Best shows like The Office (US)
The US version of The Office is a fairly rare example of a remake that has not only been successful, but has gone on to become a true classic in its own right, growing and developing into a brilliant show from its routes in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s exceptional original.
It’s fair to say that The Office departs fairly swiftly from the UK version of the show after the first season, and although it retains a lot of the similar character dynamics, the show takes it viewers on a much more long and winding journey than its English ancestor.
Focussed on the workers at The Dunder Mifflin paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, this brilliant show, adapted by Greg Daniels, who co-created Parks and Recreation and more recently created the excellent Upload, this is a comedy that has armies of fans across the world. It’s one of those types of American comedies that has so many episodes that by the time you’ve finished them all, you’ve forgotten how it started again.
But even for the most ardent re-watcher, it’s always nice to take a break and try something differnt.
But what do you watch?
Well, luckily we have compiled some of the best shows we believe all Office fans will enjoy… and they’re right here, free of charge for your enjoyment.
What’s even better is that we are a thoroughly modern media company, so we have made you a video version as well as a written version. You can’t say fairer than that!? So whether you want to read, watch or both… here’s some great shows we think you should try out right now.
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Parks and Recreation
Created by Greg Daniels, who masterminded The Office US, along with Michael Schur, this is another workplace comedy that revolves around a fairly incompetent but hard to dislike group of people… sound familiar? Based in the Parks and Recreation Department of a fictional town, Pawnee, Indiana, this political satire is a well-loved comedy starring Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope. It also features great performances from the likes of Chris Pratt, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman and Adam Scott to name but a few. A ensemble comedy you will want to watch again and again.
Apple TV+ had one of its first major hits in television with Jason Sudeikis as the eternally positive football coach in this feel-good comedy. Although the series is about a football (or soccer team as American audiences will know it) the characterisation and storylines will certainly appeal to those who enjoy the antics of Dunder Mifflin. The titular Ted Lasso’s charm (however flawed at times) reminds you of elements of Michael Scott, and although everything doesn’t always go his way, somehow he seems to have the energy and enthusiasm to try again.
The Office (UK)
OK, so this may sound like an obvious choice, but if you weren’t aware (or don’t read intros!) The Office is based on a British show called, well, The Office which was created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Although the British series is much shorter and has different named characters, the initial setup, characters and dynamics of the series are quite similar. After the first season, the US version of the show goes off on its own journey, but if you are looking for a programme that will make you laugh, make you squirm and one you’ll certainly recognise, we suggest you watch the original Office in all its glory.
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The Good Place
There’s not much talk of the afterlife in The Office, but there are elements to this quirky high-concept comedy that will definitely amuse you in a way that doesn’t feel too far from home. The series is created by Micael Schur, who worked with Greg Daniels on Parks and Recreation and The Office and therefore brings a certain type of humour to the show. The Good Place, which stars Kirsten Bell as Eleanor, a woman who has died and ended up in the wrong place, manages to blend trademark silliness and farce with philosophy and existential questions. Pretty impressive for a sitcom.
Based in a community college rather than an office, this show shares a lot of overall sensibilities with the American version of The Office, not least its playful and at times quite madcap sense of humour as well as an ensemble cast of brilliant comic talent playing very engaging characters. A show that will have you hooked once you join the club, it stars the likes of Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Joeng and Chevy Chase… now if that’s not a good enough reasonto give it a try, how about we tell you it’s very funny too!
Set a long way from Scranton, in space, this Netflix series stars Steve Carell, and was created by the Michael Scott actor alongside the man who adapted the UK version of The Office for the US audience, Greg Daniels – therefore you can’t help but feel there will be some familiar feel. Carell plays General Mark Naird, a man working within the United States Space Force, a branch of the US military, tasked with getting people on the moon. Although its in space, this is really a comedy based around a dysfunctional workplace.
This once relatively small Canadian comedy exploded onto the world stage via Netflix in 2020 as one of the big lockdown hits during the COVID pandemic. Written and created by father and son team Eugene and Dan Levy, the brilliantly funny series tells the story of the four members of the Rose family, a once extremely wealthy family who lose everything and are forced to move to a rural town which is the only asset they still own. With very strong characters, a great mix of the absurd and the poignant, and a lot of laughs – there’s plenty in this for Dunder Mifflin fans.
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