The '90s birthed many great sitcoms, arguably being the best time for them, with classics such as: Full House, Seinfeld, Friends, The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air and many more. However, I've always felt like Dharma & Greg has been under appreciated, and whenever I mention it I receive confused looks because nobody seems to know what I'm talking about. Thus my mission here is to show you why Dharma & Greg is a masterpiece of a sitcom, and why you should be watching right now.
Dharma & Greg first aired in 1997, starring Jenna Elfman as Dharma Finkelstein Montgomery and Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds) — whom by the way I feel as though I've never seen without a suit on — as Greg Montgomery. The show has that old homey '90s feel that I long for in sitcoms: It focuses on close family and friends, and is full of bad jokes that you love anyway. However, it is also one of the most unique sitcoms I have come across, with characters unlike any I have seen before — I mean how often do you get to see a show about a yoga instructor and a lawyer falling in love at first sight, and it actually working out? So hold on tight as I take you on a journey to demonstrate the goodness that is Dharma & Greg, and the main three reasons you need it in your life.
Unique Characters: Flighty Dharma & Fuddy-Duddy Greg
Dharma's heart is always wide open and accepting, which leads to some funny situations, such as her taking in countless strangers — like the guy who came purely to die as her home was apparently situated atop his ancient ancestors' burial site — trusting anyone and wanting to help them. This trust may be seen as a flaw, but it's a sitcom so it usually ends with something funny and sweet happening.
Dharma also acts like a child a lot of the time: Her childhood bedroom's floor was created entirely from a trampoline, she quite literally plays dress-up with her friends, she does random cartwheels and is always up to something weird. She doesn't care what anyone thinks of her, as long as she's having fun and helping others, which is as hilarious as it is inspiring. Dharma is not afraid to speak her mind whatsoever, even if that involves asking about Greg's parents' sex life, when she meets them for the first time. I think we all need a little more Dharma in us.
Greg on the other hand is a lawyer, thus much more serious, yet the two fit together perfectly. He's the ying to her yang, and they make each other better.
Dharma has a best friend named Jane. They meet in a pretty funny way, but I'll save that for you to discover when you decide to watch the show yourself. The two are hilarious together, they get into all sorts of weird situations, which is unsurprising considering that Jane herself is a strange character and honestly deserves her own spin-off show. She's slightly terrifying, has the most contagious laugh, has a hatred towards all men yet purposely goes to Star Trek conventions to pick up guys. Above all else though, she is always there for Dharma.
She is a protective and supporting friend, threatening to hurt Greg if he ever causes Dharma any emotional pain. Greg also has a best friend, whose name is Pete. This guy is pretty much a lazy-ass lawyer, one who goes through life putting in as little effort as possible. And although he lives in a virtually empty apartment — save for his porn tapes, massage chair and empty takeaway containers — somehow they make a great duo with Pete's awful advice and Greg trying to ignore his bad decisions. It's hilarious.
The Families: Opposites Don't Exactly Attract, But They Make For Good Sitcoms
Dharma's parents are as hippie as you can get and her father Lawrence "Larry" Finkelstein is constantly blubbering on about opposing the government and not giving in to corporations. In addition to this, he's convinced that Mickey Mouse is evil. Similarly, her mother Abigail "Abby" O'Neil is a vegan who is always there to give Dharma advice about her feelings and aura. They all take part in protests and various ancient rituals, stereotypically eating tofu and drinking green smoothies.
Greg's parents, on the other hand, are quite the opposite. His mother Katherine "Kitty" Montgomery is an elite socialite, constantly bragging about having gone to Vassar, attending the country club regularly and drinking all too much. Edward "Ed" Montgomery, Greg's father, also spends his time boozing, walking around not really doing anything while in a suit and just, well, being rich.
The two families constantly fight over their conflicting views, with Ed and Kitty being concerned with money and keeping up appearances, while Abby and Larry being concerned with whether the energy in the room is right and ensuring that their child's sex life is good. That isn't to say that there aren't nice moments — in fact there are many funny and sweet scenes of the families making an effort to understand each other and compromise. They kind of all become one weird happy family.
So, those are the reasons why you should watch Dharma & Greg — it's weird and it's wonderful, full of unique characters and hilarious plot lines. Oh, and did I mention that Dharma's dog has a dog? Yeah, I'm getting my dog a dog in the future.