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6 comedies to watch while Parks & Recreation is off the air
Mourning the loss of NBC's best sitcom? We can help you fill the Ron Swanson-sized hole in your heart.
 
Brooklyn Nine-Nine's cast of characters is odd — but loveably so.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine's cast of characters is odd — but loveably so. (Eddy Chen/FOX)

Bad news, Pawnee Rangers: NBC has quietly put the critically beloved (but stubbornly low-rated) sitcom Parks & Recreation on semi-hiatus for the next few months, opting to burn off a few episodes next month — including a now-belated Halloween episode — until an extended break that won't end until January. So how can you survive for two whole months until the show comes back? First, deal with your emotions Ron Swanson-style:

Then, try out these six other hilarious, somewhat under-appreciated comedies that feature some of that Parks magic:

1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Andy Samberg's quirky cop show, which was created by one of Parks & Recreation's showrunners, was recently picked up by Fox for a full season despite good-but-not-great ratings. Sad Parks fans can find some solace here; much like the public servants of Pawnee, the ensemble of officers on Brooklyn Nine-Nine are weird but lovable, overly competitive, and frequently incompetent. Though Samberg's Jake Peralta is at the center of the action, supporting characters like the yogurt-loving and princess-castle-building Terry Jeffords (played by former NFL player Terry Crews) steal the show. Like Parks & Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine also boasts its own prickly, deadpan department head prone to priceless reaction shots (Andre Braugher).

Straight out of Pawnee: This scene of a youth outreach seminar gone wrong.



2. Key & Peele
This sketch comedy show, written by and starring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, brings in pretty great ratings for cable — and boasts high-profile fans in the Obama family. It's worth watching for the "Luther" sketches alone — a recurring bit about President Obama's "anger translator" that dominates the internet every time a new entry airs. Plus, the frustrations of local government in Parks & Recreation so often mimic those from real-life congressional gridlock, so Luther's apoplectic outbursts are particularly cathartic.

Straight out of Pawnee: Leslie Knope's birth certificate non-scandal was, of course, inspired by a certain U.S. president.



3. The League
In its fifth season and pulling in consistently solid ratings, The League is a semi-improvised comedy about a fantasy football league, and the absurd lengths its players go to win it each year. The show, which stars a hilarious ensemble of young comedy actors (including Mark Duplass, Nick Kroll, and Paul Scheer), is what Parks & Recreation would be like if it was way raunchier, and if its characters constantly hurled insults at each other (and not just at Jerry). Taco also has that lovable dope quality exhibited by P&R's Andy, offering up pearls of wisdom like this one: "What did I tell you? Hot girl, Volkswagen Jetta. It's a law, like water or dinosaurs."

Straight out of Pawnee: Winking fan favorite guest stars, like Bob Odenkirk:



4. The Thick of It
In true British style, this satire of parliamentary incompetence created by Armando Iannucci (who also created HBO's Veep) put out just a handful of episodes over four seasons, plus a movie spin-off. But what it lacks in episodes it makes up for in profanity — spearheaded by the character Malcolm Tucker, a political operative who is as innovative with his swearing as he brilliant with his manipulations. The Thick Of It even found its way in to the 2012 U.S. presidential race, when the show's term "omnishambles" was repurposed as "Romneyshambles" to describe Mitt's rather disastrous trip to the U.K.

Straight out of Pawnee: The constant political maneuvering and bluffing, though with slightly saltier language:



5. Trophy Wife
Much like Cougar Town, Trophy Wife seems to have turned off viewers with its trashy-sounding title. But don't be fooled: This ABC comedy starring Malin Ackerman, Bradley Whitford, and Marcia Gay Harden has more charm than you'd think. It follows a younger woman who parties hard but marries an older man — and then must contend with his three stepchildren and two ex-wives. As James Poniewozik put it at TIME, "In a way, it's like the complex dynamic that HBO's Big Love worked out, as if ABC cleverly figured out how to make a polygamy sitcom that's not about polygamy."

Straight out of Pawnee: This Ron Swanson-like understanding of technology:



6. Happy Endings
Like Friends or New Girl on speed, and with way more dance numbers (Exhibit A: Boyz II Menorah), this show about six friends was canceled earlier this year after just three seasons. But that was more than enough time for the show to spawn its own weird gag language (Exhibit B: "amahhhzing") and blast through super-niche pop culture references (Exhibit C: A food truck called "Steak Me Home Tonight").

Straight out of Pawnee: Much like Parks' dearly departed Lil' Sebastian, the Happy Endings gang had a several-episode fixation on an unusual animal:

 
Jillian Rayfield is a freelance writer in New York. In the past, she has written for Salon, MSNBC, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine's Daily Intel, and Talking Points Memo.

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