Ten Heartwarming Sitcoms You Can Stream Right Now That'll Just Keep Adding Joy to Your Day

Spend your couch time getting a warm hug from these gloriously kind-hearted TV comedies.
Sarah Ward
Published on December 13, 2023

Everyone has one, or several: a TV show you just keep going back to no matter how many times you've seen it before. Whatever series that is for you, you're probably always at some stage of rewatching it — and when you finish it this time, you'll start working your way through it again because of course you will.

These are our soul-replenishing comfort shows, and they usually share a few traits. Sitcoms are particularly easy to rewatch over and over. Comedies with not only a big sense of humour but also a big heart are, too. Is your go-to series filled with characters supporting each other, overcoming everyday obstacles and helping each other be their absolute best selves? Then that fits the bill as well.

Basically, the shows we keep gravitating back towards are the ones Marie Kondo would approve of. Yes, they definitely spark joy, and do so again and again. Watching them feels like catching up with old friends, they always brighten your day and they're there for you when times are tough. Here are our ten picks for sitcoms that feel like the warmest of hug — and that you can stream right now.



Long-running shows become a comforting part of our routines, giving us something to look forward to with each new episode — and in the case of supremely warm-hearted comedies, giving us all plenty of feel-good laughs as well. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one such series. It came to an end in 2022 with its eighth season, but it'll always live on in streaming queues. Heart and laughs: that's been a noice, toit and cool cool cool formula for the Andy Samberg (Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse)-starring cop-focused sitcom over the years. "Title of your sex tape" jokes, Die Hard nods and Halloween heists have all worked well, too.

And so have the multi-layered, always-supportive bonds between Jake Peralta (Samberg), his best friend and fellow detective Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio, Monsters at Work), and their other colleagues Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero, Velma), Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz, Twisted Metal),  Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews, Craig of the Creek) and Raymond Holt (the late, great Andre Braugher, She Said) — and the bumbling but always-affable Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker, Doogie Kamealoha, MD) and Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller, Station 19). In its final season, as it geared up to say goodbye, Brooklyn Nine-Nine also found a smart and still amusing way to reckon with being a comedy about police officers in America today.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine streams via Netflix.



The idea behind Schitt's Creek is immensely straightforward, and also incredibly obvious. If one of the obscenely wealthy families that monopolises all those trashy reality TV shows was suddenly forced to live without their money, like the rest of us, how would they cope? If you're thinking "not well", you're right. If you're certain that seeing the results would be amusing, you're on the money again. As envisaged by father-son duo — and the program's stars — Eugene (Human Resources) and Dan Levy (Sex Education), that's the scenario the Rose crew finds itself in, including moving to the titular town that it happens to own as a last resort.

Yes, as the name gives away, they're in a sticky situation. The adjustment process isn't easy, but it is very, very funny, immensely feel-good and ridiculously quotable, and remained that way for the show's entire six-season run before wrapping up in 2020. And, although plenty of other credits on her resume have made this plain (such as Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Waiting for Guffman and For Your Consideration, all also with Eugene Levy), the great Catherine O'Hara (Pain Hustlers) is an absolute comedy powerhouse as the Rose family matriarch. She deservedly has both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance here — and for her glorious accent work — too. Also stellar: Annie Murphy (Fingernails) as socialite daughter Alexis.

Schitt's Creek streams via Netflix.



She's the government worker we all wish could be in charge of, well, absolutely everything — and she's the fictional Indiana city of Pawnee's most devoted employee and biggest fan. We're talking, of course, about Leslie Knope, Amy Poehler's (Moxie) super-passionate, waffle-loving character in iconic sitcom Parks and Recreation. Willing to work hard in any situation and always ready to lean upon her friends and co-workers, Leslie knows how to handle almost anything. In one particular fifth-season episode of the Nick Offerman (Dumb Money)-, Rashida Jones (Silo)-, Aziz Ansari (Master of None)-, Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3)-, Aubrey Plaza (Scott Pilgrim Takes Off)-, Adam Scott (Party Down)- and Rob Lowe (Unstable)-costarring series, that also includes grappling with a pandemic.

Created by The Office's Greg Daniels and Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Michael Schur, Parks and Recreation may have only come to the end of its seven-season run back in 2015, but the sitcom has been an instant classic from the get-go for one reason: focusing on relatable characters, the minutiae of their lives and the time working in local government, workplace-based comedy has never felt more kind-hearted, or — thanks to the show's penchant for letting its main players talk directly to the camera — so inclusive.

Parks and Recreation streams via Stan and Binge.



A sports-centric sitcom that was like a big warm hug from the get-go, Ted Lasso is a cheerleader for comedies that focus on nice and caring people doing nice and caring things. Like the other shows on this list, it celebrates folks supporting and being there for each other, and the bonds that spring between them — and not just to an entertaining but to a soul-replenishing degree. As played by Jason Sudeikis (Booksmart), the series' namesake is almost all positivity, almost all the time. And, he keeps that up in the face of quite the challenges. A small-time US college football coach, he scored an unlikely job as manager of British soccer team AFC Richmond in the show's first season, a job that came with struggles.

Instantly, the ravenous media wrote him off. The club was also hardly doing its best, owner Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham, Hocus Pocus 2) had just taken over the organisation as part of her divorce settlement, and veteran champion Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein, Thor: Love and Thunder) and reigning hotshot Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster, The Devil's Hour) refused to get along. Ted's upbeat attitude does wonders, though, in one of the best new sitcoms of the 2020s. You definitely don't need to love soccer or even sport to fall for this show's ongoing charms, to adore its heartwarming determination to value banding together and looking on the bright side, and to love its depiction of both male tenderness and supportive female friendships.

Ted Lasso streams via Apple TV+. Read our full review of season two and season three, plus our interview with Brendan Hunt.



Three of the best comedic actors on TV in recent years all starred in New Zealand-made sitcom Wellington Paranormal. Playing Officer O'Leary, Officer Minogue and Sergeant Maaka, Karen O'Leary (Red, White & Brass), Mike Minogue (My Life Is Murder) and Maaka Pohatu (Our Flag Means Death) spit out devastatingly hilarious deadpan line readings. They need to in this mockumentary series, which follows a squad of Wellington cops who investigate the supernatural — as the show's title so succinctly explains — but every episode across its four seasons demonstrated just how perfect these three actors are for their job.

As the team tackle cases of the paranormal variety, they also often look into matters of the silly and always amusing kind as well, to delightful results. Whatever comes this crew's way, hearty laughs always ensue. A spinoff from  Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement's excellent 2014 movie What We Do in the Shadows — well, one of the film's spinoffs, given that the very funny US TV series also called What We Do in the Shadows also exists — Wellington Paranormal aces its concept again and again. It's basically a low-key, comedic, NZ-based version of The X-Files, it's glorious, and former NZ Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford has even made an appearance. Also, it now boasts a companion podcast.

Wellington Paranormal streams via SBS On Demand.



It took some time for the delight that is Los Espookys to initially reach Australian screens, arriving two years after it debuted in the US — and it'll take you less than six hours to binge its two seasons, which you'll likely do in no more than two sittings. This HBO comedy has proven both worth the wait and worth devouring as quickly as possible. The setup: horror aficionado Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco, Noise) wants to turn his obsession into his profession, so he starts staging eerie scenarios for paying customers. That involves enlisting his best friend Andrés (Julio Torres, Problemista), pal Úrsula (Cassandra Ciangherotti, Thursday's Widows) and the latter's sister Tati (Ana Fabrega, Father of the Bride) to help, and doing everything they can to get spooky.

Torres and Fabrega co-created the show with Portlandia and Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen, who also pops up as Renaldo's parking valet uncle. This mostly Spanish-language series only uses its biggest name sparingly, however, because its key cast members own every moment. Following the titular group's exploits as they attempt to ply their trade, and to weave it into their otherwise chaotic lives, Los Espookys always manages to be both sidesplittingly hilarious and so meticulous in its horror references that it's almost uncanny. There's also nothing on-screen quite like it.

Los Espookys streams via Binge.



First dropping anchor with its debut season in 2022, and finding a mooring among the best new series that the year had to offerOur Flag Means Death's premise has always glinted as brightly as its impressive cast (not just Uproar's Rhys Darby and Thor: Love and Thunder's Taika Waititi, but also Bloods' Samson Kayo, Creation Stories' Ewen Bremner, Bank of Dave's Joel Fry, Game of Thrones' Kristian Nairn, Hello Tomorrow!'s Matthew Maher, Loot's Nat Faxon, The Sex Lives of College Girls' Vico Ortiz and The Batman's Con O'Neill  for starters). It follows Darby as self-styled 'gentleman pirate' Stede Bonnet. Born to a life of privilege, he felt that seafaring and swashbuckling was his calling, leaving his life on land behind to hop on a ship — details that all spring from reality. Creator David Jenkins (People of Earth) isn't interested in telling the exact IRL tale, however. Consider those basics merely Our Flag Means Death's departure point.

On-screen, Stede gets caught up in both a workplace comedy and a boatmance. The first springs from his certainty that there has to be a nicer way to glide through a pirate existence, and the second from his blossoming feelings for feared marauder Edward Teach (Waititi), aka Blackbeard. So, Stede and Ed find love in a buccaneering place, but also feel splashes of uncertainty about what their relationship means. Life might prove choppy for Our Flag Means Death's characters, but there's always a sense of camaraderie about this series — and it's been sweet sailing for viewers across two seasons.

Our Flag Means Death streams via Binge. Read our full review of season one and season two.



You're working. It's an ordinary day. You've been doing your usual tasks and, in a completely unremarkable incident, you happen to notice a stapler — whether you're in the office or doing the nine-to-five grind at home. If your first thought is "hmmm, I bet I could set that in a bowl of jelly", then you're obviously a fan of The Office. One of the rare instances where a TV remake is better than the original — it is based on the UK series of the same name, after all — this sitcom about paper company employees is far more amusing than it really has any right to be. In fact, it's downright side-splitting; it nails workplace relationships and minutiae in such a precise, knowing and relatable way that it sometimes feels uncanny (every office has a Creed, after all); and it's immensely easy to just keep rewatching.

Of course, that's what you get when you round up Steve Carell (Asteroid City), John Krasinski (Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan), Jenna Fischer (Splitting Up Together), Rainn Wilson (Lessons in Chemistry), Mindy Kaling (The Morning Show), Ed Helms (Family Switch), Ellie Kemper (Happiness for Beginners) and Craig Robinson (Killing It) in the same show, and let all of them break out their comedic best. An Australian version is on the way, and there's talk of rebooting the OG, but there's no topping this cast.

The Office streams via Stan, Prime Video and Binge.



We've all grown up watching animated sitcoms about families, because The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Simpsons, Family Guy, King of the Hill, American Dad and Rick and Morty all exist. Bob's Burgers has been on the list as well for over a decade now, and it does what plenty of its counterparts also do — focusing on a family and their usual ebbs and flows, mainly — while also finding a tone that's sweet, goofy, cute, funny and filled with top-notch food puns.

An animated TV series can definitely make you feel hungry, as this show manages all the time. It also enjoys exploring the eclectic and eccentric personalities of the Belcher clan, including burger-cooking father Bob (voiced H Jon Benjamin, Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later), his wife Linda (John Roberts, Gravity Falls), and children Tina (Dan Mintz, Adventure Time), Gene (Eugene Mirman, Aqua Teen Hunger Force) and Louise (Kristen Schaal, Flight of the Conchords). You do have to come to terms with the fact that Bob's voice is also Archer's voice — if you also watch fellow animated series Archer, that is — but you'll also get to enjoy the series' fabulous musical numbers, and the warmth that stems from more than just cooking up patties in a burger joint. Plus, the big-screen Bob's Burgers outing is also ace.

Bob's Burgers streams via Disney+.



Some shows are just so engaging and entertaining — so smart and heartfelt and hilarious all at the same time, too — that they just make you exclaim "holy forking shirtballs!" The Good Place achieves all of that, and easily. It's the show that found plenty of jokes around the kind of swearing you're forced to do in its titular spot, given that busting out the real versions of those words isn't really heaven's vibe.

Because nothing in this life lasts forever, including beloved sitcoms about the afterlife stretching on into eternity, the existential comedy only ran for four seasons. They all followed the adventures of the very dead Eleanor (Kristen Bell, The People We Hate at the Wedding), Chidi (William Jackson Harper, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania), Tahani (Jameela Jamil, Poker Face) and Jason (Manny Jacinto, Top Gun: Maverick), plus demon Michael (Ted Danson, Mr Mayor) and "not a person" Janet (D'Arcy Carden, Barry), and they all kept throwing delightful surprises our way. One of the spectacular things about rewatching this clever, creative and side-splitting mix of humour, philosophy and people actively trying to embrace their best rather than worst impulses is picking up all the breadcrumbs left along the way — and its all-round warm and wise approach thanks to Parks and Recreation, The Office and Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Michael Schur (yes, him again), of course.

The Good Place streams via Netflix.

Published on December 13, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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