america Shows About Middle America To Watch Instead Of 'Roseanne'  

Donn Saylor
57 votes 21 voters 14 items

List Rules Vote up the best shows with similar themes to 'Roseanne.'

After the abrupt cancellation of Roseanne in May 2018, there was an uproar among fans of the show who felt that without it, there was a now supposed lack of television programming focused on "real people." But the reality is that there are plenty of shows that represent American life – series about regular, blue-collar folks who struggle to make ends meet, who don't live in "elite bubbles," who laugh and love and labor with an easy and accessible humanity.

During its initial run (and some might argue, its reboot), Roseanne may have tapped into a sense of working-class unease, but shows like Roseanne are still on the air, waiting to be discovered. Plus, these shows have the added bonus of not being weighted down with Roseanne Barr's polarizing politics, the associated fallout, or the behind-the-scenes drama of Roseanne. And these shows all deserve a larger viewership, not because they're Roseanne knockoffs – each one of them is a singular creation – but simply because they're good TV.

1 11 VOTES

Bob's Burgers


Bob's Burgers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Shows About Middle America To Watch Instead Of 'Roseanne'
Photo:  Fox

As The Simpsons has proven (or used to prove, depending on your feelings on it), an animated series can sometimes offer a look into American life that a live-action series can't. Case in point: Bob's Burgers. The Fox cartoon is about the Belcher clan, who runs a restaurant in a coastal American city.

It's a satire, to be sure, but good satire like this has a lot to say about the power of family, community, and society. If for no other reason, watch it for eldest child Tina Belcher (Dan Mintz), perhaps one of the greatest and funniest characters currently on TV.

Actors: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman

Premiered: January 9, 2011

Number of Seasons: 8

Also Ranked

#92 on The Best Cartoons of All Time

#47 on The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

#14 on The Best Current Sitcoms

#2 on The Best TV Shows Streaming On Hulu

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2 7 VOTES

The Middle


The Middle is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Shows About Middle America To Watch Instead Of 'Roseanne'
Photo:  ABC

In May 2018, The Middle concluded its nine-season run on ABC, but that's no reason not to rediscover (or discover for the first time) its brilliance through reruns, which air daily on multiple channels. Taking place in Orson, IN, The Middle revolves around the economically-struggling Heck family, a clan of lovable oddballs who stick out more than a little in their small Midwestern community.

It's comical and irreverent while also feeling extremely personal and topical. Also: middle daughter Sue Heck, played to perfection by Eden Sher, is rumored to be getting a spinoff that would continue Sue's misadventures, so now is the ideal time to catch up on The Middle.

Actors: Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn, Charlie McDermott

Premiered: September 30, 2009

Number of Seasons: 9

Also Ranked

#48 on The Greatest TV Shows for Women

#51 on The Best Shows Currently on the Air

#14 on The Funniest Shows on TV Right Now

#85 on The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History

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3 7 VOTES

Speechless


Speechless is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Shows About Middle America To Watch Instead Of 'Roseanne'
Photo:  ABC

ABC's Speechless is one of the first sitcoms to deal directly with the joys and challenges of having a disabled family member. It centers on the DiMeo family, a typical middle-American brood comprised of parents Maya (Minnie Driver) and Jimmy (John Ross Bowie) and their three kids, the oldest of whom, JJ (Micah Fowler), has cerebral palsy.

Speechless trains its lens on a facet of American life not often seen in Sitcomland, but the result is a show that highlights something most people have known for ages: that families come in all shapes, sizes, and ability levels.

Actors: Minnie Driver, John Ross Bowie, Cedric Yarbrough, Mason Cook, Micah Fowler, + more

Premiered: September 21, 2016

Number of Seasons: 2

Also Ranked

#31 on The Best Current Sitcoms

#26 on The Best Current TV Shows Starring Movie Stars

#20 on Current TV Comedies You Wish You Were A Character On

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4 3 VOTES

Shameless


Shameless is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Shows About Middle America To Watch Instead Of 'Roseanne'
Photo:  Showtime

The family at the center of the Showtime staple Shameless could never be called "typical," but then again, what exactly is a "typical" American family? Shameless challenges viewers to reconsider their long-held definitions of what it means to be a family as the show follows the exploits of the seriously dysfunctional Gallaghers of Chicago, IL.

Yes, the show can be shocking (and even revolting) at times, but it can also be very funny, unusually poignant, and surprisingly uplifting – you know, just like any family in any city anywhere in the country.

Actors: Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky

Premiered: January 9, 2011

Number of Seasons: 8

Also Ranked

#47 on The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch

#19 on The Best of Premium Cable TV Series

#36 on The Best Shows Currently on the Air

#3 on The Best Dramedy TV Series

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