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TV & Film

Top 10 Most Rewatchable Shows: From 90s to Now

In this post, I list my ten favorite TV shows to watch over and over again.

10 most rewatchable 90s shows
Photo-illustration by Libby King

One thing we love as humans is to be entertained. If you’re at all like me, you prefer binge-watching television to the endless “doom scroll” of social media.

It can be difficult to find a show to come back to—something to put on while you fold your laundry or as background noise while you fall asleep.

As an expert in the “tv-to-turn-my-brain-off” genre, I have compiled a list of my top 10 most rewatchable shows of all time.

10. Friends (1994-2004)

I would be remiss if I neglected to include one of the more influential sitcoms of the 20th and 21st centuries just because it belongs to the millennials. Though it certainly includes its more problematic elements (consistent homophobia, toxic masculinity, etc.), Friends was foundational to both modern TV and the popular plot of twenty-somethings figuring out their lives.

The six titular friends say goodbye for the last time in their empty apartment.
Credit: NBC. The cast of Friends.


As a show that spanned ten years and ten seasons, Friends includes the perfect blend of nineties and Y2K nostalgia for a Gen Z audience to appreciate. With classic references you’ve heard your mom say a million times (i.e., “We were on a break!”), Friends is an ideal show for reliving the glory days of television.

9. Arrested Development (2003-2019)

Wow. What a criminally underrated show! Arrested Development was a short-lived sitcom that began in 2003 and ended abruptly after being cancelled in 2006. However, Netflix saw potential in the dead script and gave it new life with two more seasons in the mid-to-late 2010s. Following the hilariously awful Bluth family, Arrested Development thrives in its wry humor and brilliant deliveries by actors such as Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Michael Cera.

Three of the members of the Bluth family stand in the office of the family business, engaged in discussion.
Credit: Fox. Buster, Lucille, and Michael Bluth discuss business.


Though the Netflix seasons are a bit of a disappointment in comparison to the original three, the show as a whole is undoubtedly comedic gold. With its brief, twenty-two minute episodes, Arrested Development is TV to watch once, and again, and again…

8. The Sopranos (1999-2007)

Many scholars in the field agree that The Sopranos marked a turning point in television. With its ensemble of antiheroes, The Sopranos paved the way for other shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and more.

The main character, Tony Soprano, sits in a chair in his therapist's office.
Credit: HBO. Tony Soprano.


What makes The Sopranos rewatchable is its fascinating world and cinematic feel. From the iconic starting sequence, you want Tony Soprano and his gang of “sanitation” workers to win every dispute, despite the violence it may entail. And, following every episode, you can’t help but use their unique “mobster” dialect on all of your friends, whether they like it or not. As it has a little bit of something for everyone, The Sopranos is the gift that keeps on giving.

7. How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014)

A show that has recently come into the appreciation of Gen Z (via TikTok), How I Met Your Mother is a quirky, sometimes musical, running-joke-filled masterpiece for people who love to watch TV and play on their phones at the same time!

Some of the main characters are gathered together under a sign labeled "INTERVENTION".
Credit: CBS. The gang of How I Met Your Mother.


With its half-hour episodes, each season breezes by as though nine years have been condensed into nine minutes. Though the ending disappointed many fans (including me), How I Met Your Mother is a lovable and “legen…wait for it…DARY” sitcom to see more times than you can count.

6. Community (2009-2015)

Ah, Community. Though it’s not the most popular show on this list, Community is another example of a plot that thrives off its comedic timing, ensemble cast, and long-running jokes. It is well-known as the launchpad of Donald Glover’s (a.k.a., Childish Gambino) career, as well as other famous names like Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs.

The cast of Community dressed in apparel similar to that of a Western movie before the start of a paintball war.
Credit: NBC. The students of Greendale Community College.

Beyond its familiar faces, Community serves an audience of dorky, film-loving fans who were happily notified in 2023 that the show’s meta-quote “six seasons and a movie” would be fulfilled soon. The weird humor and iconic moments make the show easy to stream for hours on end.

5. Fleabag (2016-2019)

Who wouldn’t want to put on a show with only two seasons? However, that should not be your only reason for watching Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s TV adaptation of her one-woman show, Fleabag. Fleabag delightfully dances the line between drama and comedy with its unnamed, quippy narrator and her hilarious misfortunes.

The nameless main character looks into the camera with disgust.
Credit: Amazon Prime. The protagonist of Fleabag.

Though the episodes run a tad on the longer side, every minute is worth the effort. The comedic timing, the heartache, the secondhand embarrassment is all…chef’s kiss! Fleabag will have you laughing, crying, and running to the remote to start it all over, time after time.

4. Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

When I made this list, I knew I had to “say” Breaking Bad‘s “name.” (Get it? Because Heisenberg…you get it.) Breaking Bad follows in the footsteps of The Sopranos with its love-to-hate protagonist, Walter White, and his crazy criminal activities that hook the audience’s morbid curiosity and beckon them to watch.

Walter White wears an upset expression as he looks at a friend in danger in the desert.
Credit: AMC. Walter White.

By slowly unraveling the finale through brief flashes in every episode, Breaking Bad presents a unique approach to TV that makes your first watch unforgettable. Once you know how one of the greatest sequel-spawning series of all time ends, you have to watch it at least one more time just to fully understand its legend.

3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-)

Jokes. Music. Cast. Timing. All of these things are essential to a high-quality comedy series. And obviously, the creators of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia have this formula down to a science. The story of the show’s humble beginnings, with creators Rob McElhenney and Glenn Howerton filming the first season out of their own homes and with their own recording equipment, makes the show all the more loveable.

The gang from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is in the middle of singing together in their bar.
Credit: FX. The main four from It’s Always Sunny.

Now I know what you might be thinking. Isn’t It’s Always Sunny kind of problematic? The answer is yes on paper, however, the writing is more complex and self-deprecating than it seems. As it has sixteen (and counting) seasons of short episodes, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a hilarious—though sometimes difficult— cult classic to throw on your TV.

2. The Office (US) (2005-2013)

As Michael Scott says, “K-I-S-S: Keep it simple, stupid!” And the simplest on this list has to be the U.S. adaptation of The Office. As the source of countless quotable moments and memes that have stood the test of time, The Office defined Gen Z and their subsequent sense of humor.

The Dunder Mifflin Scranton employees are gathered for a meeting in the conference room.
Credit: NBC. The characters of The Office having a meeting.

In my opinion, The Office is one of the easiest to endlessly come back to because you can always rely on it for a quick and genuine laugh. The characters are like your friends, Dunder Mifflin your company, and Scranton your hometown. And, once you’ve been through the series a few times, it becomes yet another perfect show to put on as background noise. What more could you want from television?

1. New Girl (2011-2018)

Finally, the show that reigns supreme over all of my favorites to rewatch, is New Girl. I have seen New Girl so many times that I can watch full episodes in my head (what else would I do in class?) What makes New Girl the perfect candidate for rewatching is its dynamism through each season. After your first run through, you can pick up at any season in the show and have just as much fun as you did at the start.

The characters of New Girl look suspiciously at their small room on board a romantic cruise.
Credit: Fox. The characters of New Girl.

More specifically, each character changes so much throughout the series. The Winston we meet in season one shows no resemblance to the silly, bird-shirt-wearing Winston of seasons five and onward. The show grows more fun as we watch them change, and this experience is something you as a fan will always want to come back to. An easy and hilarious watch, New Girl is the ultimate repeat show.

Written By

Sophomore studying English and Film Studies at Appalachian State University.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Nancy Joyner

    February 29, 2024 at 1:02 am

    This was a very well written piece and provided a lot of interest to me in the shows I haven’t seen before. Ms. Pruitt’s way of writing and enthusiasm for her subject really came through. I’ll definitely look for her posts again

  2. wethenorth

    March 2, 2024 at 5:19 pm

    GREAT list but idk if fleabag can make it and also NO mad men? idk about new girl being #1 buta gain i have just watched random clips here and there.

  3. Alex Brittain

    March 4, 2024 at 1:25 pm

    I love the commentary about millennials, it made me laugh. I agree that the cast of the office feels like old friends. Your description of Breaking Bad makes me want to try watching it again! I absolutely love the way you wrote this.

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