If You Love 'Friends' Then You Need To See These 11 Shows
If you have rewatched all 10 seasons of Friends on Netflix — and let's be real, you definitely have because Friends is the greatest — you are no doubt craving more quality hangout comedies. For a long time, every new sitcom was heralded as the new Friends , but honestly, the "old" Friends cannot ever be replaced (a truth many networks found out the hard way). However, there are some quality shows every Friends fan needs to see. No, they won't have the Central Perk couch, but they will satisfy your need for shows featuring BFFs figuring the whole adulthood thing out together.
From series that pre-date Friends (I am here to tell you sitcoms from the '70s and '80s are legit) to modern shows that manage to be Friends-like without being clones, there are a ton of comedies just waiting for Friends fans to discover them. Trust me: Monica, Chandler, Rachel, and the rest of the gang will still be there waiting on Netflix when you need them, but in the meantime, spread your TV-loving wings and try these 14 comedies that every Friends fan will love.
1. Happy Endings
When it first premiered, Happy Endings was panned as being the latest in a long line of shows trying too hard to be Friends, but around episode three the show found its groove and never looked back. Thanks to its familiar six friends living a big city life setup, fans of the Central Perk crew will immediately feel at home, but Happy Endings is way more modern and eccentric. Penny, Max, Jane, Dave, Brad, and Alex take on hipsters, career changes, and people living in their crawl space with a wit that is unparalleled. If you wish Friends had been just a little bit weirder, then you are going to fall hard for Happy Endings.
Where To Watch? Hulu — the streaming service has all three perfect seasons.
2. Cougar Town
This one is a no-brainer. Cougar Town is basically Friends set 10 years in the future when the gang decided to move to Florida and become professional wine drinkers. Courteney Cox stars as Jules, so there's a familiar face for you to hold onto, and Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, and Lisa Kudrow all guest-starred during the show's six season run. And een when Cox's old friends aren't around, you will be entranced by her new pals. Ellie alone is worth the price of admission, and watching the show is like being a part of the most awesome club ever thanks to the perfect in-jokes. Forget "Pivot!" You need to be able to shout "Penny Can!" and know what it means.
Where To Watch? Alas, the only way to watch all of Cougar Town is to digitally download it from Amazon, iTunes, or Google Play (or go old school and buy the DVDs). Season 6 is available for free on TBS.com, but you are going to want to invest in the whole series.
For Chandler, Joey, Ross, Phoebe, and Rachel, the place where everybody knew their name was Monica's apartment, but for a group of misfits in the '80s, including a recovering alcoholic bartender, that place was a bar called Cheers. Friends by accident, Sam, Norm, Diane, Frasier, and the rest of the Cheers' patrons and employees formed a de facto family. There are places where the show is dated, but good comedy lasts forever and Cheers is some of the best.
Where To Watch? All 11 seasons are on Netflix, and there's not a bad season in the bunch.
If your favorite part of Friends was Ross and Rachel or the hilarious dating mishaps, then Coupling has you covered. The comedy is often referred to as the British Friends thanks to its similar themes (and six BFFs), but it is definitely bawdier. It could also be crazy romantic though. One of the few TV couples that can rival Monica and Chandler is Sally and Patrick, in my humble opinion.
Where To Watch? Your good pal Hulu has all four seasons.
5. How I Met Your Mother
The ending was divisive, but that doesn't change how good How I Met Your Mother is overall. If you want another show that mixes friendship, growing up, and romance flawlessly, then you need to meet Ted Mosby and his besties. Barney can be super misogynistic, but overall there is a lot to love about watching these characters figure out adulthood in New York City.
Where To Watch? You can find the entire series on Netflix.
6. That '70s Show
Did you love those flashback moments to Monica, Chandler, Rachel, and Ross' teen years? Good, because That '70s Show is like one long flashback sequence. Eric and his friends are a bunch of aimless teens stuck in a small town who get into a crazy amount of trouble. Like Friends, That '70s Show excels at surprising you with unexpected punches straight to your emotions, but mostly it is the ultimate hangout show.
Where To Watch? Netflix has your back.
OK, fair warning, M*A*S*H can be intense. Set during the Korean War, it was one of the first sitcoms to balance humor with the very harsh realities of life. That's not to say it isn't hilarious, though. The doctors and nurses are more family than friends, and trust me, without Hawkeye and Trapper (or Hawkeye and B.J.), there would be no Chandler and Joey.
Where To Watch? Netflix has all 11, yes 11, seasons.
8. New Girl
A group of thirtysomething friends who can't seem to get the hang of being grownups? Yes, thank you, more please. The friendships between the various roommates are all magical, but no one tops Winston, who is definitely the gang's Phoebe. Some of the romantic plotlines can get tedious, but overall New Girl will hit your Friends sweet spot.
Where To Watch? Netflix has the past seasons and Hulu has the latest episodes.
9. Gavin & Stacey
At the center of Gavin and Stacey is long distance romance, but if you loved the Monica and Chandler relationship, you are going to fall head over heels for the titular cuties. Don't be surprised if you end up being even more invested in their BFFs Smithy (James Corden) and Nessa (Ruth Jones) though. They are perpetual scenestealers with a wonderfully grumpy romance all their own.
Where To Watch? Hulu has all three seasons.
If you have ever thought to yourself: "Friends is amazing, but I wish it was geekier," then get thee to Spaced. Again, you have a group of friends struggling with adulthood, but this time it is directed by Edgar Wright and has more nuanced Star Wars references.
Where To Watch? Hulu has all your British comedy needs covered.
OK, Younger is a little high concept: it stars Sutton Foster as Liza, a women in her 40s who lies about her age in order to get a job. The show is about so much more than that. It's about forming strong female bonds, second chances, and figuring out who you really are at any age. Friends fans will feel right at home with Liza and her crew.
Where To Watch? You'll have to shell out some cash to catch up on Younger. You can purchase Season 1 on any digital download platform, and catch new episodes of Season 2 on TV Land.
Any one of these shows will make you feel like you are hanging out in Monica's apartment all over again.
Image: Warner Bros. TV