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6 Shows like Cougar Town: Among Friends

Adam Pothitos itcherTV series that feature groups of friends have proven to be highly successful in mainstream television. After all, TV shows like ‘Cougar Town’, ‘Scrubs’, and ‘Community’ are hilarious and extremely relatable. ~ Adam Pothitos

The Infamous Predator

‘Cougar Town’ is one of those shows whose title has little to do with the actual content. Though the show was originally supposed to be about cougars in the inappropriate sense of the word, its themes quickly changed.

After the first couple of episodes, ‘Cougar Town’ found its true place and became a sit-com about a group of friends who don’t care about the world. Of course, no one can really care about anything after that much alcohol!


Shows Similar to ‘Cougar Town’…

‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’ (CBS, 2006-2010)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has proven her comedic prowess time and again and this show is no exception as she stars in the titular role of “Old Christine”.

Christine Campbell is a divorced mother who owns a women’s gym and constantly tries to keep up with her many responsibilities. Her ex-husband, who’s now dating another Christine, does not make things any easier.

The show has a cast of fantastic characters who are absolutely hilarious. Whether she’s dealing with the arrogant parents at her son’s school or drinking with her friend, Barb (Wanda Sykes), Christine always finds herself in amusing situations.

Similarity Match: 90%
Balancing life as a single mother is very tough but, as it happens in ‘Cougar Town’, it can also be very funny for the outside observer. This show is less about groups of friends hanging together, however, and more about coming to terms with adulthood and responsibilities.

‘Scrubs’ (NBC, 2001-2008 & ABC, 2009-2010)

‘Scrubs’ is a show that can make you laugh, cry, and stand in awe, all over the course of a single episode.

The series focuses on J.D. (Zach Braff) and his friends and colleagues at the Sacred Heart Hospital. Every story is presented through the eyes of J.D. and the results are usually surreal.

The show is not afraid to use slapstick comedy or introduce completely absurd situations. Thankfully, the show balances the comedic and dramatic elements perfectly. Funny actions may be accompanied by ridiculous sound effects, for instance, but whenever something serious happens, ‘Scrubs’ deals with it accordingly.

Similarity Match: 85%
Bill Lawrence’s unique touch is evident in both ‘Scrubs’ and ‘Cougar Town’, two shows that share the same humor and style. The two series have very different stories and premises, especially during the surreal segments of ‘Scrubs’.

‘Happy Endings’ (ABC, 2011-2013)

Another show that started with a certain premise and then moved on to a different one, ‘Happy Endings’ is like any other show that tells us stories about a certain groups of friends. Of course, this show’s humor is unique, something which resulted in a relatively small but fiercely loyal fan base.

‘Happy Endings’ is about six friends and their many adventures, a lot of which result in absolute disaster. Like any other similar series, it takes a while before you actually care about the characters as the show becomes progressively better after the first few episodes.

Similarity Match: 85%
If ‘Cougar Town’ was about young adults, it would probably look something like ‘Happy Endings’. Because of the different age groups, however, the two shows often deal with different themes.

‘How I Met Your Mother’ (CBS, 2005-2014)

‘How I Met Your Mother’ follows a group of friends in Manhattan. The title is derived from the show’s framing device which sees Ted, one of the main characters, narrating stories to his children in the future. The show is filled with pop-culture references, running gags, and weird jokes which are instantly quotable.

HIMYM, as the show is often called, became an increasingly experimental show with each season. Thankfully, most of its experiments worked fantastically and so we are left with one of the most hilarious sitcoms in the history of TV.

Similarity Match: 80%
‘How I Met Your Mother’ is like the weird cousin of ‘Cougar Town’ who only visits during the holidays and tells outrageous stories that you’d never believe.

‘Community’ (NBC, 2009-2014 & Yahoo! Screen, 2015)

Explaining what ‘Community’ is all about is quite hard. This is a unique show that heavily relies on pop-culture references, meta-humor, and parodies of TV and film tropes. The series focuses on a group of students of the Greendale Community College who become unwilling friends.

‘Community’ will make you care for each and every character, even when they’re dealing with the most absurd situations that you can imagine. And, of course, you’ll be quoting many of the show’s scenes for years to come. The creative process behind the show seems truly exhausting but ultimately, rewarding.

Similarity Match: 75%
If you appreciate the running gangs and the self-referential humor of ‘Cougar Town’, then you’re simply going to love ‘Community’. However, be prepared for some crazy stories such as an entire episode in clay animation.


If You Like ‘Cougar Town’, You Will Like…

The concept of a comedy about a group of people is probably as old as television. As such, modern series similar to ‘Cougar Town’ need to modify the existing formula with something unique, something that only they can offer to the world of TV.

‘Parks and Recreation’ (NBC, 2009-2015)

Despite a strange and weak first season, ‘Parks and Recreation’ grew to be one of the most critically acclaimed comedy shows in recent years. With a faux documentary-style reminiscent of ‘The Office’, ‘Parks and Recreation’ focuses on Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and her friends.

Most of the characters work in the titular Parks and Recreation department of the fictional town of Pawnee, a fact that plays a major role in the story. The show frequently deals with important issues while making fun of various political structures.

Though ‘Parks and Recreation’ has a different format to ‘Cougar Town’, the two shows feel incredibly similar, especially as far as their characters are concerned. This show also acts like a social commentary, though, something which cannot really be said for ‘Cougar Town’.


The Unsung Adventures

One of the potential reasons why TV series like ‘Cougar Town’ is so popular is that watching the hilarious adventures of characters that you truly care about will never get old, at least as long as such shows exist on TV.

Feel free to share any other shows about friends that hang out together in the comments below!

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