ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

How I Met Your Mother is over. And it hurts.

Whether you loved the series finale, or you're still screaming at the screen, we've all spent a while in the company of Ted and the gang - nine seasons is a long time in television. How, then, are we supposed to fill the HIMYM-shaped hole in our lives?

Here at Moviepilot, we've tried to deal with the loss by looking at the most outraged and outrageous fan reactions to the finale, and by exclusively revealing the dark, dark secret behind that finale's own already dark, dark secret. We've even taken a look at what to expect in the fall, with How I Met Your Dad.

But that isn't enough - what we all need is something to help us move on right now.


...wait for it...

OK, don't wait THAT long.
OK, don't wait THAT long.

...darily like another TV show.

But not just any other TV show - the right TV show. The right TV show for you.

And that, Lilypads and Marshmallows, is why we are here today. To help us all move on, through the finest coping mechanism that there is: Television.

Not actually a 30 Rock line, believe it or not.
Not actually a 30 Rock line, believe it or not.

More specifically, we're going to find each and every one of us a new show - and this time, just like Ted and the Mother, it's going to last forever. On an unrelated note, there'll be no major HIMYM spoilers. Not one.

Not even involving the pineapple.
Not even involving the pineapple.

So, first up:

Missing Ted's search for true love? Try Looking.

A lot of us were suffering from emotional exhaustion by the end of HIMYM, nine years of Ted failing to meet the Mother having taken their toll. For anyone who was drawn to the show by Ted's endlessly optimistic search for true love, the descent of the character into a sort of Barney-Lite was...not so great.

Fortunately, HBO's Looking, the story of three gay friends 'looking' for love in San Francisco, has pretty much all the elements of HIMYM that we originally fell in love with.

Lovable, slightly dopey, hopelessly romantic lead?


Wisecracking best friend dealing with the challenges of a long term relationship?


Sex-crazed, scathingly hilarious (with bonus mustache) horn-dog?

Check, check, check.
Check, check, check.

It's a sweet, funny, and beautifully judged take on modern dating life - irrespective of gender or sexual preference - a perfect solution for the romantics out there. The first season just finished its run on HBO, but the first episode is available on HBO Go now. You can also get an idea of the show from the video below:

What about something for you less romantic Barney Stinson fans out there, though?

Missing Barney's greasy charisma or the show's countless callbacks? Try Archer.

Archer is, in many ways, as far away from HIMYM as you can get. It's an animated comedy about a dysfunctional spy agency and the world's greatest secret agent and ladies man: Sterling Archer.

Voiced by the guy from Bob's Burgers.
Voiced by the guy from Bob's Burgers.

It's a little like getting a glimpse into the world Barney secretly believes he lives in. It's retro and futuristic at the same time, everyone wears suits, and no matter what Archer does, women throw themselves at him. It's also very, very funny, if in a much darker vein than HIMYM tended to be. Expect random pop culture references, a deeply inappropriate working environment and an even stranger mother-son relationship than Barney and his mother's.

The show runs on FX, but is also a prime catch-up candidate, with its fifth season already underway.

The videos below give some idea of the tone - and of just how awful a person Archer himself is.

What if you'd rather see something a bit more focused on a gang of actual friends, though?

Missing the gang hanging out in the bar being mean to each other? Try It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

But which one's the Ted?
But which one's the Ted?

Another perfect binge-watch, with the show's ninth season having just finished on FXX. It's Always Sunny captures the energy of the whole HIMYM gang being awful to one another, and distills it into an sharp, comically pitch-black and occasionally unhinged show that details the misadventures of a group of friends in Philadelphia trying - unsuccessfully - to run a bar.

It's a critical darling, and deservedly so, but it's always had an anarchic streak, so suits its cable network home well. That said, Charlie Day, who plays the gloriously unstable Charlie in the show has broken out in the last few years, so you may recognize him from Horrible Bosses, Pacific Rim or The LEGO Movie.

He plays this guy, and he plays him well.
He plays this guy, and he plays him well.

Plus, it features Danny DeVito from season 2 on, and who doesn't love Danny DeVito?

After something a little more mainstream though?

Missing how funny the show was in the first few seasons? Try Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is, more than any other show of the last few years, flat out, non-stop, never-say-die funny. Love or hate Andy Samberg, but as it turns out, the combination of the writing team behind Parks and Recreation and the former SNL star is absolute comedy gold. Add in a surprisingly funny police precinct setting, a perfect blend of silly with an emotional core, and probably the finest ensemble cast on television right now, and you have exactly what HIMYM once was - a show so funny and engaging you wanted to watch the next episode right away - as you can see from the videos below.

Once again, the first season has just ended over on Fox, so we're talking a catch up option here, but one well worth taking the time over.

As is the other major network option:

Missing something you can watch with your parents/kids? Try Trophy Wife.

It's smart. It's funny. It's much better than the title suggests. It's even about family. Plus, it has serious star wattage and comedy chops with Malin Åkerman, Bradley Whitford and Marcia Gay Harden all on top form. There is nothing better on TV right now to sit in front of with your kids or parents, safe in the knowledge that no-one will say anything deeply, deeply offensive.

What's more, its currently running on Tuesdays at 9.30 on ABC. So it couldn't be easier to catch.

Even together, these shows might not heal the hole in your heart - but they'll definitely make it a little bit smaller and less Barney-shaped.

What do you guys think? Any of these sound like your sort of thing? Any I've missed? Does the absence of Parks and Recreation render the whole list meaningless? Let me know below!


Which of the five shows sounds best to you?


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