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Shows Like Jane The Virgin That Dramedy Fans Need To Watch

"Jane the Virgin" has been off the air for a while now, but fans of the fantastic show are still caught up in its inimitable charm. And while nothing is going to hit the exact same sweet spot as "Jane," if you are jonesing for a new dramedy fix, we have some ideas. Like "Jane the Virgin," the shows on this list blend the best elements of comedy and drama, have quirky and interesting characters, and playfully embrace the fantastical nature of television life.

In "Jane the Virgin," our heroine lives at home with her mother and grandmother (and later, son), and female bonding is an important element of the show. Therefore, our list includes other shows that focus on female family bonds or friendships. We also looked for shows that have at least some of the other amazing qualities of The CW's telenovela — a penchant for over-the-top satire, non-stop addictive mysteries, touching romantic entanglements, and so forth — and are worthy successors for the series. Here are 14 shows like "Jane the Virgin" that dramedy fans need to check out.


Similar to "Jane the Virgin," TV Land's "Younger" is a lighthearted dramedy centered around an overly sweet but heavily ambitious single woman. In "Younger," Liza Miller (Sutton Foster) is a 40-year-old divorced mom who's having trouble scoring a job after years away from the workforce. To break into publishing, she decides to lie about her age — shaving off more than a decade! She becomes an assistant at Empirical Press, where she meets a mentor (Diana, played by Miriam Shor) and a best friend (Kelsey, played by Hilary Duff). Rounding out the cast are Liza's younger tattoo artist boyfriend Josh (Nico Tortorella); the smolderingly handsome head of Empirical Charles (Peter Hermann); and Liza's longtime friend and now-roommate, artist Maggie Amato (Debi Mazer).

Liza comes clean about her age to various characters throughout the show, starting with Josh and ending with Diana (Maggie is the only main character to know Liza's age all along). Luckily, the big reveal has little impact on the quality of the show, which remains fun and quirky even after Liza is revealed to be in her 40s. Fans are able to watch as the determined Liza works her way up from assistant to editor, proving that — while her lie was necessary for her to get a foot in the door — her talent reigns supreme. From the comedic workplace scenes to Liza's love triangle with Josh and Charles, "Younger" is an amusing show with a lot of laughs and a lot of heart.

Hart of Dixie

"Hart of Dixie" was a charming little show that ran for four seasons on the CW from 2011 to 2015, and it reminds us of "Jane the Virgin" with its eccentricity and cast of intriguing oddball characters. The show revolves around Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson), a New York City doctor who is unexpectedly left partial ownership of a medical practice in the fictional town of Bluebell, Alabama. Since Zoe's dream fellowship has fallen apart, she decides to head to Bluebell to work at the practice, and to learn about the deceased, estranged father who left it to her. In Alabama, Zoe rents a room from football player-turned-mayor Lavon Hayes (Cress Williams) and gets to work alongside Dr. Brick Breeland (Tim Matheson), who is less than thrilled to have her there.

Like Jane Villanueva, while Dr. Zoe Hart is lovable and intelligent, she is also prone to talking a bit too much and getting herself into messes. Zoe also has just as complicated a love life as Jane: There's her ongoing flirtation with town lawyer George Tucker (Scott Porter), who is engaged to debutante Lemon Breeland (Jamie King), not to mention her love-hate relationship with bartender Wade Kinsella (Wilson Bethel). Throughout the show, Zoe romances both men, but it's Zoe's relationship with herself that is the most appealing piece of the puzzle. As she learns to embrace small-town Southern life, Zoe develops proper bedside manner and the ability to connect with others in a truly meaningful way.


As Issa Dee in "Insecure," partially based on the lead actress' web series "The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl," Issa Rae blesses us with a truly great television character and a heroine that we can't help but root for. At the start of the acclaimed HBO show, Issa works at a small education non-profit called "We Got Ya'll" and lives with her boyfriend Lawrence (Jay Ellis). Both of these things change over the course of the series, but Issa's endearing awkwardness, much like Jane Villanueva's, has never really faded.

One reason the show works so well is because of its exploration of the Black female experience, which includes Issa's complex relationships with her girlfriends. Best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji) is a successful lawyer who has trouble holding down a relationship, and her self-absorption eventually proves to be a barrier in their friendship. As Issa and Molly navigate their individual career and relationship issues, of which they have many, it is their friendships that proves most in need of nurturance.

The duo routinely hangs out with two other women: the hilariously unhinged Kelli Prenny (Natasha Rothwell), who makes every scene a riot, and Tiffany DuBois (Amanda Seales), the most put-together of the four (but also the least likeable). Throw in a roster of hot men — some disposable and some enduring — and the backdrop of South Los Angeles, and you have a younger, fresher "Sex and the City" with a Black cast and a millennial sense of humor.

Grace and Frankie

Like "Jane the Virgin," the Netflix hit "Grace and Frankie" strikes a solid balance between kooky comedy and moments of drama, although in comparison to "Jane," it leans slightly more toward the former. That shouldn't be a surprise, given the powerhouse comedic chops of Lily Tomlin, who plays hippie stoner Frankie, and the expert match of her character with Jane Fonda's uptight Grace.

After their husbands reveal themselves as secret lovers, Frankie and Grace form an unlikely friendship (they previously hated each other) and become roommates in their shared family beach house. But the ex-husbands, Sol (Sam Waterston) and Robert (Martin Sheen) are still very much in the picture, creating a lovably dysfunctional foursome. The couples' children are equally entertaining and consistently play a role in lighthearted family storylines.

Grace and Robert have two daughters: strong-willed, acerbic Brianna (June Diane Raphael), who has inherited control of her mother's beauty company, and the kinder Mallory (Brooklyn Decker), who's married to Mitch (Geoff Stults) and works as a stay-at-home mom when the series begins. There are also Frankie and Sol's two sons: Coyote (Ethan Embry), who's recovering from addiction, and adopted son Bud (Baron Vaughn), a lawyer who works at the firm where his father and Robert worked pre-retirement. In Season 5, Bud marries Allison (Lindsey Kraft), and the two have a child named Faith. Similar to "Jane the Virgin," this is a show about a multigenerational and unconventional family and the unconditional love they have for one another.

Ugly Betty

Both "Jane the Virgin" and "Ugly Betty" are centered around a Latina protagonist who lives with her family, both are based upon telenovelas, and both are essentially over-the-top satires of the genre. And just like "Jane the Virgin," "Ugly Betty" vacillates between hysterical comedy and heart-wrenching drama, expertly navigated by leading lady America Ferrera. "Ugly Betty" — which ran for four seasons starting in 2006 — centers on Betty Suarez (Ferrera), a dorky young woman from Queens with little fashion sense but a lot of gumption. Betty ends up landing an assistant job at Mode, a celebrated fashion magazine in Manhattan. She is hired distinctly because of her plain looks, with the hopes that she will not be a distraction for her sex-crazed boss Daniel Meade (Eric Mabius), son of media magnate Bradford Meade (Alan Dale).

Working against Betty and Daniel is the scheming Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams), Mode's creative director, and her assistant Marc St. James (Michael Urie). Other notable characters include snobby receptionist Amanda Tanen (Becki Newton), Daniel's socialite mother Claire Meade (Judith Light), and Betty's office bff, seamstress Christina McKinney (Ashley Jensen). At home, Betty is surrounded by much more nurturance and love living with her overprotective father Ignacio (Tony Plana), flashy sister Hilda (Ana Ortiz), and nephew Justin (Mark Indelicato), a budding fashionista who loves his aunt's new job. Externally, Betty is styled less "ugly" as the show progresses, but Betty's internal beauty is never in question.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" aired during the same years and on the same channel as "Jane the Virgin," which naturally led to comparisons. The two shows actually made a great pair, as "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" is another idiosyncratic program focused on a heroine with a messy life. Granted, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), the protagonist of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," is less stable and put-together than Jane Villanueva, but she's undeniably endearing in her own unhinged way. The show is also quite funny, including its musical scenes, which represent Rebecca's internal fantasy sequences.

While Rebecca is an intelligent and successful lawyer, mental health issues (we eventually learn she has borderline personality disorder) lead her to make rash, often poor decisions — like moving from NYC to West Covina, California in pursuit of a camp crush from a decade prior, Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III). In California, Rebecca finds work at a small firm run by goofy Darryl Whitefeather (Pete Gardner) and begins her obsessive pursuit of Josh, who's now dating the domineering Valencia Perez (Gabrielle Ruiz).

Eventually, the show (and Rebecca's life) becomes about more than Josh, as Rebecca makes friends — including work bestie Paula Proctor (Donna Lynne Champlin), sardonic neighbor Heather (Vella Lovell), and eventually even Valencia — and searches for her ideal career path. And in addition to Josh, she also dates his nerdy friend Greg Serrano (played by Santino Fontana and later, Skylar Astin) as well as her one-time boss, wealthy and arrogant Nathaniel Plimpton III (Scott Michael Foster). Like Jane, Rebecca also finds herself tangled in love triangles — there's even a musical number about it.

Never Have I Ever

"Never Have I Ever" is a fantastic show about an Indian-American teenager trying to navigate life in the aftermath of her father's death. And given that main character Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) is as smart, analytical, and socially awkward as our beloved Jane Villanueva, we can't help but notice the parallels between the two leading ladies. "Never Have I Ever" is set in high school, so it skews younger than "Jane," but it similarly blends laughter and tears in the way that only great dramedies do.

Devi lives at home with her mother Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan) and cousin Kamala (Richa Moorjani), forming a solid all-female family unit that very much resembles Jane's home situation in the early seasons of "Jane the Virgin." Devi leans on friends Eleanor Wong (Ramona Young) and Fabiola Torres (Lee Rodriguez) for support, though each of them bring their own dramas and quirks to the table.

And as with any good dramedy, there is, of course, a love triangle. Devi starts the show hooked on the gorgeous and popular Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet) but finds herself unexpectedly drawn to her nerdy nemesis Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison). Finally, if you need any more reasons to check this show out, how about the fact that Devi's inner voice is narrated by none other than tennis great John McEnroe?

Drop Dead Diva

Because it is a satire, the plotlines on "Jane the Virgin" play loosely with the idea of reality, and the same goes for "Drop Dead Diva," which requires a full-on divorce from realism and embrace of the fantastical. In the show, a superficial model, Deb Dobkins, is killed in a car crash and brought back to life, placed in the body of a plus-sized lawyer named Jane Bingum (Brooke Elliott). Jane works alongside Deb's fiancé Grayson Kent (Jackson Hurst), though she is not allowed to tell him about her predicament.

Ensuring that Deb-as-Jane obeys this rule is Fred (Ben Feldman), Deb's guardian angel, who is being punished for allowing Deb to leave heaven in the first place. Other characters include Jane's assistant Teri Lee (Margaret Cho), Jane's work frenemy Kim Kaswell (Kate Levering), and Deb's best friend Stacy Barrett (April Bowlby), who knows the truth about her new identity. "Drop Dead Diva" aired on Lifetime from 2009 to 2014, and its unique and lighthearted premise holds up well. It was also notorious for its fun guest stars — including recurring parts for Kim Kardashian, Rosie O'Donnell, and Paula Abdul.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

Fans were outraged when "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" got the axe after its 2nd season, and justifiably so: The NBC series was a poignant, entertaining musical dramedy founded on a fresh idea and stellar acting. Roku has announced it will revive the show for a two-hour holiday special, but even if "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" never returns full time, it gave us two wonderful seasons centered on Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy), a software programmer in San Francisco who can hear others' inner monologues through song. This premise definitely recalls "Jane the Virgin" and its magical-realist depictions of Jane's innermost thoughts and feelings.

Like many musical programs, "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" features multiple musical numbers per episode, and the entire cast boasts some serious vocal chops. On the home front, Zoey deals with familial relationships and the illness of her dying father Mitch (Peter Gallagher), who can no longer talk but whose songs she can hear. Outside of the family storylines, the show focuses on Zoey's struggles as a woman working in tech as well as with men, namely her relationships with best friend Max (Skylar Astin) and hunky co-worker Simon (John Clarence Stewart), both of which are deeply complicated by her ability to hear everyone's private thoughts.

In Season 2, Zoey is promoted when her boss Joan (Lauren Graham) departs for Singapore, and Zoey must manage being in charge. Her friend and neighbor Mo (Alex Newell) helps her navigate her powers and decipher the meaning behind the songs she hears, which force her to try to help others in order to get their songs to stop playing.

Gilmore Girls

Well before "Jane the Virgin" hit the airwaves, "Gilmore Girls" set the template for quirky television programs featuring dialogue-heavy, intergenerational female relationships. "Gilmore Girls" follows mother-daughter duo Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) Gilmore, two fast-talking, wise-cracking, pop culture-obsessed best friends who happen to be related. Lorelai had Rory as a teenager, and Rory has the soul of a wise old woman, so it's often debatable which of them occupies the parental role — but what isn't debatable is the way the show crackles with sharp dialogue and heartwarming storylines.

Set in a fictional Connecticut town called Stars Hollow, the show features a cast of oddballs including Lorelai's kooky best friend Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy), Rory's sheltered friend Lane Kim (Keiko Agena), and Lorelai's on-and-off love interest Luke Danes (Scott Patterson), who owns the diner at which the town congregates. Lorelai's conservative, wealthy parents — Richard (Edward Herrmann) and Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) — also play a dominant role, juxtaposed with Lorelai's more modest means. It's through her grandparents that Rory is able to attend a prestigious private school, Chilton, in return for Friday night dinners at their mansion in Hartford.

"Gilmore Girls" was popular enough to last for seven seasons (and a mini-series years later on Netflix). Its fans are zealous, still debating things like whether Rory should have ended up with her early high school boyfriend Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki), reformed bad boy Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia), or smarmy college boyfriend Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry). None of this avid audience ever wants to leave the enchanting confines of Stars Hollow.

Dead to Me

"Dead to Me" is darker than "Jane the Virgin," but it still has laugh-out-loud moments, and it most certainly has the titillating mystery elements that make "Jane" so addictive. In the Emmy-nominated Netflix show, Christina Applegate plays Jen Harding, a grieving widow who ends up unknowingly befriending the woman, Linda Cardellini's Judy Hale, who accidentally killed her husband. A guilty Judy joins Jen's grief support group in order to force a bond with Jen, claiming she's grieving her fiancé Steve Wood (James Marsden) — though Steve is very much alive at the start of the show.

At the heart is this unlikely friendship between the darkly twisted Jen and the more optimistic Judy: Neither woman really has anyone else, and Judy essentially molds herself into Jen's ideal friend. Judy eventually moves in with Jen and her two sons, Charlie (Sam McCarthy) and Henry (Luke Roessler), and when Steve comes looking for Judy, chaos ensues. Season 1 focuses largely on the mystery surrounding Jen's husband's death and Judy's actual identity, but Season 2 branches beyond that as the women band together to tackle a new crisis (Season 3, the final installment, is upcoming).

Complicating matters and adding to the danger factor is the presence of two detectives: Nick Prager (Brandon Scott), one of Judy's love interests, and Ana Perez (Diana-Maria Riva), who's assigned to the hit-and-run case. Detective Perez's ex-girlfriend Michelle (Natalie Morales) later becomes another of Judy's lovers, further entangling the characters. Throw in Jen's bossy mother-in-law Lorna Harding (Valerie Mahaffey) and a main character's surprise identical twin (where have we seen that before?), and you have quite the dramatic ride.

The Bold Type

In Freeform's "The Bold Type," three young millennials tackle life in the big city as they work their way up at a women's magazine, Scarlet. The show focuses on contemporary social topics of relevance to women as they navigate New York. Its characters think about things like money, rent, and roommates — a necessity when living in the city on a journalist's income.

The show centers on three friends, one of whom shares a name and occupation with the protagonist of "Jane the Virgin": uptight writer Jane Sloan (Katie Stevens), fun fashionista Sutton Brady (Meghann Fahy), and passionate social media guru Kat Edison (Aisha Dee). Over the course of five seasons, the women work their way up the ladder at Scarlet — too quickly, but this is television, after all — and form bonds with mentors, such as editor-in-chief Jacqueline Carlyle (Melora Hardin) and fashion department head Oliver Grayson (Stephen Conrad Moore).

Like in any good dramedy, the women have plenty of suitors, most notably Richard Hunter (Sam Page), a Scarlet lawyer who eventually becomes Sutton's husband; Ryan Decker (Dan Jeannotte), a writer with whom Jane becomes involved; and Adena El-Amin (Nikohl Boosheri), a photographer and Kat's on-again, off-again girlfriend. But at the end of the day, it's the friendship between Jane, Sutton, and Kat that propels the show. The characters go through deep issues — alcoholism, infidelity, a double mastectomy, divorce — and their friendship carries them through.


Netflix dropped the ball when they canceled "GLOW," but we consider ourselves lucky to have gotten three strange and pleasurable seasons. "GLOW" is a fictionalized take on the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW), a syndicated wrestling show from the 1980s featuring all-female characters. Like "Jane the Virgin," this series relies heavily on female characters and their relationships. It is essentially a show within a show: We're exposed to each character's onscreen wrestling persona as well as the person behind the spandex.

Alison Brie plays protagonist Ruth Wilder, who fancies herself a serious actress but can't book anything better than her Russian villain "Zoya the Destroya" on GLOW. Zoya's main enemy is all-American "Liberty Belle," played by soap star Debbie Eagan (Betty Gilpin), who used to be friends with Ruth before Ruth slept with her husband. Together they headline a show filled with incredibly odd, hilarious characters — like Sheila the She-Wolf, who acts like a wolf even off-stage.

In "GLOW," the characters are exaggerated much like they were in the 1980s, embodying stereotypes and at the same time satirizing wrestling culture. The women are continuously exploited by television executives, casino managers (the show sets up in a casino in Season 3), and even director Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron). Nonetheless, while the women accept much of their treatment without question, some are able to express issues they have with their costumes, their payment, and the cultural and social stereotypes their alter-egos perpetuate. This allows for an interesting exploration of identity, such as when Jenny Chey (Ellen Wong) explains why her "Fortune Cookie" persona is offensive, and the group has an important discussion about genocide.

Ginny & Georgia

Much like "Jane the Virgin," Netflix's "Ginny & Georgia" blends comedy and drama while also integrating an element of mysterious fun and danger. Brianne Howey plays Georgia Miller, young mother of teenage Ginny (Antonia Gentry) and her younger brother Austin (Diesel La Torraca). Ginny is more mature than her mother, who is constantly scheming and plotting to ensure her kids have a nicer life than she had, which at times included breaking the law.

We only know pieces of Georgia's past, but she's had to scrape by, doing whatever she can to get ahead. Now that her husband has died (she killed him, we learn), Georgia's sights are squarely set on Paul Randolph (Scott Porter), mayor of Wellsbury, the town to which the Millers recently moved. Georgia concocts a plan to worm her way into working for Paul and, eventually, enters into a relationship with him. Many other locals also factor into the plot of the show, but none more so than restaurant owner Joe (Raymond Ablack) who has intense chemistry with Georgia and, we later learn, met her in passing as a teenager. We're hoping for more answers in Season 2, including more about Georgia's backstory and more deviancy from Georgia as she somehow manages to stay one step ahead of everyone.