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8 Shows like Friends: The One Where We Search for a New Coffee Shop

** Contributing to this article: Josh Sammons & Deb

Take a seat on your sofa and enter the world of the most famous set of friends in New York. As you sit back and drink your flat white, you can let Chandlers one-liners take your stress away and find out exactly what these guys do all day, besides drink coffee. If you are looking for new hangout TV shows like Friends, include the hip New Girl and laugh a minute How I Met Your Mother.

You Got a Friend in Me

Friends is a series that you can watch over and over again, with each fan having a favourite episode. When in need of a friend Chandler, Monica and the gang took us in and made us feel at home.

Get the tissues out for the latest in Ross and Rachel’s rollercoaster relationship, drool over Joey’s latest sandwich creation and marvel at Phoebe’s latest hair brained idea!

These 6 New York friends brought us one of the best TV shows ever made, but others have been waiting in the wings. If you are looking for TV series like Friends, these will make you feel like you are part of a new gang.

‘New Girl’ (Elizabeth Merryweather Productions, 2011-present)

Zooey Deschanel plays quirky to a tee in her role of teacher Jess, who finds herself living in a loft with three men after finding out her boyfriend has cheated on her. The guys she lives with are equally as eccentric as Jess, making all four of them a perfect match for each other.

Will sports mad Winston ever get the win he is looking for? Will law school dropout Nick ever find inspiration to get a job? Will ladies man Schmidt ever realise that he is not God’s gift to women? And will the lovely Jess ever find true love again? You will need to watch to find out.

Similarity Match: 95%
New Girl has a great ensemble cast of likeable characters, just like Friends, with each member of the audience having their favourite. More of a slow burner than Friends, but the laughs soon pick up as the series progress.

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

Ever wondered how your parents met? Well, so do Ted Mosby’s kids. Ted happily obliges and goes on to tell them how he met their mother, in great detail. Set in 2030 but telling a tale from 2005 onwards, the show cleverly mixes past, present and future, with plenty of drama along the way.

Follow the trials and tribulations of how Ted fell in love with the help of a lot of friends. The group all have personality traits that both delight and annoy one another and the audience alike.

Similarity Match: 95%
If you loved the flashback episodes that Friends did so well, you will love how Ted recounts the story of how he met the mother of his children. Swap the coffee shop for a bar, add a romance brought together by a group of friends and you have Friends with a twist.

‘Joey’ (NBC, 2004 – 2006)

Starting off the list we have ‘Joey’, the uninspired spin-off of ‘Friends’. As the title might tell you, the show is more Joey and less friends. The actor decides to leave New York behind in order to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles. As likeable as actor Matt LeBlanc is as Joey, he wasn’t strong enough to carry a show by himself. ‘Joey’ barely lasted two seasons, proving without his friends, Joey just isn’t cut out for life in TV land.

Similarity Match: 90%
Joey leads in his very own show.

‘Cougar Town’ (Doozer, 2009-)

Cougar Town is another series like Friends  and not just because the star of the show is Courtney Cox. Cougar Jules decides to have a little fun after her recent divorce, taking her group of mates along for the ride.

A grown up Cox likes to drink more wine than caffeine in this show, but is equally as bossy as her Friends character Monica. Hunky neighbour Grayson adds a little heat to the show and there is lots of risqué chat amongst the crowd when they get together, making it an altogether more grown up favourite New York show.

Similarity Match: 85%
Like Friends but with more sunshine and less coffee. The audience may not click with individual characters as fast as the Friends crew, but the show has a faithful following and solid storylines that you can rely on.

‘Happy Endings’ (ABC, 2011 – 2013)

‘Happy Endings’ is the short running American sitcom that tried hard to capture the success of ‘Friends’ but ultimately failed. In the show, six young friends must deal with growing up with life in Chicago. The friends lives are shattered when the couple who brought them all together split up. From there they must battle all sorts of events that will have big impacts on their lives.

Similarity Match: 75%
This show didn’t get a happy ending.

‘Community’ (NBC, 2009-)

When the world discovers that a high flying lawyer is not all he’s cracked up to be, he must return to community college to pass the diploma he fooled everyone into thinking he had.

Along the way, he meets a group of outcasts and oddballs, all of whom come to build strong connections and support each other through the ups and down of college life. A college show for adults, Community  is adult humour at its best and, like Friends, it is not too taxing after a long day.

Similarity Match: 75%
Think about Friends set in a schoolyard, throw in a bunch of misfits and workplace drop outs and you have the perfect recipe for a group of people to come together and form lasting friendships.

‘The Big Bang Theory’ (Chuck Lorre Productions, 2007-)

Big Bang Theory draws fans from all walks of life, from science nerds to beauty queens. The story of two socially awkward friends, trying to make sense of life outside of the science lab is very endearing.

Things begin to look up for best friends Leonard and Sheldon, when pretty girl Penny moves in across the hall. Are the boys finally going to take their noses out of their books and let their hair down? Find out in this rite of passage story, with a nerdy twist.

Similarity Match: 75%
Fans of Ross will love Big Bang’s unashamed geekiness. Like the Friends gang, a lot of the time Leonard, Sheldon and the rest of the guys get up to a whole load of nothing, but it’s a funny whole load of nothing.

‘Spaced’ (Channel 4, 1999 – 2001)

‘Spaced’ is the superior comedy that kickstarted the careers of its talented cast including Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jessica Stevenson and co-creator turned director Edgar Wright. Seen as a cult classic, this much loved British show follows the lives of friends Tim and Daisy who must pretend to be a couple in order to stay in the only available flat they can find. The show is full of fantastic and memorable scenes and pop culture that will keep Sci-Fi fans happy.

Similarity Match: 65%
Cult classic comedy series from the team behind ‘Shaun of the Dead’


How You Doin’?

We feel your pain at having reached the last episode of your beloved Friends, but don’t fret, we are here for you. How I Met Your Mother and New Girl provide the perfect ensemble cast, providing funny highs and bittersweet lows, just like Joey and the gang.

If you are looking for something to appeal to the geek in you, Big Bang Theory will have you laughing out loud at the strangest of jokes. I hope you enjoy these recommendations of shows similar to Friends.

Is there another TV show that you’d like to recommend to Friends fanatics?

I’d love to read about how I can spend the next month of evenings lost in TV in the comments below.

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