Rahul is a TV addict who can't get enough of twisted, gasp-inducing shows like "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Black Mirror".
What Shows Are Like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia?
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of those shows that pushes the boundaries in comedy. The whole vibe is unapologetic but very realistic at the same time. Most sitcoms present unnatural settings and flawless characters, but this show does its best to break all those rules with each episode. The characters are nihilistic, self-obsessed, lawless, and gross, but all these things hold a mirror for the audience. We can see where these people are coming from, and with time they start becoming a part of our televised discussions. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has gone on for 14 seasons so far without any such cliche character arcs. The reason it has managed to create so many successful episodes might have something to do with this very resistance to change.
Some analysts even call the show “anti-sitcom”, since it makes fun of cliché sitcom moments like forced romances within the group, overusing the same jokes, or creating unrealistic character traits. Characters turn a complete 180 and it feels like they’ve changed for the better, but they revert back to their flawed selves moments later, which surprisingly works in its favor. This American sitcom/anti-sitcom can’t really be pegged in any genre because it belongs in a unique category of its own.
While you wait for the new season, here is a list of some shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Shows Like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
- The Office
- Parks and Recreation
- Two and a Half Men
1. The Office
I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that The Office might quite possibly be the best comedy series of all time. The fan base has only increased over the years since each generation finds it on a random streaming platform, making it a part of their everyday lives. The idea of documenting a simple paper company in Scranton may seem silly at first, but this American sitcom just proves the old adage of never judging a book by its cover, metaphorically speaking.
Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, is the captain of the ship, and other employees have to deal with his absurd demands. He has willingly mixed his personal and professional life, and other characters have to deal with the consequences. Each character has a unique storyline and you’ll learn to love all of them by the end of the show.
Nine seasons may sound like a lot, but ask any fan and they’ll say it’s still not enough. You could make a different show on each character, thanks to the writers who gave them interesting story arcs. If an office is filled with fun people and a loving atmosphere, work becomes second nature. Some might even see a part of themselves in one of Dunder-Mifflin’s loyal workers. The improvised lines and uncut gag reels will make you like the show even more. Because of so many merits, The Office is considered the best show out there.
Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, Elaine Benes, and Cosmo Kramer are four sociopaths living their frustrated lives in New York City. Anyone outside their circle, including romantic partners, is unable to handle their eccentric behaviors. Most people consider Seinfeld as the show that paved the way for other future sitcoms. The characters keep you entertained for nine seasons straight, before making you re-watch it all over again. Anything created by comedy geniuses Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David is amazing, but this is undoubtedly their Mona Lisa.
Each episode is based on a stand-up routine by Jerry Seinfeld, which is displayed at the beginning and end. However, none of them focuses on a particular theme or storyline because the show is about “nothing”. “Nothing” in the sense that the characters are simply living their normal lives, but they’re unaware of their entertaining absurdities. They have problems that need to be resolved but the writers don’t compromise the character’s authentic selves for that. Watch Seinfeld right away if you don’t want to be left behind on all the cultural references and memorable one-liners.
3. Parks and Recreation
From the creators of The Office, Parks and Recreationis a similar documentary-style TV show revolving around a park and recreation department in Indiana. It is a story about co-workers who eventually become one big family. The cast of well-known celebrities includes Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, and, Rob Lowe. The lead character, Leslie Knope, loves her job and is set on building a park with the help of her trusty friends and co-workers. This seemingly simple task gets more and more complicated due to unforeseen issues, but our protagonist is not one to give up easily, which leads to hilarious absurdities.
The world-building is amazing because many characters are introduced over the course of the show, but none of them seems out of place. The show ended in 2015 after seven seasons but they still have regular reunions for the fans who can’t stop asking for more. Most people in this office don’t like their jobs but they love each other, even though they might not admit it. Every person has some quirky trait that is unique to them, which prevents superficial and boring characters. Binge-watch this American comedy on Netflix and you’ll know the meaning of good comedy.
The opening song of this show echoes—“I’ll be there for you”, and these words couldn’t be any truer in the context of this sitcom. Six friends living in New York City always have each other to share their confessions and daily endeavours. Each of them resembles a certain member you will find in every friend circle. While some fans even speculate that the six people represent the character traits of one single person. Chandler is the sarcastic one who lives with the goofy and adorable Joey. Their next-door neighbors, Monica, the OCD cleaner, and Rachel, the beautiful and innocent newcomers have their own problems. Monica’s brother, Ross, is the smart one, and Phoebe, if she can be described in one word, is kooky. Aside from the lead characters, the other recurring characters have funny moments of their own.
When these imperfect people come together, they bring out the best in one another and always have each other’s backs. There are probably very few people by now who have never heard of the show. Fans boast about watching it several times just to recreate all the wonderful moments and revisit the characters once more. If you’re one of the few who haven’t seen it already, enter this crazy world yourself and start watching right away. You have a lot of catching up to do.
Those looking for shows like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia will love what Friends brings to the table.
5. Two and a Half Men
Alan Harper moves in with his brother Charlie after separating from his wife. Living with your brother can be uncomfortable as it is, but Alan has an additional challenge as he also has to protect his young son Jake from Charlie’s bad influences. They are complete polar opposites—Alan is a man with a 9-5 job who plays by the rules while Charlie is a lazy, self-centered musician who loves alcohol and women. Meanwhile, Jake is growing up with a combination of both their personalities. Charlie Sheen, who plays Charlie Harper on the show left after season eight and some say the show was never the same since. But don’t take my word for it. Go watch it for yourselves and compare the show after Aston Kutcher replaced the protagonist.
Both the lead characters are self-destructive in their own ways, and you’ll alternately support between the two depending on the situation. The premise might sound simple- two dissimilar people trying to live alongside each other but the execution is what makes it funny. It doesn’t force the comedy and the lines seem almost natural to the characters tastes and pre-designed personalities. So start watching Two and a Half Men right away and let your laughter run wild.
This might be the most controversial show on the list, but no one can deny the creative genius behind it. Louie C.K., the writer, got in trouble after the #metoo movement, which most possibly ended the show. But if you can separate the art from the artist, Louie is a treat. This American drama follows the life of stand-up comedian Louis C.K.’s real-life ventures. If you have watched any of his stand-ups, you know that he’s an unapologetic comic who doesn’t shy away from controversial subject matters.
Louie contains five seasons and each episode is like a page inside the comedian’s life. We get why people would hate such a straightforward guy, but he’s simply talking about the things we all secretly think about. He recently did a new stand-up routine but no future shows have been announced as of yet. If you want to laugh at some of the best situational comedy, don’t hesitate to give Louie a try.
Did I miss out on any other shows like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Let me know in the comments section.