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Heartland is a must-see if you’re looking for a family-friendly escapist drama with a cast full of interesting, lovable characters. Following the Fleming-Bartlett family, who live in a fictional town in central Alberta, Heartland is based on the same-named book series by Lauren Brooke. To keep their bond strong after a devastating loss, the family faces the ups and downs of ranch life.
2. ‘Virgin River’
Fans are already anticipating the start of Virgin River’s third season, and it’s easy to see why. Based on Robyn Carr’s book series, it shares many themes with Gilmore Girls, from complicated romantic relationships to coping with small-town life. Melinda Monroe is the central character in the show, who has just moved to the small town of Virgin River in California and finds that there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.
3. ‘Sweet Magnolias’
Sweet Magnolias, the movie, is based on the Sweet Magnolias book series by Sherryl Woods. It’s a love story about three childhood friends from South Carolina who still live in the same small town. As the series progresses, the characters offer one another support as they navigate love, work, and family life.
According to Greta Heggeness, our News and Entertainment Editor, “Gilmore Girls-style melodrama Sweet Magnolias demands more than my attention span was willing to give it. (Although I’m a huge GG fan, skipping a few episodes here and there would have a negligible impact on the plot.)”
4. ‘Hart of Dixie’
Hart of Dixie isn’t exactly like Gilmore Girls, but if you enjoy stories about oddball small towns, you’ll love it. A New Yorker, Dr. Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson), decides to continue her father’s medical practice after his death, and the show follows her journey. Moving to Bluebell, Alabama proves to be much more difficult than she anticipated for her.
5. ‘Ginny & Georgia’
Ginny & Georgia, the mother-daughter drama often compared to Gilmore Girls, centers on Ginny (Antonia Gentry) and Georgia (Brianne Howey). Georgia, a single mother, has a teenage daughter and a 9-year-old son who live with her in a small New England community. Is there anything else to worry about? Ginny appears to be the group’s matriarch.
6. ‘Derry Girls’
Derry Girls is, without a doubt, a hilarious show. Gilmore Girls-style wit and great dialogue can be found in this show, despite its divergent storyline. An all-female Catholic high school team struggles through their adolescent years in Northern Ireland in the 1990s, amid the tumult of The Troubles.
Even though Sarah Braverman isn’t Lorelai Gilmore, she does share a lot of traits with the character, such as her witty remarks and laid-back demeanor. Parenthood focuses on the Braverman family, which includes Zeek Braverman (Craig T. Nelson), Camille Braverman (Bonnie Bedelia), and their four children’s spouses and children. (If you’re like me, you’ll need some tissues for this.)
8. ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was created by Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. If you watched the first season of Game of Thrones (GG), you’ll notice that it’s more cutting edge. However, the fast-paced dialogue and humor are still present. With a backdrop of New York City during the 1950s, the show centers on Midge (Rachel Brosnahan), a devoted housewife dealing with the fallout of her husband’s sudden departure. Abe Weissman (Tony Shalhoub), the father of Midge, is a wise scholar like Richard Gilmore (Richard Gilmore), the father of Lorelai (Lorelai Gilmore). Alex Borstein, best known for his role as Drella on Gossip Girl, also appears as Susie, Midge’s talent manager.
Liza Miller, a 40-year-old divorcee who enters the ageist publishing industry after being mistaken for a teenager, is played by Sutton Foster. There are a lot of other well-known actors in this lighthearted show, including Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor and Nico Tortorella.
Get to know Anna Faris and Allison Janney’s Christy and Bonnie Plunkett, a mother-daughter team who’ll make your own messed-up relationships look like a picnic. Christy, a former alcoholic, is a single mother trying to start over in Napa, California. It’s difficult enough for her to raise her two children alone while also trying to maintain her sobriety, but her fortitude is put to the test when her mother, who is also in recovery from addiction, reappears in her life.
In an age when so many depictions of Black women on screen are far from realistic, Issa Rae’s Insecure is a breath of fresh air. Following Rae (Rae) and her best friend, Molly (Yvonne Orji), as they navigate life’s challenges, from their tight-knit friendship to their complicated love lives, is an enjoyable way to spend an hour of your time. Like Gilmore Girls, it not only focuses on friendship but also manages to strike an excellent balance between comedy and tragedy.
12. ‘Jane the Virgin’
The Gilmore Girls showed us a lot about intergenerational relationships, and we learned a lot from it. When it came to friendship, Lorelai and Rory were the best of the best. However, Lorelai and Emily had a very different dynamic in their relationship. It follows three generations of powerful women in Jane the Virgin, which has a similar setup. About Jane: The show is centered on Jane (Gina Rodriguez), who is artificially inseminated by mistake (not kidding). While Xiomara and Jane have a close bond as best friends, Abuela has a very different approach to parenting. There are some heartwarming scenes in the show, but it’s mostly known for its humor and outrageous plot twists.
A group called the ‘Bunheads’
Actually, the fact that this show only lasted one season still baffles us. That said, all 18 episodes are well worth your time. The comedy-drama follows Michelle Simms Flowers (Sutton Foster), a former ballerina and Las Vegas showgirl who decides to become a teacher at her mother-in-ballet law’s school. The show was co-created by Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. In addition to Liza Weil (Paris Geller) and Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore), many of the characters will be familiar to fans.
This is Us, Season Four
Although Milo Ventimiglia’s character is quite different from that of Jess Mariano, fans of the rebellious Gilmore Girls will enjoy this series. With Rebecca Pearson as his wife, he takes on the role of Jack Pearson, an obedient husband and father who raises their three children in the new film. With a focus on family dynamics and trauma, this Emmy-winning series is sure to move you to tears.
‘Schitt’s Creek,’ by James Joyce
For a reason, this Canadian sitcom won nine Emmy Awards in its first season, a new record for a comedy series. Schitt’s Creek will appeal to fans of Stars Hollow, which had its share of eccentric characters. After losing their fortune, a wealthy family must relocate to a small town, which we follow in this series.
‘Queen Sugar,’ the 16th
This critically acclaimed drama, based on the novel of the same name by Natalie Baszile, is about three siblings who return to Louisiana after the death of their father. This family is made up of three different generations: the journalist and activist Nova Bordelon (played by Rutina Wesley), the hardworking mother Charley Bordelon (portrayed by Dawn-Lyen Gardner), and the unemployed father Ralph Angel Bordelon (played by Kofi Siriboe). You may not immediately associate this with Gilmore Girls, but it does a good job of depicting the difficulties multigenerational families face.
‘The O.C.’ is the seventeenth episode of the series.
If you’re looking for a show with sarcastic humor and snappy dialogue like Gilmore Girls, look no further than this drama set in Newport Beach, California. A young boy named Ryan Atwood is adopted by wealthy relatives who live in a different, affluent world than the one he is used to. The show deals with a number of heavy subjects, such as poverty, racism, and cultural clashes.