25 Shows To Watch To Fill The Void When ‘The Office’ Leaves Netflix
Someday we'll all have to move on from Scranton, Pennsylvania.
It may still be a long way off, but the dark day when “The Office” leaves Netflix will arrive at some point and, according to one poll, the closure of everyone’s favorite paper company could potentially mean the loss of 10% of Netflix subscribers. That’s huge!
Over the course of nine seasons, we came to love the “Office” characters — and relate to them — as though they were coworkers and friends of our own. In fact, this is apparently why so many people re-watch episodes of “The Office”. The characters feel as familiar as our own real-life loved ones. It’ll be hard to say farewell to this Netflix staple when the time comes.
If you’re an “Office” megafan, you’re going to have to find some new addictions. Here are 25 options for other series you’ll probably enjoy if you love “The Office.” We stuck to the ones that are available to stream on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, even though the traditional TV networks also boast some hilarious content (hello, “Veep” on HBO and “Corporate” on Comedy Central). We’ve also set aside any other content that will also likely evaporate from Netflix or Hulu when the NBC and Disney streaming sites launch (including anything owned by NBC, Fox and ABC, like “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Superstore”).
‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’
This one is a no-brainer. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if Erin from “The Office” (Ellie Kemper) was freed from an underground bunker where she’d been held hostage for years, and then made a life for herself in New York City with a rag-tag group of other misfit adults, you’ll be delighted to binge-watch “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix. The wacky and darkly comedic series was created by Tina Fey and has an absurdist vibe that’s similar to “30 Rock.” All four seasons of Kimmy’s insane adventures are available to stream now.
This short-lived workplace comedy ran on Starz from 2009-2010 and featured some of the crème de la crème of comedic talent (Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Ken Marino, Jane Lynch and many more). The series, while funny, was also a bleak look at the entertainment industry, as it followed a team of Hollywood wannabes working as cater waiters to make ends meet before they got their big breaks (or so they desperately hoped).
“Party Down” was created by Rob Thomas, of “Veronica Mars” fame. He was inspired by the brilliance of the original U.K. version of “The Office,” which he believed was “the greatest TV show that had ever been done.”
“If ‘The Office’ is a show about people who have really given themselves over to the rat race, let’s do a show about people who’ve chased the dream for far too long,” Thomas told Details magazine about his inspiration for “Party Down.”
You can stream all episodes of “Party Down” on Hulu now.
‘The Mindy Project’
Mindy Kaling had a huge hand in the success of “The Office,” so it was only natural that “Office” fans followed her next projects after the paper-company comedy went off the air. Kaling created and starred in “The Mindy Project” — first on Fox and then Hulu — which follows a bright, funny, socially awkward OB-GYN, Dr. Mindy Lahiri, as she tries to make her rom-com fantasies a reality in NYC.
Audiences and critics enjoyed this show, which has a critics rating of 86% on RottenTomatoes. A Yahoo! TV writer summed it up well when he wrote of season four, “The series has always combined Kaling’s smart pop-culture-infused dialogue with lots of physical comedy to make a show that’s at once of-the-moment and a satisfyingly old-fashioned sitcom.”
Much like “The Office,” “Cheers” struggled upon its debut in 1982. That year, the workplace comedy ranked 77th (out of 100) in the Nielsen TV ratings. Over the next 11 seasons, however, and despite multiple cast changes and sudden losses, “Cheers” grew into one of the most-watched shows on television. Nearly 83 million people tuned in to the final episode in 1993.
Former “Office” writer Michael Schur is one of the show’s biggest admirers. In 2011, Schur told Vulture that he considers the show “the best sitcom ever made.” With 275 episodes streaming on Netflix, “Cheers” may be one of the best “Office” replacements in terms of high-quality, long-term bingeing.
‘The IT Crowd’
No discussion of workplace comedies can occur without mentioning “The IT Crowd.” Starring Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson, this British comedy series takes a look at the weird inner workings of the IT department of a London company called Reynholm Industries.
Whether warranted or not, IT workers have often been the butt of jokes (remember the “SNL” sketch about “Nick Burns, your company’s IT guy,” featuring Jimmy Fallon as the titular obnoxious IT worker?), but “The IT Crowd” shows the old stereotype from the perspective of the IT department itself — with plenty of irreverent wit.
Trace the lineage of the “The Office” and you’ll find it shares TV DNA with “Taxi.” Debuting in 1978, “Taxi” was created by the team that would go on to make the influential “Cheers” just a few years later.
As far as workplace comedies go, there are many similarities to draw between “The Office” and “Taxi.” While the employees of Dunder Mifflin are relatively OK with their jobs (especially on pretzel day), the Sunshine Cab Company is populated by aspirers: a boxer, an actor, an art dealer, a gibberish-spouting Andy Kaufman.
Even Alex Reiger (Judd Hirsch), who is resigned to being a cabbie, aspires to be at peace with that resignation. They all drive cabs to take them someplace else. Supplementing that emotional core over five seasons (now streaming on Hulu) is some of the sharpest comedy writing and most memorable characters in TV history.
The second season of “Fleabag” hit Amazon Prime earlier this spring, whipping fans into a tizzy because it somehow managed to be even more brilliant, hilarious and poignant than the first season. The darkly comedic British series is the brainchild of Phoebe Waller-Bridge (also the creator of “Killing Eve”), who stars in the show as the main character, known as “Fleabag,” a London cafe-owner struggling with the loss of her best friend, strained relations with her family and her own many efforts at self-sabotage. In season two, she’s finally cleaned up her act — only to fall hopelessly in love with someone with whom she can never be.
The second (and final) season struck such a nerve in fans and critics (The Guardian called it “electrifying, devastating,” Paste gushed over the show’s “pure, staggering power,” The Daily Beast called it “flawless television” and Vulture declared it “the best show on TV“) that NBC has now tapped Waller-Bridge to host “Saturday Night Live” on Oct. 5 with musical guest Taylor Swift.
This is the story of a family falling apart … and the one son trying to keep them all together. The original three-season run on Fox established “Arrested Development” as a cult hit, and with streaming services now targeting narrower audiences, it only makes sense that the series was revived by Netflix.
Now with five seasons available to binge (including two versions of season four), you can spend hours upon hours with the Bluth family and their omniscient narrator (and eventual co-star), Ron Howard. And if you’re still jonesing for an “Office” fix, take heart: You can expect to see some familiar faces along the way, include Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Craig Robinson.
‘Dear White People’
“Dear White People” manages to deliver some powerful messages amidst an awesome ensemble dramedy series. Set on a college campus, the Netflix show follows a group of students of color (led by the magnetic Logan Browning) at the predominantly white Winchester University as they navigate issues of racism, sexual politics, social injustice and more.
The show has received rave reviews since its debut in 2017 (season two has a staggering 100% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes). In a review for The Atlantic, Sophie Gilbert called the series “both timely and timeless” and “as entertaining as it is pointed.”
You might be wondering what this show about four fabulous women enjoying their golden years has to do with Dunder Mifflin, the people-person’s paper people, but at their core, both of these shows are classic, satisfying TV comedies.
The same thing that makes “The Office” something that can be re-watched a million times is what makes “Golden Girls” still palatable, nearly three decades after it went off the air: endearing characters and solid jokes. Just as you might put on an episode or two of “The Office” to unwind with at the end of a long day, you can sit back and watch the antics of these four Florida retirees, now streaming on Hulu.
This wildly popular ensemble comedy was said to be like the “Friends” of the U.K., with its main cast consisting of six buddies, three men and three women — though its focus was much more squarely on sex. (And perhaps because we already had “Friends,” an attempt to adapt “Coupling” for U.S. audiences bombed spectacularly.)
With its quintessential British humor — clever wordplay, hilarious cases of mistaken identity, farcical mishaps and more — “Coupling” is a joy to binge-watch (currently available on both Amazon Prime and Hulu), especially now, when the adorable early-2000s details (no smartphones! VHS tapes!) lend a sort of quirky innocence to storylines and jokes that are otherwise quite raunchy.
‘I Think You Should Leave’
There’s no shortage of sketch comedy out there, but it’s rare indeed to find a sketch show that’s as high-quality as Tim Robinson’s “I Think You Should Leave.” Along with his talented comedy friends (like Sam Richardson, Vanessa Bayer, Andy Samberg and many more), actor-writer Tim Robinson has strung together little nuggets of hilarity in the first season of his Netflix show.
It may not include an ongoing narrative, but the silly premises of these deliciously bite-sized vignettes are too good to miss. It’s just top-shelf comedy that’s sure to elicit those big ol’ stress-busting belly laughs.
The comedic powerhouses both behind and in front of the camera on “I’m Sorry” make this series epically entertaining. In addition to playing the main character (closely based on herself), Andrea Savage is the brains behind every episode, mining her own experiences as a mother, wife, friend and Hollywood writer for chuckles.
Often inappropriate and brutally honest, this is a can’t-miss series for any comedy fan. Both seasons of “I’m Sorry” are now streaming on Netflix.
If this Netflix show were solely about ladies’ wrestling in the 1980s, it would still be pure joy to watch, but the writing on this series is so layered and interesting and the characters so well-formed, the whole thing is elevated to super-smart, powerful television with a lot to say about women in sports, workplace politics and female friendship.
Starring Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin and a talented ensemble cast, the show follows the original Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW), a group of real-life female wrestlers in the 1980s. By turn hilarious, poignant and over-the-top entertaining, this show truly has it all.
In essence, it’s a workplace comedy … it’s just that the workplace is a wrestling ring and the work attire is sparkly sequined leotards.
This Hulu series stars “SNL” comedian Aidy Bryant in a story based on the memoir by Lindy West. Bryant’s character Annie, a Seattle-based writer, slowly learns how to ask for what she wants — and leave behind what she doesn’t want — as she finds her voice, both personally and professionally. Like all good comedies, this show is deeply real, warm-hearted and very funny.
One of the most beloved aspects of “The Office” is how wonderfully it presented those cringe-worthy moments. Whenever Michael did something inappropriate or Kevin made an ignorant comment, you felt actual pain from wincing and chuckling at the same time.
Amazon Prime’s “Catastrophe” does a similarly superb job of providing those “Yikes!” moments that also make you laugh hysterically. Irish writer-actor-producer Sharon Horgan teams up with American comedian Rob Delaney to deliver some hilarious hot takes on modern relationships and parenthood, among other subjects. It’s witty, acerbic, tough — and totally cathartic to watch.
This Canadian comedy series from Catherine Reitman offers up laughs amidst some serious truths about parenthood. Every episode begins with a scene at a mom-and-baby support group meeting where the central mom characters (and occasional dad) discuss a particular topic (breastfeeding, discipline, marital sex post-kids) that will often come into play more specifically in the characters’ lives during the rest of the episode.
Many moms find this show totally relatable, and even if you don’t have kids, any fan of strong ensemble comedies will find plenty to love here. Seasons 1-3 of “Workin’ Moms” are available to stream on Netflix.
“BoJack Horseman” was the first animated series created for Netflix. Soon to return for its sixth season, “BoJack” has amassed a devoted following, a good deal of acclaim and even an Emmy nomination.
Will Arnett voices the title character, a talking horse who is also the washed-up star of a ’90s sitcom, as he attempts to get his life and career back on track. The comedy has been lauded for its blend of biting satire and pathos.
‘Grace And Frankie’
Opposites attract in this easygoing comedy that features a new perspective: After their husbands leave them to pursue a relationship — with each other — free-spirited Frankie (Lily Tomlin) and type-A Grace (Jane Fonda) bond over their shared betrayal and ultimately go into business together.
What kind of business, you ask? The kind that vibrates.
The stellar comedic cast and whip-smart writing on this show make it incredibly easy to binge-watch all five seasons on Netflix.
‘One Day At A Time’
“ODAAT” (as it’s known to fans) is a unique entry on this list. Not only is it a family sitcom, but it’s also a reboot. Based on Norman Lear’s original series, which ran for nine seasons from 1975-1984, this version follows a multigenerational Cuban-American family. As such, ODAAT exists as one of the only shows on TV focused primarily on the lives of Latinx characters.
Much like all of Lear’s programs, the show does not shy away from challenging subject matter. Over the course of three seasons on Netflix, the Alvarez family has tackled topics such as immigration, gender identity, homophobia, addiction and racism.
Despite its recent cancellation, all three seasons will continue to stream on Netflix as POP TV prepares to air a much-anticipated fourth season.
‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’
There was a time in the mid-aughts when “The Office” was the darling of critics’ circles and awards shows. Today’s darling (especially with all that winning of awards and whatnot) is Amazon Prime’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
With a stellar main character in Midge Maisel, a wealthy Manhattan housewife-turned-standup-comedian, and some of the juiciest, funniest writing on TV from “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, “Maisel” scratches the itch for comedy fans everywhere.
The title of this show really sums it up. Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner play exaggerated versions of themselves in this comedy that was produced by Amy Poehler. The two are aggressively self-centered New Yorkers whose love for each other is only surpassed by their love for themselves.
It’s not unlike any other tale of young people trying to make it in the big city, except that the main characters are, you know, very difficult people. Embedded amidst all the caustic barbs, however, are some real truths about relationships, the entertainment industry, millennial angst and more.
While neither a workplace comedy nor an ensemble show, the Hulu series “Pen15” will greatly appeal to people who came of age in the late ’90s/early ’00s (which likely describes a fair number of “Office” fans) with its ample references to that halcyon era.
This quirky, heartfelt comedy stars Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, playing their own teenage selves in 2000 — while the rest of the cast members are actually in their teens. The whole thing is totally awkward and weird and cringey in the best possible way.
‘The Thick Of It’
If you enjoy HBO’s “Veep,” you’re almost guaranteed to love “The Thick of It,” the similar British series by the same creator, Armando Iannucci. Just like its American counterpart, “The Thick of It” is a satirical behind-the-scenes look at governmental machinations — and it’s all cloaked in that bitingly dry British wit.
Airing around the same time that “The Office” was becoming a smash hit in the States (2005-2009, with another season in 2012), this show was incredibly well-liked. It still has a 96% average audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Currently, you can stream “The Thick of It” on both Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Although some viewers initially dismissed this show as being just another “Friends” knockoff, with its group of six buddies, three men and three women, “Happy Endings” earned itself a cult following over its three seasons on TV by the charm of its cast and the wit of its writing. Now, all episodes are available to stream on both Hulu and Amazon Prime, so new fans can follow the adventures of these friends (and paramours).
The title alludes to the first episode, which starts where most romantic comedies end: at the altar, where Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) and Dave (Zachary Knighton) are getting married. This happy ending turns into an unhappy beginning, however, when Alex abruptly leaves Dave for another guy in the middle of the ceremony.
You may get hooked on “Happy Endings” just in time for the reboot, if and when it comes to pass.