The medium of sitcoms is notoriously difficult to master. They're either going to be huge hits and become classics for years (see: Big Bang Theory, New Girl) or they're going to be tragic, barely hobbling through one season. I am a sitcom fiend, so I'll admit I've had to mourn more than my fair share of shows that were cancelled too soon.
These sitcoms may have been short-lived, but they're still a good watch (even if I'm the only person who ever watched them). That's the beauty of sitcoms: They may be awful in terms of plot and acting, but they can still be a happy, enjoyable ride. They are the TV equivalent of warm soup and a firm hug. They are always worth a watch, and these ones come with the added bonus of only being one season, so you can watch them all in one gloriously happy binge.
11. Better With You (2010–2011)
Number of Episodes: 22
Better With You focused on the lives of three couples of different generations: the together-forever parents of two daughters; eldest daughter Maddie, with her partner for years but unmarried; and Mia, together for weeks and already engaged. To make things a little more complicated, Mia is revealed to be pregnant. A classic sitcom theme really.
This series is rather well stocked with stars, despite its tragic fate. JoAnna Garcia, takes the lead as Mia. Debra Jo Rupp is always incredible in the role of their mother, even if this character is miles from her most memorable role as Kitty Foreman. Similarly, Kurt Fuller is the slightly off-the-rails father as always (and not the only time he appears on this list). Released on the same platform as The Middle and Modern Family, it's quite the shock that this one fell through.
10. Truth Be Told (2015)
Number of Episodes: 10
OK, I'll try to make it though this one without getting emotional but I make no promises. I loved Truth Be Told (Briefly known as People Are Talking). This series was not only genuinely funny but also tried to confront real-world problems such as racism and gender politics. The series follows best friends and neighbors Mitch and Russell and their wives, plus Mitch's 5-year-old daughter in their day-to-day lives.
This series was produced by Will Packer, who also worked on big films such as Ride Along, Battle of the Year and The Wedding Ringer. Unfortunately, Truth Be Told was not considered one of his best works. Maybe I'm just biased towards Mark-Paul Gosselaar (of Saved By The Bell and Franklin and Bash fame), but I see no reason why this series only managed 10 episodes. If Mark and Will aren't enough to convince you, then I don't know what is.
They deserved better. My heart will be broken for years to come.
9. Trophy Wife (2013–2014)
Number of Episodes: 22
Trophy Wife was a good one, I don't care what anyone says. This series was about the life of Kate, a young, hot party girl who suddenly falls in love with an older man with a ready-made family and two ex-wives. After getting married, Kate becomes stepmother to three kids: twins Hilary and Warren (who couldn't be more different), and adopted son Bert. Chaos ensues as Kate navigates her way through her newfound motherhood while trying to find the balance between being a caregiver and a friend and learning to be a grown-up herself.
Malin Akerman of just about everything fame takes on the role of Kate, in her first major TV role since Childrens Hospital. Her husband, Pete, is portrayed by Bradley Whitford, who is also a very familiar face, primarily from The West Wing back in 1999. I love a good show with good child actors, and this is one of the best. Bailee Madison brings so much to any role she takes on, including Hillary (though she isn't in the trailer, the actresses were swapped when the show went into production). Ryan Lee as Warren and Albert Tsai as Warren and Bert respectively were also hilarious. This was an excellent family sitcom and had the potential to be in the race with The Middle or Modern Family.
8. Go On (2012–2013)
Number of Episodes: 22
Matthew. Perry. That's all that really needs to be said, but I'll go on in case you need more convincing.
Go On is an incredibly heartwarming feel-good series based around the life of Ryan King, a newly widowed sports radio presenter. After repressing his feelings and finally exploding at work, he's sent to a support group for other people whose lives have been through change too. The group is made up of a number of eclectic characters who all have their own losses and grievances to overcome. The plot of this one isn't as stereotypical as the rest and it definitely isn't as cheesy, so that's a bonus for those who aren't as devoted to the sitcom genre as I am.
Matthew Perry has had his highs and his lows since Friends, but this one is definitely a high, he is undoubtedly in top form. The rest of the cast is incredible too, with a handful of very familiar faces gracing the screen. Laura Benanti mostly spends her time on Broadway, but when she does show up on the small screen you know it's going to be good. I could go on and on about how exceptional the support group cast are, but I'd be here forever. You best just watch the trailer:
7. Are You There, Chelsea? (2012)
Number of Episodes : 12
OK, this one was terrible, but I'm weak for a sitcom, so here we are. I enjoyed it. Are You There, Chelsea? is based on Chelsea Handler's book, Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea. The series features Laura Prepon as Chelsea and follows stories from Chelsea Handler's early twenties, most involving drinking, working in a bar and her slightly mad new roommate, Dee Dee. Chelsea Handler herself even pops up every so often, playing her own, more down-to-earth sister.
This short-lived series features a strange number of actors and actresses who turn up more than once in this list. While Laura Prepon went on to star in Orange is the New Black alongside Lauren Lapkus (who played Dee Dee), the others weren't quite as lucky. Jake McDorman took the lead in Manhattan Love Story after being cast as Chelsea's love interest for these 12 episodes. Natalie Morales plays Chelsea's long time friend Ivory for this short season, and also takes on the role of Kate's best friend in Trophy Wife Sometimes it seems like it's easy to get stuck in the cycle of unsuccessful sitcoms.
Despite the pitfalls of this show it is entertaining. Laura Prepon is always gold, and sometimes the cringe level makes it even better.
6. Mixology (2013–2014)
Number of Episodes : 13
Mixology is one of the best and most original sitcoms I've seen (and I've seen a lot), and it never deserved to be cancelled. I like to think the reason it ended was because the first season was so good, and any following series would never have lived up to it. This series was made in a sort of Love Actually way. It follows the lives of 10 people on one night in the same bar as their lives intersect and change because of each other. It is, at it's core, a romance. The plot itself is based on each of these people stumbling across what could be the love of their life all in one night.
I love when a sitcom takes on a different format to the usual stereotype, and Mixology does just that. Each episode shows the night from the perspective of a different person and how their night intersects with the others, with each episode leading directly on from the one before. Mixology is a very refreshing take on a sitcom, and with only 13 episodes and a conclusive end, it's well worth a watch.
5. Accidentally On Purpose (2009–2010)
Number of Episodes: 18
I'll admit, this one is another that was slightly flawed, but even a flawed sitcom is a good sitcom. Accidentally on Purpose is based around Billie, a 30-something film critic who meets Zac, a 20-something chef on a night out. Sparks fly and the two spend the night together, leading to Billie discovering she's pregnant. The series follows Billie and Zac as they navigate their way through their oncoming parenthood as well as their blossoming romance.
Jenna Elfman stars as Billie who, despite being an excellent actress, carries a sort of curse. Not one of her comedies has made it past the first season since the much loved Dhama and Greg in 1997. Similarly, Nicholas Wright appears as Zac's pothead best friend in this series and also appeared as a co-star in the short lived Manhattan Love Story. However, Ashley Jensen stars as Billie's best friend, and is as brilliant as she was back in Ugly Betty, as is Grant Show as Billie's ex-boyfriend, who now has a leading role in Devious Maids on ABC
(Bonus: all 18 episodes are on YouTube for an easy binge)
4. The Goodwin Games (2013)
Number of Episodes: 7
The Goodwin Games is probably my most upsetting loss on this list, especially as it was so short lived. The plot was smart and the casting was incredible, but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be. The series was only intended to be a mid-season replacement of 13 episodes, but then was tragically cut shorter to just seven. The series shares its creators with those of How I Met Your Mother, and it had the potential to be just as much a cult classic.
The series revolves around three siblings who are brought back together after their father's death. Their father created a series of games that would force the three to confront their demons and the ultimate winner would be only one to inherit $23 million. The casting for the three siblings couldn't have been better: Becki Newton (Ugly Betty's Amanda) as Chole, a child prodigy who abandoned academia for a career as an actress; T.J Miller (Silicon Valley's Erlich) as Jimmy, a petty criminal with an estranged daughter; and Scott Foley (Scandal's Jake) as Henry, an over-achieving doctor. The Goodwin Games is genuinely funny and exciting, filled with mystery and definitely a heart warming family show. Gone, but not forgotten.
(Also entirely on YouTube)
3. A To Z (2014–2015)
Number of Episodes: 13
A to Z is adorable and always will be. Produced by Rashida Jones, this was good, real good. The series chronicles the relationship of two people aptly named Andrew and Zelda ("From A to Z" quite literally). Each episode follows a new letter of the alphabet, and is always narrated by Katey Sagal. This makes it all the more disappointing that this series was cut short, because we finished at M.
Nonetheless, it was good while it lasted. Staring How I Met Your Mother's Cristin Milioti and the wonderful Ben Feldman, this love story couldn't have been cuter. The pair met by fate, before realizing they'd crossed paths before and that their offices looked directly into each other's. Assisted by their best friends Stephanie and Stu (Mixology's Bruce), the couple navigate their way through what feels like a "meant to be" romance when neither of them are very ready for commitment.
2. Manhattan Love Story (2014)
Number of Episodes: 11
It's hard to decide which is cuter between Manhattan Love Story and A to Z, but I think this just edges a win because it resulted in the two leads dating in the real world. The series is about the relationship that grows between two people after being set up on a blind date by their best friends, who happen to be married to each other. New York playboy Peter falls for small-town Dana, who's new to the city.
Nicholas Wright and Kurt Fuller appear as the brother and father of Peter, played by Jake McDornan, who has since found success in the Limitless TV show. Jake stars alongside his now long-term girlfriend Analeigh Tipton, who broke into acting after coming third place in cycle 11 of America's Next Top Model.
This is a genuinely heartwarming look at love, with the added bonus of a sort of fourth wall break when we're given narrated insights by each person. The unlikely but adorable couple made their way through food poisoning, run-ins with exes and a fantasy live-action role play together, and the whole time it'll leave you wondering: "Where do I find a relationship like this?"
If you're looking for a simple fix to fill your heart with a little more happiness, look no further.
1. Ben And Kate: (2012–2013)
Number of Episodes: 16
Ben and Kate revolves around the lives of siblings Ben and Kate, and Kate's daughter Maddie. Ben and Kate couldn't be more opposite: Kate is a practical, single mother who strives for perfection while Ben is a serial underachiever who never holds down a job. When Ben decides Kate needs more help raising Maddie, he moves into their garage, but it seems to leave Kate with one more child to look after.
The acting in this one was solid, and the plot was kind of endearing but I'll be honest, my favorite part of this show was Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Maddie. As far as child actors go, she is one of the best and makes this show endlessly watchable. That's not to say the rest of the cast we're brilliant too, after all, they got Dakota Johnson before 50 Shades of Grey did.
Dakota and Nat (Ben) have such good chemistry as siblings and the rest of the supporting cast was just as strong, I see no reason why this one ended up with such a sad fate.
Don't forget about AMC's long lost sitcom, The Walking Dead:
What TV show do you miss most? Sound off in the comments!