to see Jessica Stevenson’s Daisy and Simon Pegg’s Tim now, tackling the horrors of midlife and parenthood?

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...