Shows with emphasis on banter

We just finished the initial season of the Kominsky Method on Netflix. I found myself enjoying the witty banter (usually in the form of putdowns) that ensued between Alan Arkin’s character and Michael Douglas’ and frequently other characters. It caused me to reflect on other shows where a banter style dialogue figured prominently. One that comes immediately to mind was West Wing. I particularly liked how the camera would sometimes seamlessly transition between banter between two characters walking down the hall and segue immediately into banter occurring between two other characters as they pass by. Aaron Sorkin’s screenplays seemed to have done this best.

But what other shows have famously featured great banter?

Gilmore Girls
Pretty much anything by Amy Sherman-Palladino

I submit:

Pushing Daisies
The Good Place

I you’re open to the idea of following an audio podcast, I suggest you check out Black Jack Justice. It’s a modern take on the classic film noir private detective featuring our square-jawed hero and his long suffering partner, Trixie Dixon - Girl Detective. Some of the shows are written as relatively straight drama (The Albatross), most have at least some element of parody and a few are downright silly (Man’s Best Friend).

I enjoy the show. Do with that what you will.

Seinfeld is basically a show about banter.

Hijack warning (and apology):

What’s the difference between this newfangled banter thing and old fashioned cracking wise?

I mean, would banter encompass: You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.

If that counts, there's an awful lot of Noir that qualifies.

As I said, apologies for this diversion.



Thick of It

Peep Show

Kath & Kim [Australian original show only, not the shite US remake]

Also Seinfeld - the best bits for me were always little carefully-sculpted bits of dialogue between characters.

Red Dwarf and Blackadder would probably suit you.

Many of the US sitcoms would also seem to fit. Especially the ethnically themed ones. Heck, even the old 70s era Fat Albert cartoon series.


Dr. Bashir and Garak on DS9. (Also Kira and Dax to a lesser degree)


I would define banter as lots of witty back-and-forth, not just an occasional bon mot.

Arrested Development…and the further into the series you get, the further back the banter references go. By the 3rd season, pretty much the entire show is one inside joke after another.


Niles and Roz were both masters (master and mistress?) of the art. The rest of the regular cast weren’t bad either. :smiley:

Seriously. Just watched the third season ep with references to live shows, and 3-d and “The important thing is we kept our dignity”

Moonlighting with Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis.

Two excellent nominees!

Friends, at least to some extent.

VEEP over on H.B.O. was a good example.

The Big bang Theory. Over half of every show is talk, talk, talk. Real life nerds.

The banter between Finch and Munch in Law & Order SVU is priceless.

And House. Lots of House.

Happy Endings and Cougar Town. Both ensemble shows with great casts, not as good as Seinfeld but they evoke a Seinfeld group dynamic feeling from me.