Not every show can be The Lone Ranger. If you love big casts, crazy families and lots of interpersonal drama, here are just seven shows that will scratch your itch for large ensemble groups.
1. The Office
You wouldn’t think that one branch of a mid-sized paper company could sustain nine seasons of hilarity, yet The Office is both critically acclaimed and universally adored. With simple goals and a never-ending arsenal of jokes, hijinks and staplers in jello, this cast is one that will stick with you long after you’ve finished the show.
Nothing keeps the Gallaghers down, and that includes poverty, get-rich-quick schemes and dad’s penchant for dumping more and more siblings on the 21-year-old head of household. For equal amounts of humor and drama, you won’t want to miss Shameless, one of television’s wildest and most unique ensembles.
3. Orange is the New Black
From international drug runners to wild-haired lesbian junkies, Orange is the New Black has brought fresh meaning to the word “diversity.” It’s also changed the way people view television; as a Netflix original, it’s never actually aired on TV. If you’re looking for a show that pushes more than one boundary, the ladies of Litchfield can provide.
4. Arrested Development
Widely hailed as a show ahead of its time, Arrested Development is about a dysfunctional family that never quite figures out how to live in the real world. Not only is the sitcom smart, sharp and laugh-out-loud funny, but it was so beloved that it was actually brought back to life after cancellation. The viewers made magic happen out of their adoration for the Bluth family.
5. Game of Thrones
Based on the best-selling book series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones has a little something for everyone: There’s love, romance, politics, fantasy, danger and even dragon queens. No matter what your favorite character type, you’re sure to find them on “GoT,” so don’t hesitate to tune into HBO if you love sprawling settings and even more sprawling casts.
6. The Big Bang Theory
Still dominating the ratings after eight seasons, The Big Bang Theory has shown that it’s cool to be smart. Fortunately, the show doesn’t expect its audience to be as familiar with physics as the main characters. You can enjoy all the nerdy, quick-witted dialogue of The Big Bang Theory even if you don’t have a mathematics degree; in fact, some viewers contend the show is even better when you don’t.
7. Parks and Recreation
Everyone from Lindsey Stone to the LA Times has written about the beauty of Parks & Rec, but its brilliance bears repeating here. Centered around the optimistic, happy-go-lucky Leslie Knope, this sitcom will take you on a journey through civil service. What’s more, you’ll also enjoy several different perspectives on life, love and garbage duty: Parks and Recreation has a full ensemble cast that it utilizes for maximum comedy.
These are just seven shows with great ensemble casts. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for prisoners, princesses or government employees: With the way television is growing and expanding by the day, you can always find something good on the tube.