Five Shows You’ll Like if You Like American Housewife

American Housewife

Like American Housewife? Then we can only assume you like your TV shows to come with warmth, comedy, and a healthy sprinkling of quirky optimism. Not to mention an immensely likable cast, strong performances, and enough of a bite to stop the descent into sugar-coated blandness. If you’re a fan of American Housewife’s particular brand of comedy, you’ll not want to miss these five outstandingly funny shows- they may all have the family at their heart, but don’t expect any sentimental soppiness any time soon. Sharp, likable, and with characters that are as engaging as the actors that play them, they’ll take care of all your viewing needs for the rest of the winter.

The Mick

Funny, witty and warm, The Mick hit our screens in 2017 and ran for two laugh out loud seasons. Headed up by Kaitlin Olson, the series follows Mackenzie “Mick” Murphy, a hard-living, two-bit con woman who suddenly finds her life turned upside down when she’s tasked with taking care of her gaggle of spoiled young nieces and nephews. With criminal siblings, acid dropping nieces, a pot-smoking housekeeper, and a fire-starting nephew, there’s nothing functional about this Connecticut family- but that doesn’t stop the show dripping with the kind of feel-good warmth fans of American Housewife are sure to love. Joining the ever-watchable Olson on the cast are Scott MacArthur (a revelation as Mick’s big-hearted, down and out boyfriend “Jimmy” Shepherd), Sofia Black-D’Elia as Sabrina Pemberton, Thomas Barbusca as Chip Pemberton Jack Stanton as Ben “Benito” Pemberton, and Carla Jimenez as the show-stealing maid, Alba Maldonado. With only 2 seasons and 37 episodes to its name, The Mick makes the kind of lightweight but compulsive viewing you’ll plow through in just a couple of sittings.

Happy Together

The premise of Happy Together might be far removed from American Housewife (in essence, the show is about a happily married, 30-something couple (Claire and Jake) whose complacent married life is thrown into chaos when megastar Cooper unexpectedly lands up on their doorstep and decides to move in. While the show may lack originally, it more than makes up for it with the outstanding performances of its central cast of Damon Wayans Jr., Amber Stevens West, Felix Mallard, and Chris Parnell. Granted, it’s not deep, it’s not thought-provoking, and it’s not likely to win any awards for exploring new territory (especially considering it was canceled after just one season), but as Ben Travers of Indie Wire notes “Happy Together may not become an iconic sitcom, but it’s already a pretty good source for happiness”. For forgetting your troubles (even for just half an hour), it’s hard to beat this kind of absurdist fun.

Life in Pieces

Want a comedy that places family right, front, left and center? Then look no further than Life in Pieces. The show puts the life of the typical (or not so typical, as it sometimes goes) American family under the microscope, capturing each awkward moment, every disastrous thanksgiving meal (although count yourself lucky if yours doesn’t sometimes end with someone mistaking their thumb for the turkey and making a bloodbath) , every inadvertent “senior moment”, and every little mishap, white lie, misadventure and tender moment that goes into the making of your average family. Never anything less than warm, and with a team of scriptwriters that do a fine job of treading the fine line between heartfelt and sentimental, a few episodes with the cast of Life in Pieces will leave you with that same warm, fuzzy feeling you’ve grown to expect from American Housewife, not to mention that same little grin.

Married… with Children

As far as family comedies go, few shows have come close to matching the evergreen appeal of Married… with Children. Broadcast between April 5, 1987, and June 9, 1997, and consisting of 11 seasons and 259 episodes, the enduring comedy of Married… with Children has seen it voted on Entertainment Weekly’s “New TV Classics” list, as well as winning a place in the hearts of several generations of viewers. The show revolves around Al Bundy, a once-celebrated high school football player who now plies his living selling shoes, his lazy homemaker wife Peggy, their popular but not terribly bright daughter, Kelly, and their unpopular but bright son, Bud. The cast is stellar (Ed O’Neill as Al and Christina Applegate as Kelly are particularly outstanding), the writing is sharp, and the humor is just coarse and offbeat enough to keep you on your toes. It may be about family, and it may have a warmth to its premise, but there’s nothing sugary or bland about this little piece of comedy gold.

The Middle

It’s funny, it’s offbeat, and it’s got Patricia Heaton in it… what more could anyone possibly want from a sitcom? Revolving around the trials and tribulations of a middle-aged married woman and her semi-functioning (but fully engaging) family, the Middle puts the middle-class life under a lens, adds a comedy filter, and serves up a classic. At the heart of the action is Frances “Frankie” Heck (Heaton), a 40-something woman who starts out as an underachieving car saleswoman, but later switches things up by taking a job as a dental assistant. Heading up the Heck family alongside Frankie is her stoic husband Mike (Neil Flynn), a manager at the local quarry and father to Frankie’s three kids, Axl (Charlie McDermott) an archetypal popular but lazy teen, the socially awkward but never less than enthusiastic Sue (Eden Sher), and Brick (Atticus Shaffer), an intelligent, deeply introverted youngster with some slightly unusual character traits. Airing as it does over the course of nine years, we get to see the family change, grow, and develop — although even if the kid’s heights change, the sharp comedy, outstanding performances, and charming cast remain reliably irresistible.

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