Dan Harmon’s Community was, in a word, brilliant. Premiering in September of 2009 on NBC, the swashbuckling series about an endearing group of misfits at a community college amassed a passionate fanbase by producing an array of innovative, game-changing installments — “Modern Warfare,” “Cooperative Calligraphy,” “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons,” “Critical Film Studies,” just to name a few — that are among the most audacious episodes in modern TV history. The collection of talent, both on and off-screen, remains unparalleled as the majority of actors, writers, and directors involved with the series would go on to produce a slew of wildly successful projects (Marvel films, Atlanta, Rick and Morty, Fast and Furious films, This Is America, Mythic Quest) that would help shape the zeitgeist.
There will never be another Community, but we here at Decider can help point you towards a few shows that are similar to NBC’s beloved classic. We tried to create a list of eclectic programs, so a number of obvious fan favorites — Arrested Development, New Girl, The Mick, You’re the Worst — aren’t on the list, but they’re obviously worth watching (or rewatching).
Get excited, Community fans! Here are seven shows that are sure to fill that Community-shaped vacancy in your streaming schedule.
Mythic Quest might just be the best show you’re not watching. Unless of course you are watching it. In that case… good job! You have exquisite taste!
Created by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and former Community scribe Megan Ganz, this trenchant Apple TV+ show centers on a dysfunctional video game studio that created a popular role-playing game called Mythic Quest. The exceptionally well-written series not only produced one of the best bottle episodes since “Cooperative Calligraphy,” but it also stars Danny Pudi as character who exudes a ton of early Jeff Winger swagger.
The most obvious similarity between Community and Happy Endings is the joke writing. Both shows were skilled at crafting superb quips that were often infused with top-notch pop culture references.
Happy Endings ostensibly centered on a group of six endearing weirdos forced to reassess their friend group after Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) leaves Dave (Zachary Knighton) at the alter. While the show didn’t entirely abandon that premise, it didn’t harp on the will they/won’t they of it all and instead embraced the unique comedic charms of the actors. Just like Community, Happy Endings had the gift of exceptional cast chemistry. Both shows created strong characters with distinct personalities and let them go wild as single joke setups were routinely given multiple punchlines at a breakneck pace.
Long story short: If you thought Community was funny, you’ll find yourself laughing out loud at Happy Endings.
Few shows could match the swagger of Community, but Mike O’Brien’s underappreciated Peacock comedy A.P. Bio came pretty damn close.
Community was nominally about a suspended lawyer doing the bare minimum to get his law degree. A.P. Bio was technically about a disgraced Harvard professor trying to escape Toledo and return to the good life. But at their core, both shows were actually about a group of oddballs coming together to form a makeshift family. Jeff Winger was a jerk who became a better person through the restorative magic of friendship; Jack Griffin was a vengeful misanthrope who began to improve once he embraced his work family. Peas, pod, etc.
If you’re looking for a show that deftly mixed off-kilter comedy with a stealthy sentimentality, you’ll love A.P. Bio.
NewsRadio walked so shows like Community, Arrested Development, and Scrubs could run. Featuring an all-star cast that included Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Maura Tierney, and the legendary Phil Hartman, Paul Simms’ innovative workplace comedy somehow managed to stay on the air for five seasons, despite some very obvious, very public tumult between Simms and the network. Sound familiar?
To say that NewsRadio was ahead of its time would be an understatement. Despite critical acclaim, the series never received the respect befitting its brilliance. Unfortunately, the series isn’t easily streamable, but Seasons 1-3 are currently available on Pluto TV and Seasons 3 and 4 are now on Crackle.
Few shows oscillated between zany antics and heartfelt emotional moments more fluently than the masterpiece that was Scrubs. From bits about “Floating Head Doctor” to a variety of episodes that painstakingly dealt with the heartbreaking realities of working in the medical field, Bill Lawrence’s lauded workplace comedy doesn’t strike the same exact tone as Community, but if you like one you’ll probably enjoy the other.
‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’
It’s always a good time to embark on an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia rewatch. After recently discovering The Always Sunny Podcast, I started watching old episodes and man oh man was it a good decision. Just like Scrubs, the Sunny/Community comparison isn’t apples to apples, but if you like the manic absurdity of Community, you’ll be thoroughly entertained by those lunatics from Paddy’s Pub.
‘Rick and Morty’
You can’t legally write a “shows like Community” list without including Rick and Morty. Seriously. If you even try they’ll throw you in jail. No questions asked.
Created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, the fervently adored animated series is as beloved as it gets. From Emmy Awards to creating sauce-inspired mayhem, the show continues to create wonderfully weird, highly rewatchable episodes that Community fans can’t seem to get enough of.
Now hurry up and release Season 6!