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5 Shows like Outnumbered: It’s A Family Affair

Nicola Griffiths itcherIf you’re looking for a fun twist on the family sitcom, then these TV shows like ‘Outnumbered’ will be right up your street! ~ Nicola Griffiths


The Kids Are All Right

Comedies based in the family home are nothing new to television. However, with ‘Outnumbered’, the genre was certainly given a well-needed shake up! Filmed in a documentary-style with little fixed-camera work, most of the show’s script was actually improvised, which, when you consider that the actors were only five, seven and eleven when the series began, was certainly no easy feat.

First airing on the BBC in 2007, ‘Outnumbered’ has garnered a legion of fans for its portrayal of a chaotic suburban household, striking a chord with parents and children alike.

These TV series like ‘Outnumbered’ have also put their own twist on the dysfunctional, yet always warm, family set up.


Shows Similar to ‘Outnumbered’…

‘Modern Family’ (ABC, 2009-Present)

‘Modern Family’ is a TV series like ‘Outnumbered’ in that it follows the seemingly ‘ordinary’ lives of 3 families. Of course, in true sitcom style, their many trials and tribulations often result in hilarious consequences.

Praised for demonstrating that the ‘modern’ family can come in many different forms, the show has proven to be not only a ratings hit, but seems to have hit a bullseye when it comes to critical appeal too.

With both the cast and the show itself having won an abundance of awards and the seventh series currently on the air, it seems we can look forward to the growing pains of the families for quite some time yet.

Similarity Match: 90%
With a broader cast and a base in much sunnier climes, ‘Modern Family’ is the zanier and more glamorous of the two, but there’s a definite wit and warmth that ‘Outnumbered’ undoubtedly shares too.

‘The Royle Family’ (BBC, 1998-2012)

Another TV show like ‘Outnumbered’ takes us on a journey up north to Manchester to drop in on ‘The Royle Family’. You would be forgiven at first for questioning the similarity, as on the surface, it appears to be rather uneventful or even a little humdrum.

However, if you were to stick around it would soon become clear that this heartwarming and subtle sitcom (set, for the most part, in the Royle’s living room), was actually a comedy triumph and quite groundbreaking in style.

Soon becoming a must-see for audiences everywhere, writers Craig Cash and Caroline Ahern won a number of awards for their efforts which let viewers listen in to this northern family’s conversations and share their many ups and downs as if they were our own.

Similarity Match: 85%
‘The Royle Family’ may seem a world apart from ‘Outnumbered’ at first, but both are firmly centred on the subtle humour that is weaved through all of their day-to-day lives.

‘Friday Night Dinner’ (Channel 4, 2011-Present)

‘Friday Night Dinner’ is a TV show like ‘Outnumbered’ in that it is a family-centric sitcom following the lives of The Goodmans, a Jewish family in London, as they gather each Friday evening for a ritual meal (though stripped of the religious traditions) at the start of every weekend.

The premise is misleading in its simplicity, but as with any family catch-up, there’s never a shortage of developments to be dissected (and joked about) from week to week, and that’s before their eccentric neighbour Jim decides to call, unannounced.

As ‘Friday Night Dinner’ is filmed in a more traditional sitcom style (as opposed to being presented like a documentary) the jokes can be knowingly witty, the plots can push the borders of farce, and there’s an extra hint of slapstick thrown in for good measure. ‘Friday Night Dinner’ has proven itself as a slow burner worth sticking with.

Similarity Match: 75%
‘Friday Night Dinner’ has the freedom to make the jokes that ‘Outnumbered’ can’t, but both share in-jokes that could only ever come to light amongst family members.


If You Like ‘Outnumbered’, You Will Like…

If you like the fly-on-the-wall style of ‘Outnumbered’ or the fictional family sagas, then these TV shows should be just the thing for you.

‘The Office’ (BBC, 2001-2003)

Written by and starring Ricky Gervais as David Brent, who has probably become one of the most infamous comedy creators in recent history, ‘The Office’ is a TV show like ‘Outnumbered’ in that its premise is so simple, you may wonder whether anything really happens at all!

Based within the offices of the fictitious Wernham Hogg Paper Company, it follows the bumbling manager and his browbeaten staff throughout their day-to-day working lives and is presented in a convincing ‘mockumentary’ style.

Surprising many with the depth of the characters, as well as the ability to find humour in what many would consider to be so painfully ordinary, ‘The Office’ has gone on to have an incredibly successful US spin-off as well as taking its rightful place in UK comedy history.

Though the setting for ‘The Office’ is clearly different, fans of ‘Outnumbered’ will enjoy the fact that childish squabbles are not just confined to the family home.

‘Bob’s Burgers’ (Fox, 2011-Present)

For our final TV show like ‘Outnumbered’, we take a leap into the world of the Belcher family (restaurant owners Bob and Linda and their three kids Tina, Gene and Louise) in the animated series ‘Bob’s Burgers’.

For a cartoon, the delivery and dialogue of the show is surprisingly deadpan. Fans of awkward comedy that makes you cringe at the unfolding situations almost as much as you laugh at them, will definitely be at home with the Belchers.

Held up as one of the more realistic families on television, despite them being animated, this show has earned itself a cult status with a growing (and incredibly cool) band of fans.

Both ‘Outnumbered’ and ‘Bob’s Burgers’ share the same low-key, yet undeniably awkward approach to humour. However, when it comes to the animated Belcher family, quite literally anything could happen.


Doing The Family Thing

If you’re on the lookout for more TV series like ‘Outnumbered’ then fellow BBC sitcom ‘My Family’ could be the ideal starting point. However, there are plenty of animated families to meet, too, if that’s what takes your fancy, with ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Family Guy’ and ‘King Of The Hill’ being staples of the genre.

Have I missed any TV shows like ‘Outnumbered’?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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