The best shows like ‘Parks and Recreation’
Led by the brilliant Amy Poehler as the perky and optimistic Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation ⏤ affectionally dubbed Parks and Rec by those who know and love it ⏤ ran for seven seasons on NBC and has become one of the most beloved comedy series of all time. With a large and very funny ensemble cast, the show centered around various public officials in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana and their attempts to make their community a better place.
The hilarious workplace comedy may have ended in 2015, but it still ranks highly in terms of rewatch value and is the reason for more than a few popular memes today (treat yo self, anyone?). However, if one is in search of similar shows, there are a couple to choose from that offer plenty of laughs and heartfelt moments in their own rights.
Here are 10 such shows that fans of Parks and Rec are sure to enjoy.
Considered one of the greatest comedies of all time, The Office follows the lives of the staff of the fictional Dundler Mifflin Paper Company and their hilarious shenanigans. Each character has their own unique traits and all are managed by the improper yet lovable Michael Scott, who is portrayed by Steve Carell. The Office is based on the U.K. series of the same name and was created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, who also brought Parks and Recreation to life.
Another workplace comedy, 30 Rock dives into the world of television and focuses on the work and personal lives of the writers behind a fictional sketch show. 30 Rock was written by and stars Tina Fey as Liz Lemon, the head writer of the show as she deals with her fellow writers and her cutthroat boss, Jack Donaghy, all while managing a very bizarre personal life. While the sitcom struggled with ratings on NBC, the show was a critical success and ran for seven seasons, taking home multiple awards throughout its run. Fans of Poehler’s Leslie will absolutely adore Liz Lemon.
Set in the fictional store Cloud 9, Superstore follows the lives of the workers and managers of a particular branch of a store chain. The show highlights the bond between employees, and Parks and Rec fans can enjoy the relationships between coworkers mixed with a lot of hilarious moments. While lead star America Ferrera’s character, Amy Sosa, might not have the optimistic personality of Leslie Knope, she definitely has her colleagues’ best interests at heart.
Created by Michael Schur, this comedy is about the detectives that make up the fictional 99th precinct in Brooklyn. While all are talented members of the force, many have quirky and hilarious personalities that make Brooklyn Nine-Nine fun to watch. Starring Andy Samberg as the lovable and brilliant detective Jake Peralta alongside a sharp and diverse cast, it’s no wonder the series ran for eight funny seasons.
There’s a reason why Schitt’s Creek swept the 72nd Emmy Awards in 2020 and why it has made this list: it’s just plain funny. Following the riches-to-rags tale of the fictional Rose family, viewers get to enjoy watching the character developments of the once-spoiled family of four as they begin to get accustomed to their new life without wealth. The brilliant series may have gained most of its popularity toward the end of its run, but the quality of the show has been top-notch since its very first season. Fans can enjoy the relationships of the main and supporting characters for a reminder of why they fell in love with shows like Parks and Rec in the first place.
This short-lived NBC sitcom was set in the world of television news and deals with a producer’s relationship with her mother, who also doubles as a new intern. There are a lot of funny moments on the show, and like Parks and Rec, the majority of the characters develop a relationship with each other. The best thing about the series, however, is the writing. With many sharp and witty one-liners and a look into the world of news, Great News offers a hilarious show backed by lovable actors.
When a group of unlikely friends joins a study group while enrolled in community college, there are many heartwarming and hilarious moments to be had. Community perfectly showcases the ways personality differences can make a group of close friends an even more tight-knit group. The show features an ensemble cast and has garnered a cult following for its whimsical comedy and interesting ways of tackling serious issues.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
If anyone could trump Leslie Knope’s positivity and perkiness, it’s Kimmy Schmidt. Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, this hilarious and weird comedy stars Ellie Kemper as the titular character who is rescued from a doomsday cult after 15 years. As she tries to take control of her life again, the Indiana native moves to New York City and befriends a couple of out-of-touch and unusual characters. Heralded as one of the best sitcoms of the streaming era, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt earned critical praise throughout its four-season run.
While Parks and Recreation featured lovable and relatable characters, HBO’s Veep was the exact opposite. Although they share bureaucratic similarities, Veep’s characters were absolutely mean and brutal, but fortunately, extremely hilarious. Led by Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President Selina Meyer, Veep centered on the bizarre and aggressive workings of the White House. If Leslie and her colleagues were the friendly classmates, Selina and her staff were no doubt the school bullies. If ever the Parks and Recreation cast are a little too likable, Veep is the one to watch.
The Good Place
Also created by Michael Schur, The Good Place ran for four seasons and featured some terrific character development in the world of sitcom. With a funny and charming cast, viewers can immerse themselves in the fantasy comedy series about a Heaven-like destination for people who have lived fair and righteous lives on earth. There are a lot of shocking twists in the series, but the comedy is never sacrificed. The talented cast, as well as the show’s unique storyline, have been on the receiving end of critical praise.