5 TV Shows to Watch Once ‘Parks and Rec’ Says Farewell
Parks and Recreation has long been one of the crown jewels of NBC’s comedy lineup. Recently though, it’s become virtually the only crown jewel, with 30 Rock coming to a satisfying end, and Community getting canceled, uncanceled, re-canceled, and then picked up by Yahoo!. But like its predecessors, Parks and Rec is about to leave, with the seventh and final season underway. The abbreviated season will feature two episodes every Tuesday between now and the end of February, giving the much-loved show a speedy send-off.
With just a month to fill the void about to be left in your life by the departure of one of the funniest shows on television, there are likely going to be plenty of suitors looking to win you over. Lucky for us, there’s still a place out there for smart comedies that still operate on their respective audience’s level.
1. Community (Yahoo! Streaming)
We’re not sure whether or not the former NBC gem will be in its final season before a proposed movie, but what we do know is that Community is one of the most clever shows ever to grace network TV. While it became known for its insane concept episodes featuring things like paintball and stop-motion animation, at its core it’s become a show about how people effect each other in both positive and terrible ways.
Pair that with showrunner Dan Harmon’s slightly demented yet intelligent brand of comedy and it’s a recipe for something that will likely be remembered for years to come. Of course, having a rabid cult fanbase certainly doesn’t hurt either. Parks and Rec ends in just over a month, so what better time to join those fans? The sixth season kicks off March 17 of this year on Yahoo! Streaming, while the first five seasons (97 episodes) are all hosted on Hulu.
2. Key & Peele (Comedy Central)
In just four seasons, Mad TV alums Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key have created one of the most popular sketch comedy shows on television. They go far beyond the safer pop culture-centric feel of contemporaries like Saturday Night Live, instead delving into some darker yet hilarious territory. Sketches like one featuring an evil Make-A-Wish kid, or another making fun of college football names somehow end up being equal parts brilliantly sharp and incomparably hilarious. The fourth season just wrapped up on Comedy Central, but you can catch up on and marathon through all 42 episodes on Hulu Plus.
3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
Skepticism ran high during promo leading into Season 1 of the Andy Samburg-led police comedy, but well into the second season those doubts have been laid to rest. Samburg, as well as an equally talented cast featuring Andre Braugher, Terry Crew, and Chelsea Peretti, deliver a less-than-typical comedy that manages to revive the lost art of combining slapstick with clever dialogue. And for anyone really missing Parks and Rec, you can rest easy knowing that creator Michael Schur is also responsible for Brooklyn Nine-Nine (and also spent time doing the same for The Office). All 22 episodes are also on Hulu, and you can catch the latest every Sunday at 8:30/7:30c.
4. Silicon Valley (HBO)
Silicon Valley first gained notoriety toward the end of its inaugural season, for its nigh insane yet brilliant commitment in the finale to a 3-plus minute long penis joke. It may seem crude, but when you combine the creative talent of Mike Judge (Office Space, King of the Hill, Idiocracy), with the no-holds-barred freedom that HBO allows, you have all the makings for a one-of-a-kind show. On a greater scale, the show perfectly encapsulates the oddball workplace culture that’s evolved in the tech industry, a skill that Judge seems to bring to virtually every project he gets his hands on. You can catch up on Season 1 with an HBO GO subscription, and Season 2 kicks off on April 12.
5. New Girl (FOX)
Zooey Deschanel has become something of a parody of herself as the quintessential manic pixie dream girl of Hollywood, but New Girl has managed to not only embrace that reputation, but parlay that into a positive. Taking the classic “roommates living together while hijinks ensue” motif, the show manages to keep that idea new and fresh, thanks in large part to expert characterization for each of its cast members. Everything from the quality writing to the stellar acting makes this an easy enough transition from the similarly clever Parks and Recreation. Catch Season 4 every Tuesday at 9/8c, and stream the previous 72 episodes of Seasons 1-3 on Netflix.