10 Most Realistic TV Shows, According to Reddit

Not every TV show has the ability to captivate audiences with its striking realism. Among the various TV shows, there are some that stand out for their ability to transport audiences to storylines and characters that mirror real life.

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From gripping dramas such as The Wire to nostalgic high school narratives like Freaks and Geeks, these realistic TV shows offer an immersive experience that viewers are familiar with and resonate deeply with. Reddit users in this thread listed TV shows they feel are the most realistic to real life.

10 ‘The IT Crowd’ (2006-2013)

The IT Crowd 2 by 1

The IT Crowd revolves around the characters in the IT department. It showcases the characters navigating their daily lives and the challenges of working in IT support. It highlights the stereotypical office environment, most specifically within IT.

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Although the show exaggerated situations, it does capture real-life aspects of IT departments. Reddit user Asha_Brea named The IT Crowd as a TV show that is the most realistic, describing real-life situations, including discrimination for not having the knowledge and dealing with ignorant people. Overall, the show’s humor stems from these relatable depictions.

9 ‘The Office’ (2005-2013)

The cast of NBC's 'The Office' gathers at Dunder Mifflin
Image via NBC

Named one of the best cringe comedy series, The Office follows the lives of office employees managed by their boss Michael Scott (Steve Carell).Viewerss watched the many office interactions, relationships, and hilarious moment throughout the show’s runs.

Ultimately, the show’s portrayal of office dynamics and relatable, especially when it comes to work and life balance. Reddit users such as jmstrum named The Office as the TV show that is the most realistic. After all, the show had a mockumentary format that gave the audience a sense of authenticity and captured many relatable moments.

8 ‘Roseanne’ (1988-1997)

The cast of Roseanne Season 2
Image via ABC

Airing from 1988 to 1997, Roseanne follows the daily lives of the Connor family, starting with the matriarch Roseanne (Roseanne Barr). The show also revolves around the lives of her husband, Dan (John Goodman) and their three children.

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Reddit users such as theyusedthelampost named Roseanne as one of the shows they believe are realistic. The series showcased an honest portrayal of working-class families and their challenges, such as unemployment, healthcare, and raising children.

7 ‘Freaks and Geeks’ (1999-2000)

The cast of Freaks and Geeks

One of the best shows on IMDb with only one season, Freaks and Geeks, was set in the 1980s, revolving around a group of teenagers formed into the “freaks” and the “geeks.” In the show’s only season, it explored friendships, self-discovery, and navigating teenage years.

Freaks and Geeks showcased a realistic portrayal of teenage life, including insecurities, awkwardness, and peer pressure. Reddit user avir48 said that the show “feels like high school all over again.” Hence, the show gave a nostalgic glimpse to teenage and high school life.

6 ‘Kim’s Convenience’ (2016-2021)

The cast of Kim's Convenience standing together

Kim’s Convenience revolves around the lives of the Korean-Canadian family, the Kim family, as they run a convenience store in Toronto. The series explored challenges immigrant families face, including intergenerational conflicts, cultural clashes, and the discovery of self-identity.

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These issues that the show explored collectively made Kim’s Convenience realistic to the viewers. A Reddit user said they can confirm Kim’s Convenience is “fairly accurate.” After all, the show touched on the joys and complexities of immigrant life, which can be relatable for many viewers who have experienced similar situations.

5 ‘Scrubs’ (2001-2010)

Sarah Chalke, Zach Braff and Donald Faison in 'Scrubs'

Scrubs had many episodes that nailed working in a hospital. The show followed the lives of young medical interns, including J.D Dorian (Zach Braff), Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke), and Christopher Turk (Donald Faison).

The series showcased life working in the medical field, including its hectic nature, ethical dilemmas, and emotional toll that doctors and nurses experience. Reddit user Maninhartsford said that “the realism Scrubs is praised for is what it’s like to be a doctor.” Although it had its blend of comedy and drama, it gave audiences a realistic glimpse of the medical profession.

4 ‘Mr. Robot’ (2015-2019)

Elliot Anderson walking down the street and looking distrustful in Mr. Robot.
Image via USA Network

Starring Rami Malek as the vigilante hacker named Elliot, Mr. Robot explores Elliot becoming entangled with a group of hackers led by Mr. Robot to take down corrupt corporations. The show explored many issues, including the impact of technology on society.

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Mr. Robot depicted the realities of hacking, cybersecurity, and the consequences of a digitized world. Reddit user TriscuitCracker said that the show “for hacking is very realistic.” Although the show had fictional elements for dramatic effects, it mainly delved into real-world technological issues that viewers understood.

3 ‘The Expanse’ (2015-2022)

The cast of The Expanse
Image via Syfy

The show, set in a future where humanity has colonized the solar system, gave The Expanse viewers the ultimate sci-fi experience. The Expanse explored the characters navigating political tensions and unraveling the fragile peace between Earth, Mars, and the Belt.

Although the show took place in the future, it still committed to realism. For instance, Reddit user AhhhBisto said that The Expanse “gets credit from scientists and people in the field of space for portraying what the physics and the restrictions of such a world.”ould be like”. Therefore, the show even depicts issues such as resource scarcity and political conflicts and their impact on the viewers.

2 ‘Generation Kill’ (2008)

Two soldiers walking while holding guns in Generation Kill - 2008
Image via HBO

Based on the true story of the First Reconnaissance Battalion of the United States Marine Corps in 2003, Generation Kill follows the experience of the Marines as they navigate the chaos and uncertainty of war. The audience watched the tensions and challenges the Marines faced as they embarked on combat.

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Aside from the show deriving from a true story, it gave viewers a realistic portrayal of the war and its impact on people. Reddit user CrashRiot said Generation Kill is “unmatched in terms of a realistic m.”ern war drama.” Another user added that it is also “very true to the book,” one of the “closest adaptions” they’ve ever seen.

1 ‘The Wire’ (2002-2008)

Dominic West as Detective McNulty in The Wire.
Image via HBO

The Wire offered a realistic and multidimensional portrayal of law enforcement, the drug trade, politics, education, and the media. Audiences watched the complex dynamics within each sector and how they interconnected with one another.

The show portrayed all these sectors’ authenticity, especially as they delved into systematic issues such as poverty, corruption, and character flaws. A Reddit user named The Wire as one of the shows they believe are “the most realistic” they’ve seen. After all, they provided an unflinching portrayal of all those challenges, which was thought-provoking for audiences.

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