15 shows about working-class families that aren’t Roseanne

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Cougar Town

This show has been off the air for a few years, but I will maintain, until my last, dying breath, that it holds up and will continue to do so. Starring a very post-Friends Courtney Cox and baby Busy Phillips., the show is hilarious and real, and pokes fun at Florida in a way that I just can’t resist.

The premise: Cox plays Jules Cobb, recently single mom and self-made success. Jules lives next door to her snarky, best friend Ellie, and her lapdog of a husband, Andy. They recruit a reluctant neighbor from their shared cul-de-sac to join their “crew,” and proceed to have insane hijinks.

Jules’ ex-husband, Bobby, comes around a bit, and he is quite possibly the poorest man ever to be featured on TV. In fact, his upbeat attitude and unearned optimism in the face of his complete destitution is a bit of a running joke through out the series.

Why you’ll like it: For one, the show doesn’t take itself very seriously. Flashbacks to Jules and Bobby’s past reveal a depth of redneckery unknown to folks outside the region. As a Southerner and self-identifying redneck, I can’t get mad at Bobby as a caricature. He’s dumb and charming, and very, very handsome. He also reminds me of about 80% of the boys I went to high school with.

The “cul-de-sac crew” is also a whole different kind of friend group, compared to what you might associate with Cox. These friends regularly drag each other when needed, stage interventions over annoying behaviors, and execute elaborate pranks that would make anyone else write them off. Their aggressive honesty is endearing, although possibly impractical in the real world. I’m far too sensitive to be friends with this crowd.

Where to find it: Get to know this set of friends through all the seasons on Hulu, and I promise you’ll be playing your own version of “Penny Can” very soon.