What is the TV show with a lot of drinking in it?

Answered by James Porterfield

TV shows that prominently feature drinking are not uncommon, as has been a popular storytelling device in the entertainment industry for decades. From the classic sitcom Cheers to the critically acclaimed drama Mad Men, alcohol has played a central role in many scripted TV shows. In this answer, I will discuss some of the most notable TV shows that have a lot of drinking in them, highlighting their unique portrayals of alcohol and how it contributes to the overall narrative.

1. Cheers:
Cheers, which aired from 1982 to 1993, is perhaps one of the most iconic TV shows associated with drinking. Set in a Boston bar, the show revolves around a group of regulars who gather to share drinks, stories, and camaraderie. The bar itself becomes a character, a place where people can escape their troubles and find solace in the company of others. While alcohol is a constant presence in Cheers, the show also explores the characters' relationships, personal struggles, and the sense of belonging that the bar provides. As a sommelier, I appreciate the show's portrayal of the different types of drinks and how they reflect the characters' personalities and moods.

2. Mad Men:
Mad Men, set in the 1960s advertising world, showcases the heavy drinking culture of that era. The characters in the show, particularly protagonist Don Draper, often turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism for their personal and professional stresses. Alcohol is used as a social lubricant, a way to navigate the complexities of relationships and the cutthroat business environment. The show doesn't shy away from the negative consequences of excessive drinking, depicting the characters' struggles with addiction, personal demons, and the toll it takes on their lives. As a brewer, I find the show's attention to detail in recreating the and beverages of the time period fascinating.

3. Shameless:
Shameless, a dark comedy-drama series, follows the dysfunctional Gallagher family as they navigate life in Chicago's South Side. Alcohol abuse is a recurring theme within the show, as many of the characters, including the patriarch Frank Gallagher, grapple with addiction. The heavy drinking in Shameless serves as a coping mechanism for the characters' chaotic lives and highlights the cyclical nature of addiction within families. The show doesn't glamorize alcohol but rather presents it as a destructive force that contributes to the characters' struggles. It provides a realistic portrayal of the consequences of excessive drinking on individuals and their relationships.

4. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is known for its outrageous and irreverent humor, often fueled by the characters' excessive alcohol consumption. The show revolves around a group of friends who run an unsuccessful pub in Philadelphia. Alcohol is a central element of their lives, and their antics frequently revolve around getting drunk and engaging in questionable behavior. The characters' constant drinking serves as a catalyst for the absurd and often morally questionable situations they find themselves in. While the show is a comedy, it also touches on the darker aspects of alcohol abuse, showcasing the negative consequences it can have on individuals and their relationships.

There are several TV shows that feature a significant amount of drinking, each approaching the topic in its own unique way. Whether it's the friendly atmosphere of Cheers, the 1960s drinking culture in Mad Men, the dysfunctional family dynamics in Shameless, or the outrageous humor of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, these shows use alcohol as a storytelling device to explore the complexities of human behavior, relationships, and the consequences of excessive drinking.