When feeling bored finding good TV shows to watch from the early 2000s can be something fun to do! The early 2000s were a prime time for great tv shows to watch so the possibilities are wide-ranging for quality shows. Whether you like comedy, dramas, crime, or some combination then there are great shows to watch out there for you. Here are 20 early 2000s shows to watch when you’re bored!
House is one of the all-time great doctors shows behind the fantastic, dynamic acting abilities of Hugh Laurie. Hugh plays House who is a brilliant diagnostic doctor but is also addicted to his pain medication and somewhat of a misanthrope. He works with other great doctors as they solve complex medical cases (similar to detective shows in this way) and figure out how to treat them. If you’re interested in medicine, maybe even considering a career in it, House is a good show to watch to get an interesting look at it. Of course, it’s just a TV show so it’s not some fully accurate representation or anything. Still, it’s a great mix of a drama, doctor show with some good comedy thrown in there as well. Well worth checking out if you’re looking for early 2000s shows to watch!
2. Planet Earth
Probably doesn’t need much description for the famous animal and geography videos narrated by David Attenborough. Beautiful visuals paired with great storytelling lets you travel around the world and see incredible sights and animals from the comfort of home.
3. Malcolm in the Middle
Another hilarious choice for comedy shows to watch when you’re feeling bored. Malcolm in the Middle follows Malcolm (Frank Muniz) who’s an incredibly smart teen living in a, well, completely dysfunctional family. His parents played by Bryan Cranston and Jane Kaczmarek make a phenomenally hilarious duo who really makes the show what it is. It’s worth adding it to your list of shows to watch just for them!
4. The Wire
The Wire is fantastic because it takes your typical drug, crime shows and adds a big twist. Not only do you follow the police detectives chasing after the dealers/suppliers of the drugs in Baltimore, but you follow the world of the drug dealers as well. It has fantastic characters and actors wrapped into an exciting story that always leaves you on the edge of your seat.
5. The Sopranos
If you’re a fan of intense dramas then the Sopranos gives you the ultimate combo of the crime (business), murder, swearing, and fidelity (or not?) that comes with the Italian mafia. The show centers around Tony Soprano and is fantastic because it does a good job of splitting screen time with both his mafia business as well as his home life. His children have major roles and they grow up and follow their own paths, as well as his wife Carmela where it would be an understatement to say her life is a bit of a rollercoaster. The show is amazing and if it’s your kind of thing then you’ll get sucked in right at the get-go.
6. The Office
One of the all-time greatest comedy shows to watch is The Office (U.S.) with Steve Carrell as the hilarious, awkward, but overall amazing boss of the office Michael Scott. Michael Scott runs a seemingly normal office of a paper distribution company but is somehow able to use his quirky ideas and interactions with people to create hilariously awkward situations. If you haven’t seen this comedic genius of a show then turn it on right now because you’re missing out.
7. Breaking Bad
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul headline this show as two, unlikely to work together, partners as makers of crystal meth. Walter White (Cranston) is a high school science teacher who barely makes ends-meat as it is, then gets the horrible diagnosis of life-threatening cancer. Worried about leaving his family with nothing he resorts to using his extensive knowledge of chemistry to make and sell crystal meth with his former student Jessie Pinkman (Paul). Follow their intense and amazing journey in one of TV’s most famous shows to watch, Breaking Bad.
8. Desperate Housewives
If you were waiting for a soap opera drama show then here it is. Desperate Housewives was a show that did well at mixing drama, comedy, and some mystery. The show is carried by a fantastic cast (female leads) that was incredibly popular as it came out.
The incredible journey of Lost is difficult to describe and if you haven’t watched it you’ve almost certainly heard of the controversy behind the ending. Don’t let that dissuade you! As one of my personal favorites, Lost weaves an incredible tale with immensely complex characters and an evolving story of survivors of a plane crash on a remote island. It’s packed with fantastic writing and amazing actors and even if you don’t understand or appreciate the ending the adventure you’ll have along the way while watching makes it worth it.
10. That ‘70s Show
An all-time fantastic comedy show that never gets old! That ‘70s show is a group of high school friends who are living in a small suburban town in Wisconsin during the mid-’70s. It follows their various pranks and hijinks as well as the different romantic connections. Also, can’t forget the hilarious times then have in “the circle.” It has to be one of the greatest shows that represent smoking weed without demonizing it. But really it shows it as one of the many ways they connect, laugh, and enjoy their life in their tiny suburban town. It has amazing stars like Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Laura Prepon, and more! If you want comedy shows to watch and you haven’t already seen That ‘70s show then get on it!
11. Parks and Recreation
A hilarious, American political satire sitcom starring Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, and more amazing actors. Really plays on the American political system and gives you an amazing and hilarious mockumentary show that rivals The Office!
Different from House, Grey’s Anatomy is more of a drama doctor show that focuses more on the balance between work and the personal lives of the surgeons, residents, etc. working in the hospital. It’s currently the longest-running American primetime medical drama series as it began in 2005!
If you’re looking for cowboy shows to watch then Deadwood is a great choice. The show follows as a camp develops into a town in Deadwood, South Dakota, and deals with the crime and corruption that comes with living as an outlaw, non-annexed territory. Timothy Olyphant headlines the show along with some other fantastic actors for a fantastic western drama series.
Fan of teen mystery/detective shows? Kristen Bell stars as Veronica Mars in this great show as Mars acts as a private investigator solving cases while also dealing with the struggles of high school. It’s funny, exciting, and has some incredible character and story developments throughout its four seasons! It should easily go on your list of shows to watch when bored!
15. How I Met Your Mother
Fan of comedy shows should all check out the genius of How I Met Your Mother. The story, sort of, revolves around a dad telling his kids the story of how he met their mother. However, instead of telling a normal story, he recalls on most of his time in his late 30s as an architect in New York City. The main characters of the show all get incredible developments and each really makes their own individual mark on the show as a whole. Neil Patrick Harris really headlines the show making the iconic character of Barney Stinson with his catchphrases, great suits, and ability to sleep with almost any woman he desires (which he does). Check out How I Met Your Mother if you want hilarious comedy shows to watch to give you good laughs and also tug on your heart.
16. It’s Always Sunny in Philadephia
It would be tough to find a comparable show to It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. If you want an absolutely ridiculous comedy show with crazy, borderline insane, characters that will have you crying of laughter then this is for you. Some episodes of this show are just so ridiculous they’re impossible to explain without being accused of lying. The gang of narcissistic friends runs an Irish bar in South Philadelphia but that’s only a brief description of what these characters get up to in this amazing show.
If you’re a fan of superhero shows then Heroes is a great option for your shows to watch when you’re feeling bored. It takes a different approach as it is set in a world where some people are just randomly evolved to have superpowers. The lives of many strangers intertwine as their stories and powers bring them together to prevent a cataclysmic event. It’s a really underrated show and definitely worth a watch if you like superhero shows!
18. Arrested Development
Another incredibly goofy sitcom well worth an add to your list of shows to watch when feeling bored. You follow the Bluths who are a formerly wealthy but very much dysfunctional family led by Jason Bateman as the main character. He’s the only somewhat rational person in the family and the show does an incredible job of portraying his struggle to relate with and help his crazy family which struggling with his own problems.
19. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
One of the best female-lead shows out there, Buffy the Vampire Slayer goes down as a fantastic choice for early 2000s shows to watch! Buffy is the chosen one, the vampire slayer, and must protect her town from not only the endless amounts of vampires but the other supernatural monsters such as ghosts, werewolves, and more! It’s got a fantastic cast accompanying amazing writing. Well worth a watch!
20. Spongebob Squarepants
Now let’s get one thing straight. When I put Spongebob on this list of great shows to watch when you’re bored I’m really talking about seasons 1-5 (or so). Really the beginning seasons of the show were the absolute best so if you’re going to watch anything it should be those. The farther and more recent you get the weirder and worse the show becomes. But don’t let that stop you because this is probably the best show Nickelodeon ever created. Not only is it great for kids but many of their jokes, especially in the beginning seasons, are adult humor as well. From personal experience, many of the jokes have actually gotten funnier as I’ve rewatched them once I got older as I was able to really understand the nature behind them. If you’re bored then don’t even second guess yourself if you want to put Spongebob on your list of shows to watch!
What are your favorite early 2000s TV shows to watch when you’re bored? If any were left off here then share in the comments!
Featured Image Source: Photo by Juan Ordonez on Unsplash
I have a passion for helping others and see journalism as a great way to reach and impact many people. Born in Texas but raised in the San Francisco Bay Area! Then with a short detour in Boulder, Colorado to get my bachelor's in Journalism with a minor in political science. I'm a determined, motivated individual striving to make a difference in this world. I have hopes to play a role in the continued development of journalism and in maximizing efforts to inform and inspire the public. Check out my articles on Society19!