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’
Season three of Virgin River has already piqued the interest of fans, and it’s easy to see why. A number of themes from Gilmore Girls are explored in the show based on Robyn Carr’s novels, including complicated romantic relationships and coping with small-town life. We follow Melinda Monroe as she settles in Virgin River, California, and learns that there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye in this sleepy little community.
3. ‘Sweet Magnolias’
Sweet Magnolias, the movie, is based on the Sweet Magnolias book series by Sherryl Woods. The romantic drama centers on three childhood friends from South Carolina who have returned to the small town where they grew up. 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, “Unlike Gilmore Girls, which didn’t demand all of my attention, Sweet Magnolias is more than just a drama. GG is one of my favorite shows, but skipping a few episodes wouldn’t have a significant impact on the overall story.”
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. The show centers on Dr. Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson), a New Yorker who, after her father’s death, decides to take over his medical practice. Even though she expects it will be easy to adjust to southern life once she moves to Bluebell, Alabama.
5. ‘Ginny & Georgia’
Ginny & Georgia, the mother-daughter drama often compared to Gilmore Girls, centers on Ginny (Antonia Gentry) and Georgia (Brianne Howey). Single mother Georgia has a teenage daughter and a 9-year-old son named Austin who live in a small New England town with their mother, who is single. Is there anything holding us back? Ginny appears to be the group’s matriarch.
6. ‘Derry Girls’
Derry Girls is, without a doubt, a hilarious show. While the plot is different, it shares the same witty humor and engaging dialogue as Gilmore Girls. An all-female Catholic high school team struggles through their adolescent years in Northern Ireland in the 1990s, during the height of The Troubles.
When it comes to personality traits like witty remarks and a laid-back demeanor, Sarah Braverman and Lorelai Gilmore are worlds apart. Parenthood focuses on the Braverman family, which includes Zeek Braverman (Craig T. Nelson), Camille Braverman (Bonnie Bedelia), and their four children’s families. (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. It’s more cutting-edge, and fans will notice that right away, but there’s still plenty of fast-paced dialogue and humor to enjoy for those of us who loved it in GG. 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. A wise scholar like Richard Gilmore’s father, Abe Weissman (Tony Shalhoub), Midge’s father may be of particular interest to GG fans. 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 decides to work in 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 easy. 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’
A great deal about intergenerational relationships was taught to us in Gilmore Girls. Lorelai and Rory, for example, were best friends forever, whereas Lorelai and Emily had a very different relationship. It follows three generations of powerful women in Jane the Virgin, which has a similar setup. insemination by artificial means occurs accidentally in Jane (Gina Rodriguez) (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.
Actually, the fact that this show only lasted one season still baffles us. That said, all 18 episodes are well worth your time. Sutton Foster plays Michelle Simms Flowers, a former ballerina and Las Vegas showgirl who decides to become a ballet teacher at her mother-in-ballet law’s school after she marries Amy Sherman-Palladino. In addition to Liza Weil (Paris Geller) and Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore), you’ll recognize Michelle’s mother-in-law, played by Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore).
14. ‘This Is Us’
Although Milo Ventimiglia’s character is quite different from that of Jess Mariano, fans of the rebellious Gilmore Girls will enjoy this series. The character he’s portraying this time is Jack Pearson, a devoted husband and father who shares custody of their three children with his wife, Rebecca. The Emmy-winning show delves into family dynamics and the effects of trauma, so prepare to have your heartstrings pulled.
15. ‘Schitt’s Creek’
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. We follow a wealthy family who loses everything and must relocate to a small town.
16. ‘Queen Sugar’
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. Nova Bordelon (Rutina Wesley), the oldest, is a journalist and activist; Charley Bordelon (Dawn-Lyen Gardner), a hardworking mother; and Ralph Angel Bordelon (Kofi Siriboe), a single parent who struggles with unemployment. Charley Bordelon (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) is a journalist and activist. You may not immediately associate this with Gilmore Girls, but it does a good job of depicting the difficulties multigenerational families face.
17. ‘The O.C’
Newport Beach is not your typical small town, but this drama has the same sarcastic humor and snappy dialogue that makes Gilmore Girls so wonderful. 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.