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12 Shows Like Parks And Recreation For Fans Of Wholesome Sitcoms

shows like parks and recreation

Parks and Recreation is a beloved American television show that follows the daily antics of the Parks Department of the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. With its witty humor, relatable characters, and heartfelt moments, the show has earned a dedicated following and a reputation as one of the best comedies of all time. If you’re a fan of shows like Parks and Recreation and looking for similar recommendations, you don’t need to look any further! Here are 12 TV shows that are similar to Parks and Recreation in terms of humour, character development, and heart.

List of TV Shows Like Parks and Recreation

1. The Office (US)

The Office (US) and Parks and Recreation are both mockumentary-style sitcoms that follow the daily lives of municipal government employees. Created by the same team, both shows share a similar sense of humour, with awkward and cringe-worthy moments used for comedic effect. They also both feature a diverse and memorable cast of characters who grow and develop over the course of the series.

However, while The Office (US) often focuses on the mundane aspects of office life, Parks and Recreation is more optimistic and upbeat, highlighting the importance of public service and community involvement. Ultimately, both shows are beloved for their relatable characters, witty writing, and heartwarming moments. The Office is a must-watch for fans of shows like Parks and Recreation.

2. The Good Place (2016)

The Good Place is a critically acclaimed comedy series created by Michael Schur. He is known for his work on shows like Parks and Recreation. Although the 2 shows are vastly different, they share some similarities, including a focus on character development, quirky humour, and strong ensemble casts.

Similar to shows like Parks and Recreation, The Good Place deals with complex ethical and philosophical issues by exploring the afterlife and the nature of morality. Fans of Parks and Recreation will find The Good Place just as compelling and entertaining, with its clever writing and performances.

3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a captivating TV show that has garnered a large following since its debut. It’s a comedy series that follows the daily lives of detectives in the fictional 99th precinct of the NYPD. The show is famous for its witty humour, engaging comedic thrill, and a superb cast, which includes Andy Samberg, Terry Crews and Andre Braugher.

The characters are diverse and well-developed, and every episode is a combination of jokes, crime-solving, and personal growth. The show addresses current social issues in a sensitive manner, and its portrayal of police officers is progressive and refreshing. Overall, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a must-watch show for shows similar to Parks and Recreation.

4. Schitt’s Creek (2015)

Schitt’s Creek is a hilarious TV show that centres around the wealthy Rose family, who lose all their money and are forced to move to a small town they once purchased as a joke. The show’s humour comes from the culture shock of the Rose family trying to adjust to their new surroundings, as well as the interactions with the quirky and endearing townspeople of Schitt’s Creek.

The show’s writing is sharp and witty, with hilarious one-liners and comedic situations that make it an instant classic. Additionally, the show’s cast, including Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, and Dan Levy, delivers brilliant performances that bring the humour to life. Schitt’s Creek is a feel-good comedy that has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide and is a great option for fans of a series like Parks and Recreation.

5. Community (2009)

Community is a beloved series known for its unique style and humour. The show revolves around a group of misfits who come together to form a study group at a community college. What sets Community apart from other comedy shows is its ability to blend multiple genres seamlessly. Already seen this awesome series? Check out our list of shows like Community.

It takes on everything from pop culture references to sci-fi and delivers it with witty dialogue and quirky characters. The show’s creator, Dan Harmon, also uses it as a platform to explore deep social commentary and satire. With its devoted fan base and lasting legacy, Community remains a comedy show like no other. For unique comedy series like Parks and Recreation, Community is an unmissable watch.

6. New Girl (2011)

New Girl is a unique comedy following the life of an awkward, quirky schoolteacher named Jessica Day, played by the brilliant Zooey Deschanel. The show’s blend of quirky humour, memorable characters, and heartwarmingly crazy moments has made it one of the most beloved sitcoms of recent years.

This mix of offbeat humour, witty script, and quirky characters sets it apart from other shows. The way it handles romantic relationships between its main characters is often awkward and realistic. New Girl’s is a standout comedy in the tv landscape and a fun show similar to Parks and Recreation.

7. The Mindy Project (2012)

The Mindy Project is a comedy series created by and starring Mindy Kaling, that follows the life of an obstetrician-gynaecologist named Mindy Lahiri as she tries to balance her personal and professional life.

Over the course of 6 seasons, viewers have watched Mindy navigate relationships, motherhood, and career changes, all while maintaining her signature humour and charm. The Mindy Project has been applauded for its refreshing approach to comedy and for its portrayal of a strong, independent female lead. So, If you enjoyed Amy Pohler’s character in a series like Parks and Recreation, then you should try watching this one.

8. 30 Rock (2006)

30 Rock is considered to be one of the best American comedies of all time due to its exceptional witty writing, hilarious cast, and satirical approach to the entertainment industry. The show is centred around the life of Liz Lemon, a head writer for a fictional sketch comedy show.

The show features a talented cast including Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan, all of whom deliver top-notch performances. The show has it all- smart humour, unique characters, and clever pop culture references. 30 Rock is a must-watch for Parks and Recreation fans.

9. 2 Broke Girls (2011)

2 Broke Girls is a popular sitcom about the lives of 2 struggling waitresses, Max and Caroline, Max is a street-smart girl who dreams of opening her own cupcake business, while Caroline is a formerly wealthy socialite who lost everything and is now struggling to make ends meet. The series tackles social issues and economic inequality, bringing them to light in a humorous and lighthearted way.

The comedic timing, relatable characters, and engaging storylines have made 2 Broke Girls a 2010s favourite. The show has received critical acclaim and has been nominated for several awards. It’s a pretty good series like Parks and Recreation for anyone who enjoys a good laugh.

10. Arrested Development (2003)

Arrested Development is a cult classic sitcom with immense popularity for its absurd and quirky humour. The show revolves around the dysfunctional Bluth family, whose patriarch has been imprisoned for fraud. The series is known for its unique brand of humour that is filled with puns, inside jokes, and pop culture references. It’s layered with comedic writing that only gets funnier with multiple viewings.

Arrested Development’s humour is irreverent, bold, and endlessly entertaining. The characters are a mix of eccentric personalities, each with their own idiosyncrasies that provide the perfect setup for hilariously awkward situations. Be sure to give Arrested Development a try after shows like Parks and Recreation. If you like this hilarious series, check out our list of shows like Arrested Development.

11. Modern Family (2009)

Modern Family is another mockumentary-style American television show that ran for 11 seasons. It follows the lives of the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan, a multi-generational family that faces various challenges, often with a comedic twist. The show tackles modern issues such as blended families, LGBT parenting, and cultural diversity.

So while Modern Family is a modern family comedy, Parks and Recreation is about the day-to-day operations of a small town government department. Regardless of the difference, the mockumentary style allows both shows to break the fourth wall and connect with the audience on a personal level. Similar to shows like Parks and Recreation , Modern Family is another hilarious show perfect for all ages.

12. Superstore (2015)

The comedy series Superstore is set in Cloud 9, a big-box store located in St. Louis, Missouri where it follows the daily lives of the employees. Every character is well-constructed, each with its unique quirks and personalities, often tackling important social issues such as immigration, racial and gender equality, and workers’ rights.

Throughout its 6 seasons, Superstore has been loved by many viewers. The show received praise for its depiction of the working-class experience and its commitment to representing a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives. Superstore should be yet another good pick for anyone looking for a fun and thought-provoking comedy series like Parks and Recreation.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few shows like Parks and Recreation that didn’t make a list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. The Glow 
  2. Party Down 
  3. Spin City
  4. Workaholics

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.


The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island.

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake

The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66.

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world.

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward
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