15 Shows You Should Watch If You're A Fan of The Office

It's been 4 years since The Office's cast took their final bows *sob* and we've watched, rewatched and binged on Netflix again and again ever since trying to fill the void it left behind.

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Psh...those are rookie numbers.
And while our beloved show never, ever ever gets old, sometimes we get a hankering for something new. So here's our list of shows you're likely to enjoy if The Office is your all-time favorite show.

#15: The Walking Dead

Alright, so we know it's a stretch but hear us out.  One of the hallmarks of The Office was its use of a large ensemble cast, slowly introducing seemingly background characters that eventually got more and more screen-time until they eventually became fan favorites over the course of the series.  The Walking Dead, we argue, does exactly the same thing.  The Walking Dead also populates early episodes, and even entire seasons, with these same types of might-as-well-be-extras characters.  Little do your realize as you binge through the episodes, that that one person whose name you can't even remember will one day charm their way into your heart as, at least, your secondary favorite. 

And, if part of the reason you loved The Office wasn't just the comedy, but the writers' ability to pen characters you actually gave a damn about, look no further than The Walking Dead for another excellent exercise in character driven plot-lines and long-term character development. 

No, it isn't comedy.  But, much like The Office was so much more than a simple "workplace show," as any true TWD fan will tell you, The Walking Dead is waaaaay more than just a "zombie show." 

Lastly, we argue that Dwight would have effing loved it.

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Oh but um, you might not want to get too attached to anyone.

Seasons 1-6 are available on Netflix. Season 7 will be available around the time Season 8 premieres this October.

#14 House of Cards

Another, perhaps further, stretch, given that this show is also not comedic in nature, however there's one thing it has in common with our beloved Office that landed it on our list. 

The Office was known for breaking many TV norms, losing the laugh-track used by all sitcoms at the time, moving camera persons, and, of course, the breaking of the 4th wall.  For the first time, a network show openly had characters communicating directly to its audience. And if the intimacy of having a character speak to you, letting you in on the secrets the other characters didn't even know about, was part of why you loved The Office, you might also enjoy getting to know Frank Underwood. Ok so, maybe not "enjoy" once you start to get to know him since he's no Michael Scott in terms of likability, however, he has a knack for making you feel like you're in on whatever scheme he's up to by explaining his true motivations through that broken 4th wall.

Think of it as a darker, more twisted and politically driven version of knowing what Jim was up to while pranking Dwight.

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5 Seasons are available on Netflix

#13 Game of Thrones

(The comedy's coming, cool your jets)

Double down on everything we said about The Walking Dead and add to it that The Office itself not only referenced Game Of Thrones but also permanently impacted the HBO hit through the episode in which it was featured.  You may remember season 9's bit where Dwight teaches Erin Dothraki, a fictional language created by a linguistic contest winner David J. Peterson.  What you might not know is that when The Office's writing staff penned those scenes, they never consulted the Game of Thrones writers or Peterson.  And yet, Erin and Dwight both spoke valid, accurate Dothraki on the show. After the episode aired, Peterson was so impressed by Dwight's usage of noun-verb compounds which he himself hadn't even thought to create, he decided to canonize Dwight's ideas and named the Dothraki linguistic usage...get this... The Schrutean Compound. 

And in Dwight's words: "Game of Thrones, it has a lot of nudity.  Which I fast forward through to get to the chopped off heads."

PS: We meant it about doubling down on what we said above about The Walking Dead. Seriously! Don't. Get. Attached.

6 seasons are available exclusively to HBO subscribers. If you don't have access to HBO consider trying HBO Now on streaming devices which comes with a 30 day free trial. Each season only contains 10 episodes, so it is possible to binge everything in 1 month. Season 7 premieres July 16th this year. 

#12 Battlestar Gallactica 

Ok, so we realize this is starting to seem like a list birthed from raiding Dwight's DVD collection, but we couldn't possibly have made this list without including the show referenced more times than any other on The Office, and arguably, the single most requoted joke by Office fans: "Bears. Beets. Battlestar Gallactica." 

The 1978 original series only lasted 24 episodes, but quickly became a cult classic story franchise with subsequent novels, comic books and video games.  In 2003, it was rebooted into a miniseries and later went on to have 4 seasons, 2 films and a slew of webisodes.  It's also known among fans as being the quintessential binge-watching show, with its addictive qualities being humorized in this very popular Portlandia scene shown below:


Tip: If you're hoping to catch Dwight's references to it, you're best off watching the more recent incarnation of the show.

Battlestar Galactica is available on Hulu.

#11 Archer

And now we move on to tickle your funny bone.

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If you're a big fan of The Office's "That's what she said" jokes, look no further than the FX adult cartoon hit, Archer.

Your only dilemma after watching both The Office and Archer will be deciding whether to shout "That's what she said!" or "Phrasing" after hearing someone commit a double entendre.

It recently closed up its 8th season, and seasons 1-7 can be found on Netflix.

#10 It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Fans of both The Office and Seinfeld are likely to love IASIP, since it could be described as a show about nothing in the workplace. Not many half hour comedy shows can boast its success and popularity, recently closing up its 12th season and set to be renewed for at least 2 more, which will tie it with Ozzie and Harriet as the longest running live-action sitcom in history.

Known for it's dark, edgy, R-rated, character-based humor, fans of The Office might enjoy watching and wondering how similar Michael Scott's jokes could have been to IASIP had The Office not been restricted by censorship on broadcast television.

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Seasons 1-11 are available on Netflix

#9 Modern Family

Recently closing up its 8th season on ABC, this popular sitcom has a lot of similarities to The Office. The most obvious being its mockumentary, 4th wall breaking, style. The talking heads we Office fans came to love are used well in this critically acclaimed comedy series, though fans of The Office might become frustrated with its lack of explanation for why the characters are being filmed.

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Modern Family boasts an Emmy win for Outstanding Comedy Series for each and every one of the first 5 seasons it aired.

Modern Family is available on Hulu.

#8 30 Rock

Tina Fey's masterpiece appeals most to fans of SNL, but Office fans can find some similarities and a lot of laughs in 30 Rock. It's a workplace comedy for one, written by arguably NBC's greatest living comedic mind, and is full of quirky, flawed, lovable characters.

But the coolest connection it has to The Office comes as a result of 30 Rock being semi-based in reality, with characters aware of Steve Carell's genius on our beloved show. Check out this little clip from Season 5:


All 7 seasons of 30 Rock are available on Netflix.

#7 Community

If the reason you love The Office is its collection of misfit characters, you'll find a lot to like about NBC's comedy Community. It also places a lot of emphasis on its setting, a community college, much like The Office did with a workplace. The jokes are quick and full of pop cultural references, if a bit more silly than what you get from The Office.

What's really fun about Community is all the alternate reality episodes it had. Like a claymation Christmas episode, a video-game type animated episode, a puppet episode, etc.  So if you liked Threat Level Midnight and how it broke up the regularity of The Office with a bit of indulgent fun, you'll probably enjoy these semi-frequent gems in Community.

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Community is available exclusively on Hulu

#6 Arrested Development

If you loved Jim, Pam, or Oscar for being the voices of reason among a slew of crazier characters, you're likely to enjoy AD's Michael (played by Jason Bateman). Much like The Office, some of the funniest moments in Arrested Development come not just from the antics of the more harebrained members of the cast, but from the reactions of the straight-man who's shaking his head along with you, the viewer.

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And there's tons of Office cast sightings! 
Other similarities include the moving camera work, LOADS of awkward moments (cringe comedy gets a lot of love in AD) and it also has its own share of long running jokes to please frequent viewers. But most of all, AD is a character study much like The Office where you see how the varying personalities intertwine and also how they evolve over time, but a bit more sped up than what you see on The Office.

Arrested Development is available on Netflix

#5 New Girl

Were it not for the Office-Universe of shows you'll see lower on this list, New Girl would be number one on our list of shows that translate best to fans of The Office.

No laugh track? Check.
Quirky well-developed characters? Check.
Multiple romances to ship? Check.
Pop-culture jokes? Check.
Belly laughs? Check
Tear jerking moments? Check.
Hilariously relatable scenarios? Triple check.

In other words, it's got almost everything The Office had, minus the talking heads and moving camerapersons.

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It's even got appearances from Angela (and Oscar)! 

No doubt you've heard of it, and maybe a friend or two has suggested you watch it, but you shrug them off and say you'd rather rewatch The Office instead. Which of course, you're entitled to do. But if ever the desire hits to ease out of your Dunder Mifflin comfort zone, New Girl might be just the ticket. It centers around Jess, played by Zooey Deschanel, a naive and eternally nice teacher who moves in with a group of unique and lovable dudes.

Recently renewed for it's final 7th season on FOX, the first 5 (soon to be 6) seasons are available on Netflix.

#4 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Erin fans, if you're not watching Netflix's original hit show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt yet, you're missing out.  Her title character is incredibly similar to Erin in a lot of ways (Adorably ditzy, always optimistic and happy in spite of a dark past, romantic mishaps, etc) and you might also notice that the comedic tone feels familiar since it's penned by Tina Fey of NBC comedy fame.

The characters are flawed, but extremely lovable. Lillian might remind you somewhat of Meredith. Jacqueline reminds us a bit of Jan (but much more endearing) and Titus, well, he's in a class of his own but if we're forcing Office comparisons, imagine Michael + Andy + Stanley having a love child. Add some glitter and a penchant for cassette tapes and you'll end up with Titus Andromedon.

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3 seasons are available exclusively on Netflix. What are you waiting for?

#3 The Mindy Project

Our beloved cast is seen more frequently on this show than almost any other (save for maybe Arrested Development...it's close). Not only does Queen Mindy star, write and produce -- remember that she wasn't only an actress on The Office, she also wrote episodes like The Injury and Niagara -- but you can see cameos and larger parts from Office-alum like Paul Lieberstein (Toby), Ed Helms (Andy), BJ Novak (Ryan), Ellie Kemper (Erin), Anna Camp (Pam's sister Penny), Kelen Coleman (Isabel) and even Beth Grant (Dwight's babysitter!).

Mindy, the character, is a lot like both her Office alter-ego Kelly with a little bit of Michael Scott rolled in. But most importantly, Mindy the person, writes and/or executive produces every single episode, so a LOT of the humor will feel familiar to what you came to love on The Office.


The Mindy Project is available on Hulu.

#2 Parks and Recreation

It's a mockumentary. It was created by Greg Daniels (Executive producer and creator of The Office U.S.) and Michael Schur (You know him as Mose). It uses exactly the same camera styles, talking heads, workplace comedy writing, and character development as The Office. It even has a Toby (Jerry).

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It's basically The Office, but with a lighter touch and much more emphasis placed on its friendships.

Leslie Knope is a less-offensive, more ambitious, female version of Michael Scott.
April is a young female version of Stanley.
Ron Swanson is (if possible) a manlier version of Dwight.
Donna and Tom will likely remind you a lot of Kelly.
Ben makes for an adorable Jim type.
Ann, wholly unlike Karen, played by Rashida Jones, is a (if possible) nicer version of Pam.
And Andy Dwyer is, well... he could best be described as an energetic golden retriever that was magically turned human, but still isn't quite sure exactly how to human.

Rare is The Office fan who hasn't at least tried Parks and Rec. But rarer still is the fan who's actually watched the entire series. As amazing as The Office was, it took until roughly the second season to really hit its stride and break away from its mother show The Office U.K. Parks is no different in this regard. While season one of Parks grows on you, much like The Office's first season, it pales in comparison to the following seasons which are chock full of both hilarity and LOADS of heart.

Give it a shot, for more than one season, please. PS: The 1st season is very short, just like The Office's.

All six seasons are available on Netflix.

#1 The Office U.K. 

There's no other way to end this list than to pay homage to the amazing brainchild of Ricky Gervais and Stephan Merchant that started it all. With a total episode count of only 14, (Yes, 14!) it's a quick binge compared with anything else on this list.

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For American viewers, it's tough to catch all the jokes and references, but in the age of smart phones and Netflix's handy subtitles, it's possible to sift through the British-isms via Google and learn a thing or two, making watching a sort of interactive experience.

You'll also recognize story lines from episodes of The Office U.S. featured in Pilot, Health Care, The Alliance and Hot Girl. Tim and Dawn flirting at reception not only reminds you of PB&J, Pam and Jim's whole beginning damn near mirrors the original almost exactly. The whole cast will remind you of their later American versions, from David (Michael) to Gareth (Dwight) to Tim (Jim) to Dawn (Pam) in the main cast right down to those in the secondary cast like Chris (Todd Packer) Ricky (Ryan) and Jennifer (Jan) among others.

The largest difference aside from the colloquial speech patterns you'll notice, will likely be its relaxed censors. Where The Office US is toned down and full of innuendo for broadcast audiences, The UK version is balls bollocks out raunchy humor full of F-bombs and dirty jokes.

Give it a try, if nothing else, out of respect for our parent show.

Currently both seasons series are available to US Netflix subscribers. 


Agree with our choices? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below!

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