Your Favorite TV Workplaces, Ranked from Least to Most Realistic

When you curl up on the couch to watch your favorite TV show, you probably get a glimpse into the office culture of many workplaces. Television is dead on with mentioning workforce social issues that are experienced in shows like Black-ish and Mad Men but there are some other shows that don't quite reflect real life. Do you think it's always laughter and giggles at an OBGYN office like it is on The Mindy Project? Or that working at a paper company feels like a stand-up comedy routine from The Office? Just in case you can’t separate the real from the fake, Her Campus has got you covered with the TV workspaces ranked from least to most accurate.

The Mindy Project

Let’s face it. We are addicted to the hilarious antics of Mindy and her co-workers at the OBGYN clinic in New York City. While the sitcom accurately depicts the challenges of doctors and nurses struggling to balance a professional and social life, it also gives us unrealistic expectations about the what it's like to work in a doctor's office. For instance, during one episode Mindy shares information with the entire office about her and her SO’s personal life that becomes the butt of office jokes. That would not fly in the real world.

Jane the Virgin

Who would have thought that Jane the Virgin’s depiction of a fictional telenovela would be its own drama? Jane’s father, Rogelio de la Vega, happens to be the star of the telenovela entitled The Passions of Santos. If you know anything about telenovelas, it’s that they are pure drama. During one episode, Rogelio is confronted with a jealous assistant who secretly seeks to take his spot as the leading man. While that could indeed happen on the set of a real show, the screaming fit that Rogelio performs when he finds out his character is being killed off is priceless. The likelihood of this occurring on the set of a real telenovela is slim to none.

Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation put government jobs on the map and does a great job of exaggerating the truth. Leslie, who has been working at P & R for six years as the Deputy Director, deals with the reality of various issues that come with the territory. During one episode, she takes a dramatic stand against a representative from the Mayor’s office when a possum’s life is on the line... probably not what would happen if the mayor came to the Parks and Rec office in real life. Other moments, like when characters encounter intoxicated individuals in the park, or are hit on by members of the community during town hall meetings, are not too far-fetched when it comes to a Parks and Rec position! The characters make every day on the job seem like an adventure.

Black-ish

Black-ish is a hilarious comedy that focuses on a middle-class, African American family growing up in the suburbs. While it’s good for a lot of laughs, underneath lies the honesty about the experiences of people of color in the workplace. During one episode, Andre, who works in the Urban Consumer Division at Stevens and Lido, feels he has to prove that he is “in tune with his culture” in order to impress a client. The experience of code-switching is very true underrepresented individuals in the office.

Mad Men

For Mad Men fans, the show is not only a source of top notch entertainment—it also provides a window into the experiences of women in the work place. It may be set in the 1960s but it's a real depiction of the sexism that women often still confront today. The show’s brutal honesty regarding harassment and low wages sound off on the many challenges women face, but continue to rise above.

The Office


The Office is a show that exaggerates the everyday occurrences in a standard office. Sure, The Office may be saturated with jokes, but this TV show is very honest about the different personalities you’ll meet when you work in an office setting. You may encounter the joking boss, the sarcastic receptionist, the bored employee and the coworkers fighting over their work space. They're all a part of the workplace community and it’s your job to interact and get along with them. At least from 9 to 5…

While mainstays like The Office may prep you for office life, you can’t believe everything you see on television, especially when it comes to the work place. Jane the Virgin and The Mindy Project may not be completely truthful about life in workforce but at least they make for juicy entertainment!