Americans What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?  

Ryleigh Nucilli
9.9k votes 841 voters 2.6k views 37 items

List Rules Vote up the television shows that most accurately portray contemporary American life; vote down the ones that don't.

Is there such a thing as "the" American experience? If so, where can a person see it? In novels? Films? Television? If it's the last of these, which television shows come the closest to portraying real life as it exists for Americans now? 

The television shows on this list, none of which qualify as "reality TV" and all of which ran sometime within the last decade, depict contemporary American life, both comedically and dramatically. But how close do they come to representing the real thing? Do any of the following offer quintessential, lifelike windows into what day-to-day life in America looks in the present moment?

Vote up the shows that do the best job of representing real American life as real Americans live it day to day.

list ordered by

1
380 144
The Office is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer The Office is an American television comedy series that aired on NBC from March 24, 2005 to May 16, 2013. It is an adaptation of the BBC series of the same name. The Office was adapted for ...more

2
364 136
Modern Family is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen Modern Family is an American television sitcom that premiered on ABC on September 23, 2009, which follows the lives of Jay Pritchett and his family, all of whom live in suburban Los Angeles. ...more

3
268 129
This Is Us is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown This Is Us (NBC, 2016) is an American television series created by Dan Fogelman. Follows a unique ensemble, as their paths cross and their life stories interwine, from sharing the same birthday, ...more

4
237 147
Black-ish is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi Black-ish (ABC, 2014) is an American sitcom created by Kenya Barris. A family man (Anthony Anderson) struggles to gain a sense of cultural identity while raising his kids in a predominantly ...more

5
218 148
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky Shameless is an American television comedy-drama which airs on Showtime. This remake of the award-winning British series is set in Chicago's Canaryville neighborhood on the South Side, although ...more

6
179 131
Atlanta is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield Atlanta (FX, 2016) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Donald Glover. College dropout Earn (Donald Glover) navigates through life with his ex-girlfriend (Zazie Beetz), his ...more

7
301 258
Roseanne is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf Roseanne is an American sitcom that was broadcast on ABC from October 18, 1988, to May 20, 1997. Starring Roseanne Barr, the show revolved around the Conners, an Illinois working-class family. ...more

8
164 127
Silicon Valley is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Josh Brener Silicon Valley is an American television sitcom created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky. The series focuses on six young men who found a startup company in Silicon Valley. The ...more

9
166 137
Fresh Off the Boat is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Constance Wu, Randall Park, Hudson Yang Fresh Off the Boat is a comedy series starring Randall Park, Constance Wu, Ian Chen, Hudson Yang, and Forrest Wheeler that is inspired by the life of chef and food personality Eddie Huang and ...more

10
158 143
Community is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Donald Glover Community is an American television sitcom created by Dan Harmon that premiered on NBC on September 17, 2009. The single-camera series follows an ensemble cast of students at a community college ...more

11
146 130
Parenthood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard Parenthood is an American television drama series developed by Jason Katims and produced by Imagine Television and Universal Television for NBC. The show tells of the Braverman clan which ...more

12
187 179
Last Man Standing is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Tim Allen, Nancy Travis, Alexandra Krosney Last Man Standing (Fox, 2011) is an American television sitcom created by Jack Burditt. The show follows Mike Baxter (Tim Allen), a senior executive and director of marketing for an outdoor ...more

13
128 123
Master of None is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Aziz Ansari, Noël Wells, Eric Wareheim Master of None (Netflix, 2015) is an American comedy-drama web television series created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang. The personal and professional life of Dev (Aziz Ansari), a 30-year-old ...more

14
124 119
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden Friday Night Lights is an American drama television series about a high school football team in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. It was developed by Peter Berg, and executive produced by ...more

15
148 150
New Girl is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield New Girl is an American sitcom television series that premiered on Fox on September 20, 2011. Developed by Elizabeth Meriwether under the working title Chicks & Dicks, the series revolves ...more

16
136 143
Workaholics is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, Anders Holm Workaholics is a situation comedy currently airing on Comedy Central. The series, based on the web series 5thyear, stars Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, and Anders Holm of the comedy troupe Mail ...more

17
134 146
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the L... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (Netflix, 2016) is an American web television series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino. Set nearly a decade after the finale of the original series, this revival ...more

18
157 182
Orange Is the New Black is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning Orange Is the New Black is an American comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and first released on Netflix on July 11, 2013. The series, produced by Tilted Productions in association with ...more

19
113 134
Grace and Frankie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston Grace and Frankie (Netflix, 2015) is an American comedy-drama web television series created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris. Finding out that their husbands have been romantically ...more

20
101 119
Insecure is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Issa Rae, Jay Ellis, Yvonne Orji Insecure (HBO, 2016) is an American comedy-drama series created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore, based on the web series Awkward Black Girl. Black female friends Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne ...more

21
128 155
Mom is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Anna Faris, Allison Janney, Blake Garrett Rosenthal Mom is an American sitcom that premiered on September 23, 2013, on CBS. The series stars Anna Faris and Allison Janney and was created by Chuck Lorre, Eddie Gorodetsky, as well as Gemma Baker. ...more

22
102 132
Big Little Lies is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley Big Little Lies (HBO, 2017) is an American dramatic miniseries created by David E. Kelley, based on the novel by Liane Moriarty. While Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) and Celeste (Nicole Kidman) ...more

23
82 114
Love is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Gillian Jacobs, Paul Rust, Claudia O'Doherty Love (Netflix, 2016) is an American romantic comedy web television series created by Judd Apatow, Paul Rust, and Lesley Arfin. The series is a "down-to-earth look at dating," exploring ...more

24
127 185
Will & Grace is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally Will & Grace is an American sitcom, based on the relationship between Will Truman and Grace Adler, and is set in New York City. It was broadcast on NBC from September 21, 1998 to May 18, ...more

25
0 0
All American is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
All American Daniel Ezra, Taye Diggs, Samantha Logan All American (The CW, 2018) is an American television drama series created by April Blair. When a rising high school football player (Daniel Ezra) from South L.A. is recruited to play for ...more

26
0 0
Queen Sugar is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe Queen Sugar (OWN, 2016) is an American drama television series created by Ava DuVernay. Three siblings move to Louisiana to inherit an 800 acre sugarcane farm left by their recently departed

27
0 0
Easy is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Malin Åkerman, Jane Adams, Andrew Bachelor Easy (Netflix, 2016) is a comedy-drama anthology series written and directed by Joe Swanberg. Intertwined groups of friends in Chicago fumble through the modern maze of love, sex, technology and ...more

28
94 141
American Housewife is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Katy Mixon, Diedrich Bader, Meg Donnelly American Housewife (ABC, 2016) chronicles the daily life of an average wife and mother who tries to stand out among the housewives and their privileged children in her hometown of Westport, ...more

29
89 136
Broad City is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Hannibal Buress Broad City (Comedy Central, 2014) is an American comedy television series, created by Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. Two Jewish American women in their twenties experience adventures of ...more

30
97 151
Dear White People is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, DeRon Horton Dear White People (2017, Netflix) is an American satirical comedy-drama television series based on Justin Simien's 2014 film of the same name. It follows a group of students of color at a ...more

31
127 200
Fuller House is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweeten, Andrea Barber Fuller House (Netflix, 2016) is an American family sitcom and sequel to the 1987–95 television series Full House. It centers around D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure), a veterinarian and ...more

32
72 118
The Chi is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Jason Mitchell, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Jacob Latimore The Chi (Showtime, 2018) is an American television drama series created by Lena Waithe. A coming-of-age story centering on a group of residents of the South Side of Chicago who become linked by ...more

33
74 122
Atypical is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keir Gilchrist, Brigette Lundy-Paine Atypical (Netflix, 2017) is a coming-of-age dark comedy television series created and written by Robia Rashid. Sam (Keir Gilchrist), an 18-year-old on the autism spectrum, looks for a ...more

34
74 124
Transparent is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Jeffrey Tambor, Amy Landecker, Judith Light Transparent is an American comedy-drama television series produced by Picrow for Amazon Studios that debuted on February 6, 2014. The series was created and directed by Jill Soloway. The story ...more

35
84 142
Girls is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke Girls is an American television series that premiered on HBO on April 15, 2012. Created by and starring Lena Dunham, Girls is a comedy-drama following a close group of twenty-somethings living ...more

36
57 120
Flaked is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Will Arnett, David Sullivan, Ruth Kearney Flaked (Netflix, 2016) is an American comedy web television series created by Will Arnett and Mark Chappell. A recovering alcoholic (Arnett) faces reality after a life changing accident in ...more

37
55 124
Looking is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez, Murray Bartlett Looking is an American comedy-drama television series about a group of gay friends living in San Francisco. It premiered on January 19, 2014, on HBO. The series' executive producers are David ...more