There wasn’t a bigger sitcom than Seinfeld. When it aired on NBC, it ushered in a new era for this type of televised series. While shows like Cheers and Friends have enjoyed great, enduring success as well, the format and style of Seinfeld remain incredibly influential. Some of the most successful sitcoms of the last three decades owe a great debt to the show.
Seinfeld was often referred to as “the show about nothing,” but the creators dismissed this claim as a creation of the media. What it was, in the end, was a show about a group of friends in New York City, who only showed concern about themselves while often seeming flabbergasted that karma always came back to bite them. Seinfeld has been off the air for over 20 years now, so here’s a look at some great shows to watch for anyone who misses Jerry and the gang.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
The influence of Seinfeld is strong in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The FX series takes the idea of people living in their own heads (without seeming to care about the world around them) and amplifies that exponentially. This sitcom is about “The Gang,” five friends who can’t help but make the wrong decisions every time they do something.
When Danny DeVito joined the cast, the entire idea just exploded. Over 13 seasons, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has been a hugely popular show, as each person sets out for personal gain and instant gratification even if it is at the expense of each other.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine not only shares the city of New York with Seinfeld, but the ridiculous situations that the characters constantly find themselves in. How much do people love this show? When it was canceled by Fox, none other than NBC swooped in and saved it to allow the series to carry on.
The show is set in a police precinct in Brooklyn, following mismatched partners as they try to stop criminals. They often succeed, despite the fact that most of them seem completely inadequate to work any job — much less that of police officers in one of the most stressful cities in the United States.
You’re The Worst
The four main characters on Seinfeld often come across as self-absorbed, only caring about themselves while not seeming to even see those around them. However, they seem empathetic on occasion, and that caused the finale (where they ended up in jail for watching a robbery and only making jokes about it) seem out of place even for them.
Despite this, the gang from Seinfeld seem almost tame in comparison to the characters on the FX television show You’re the Worst. The show is pessimistic and cynical. The characters display the most reprehensible behavior one could expect, but still maintain some level of humanity by the end.
Arrested Development< is one of the most popular cult-favorite sitcoms of the last decade. The series was so popular that, even after it was canceled, it found a new home on Netflix. Imagine if the friends from Seinfeld were a dysfunctional family instead, and you have a great idea of what to expect from these self-absorbed and delusional characters.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus even appeared on four episodes of the show as an on-again, off-again girlfriend to Michael Bluth, who also happened to be an attorney who pretended to be blind to help her win over jurors in court cases.
Broad City is a brilliant series. While the themes are a bit different than those from Seinfeld, there is a lot here to like for fans of Jerry and the gang. The Comedy Central series was originally a web-series, which made its way to television in 2014 for five total seasons.
Broad City is about Ilana and Abbi, two women in New York City — one a hedonistic woman with no career goals and the second who wants a career as an illustrator and often gets mixed up in her friend’s schemes. The random situations and crack dialogue make it a perfect show for those who miss Seinfeld.
Master Of None
While Seinfeld is a “show about nothing” (if you believe some people’s descriptions of it), there is one thing that the show has a great love for — New York City. With that thought in mind, anyone who wants to see a series about life in the Big Apple will find that Master of None is the perfect show to fill that void.
Aziz Ansari stars as an actor in New York City. The show follows his life — professionally, romantically, and socially. It was a Netflix original series, and was one of the streaming giant’s most critically-acclaimed comedy series.
For anyone who thinks that the characters on Seinfeld are self-absorbed, terrible people, the characters on Difficult People are something else. Just like in Seinfeld, the dialogue is crisp, fast-paced and hilarious, and the fact that the action takes place in New York City just adds to the comparisons.
Julie and Billy live in NYC and want to become famous and successful in comedy careers. However, while they are comedians, they are terrible people in real life, possibly two of the worst people on any television show. At the same time, they are so interesting that you can’t help but watch, no matter what misdeeds they are involved with.
Premiering its first season in 2016, Baskets was unlike any television series on the air — something people used to say about Seinfeld. The show stars Zach Galifianakis as Chip Baskets, a failed clown from Paris who decided to become a rodeo clown in California. He also stars as his twin brother, Dale.
Even when co-creator Louis C.K. had his title removed from the show after his sexual misconduct allegations, Baskets was good enough to survive without him (and will get a fourth season in 2019). To understand how bizarre this show is, comedian Louie Anderson stars as the mother of Chip and Dale.
Seinfeld fans who really miss Elaine need look no further for their fix than the HBO series Veep. On Seinfeld, Elaine was a self-absorbed New York woman who saw little outside of her own limited world-view — making her fit in perfectly with Jerry and George. Fans who loved her character will see a similar individual on Veep.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Selina Meyer, the vice president who later becomes the President of the United States. Her continued attempts to leave her mark on the world and improve her legacy are full of hilarious moments, making it a great alternative for anyone looking for a Seinfeld fix.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Really, the easiest show to recommend to anyone who loves Seinfeld is Curb Your Enthusiasm. The show’s creator (and star) Larry David is also the creator of Seinfeld. As a matter of fact, the season finale of the seventh season of the show was actually called “Seinfeld.” This included a fictional Seinfeld reunion show and featured the original cast.
Outside of that, the entire style of humor in Curb Your Enthusiasm is tailor fit for Seinfeld fans. The cringe-worthy moments and the dry humor show how responsible David was for the show. It is also interesting that George Costanza was based on David himself.