The Office is gone. We hate to be the ones to break it to you, especially on a day where you’re probably hungover and ready to sit in front of the television and binge familiar television, but everyone’s favorite sitcom has left Netflix for good.
However, you can find it on Peacock, NBC’s new streaming service, including the show’s first two seasons for free. But, come on, let’s face it—nobody’s got time for that on New Year’s Day.
So you’ve got a problem—what sitcom can you repeatedly binge or let run in the background while you nurse that headache? Here are a few replacements. They might have the same awkward timing and humor as The Office, but they’ll do for now.
It’s the sitcom du jour, decorated with Emmy nominations and plaudits across the internet. But don’t let its acclaim fool you—Schitt’s Creek is perfect for blindly streaming because it takes almost two seasons to get any good. That means you can scroll your phone and basically do something else entirely while it runs in the background. And unlike The Office, its creators had the self-awareness to end the show while it was still very good, so there’s that.
Big Mouth is less of a passive binge—it hits you right in the face from the start with crazy animation and raunchy dialogue. Don’t let that stop you, though. Once your hungover adjust to the bright colors you’re treated to some of the best writing about puberty and adolescence you’ll find in any television program. If only this show were around when we were teenagers.
A straightforward network sitcom about love and dating in your late 20s. It’s virtually flawless, it runs for seven seasons (probably one too many), and it’s perfectly fine to leave on in the background or pay close attention to. Unless you have a strong aversion to Zooey Deschanel (which you shouldn’t—what is it, 2011?) you’ll probably like most of this show.
Oh, you said you like shows that run for several seasons too long? I’ll admit I haven’t watched Shameless since about 2015, and it’s absolutely incredible that they’re on the verge of their ELEVENTH season, but it’s still fair to assume that a show that runs this long is probably one you can safely put on in the background without consequence. All I really know is the little destructive kid from the early seasons is an adult and a cop now, so that’s one storyline you can trace, I suppose.
This is one of those shows you can just put on and feel good about. It’s easy to watch, it’s written well, the family is relatable, and the humor is straightforward. There’s a self-deprecating tone that’s similar to The Office, and the character development will keep you interested, but it’s the kind of show where you don’t have to watch things in order.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
This show is so 2015, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t offer it up since it stars Ellie Kemper. She’s one of the few bright spots from the latter Office seasons, which were mostly a disaster. This show doesn’t feel nearly as relevant in 2021, but such is the life of Netflix sitcoms. It’s still a solid feel-good background type show with its fair share of laugh out loud moments.
Okay, listen—this show is trash. It’s about Kathy Bates owning a weed dispensary and all the hijinks therein. All the weed jokes are obvious and the storylines are reductive and it’s even got a fucking laugh track—but all that corniness adds up to something almost endearing. And if you’re in need of some background noise and the occasional pot joke, crank this on and let it run until you fall asleep with a joint in your hand. It shouldn’t be long now.