There are so many things to love about the show Friends from its great cast to its funny scenes to its heartwarming stories, the show managed to blend comedy and sentiment to make something almost anyone could love (and relate to just about any moment of life). I know that I am always on the lookout for shows, like this one, that make me laugh at and still love the characters.
The first, and most obvious, choice as a replacement show for Friends is How I Met Your Mother. Anyone who has not seen this show is missing out. Every episode is laugh out loud funny. The cast is huge! Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segal, Allison Hannigan, even Bob Saget as narrator, to name a few. The characters (especially Neil Patrick Harris as Barney) are hilarious and you can’t help but cheer them on as they deal with lofe and love. They even have their own version of Central Perk, a bar below Ted’s apartment.
The Big Bang Theory is another friend-centered show, albeit with a twist: everyone is a genius except for the Penny (ok, her being a dumb blonde isn’t quite a twist, but the rest). Though not as funny as HIMYM, this show is also very clever and smart. Between Leonard being in love with Penny, Sheldon the neurotic but arrogant friend who seems uninterested in women, the girl-crazy Walowitz and the won’t talk to girls unless drunk Raj, there is no end of entertainment.
Now, Coupling, a British comedy, has been touted by some as the next Friends. I’ll be honest, I could not even get through the first episode.I didn’t find any of the jokes funny (maybe it’s the culture divide, but I don’t think so) and I was so uninterested in the characters. I have a friend who likes it though, so maybe it’s just not for me.
The truth is, Better Off Ted only fits into this group in so far as it’s a comedy, but I enjoy this show so much that I have to recommend it. It doesn’t have the same group of friends dynamics that Friends and HIMYM have, but it’s funny and refreshing and has been getting better and better as the season has continued.
30 Rock, also only fitting into this list because of it’s comedy status, is an obvious choice for a show to watch, as it swept the Emmy nominations with a total count of 22! Ridiculous. I like some of the other shows a little better, but this show is funny and full of quotable lines, which is oh-so-fun for viewers who love talking tv.
If you’re looking for something old school, 3rd Rock From The Sun or Newsradio are good choices. Both revolve around a tight cast (3rd Rock is about a group of aliens who are in human form to research the planet, Newsradio is about the running of a news station) filled with quirks and unusual relationships. Both are relatively easy to find online and have a number of episodes to fill your time with.
Dead Like Me, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, is a comedy worth looking into. It has the group dynamic for the cast, yet being that they are all undead reapers of different ages, backgrounds, and even decades, they have a strange relationship. This show isn’t as laugh out loud funny as the other shows on this list, but it’s certainly funny in it’s own way.
I’m sure there are plenty of other group-based comedies that I’ve missed. Add some if you think of them.