The 30 Best Shows You Can Watch in Under 30 Minutes Right Now

11 minute read

Television shows that hover around the 30-minute mark are incredibly easy to binge-watch. Half-hour shows are quick and plot points are easy to remember, making it simple to zip through entire seasons in just one afternoon.

The most appealing part about half-hour shows? There are a ton of series worth revisiting or getting into. From classic sitcoms like Friends to groundbreaking family dramas like Transparent, shows that rarely exceed the 30-minute mark are varied and pack a lot in each episode. Some, like the short-lived but essential Party Down, ended after one or two seasons, meaning you can watch an entire show in a day. Others run for years, like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, giving fans something to look forward to for months on end.

We rounded up the very best 30 shows you can watch in 30 minutes below.


The FXX animated spy comedy follows secret agent Sterling Archer, and his host of co-workers who tend to blur the lines on appropriate workplace behavior.

Where to watch: Stream the first seven seasons on Netflix. Season 8 wrapped up in May.


Created by and starring 30 Rock writer and Community star Donald Glover, Atlanta is a critically acclaimed comedy-drama series that follows Earn (Glover) an aspiring manager trying to help his rapper cousin reach stardom. Glover wanted to give people “Twin Peaks with rappers” and the result is a hilarious and moving show.

Where to watch: Stream season 1 Hulu. Season 2 of Atlanta is expected to premiere in 2018.

BoJack Horseman

Interested in the story of a washed-up, depressed actor who can’t maintain any relationships? Enter fan favorite BoJack, a horse who reached peak fame with a Full House-style show Horsin’ Around in the ’90s and hasn’t been able to quite find happiness since.

Where to watch: Stream the first four seasons on Netflix.

Broad City

Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer’s refreshing Broad City follows the zany leading ladies as they stumble their way through life in New York City. Despite the self-sabotage, the best friends always manage keep each other grounded.

Where to watch: Stream the first three seasons on Hulu. Season 4 is currently airing on Comedy Central.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Starring Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg along with an ensemble that includes Chelsea Peretti, Stephanie Beatriz and Terry Crews, the comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine chronicles the working lives of a group of detectives in a fictional Brooklyn police precinct.

Where to watch: Stream the first four seasons on Hulu. The fifth season is currently airing on Fox.


Catastrophe upends the typical rom-com structure. Stars Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney play an Irish teacher and an American ad exec who must reunite after their short fling results in a pregnancy. Follow along for an honest, darkly funny look at a modern relationship.

Where to watch: Stream the first three seasons on Amazon Video. The show has been renewed for a fourth season, expected to premiere in 2018.

Chewing Gum

Spun out of the experiences of writer and star Michaela Coel, Chewing Gum takes viewers to estate life in London, where Coel’s Tracey does everything she can to lose her virginity. Bawdy and laugh-out-loud funny, Chewing Gum is a light watch, with only two seasons so far.

Where to watch: Stream seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix.


Dan Harmon’s Community follows a study group of students with very different intentions at Colorado’s fictional Glendale Community College. The show has given way to several whimsical, high-concept episodes a pretty rad secret handshake and this very relatable GIF. Plus, you can catch Donald Glover before his Atlanta days.

Where to watch: Stream all six seasons on Hulu.


Sarah Jessica Parker stars with Thomas Haden Church in Divorce, another Sharon Horgan-created comedy, which revels in the painfully funny moments that happen after the parents decide they’re calling it quits. This is no Carrie Bradshaw in the suburbs. Expect things to get delightfully dark.

Where to watch: Stream season 1 on HBO Now or HBO GO. Season 2 comes to HBO in January 2018.

Documentary Now!

Documentary and comedy fans can rejoice in Documentary Now!, which delivers thorough parodies of classic documentaries, making excellent use of the talents of Saturday Night Live alumni Bill Hader and Fred Armisen. Notable episodes include riffs on Grey Gardens and Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Where to watch: Stream seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix.


Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s BBC show Fleabag is bitingly honest and hilarious as it explores the story of a young woman struggling to cope with the loss of her best friend and her mother. Waller-Bridge’s character, nicknamed Fleabag is depressed, sex-loving and has a host of issues with her family and work — she bemoans to her father that she is “a greedy, perverted, selfish, apathetic, cynical, depraved, morally bankrupt woman who can’t even call herself a feminist.” Her father doesn’t exactly disagree.

Where to watch
: Stream season 1 on Amazon.

Fresh Off the Boat

Based on Eddie Huang’s memoir of the same name, Fresh Off the Boat became the first Asian-American family sitcom in 20 years when it premiered on ABC in 2015. Come for the hilarious ’90s references and comical culture clashing and stay for Constance Wu’s breakthrough performance as Huang’s mother, Jessica.

Where to watch: Stream the first three seasons on Hulu. Season 4 is currently airing on ABC.


Friends is by no means a new show, but sometimes, what a person really needs is to revisit a classic. Head back to Central Perk to hang with the New York City pals who rewrote the group friendship show playbook and dive into whatever conflict is plaguing Rachel and Ross’s relationship — Friends is always there for you.

Where to watch: Stream all 10 seasons on Netflix.

Golden Girls

To the delight of Golden Girls fans everywhere, Hulu began streaming the entire series earlier this year. The foursome of Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Rose (Betty White), Blanche (Rue McClanahan) and Sophia (Estelle Getty) has provided years of comfort, laughs and cheesecake to generations of audiences.

Where to watch: Stream all seven seasons on Hulu.

The Good Place

The Good Place, Michael Schur’s followup on NBC to the beloved Parks and Recreation, takes us beyond the grave. Kristen Bell plays Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman who doesn’t realize how bad she was until she dies and enters the afterlife.

Where to watch: Stream season 1 on Hulu. Season 2 of The Good Place is currently airing on NBC.


Issa Rae’s popular web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl helped pave the way for her HBO show, Insecure. Mined in part from real-life events and conversations, Insecure takes on dating in Los Angeles, dead-end jobs, the risks of laziness in long-term relationships in one of the sharpest comedies on TV.

Where to watch: Stream seasons 1 and 2 on HBO Now or HBO GO. Season 3 will air in 2018.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

No matter what, the hysterical, decidedly vulgar gang at the center of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will always be there to cook up bizarre schemes that range from mildly offensive to extremely dangerous.

Where to watch: Stream the first 11 seasons on Netflix. Season 12 aired on FXX earlier this year, and the show has been renewed for two more seasons so far.

Lady Dynamite

Maria Bamford mines her own life for the surreal but delightful Lady Dynamite, which follows the comedian after she moves back to Los Angeles after spending months away getting treated for bipolar disorder. The story revolves around multiple timelines as Bambord describes the period leading up to her mental breakdown as well as her recovery.

Where to watch: Stream seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix.


A young man, Dylan, is diagnosed with chlamydia and has to revisit all of his previous partners to inform them in this British sitcom. Most of Dylan’s often ill-fated romantic encounters are told through flashback. But in real time, he and his best friend Evie struggle to come to terms with the fact that they are in love.

Where to watch: Stream the first two seasons on Netflix.

Master of None

Aziz Ansari’s deeply intimate Master of None follows Ansari’s Dev, an actor who explores New York’s dating and food scene along with his group of 30-something friends. Each dreamy episode tackles a different theme, from exploring religious differences between generations to presenting Dev in a series of first dates at his favorite bars and restaurants.

Where to watch: Stream seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix.

The Mindy Project

Rom-com obsessed obstetrician/gynecologist Mindy Lahiri navigates dating, work and motherhood in Mindy Kaling’s comedic series. Later seasons specialize in high-concept episodes based on films like Groundhog Day and Sliding Doors.

Where to watch: Stream the all six seasons on Hulu.

Party Down

The short-lived but highly amusing Party Down follows a dysfunctional group of Los Angeles-based caterers with dreams of Hollywood stardom. Each episode takes place at a different event the group has to cater, ranging from a mobster’s shindig to an adult entertainment awards afterparty. Somehow, hilarity ensues every time.

Where to watch: Stream both seasons on Hulu.


Narrated from the point of view of Zach Braff’s J.D., Scrubs is a medical comedy that follows a group of interns and other pros at a fictional hospital over the course of nine years. Filled with creative flourishes, including several memorable surreal daydreams, Scrubs was a beloved mainstay of the mid-2000s.

Where to watch: Stream all nine seasons on Hulu.

Search Party

Brooklyn hipsters lend an inspired new angle to typical crime shows in TBS’s murder mystery Search Party. Alia Shawkat plays Dory, an aimless 20-something who is inspired to take action when she finds out an acquaintance from college has disappeared.

Where to watch: Stream the first season on TBS. The second season will premiere Nov. 19.

Sex and the City

Sex and the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, may have walked away in her Manolo Blahnik’s in 2004 (though she returned for two movies), but she and girlfriends Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte are still the baseline for womanhood in pop culture. It’s understandable — the show tackled innumerable women-centered storylines previously unseen on screen, such as casual sex, single motherhood, double standards and, above all, friendship.

Where to watch: Stream all six seasons on HBO Now or HBO GO.

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley takes viewers to the funnier (and chaotic) side of the tech industry mecca by following a group of men who are trying to launch a digital start-up in a live-in business incubator. Co-created by Mike Judge (Office Space,) the creative minds behind the series spent time with real-life titans of the industry, who say the portrayal is as on the mark as it gets.

Where to watch: Stream the first four seasons on HBO Now or HBO GO. The show has been renewed for a fifth season.


Starring America Ferrera and Ben Feldman, the NBC comedy Superstore follows a group of employees who work at a fictional superstore Cloud 9 in St. Louis, Mo. The sitcom manages to turn the staff’s story into an interesting study on contemporary American consumer culture.

Where to watch: Stream the currently airing season 3 on Hulu or NBC.


Jill Soloway’s groundbreaking Transparent is about a transgender woman (Jeffrey Tambor) and her evolving bonds with her family. The critically acclaimed series follows Maura and her adult children as they navigate their own romantic relationships, family secrets and fear of commitment.

Where to watch: Stream the first four seasons on Amazon.


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

From the minds behind 30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt brings a similar wacky humor to a dark theme: Ellie Kemper plays Kimmy, a woman who tries to adjust to life in New York City after spending 15 years held captive in a doomsday cult.

Where to watch: Stream the first three seasons on Netflix. The show has been renewed for a fourth season.


Current American politics may have surpassed Veep in terms of bonkers daily political news, but the Julia Louis-Dreyfus-helmed show still manages to lampoon Washington with hilarious insults.

Where to watch: Stream all six seasons on HBO Now or HBO GO. The show has been renewed for a seventh and final season.

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