Great TV shows revolve around great subjects like war, family, love or, our personal favorite, drinking. So many of the silver screen’s best characters are booze aficionados—and that’s no coincidence. A cocktail or two heightens action and emotion, and sets a cast of characters off on an adventure, all of which is a joy to watch from the comfort of your couch—with your own cocktail in hand, of course. Here, the top most drinkiest, booze-soaked shows to watch.
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The show that put AMC on the map as a network worth watching, Mad Men cleaned up at award shows during its eight-year tenure as it portrayed the life of a big-time advertising exec drinking and conning and drinking and sexing and drinking his way through the fast lane of the 1960s business world. It featured countless scenes of charming businessmen working over drinks, meeting with clients over drinks and winding down after a long day of “work” over drinks.
Responsible for widespread daydreams about having a bar where “everybody knows your name,” Cheers was about a Boston bar owned by ex-baseball player Sam Malone (played by Ted Danson) frequented by a lovable cast of quick-tongued regulars—and Cliff. The show, considered by many to be one of the best shows of all time, exalted the bar as an egalitarian place where the Norms and the Frasiers of the world could be friends. It was a place where “you can see, our troubles are all the same.” It was a place where “everybody knows your name.”
Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Very much the anti-Cheers, Always Sunny depicts a group of self-absorbed narcissists from “Flipadelphia” whose antics frequently either take place in the bar they own or are at least thought of in said bar. Living vicariously through the alcohol-fueled lives of this horrible group of people gives you a peek at how the real world might react if you were to follow through on some of the more delusional, not-so-great ideas that you and your friends had a few drinks into the night. Just watch the gang prep for St. Paddy’s day and you’ll get the idea.
Archer, an animated series on FX that just got renewed through season 10, is about the self-proclaimed “world’s greatest secret agent,” who works at his mother’s spy agency thwarting the evil plans of some of the world’s most notorious criminals—usually with a glass of scotch (or a bottle of cobra whiskey) in hand. From the impending attack of radical Nova Scotian separatists to alligators, no threat is too much for Archer and his liver of steel. Look no further for some of the world’s greatest drinking related one-liners, such as Archer’s fear that if he stops drinking, “the cumulative hangover might literally kill me.”
Game of Thrones
While nearly every character has his or her fair share of wine and ale, Tyrion Lannister’s drinking alone is enough to earn this HBO epic a spot on this list. The disgraced dwarf born to a royal family has no shortage of ambition, wit and alcohol tolerance. Constantly berated for his height and threatened with his life, Tyrion is never without a goblet of wine and a one-liner at the read, such as “I drink, and I know things.” Spoken like a drunken, medieval Descartes.
Will & Grace
Sometimes one character’s alcohol-fueled influence is enough to saturate an entire show. Such is the case for Will & Grace’s Karen Walker, a rich socialite played by Megan Mullally, whose character’s countless lines about her love for drinking still echo through today’s drinking culture. From quotes like “24 Hours in a day, 24 beers in a case, you figure it out,” to the exchange featured above, Karen was always full of boozy bon mots—and actual booze.
Twenty-eight seasons strong with no end in sight, The Simpsons and its belching lead, Homer, paved the way for other alcohol-loving animated characters (see Archer). Let’s face it, we’re all Homer when he’s taking a load off with his pals Moe and Barney (and, his best friend, Duff Beer) after a long day at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. And we can all get on board with Homer when he makes his famous toast to alcohol, “The cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.”