Created by Taffy Brodesser-Akner from her 2019 namesake novel, ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’ is an FX on Hulu drama series that revolves around the estranged relationship between Toby Fleishman (Jesse Eisenberg) and his former wife, Rachel (Claire Danes). As their story is narrated by Toby’s friend Libby (Lizzy Caplan), the plot heavily leans toward him, at least initially. The series begins with Rachel’s sudden disappearance and moves forward with a non-linear narrative going back and forth between the past and present to depict Toby and Rachel’s life together before everything fell apart.
As a TV series, ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’ explores the complexities of marriage through the union of two people who are not entirely compatible. While both Toby and Rachel are Jewish and successful, their personal beliefs fundamentally differ. If you have watched ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’ and loved it, here is a list of recommendations that might fit your taste. You can watch most of these shows similar to ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’ on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or HBO Max.
8. Splitting Up Together (2018-2019)
‘Splitting Up Together’ tells the story of Lena and Martin, who find themselves united again after their divorce when they decide to employ an unconventional approach to co-parenting. Lena and Martin determine that they will alternately stay between the house and the garage apartment. The one living in the house will have complete responsibility for the children, while the garage-residing one can do whatever they want, including date other people. While ‘Splitting Up Together’ lacks the realism of ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’ and the other entries on this list, it is still about a couple trying to tread the troubling roads of post-relationship.
7. You’re the Worst (2014-2019)
Like ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble,’ ‘You’re the Worst’ delves deep into post-modern relationships. Jimmy and Gretchen meet at what is supposed to be the wedding of his former girlfriend and her apparent best friend’s sister. One thing leads to another, and they spend the night together. The following morning, they agree to keep things casual, but as the series progresses, the mutual attraction becomes quite clear. ‘You’re the Worst’ has the same chaotic energy at its core as ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble,’ perfectly reflecting the pulsating insanity of city life.
6. Uncoupled (2022-)
‘Uncoupled’ revolves around Michael Lawson (Neil Patrick Harris), a gay New York City real estate agent, who finds himself single for the first time in 17 years after his partner Colin dumps him and tries to acclimate to his new single life. Like Toby, Michael discovers that the dating scene has drastically changed in his absence, and everything has become much more confusing than it should be. Toby and Michael are 40-somethings returning to the tricky waters of dating, where their professional success draws the attention of more partners, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to things either man is seeking.
5. The Crown (2016-)
‘The Crown,’ the Netflix series that revolves around the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, has depicted plenty of complicated relationships since its premiere, but the focus on this list is on the most turbulent one in recent history. In many ways, Charles and Diana’s relationship was doomed from the start in ‘The Crown.’ Charles hasn’t gotten over Camilla when he begins dating Diana, and their later marriage eventually falls apart due to mutual infidelity and a multitude of other things. Like Toby and Rachel, Charles and Diana are fundamentally different people, and those differences only grow with time until they become unbearable.
4. Master of None (2015-2021)
An Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang creation, the first two seasons of ‘Masters at None‘ revolve around Dev Shah (Ansari), a commercial actor, and his efforts navigating life, career, and love. In season 3, the focus shifts to Dev’s lesbian friend Denise and her relationship with her wife, Alicia. Known as ‘Master of None Presents: Moments in Love,’ the third season bears certain resemblances to Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Scenes from a Marriage’ and depicts the systemic degradation of the central relationship, just like in ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble.’
3. Divorce (2016-2019)
Created by Sharon Horgan, ‘Divorce’ is Sarah Jessica Parker’s first major TV project since ‘The Sex and the City.’ The story follows Frances Dufresne (Parker) and Robert Dufresne (Thomas Haden Church), a married couple. Following the discovery of Frances’ infidelity, the divorce proceeding begins, and it isn’t remotely amicable.
‘Divorce’ is a bleak, dark series that seems to claim that picture-perfect city romances will experience their inevitable death in the suburbs. Although ‘Divorce’ is significantly more earnest in its depiction of the unraveling of a relationship, it and ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’ have several themes in common, including spousal resentment.
2. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017-)
Created by Amy Sherman-Palladin, ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ tells the story of Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a Jewish-American housewife who discovers that she has a penchant for stand-up comedy after her husband cheats on her. With the help of her manager Susie Myerson, Midge rapidly becomes a popular figure in the night scene of New York.
Although unlike ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble, ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ is set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, both shows celebrate the New York Jewish culture. Moreover, a significant portion of the narrative of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ is dedicated to the relationship between Midge and her former husband, Joel.
1. Scenes from a Marriage (2021)
An American adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s 1973 namesake Swedish series, ‘Scenes from a Marriage,’ revolves around a contemporary couple — Jonathan Levy (Oscar Isaac) and Mira Phillips (Jessica Chastain) — and the gradual dissolution of their relationship. Like ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble,’ ‘Scenes from a Marriage delves deep into the bones of the failing relationship, exploring all the fissures and cracks that ultimately led to the separation.
The chemistry between Isaac and Chastain is as convincing as the one between Eisenberg and Danes. Even though the American remake falls short of living up to the high standard set by the original, one can argue that it’s an impossible task given who was at the helm of that project.