Americans What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?  

Ryleigh Nucilli
9.7k votes 809 voters 2k views 34 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.

1
372 137
The Office is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
The Office 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
351 134
Modern Family is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Modern Family 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
258 126
This Is Us is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
This Is Us 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
231 140
Black-ish is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Black-ish 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
209 146
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Shameless 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
175 126
Atlanta is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Atlanta 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
163 122
Silicon Valley is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Silicon Valley 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

8
293 256
Roseanne is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Roseanne 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

9
164 133
Fresh Off the Boat is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Fresh Off the Boat 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
157 140
Community is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Community 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
143 128
Parenthood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Parenthood 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
183 177
Last Man Standing is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Last Man Standing "Last Man Standing," the show follows Mike Baxter (Allen), a manly man and marketing director for an outdoors sporting goods company. While he's the king at work, he isn't within his ...more

The Funniest Shows on TV Right Now

13
126 119
Master of None is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Master of None 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
145 148
New Girl is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
New Girl 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

15
120 118
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Friday Night Lights 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

16
133 142
Workaholics is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Workaholics 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
130 144
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the L... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life 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

The Best Survivor Contestants That Ever Played

18
153 179
Orange Is the New Black is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Orange Is the New Black 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
111 133
Grace and Frankie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Grace and Frankie 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
123 154
Mom is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Mom 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

21
95 117
Insecure is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Insecure 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

22
100 130
Big Little Lies is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Big Little Lies 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

The Best "American" TV Shows

23
81 112
Love is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Love 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
126 181
Will & Grace is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Will & Grace 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
88 135
Broad City is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Broad City 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

26
90 139
American Housewife is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
American Housewife 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

27
94 146
Dear White People is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Dear White People 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

28
126 198
Fuller House is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Fuller House 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

29
73 123
Transparent is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Transparent 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

30
69 117
The Chi is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
The Chi 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

31
83 139
Girls is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Girls 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

32
71 122
Atypical is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Atypical 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

33
56 119
Flaked is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Flaked 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

34
54 123
Looking is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list What TV Shows Best Represent American Life Today?
Looking 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