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Missing 'How I Met Your Mother'? Try these sitcoms instead

Now that How I Met Your Mother is over, we need a new sitcom to obsess about. Preferably one with fully formed characters who are fun to spend time with and a gooey, heartwarming center. Luckily, there are a handful of new-ish sitcoms that fit the bill. Fire up Netflix or Hulu and catch up on them before adding them to your DVR list — most of these shows have just one or two seasons:

The Goldbergs, 9 p.m. Tuesday, ABC: Of all the sitcoms here, this one has the most unique structure, something that made HIMYM such a creative force. Created by Adam F. Goldberg and based on his penchant for videotaping his family as a kid, this show about the fictional Goldberg family set in the '80s draws heavily on those memories to the point of re-creating them. Heck, sometimes there's even footage of the real Goldbergs at the end of the episode doing what we just saw the characters doing. This home-video feel is integral to the show's charm, as is the nostalgia factor — think shoulder pads and Star Wars and microwaves as new-fangled machines. The real draw: Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids), who steals scene after scene as Mrs. Goldberg.

Catch up: The Goldbergs is in its first season; most episodes are available via Hulu Plus.

Trophy Wife, 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, ABC: Trophy Wife about a 30something woman who marries a 50something man whose two ex-wives are still very much in his life — immediately overcame its could-be-cliche premise when it debuted in the fall. It emerged with a real point of view about families and a crazy talented ensemble cast that includes actors not normally associated with gut-busting laughs: Marcia Gay Harden,

Bradley Whitford and Malin Akerman. It's all the more surprising then that they're used to hilarious effect in ways that play up their strengths. Plus, Trophy Wife will always be remembered for giving America scene-stealing Albert Tsai as Bert (pictured at left), TV's funniest precocious kid.

Catch up: Trophy Wife is in its first season; all episodes are on Hulu Plus.

The Mindy Project, 9 p.m. Tuesday, Fox: Tonight's one-hour block of The Mindy Project (returning after a two-month hiatus) is a perfect encapsulation of everything the show does well. Picking up after a cliff-hanger that saw Mindy (Mindy Kaling), a gynecologist in New York City, and Danny (Chris Messina), her colleague, locking lips for the first time, tonight's episodes balance sizzling romantic chemistry with sharp comedy and a couple of flat-out hilarious gags. It's a must-watch for avid fans, casual fans and even those who have never seen the show before.

Catch up: Mindy is currently in its second season. The first is available to rent via Netflix; all 14 episodes of the second season are on Hulu Plus.

Suburgatory, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, ABC: Currently in its third season, Suburgatory is the veteran of this bunch. It's also the flat-out weirdest, and we mean that in the best way possible. Suburgatory, about a single dad (the great, bearded Jeremy Sisto) who moves from New York City to the suburbs to give his teenage daughter (Jane Levy) a more normal life, has an oddball energy like nothing else. The show's satire of cookie-cutter suburban life is razor sharp. And this particular suburb is home to a wonderfully strange cast of characters, from SNL's Ana Gasteyer and Chris Parnell as nosy neighbors straight from a nightmare to Cheryl Hines as a materialistic diva. It's worth watching just to see Carly Chaikin's spot-on portrayal of Dalia Royce as a blonde robot version of Paris Hilton.

Catch up: Season 1 is available to rent on Netflix; some episodes of season 3 are on Hulu Plus.

Surviving Jack, 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Fox: Law & Order alum Christopher Meloni anchors this new sitcom about a tough dad (Meloni) who chooses to stay home with his kids after his wife (Rachael Harris) goes back to law school. Like The Goldbergs, it's set in the past, though this time it's 1991. So far, Surviving Jack seems like it could be set in any decade and work; its '90s sensibilities really only extend to its throwback soundtrack and that it's a decade in which stay-at-home fathers were still something of a novelty. But the family dynamic here is appealing and, despite the lack of big laughs in the pilot, Meloni's brand of dry humor is expertly entertaining.

Catch up: This week's episode is only the show's second, so dive right in! The pilot is available on Hulu Plus.

Missing 'How I Met Your Mother'? Try these sitcoms instead 03/31/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 31, 2014 6:07pm]
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