10 TV Shows You Can Stream Right Now to Fill the Stranger Things Void

A scene from Netflix's The OA.
A scene from Netflix's The OA.
Nicola Goode, Netflix

The third season of Stranger Things has been out for more than a month now, and along with some record-breaking viewership numbers comes the inevitable post-binge depression that crops up whenever your favorite show goes on hiatus for another year (for Stranger Things, it’s traditionally closer to a year and a half). But fear not: While the series’ blend of horror, sci-fi, humor, and heart might seem impossible to imitate, it’s not the only show that ticks all those boxes. So if you’re looking to fill that Stranger Things-shaped hole in your heart, these 10 shows should do the trick.

1. The X-Files

The original sci-fi/horror/supernatural/paranormal mishmash, The X-Files managed to outclass other genre shows at the time by crafting a quirky, offbeat, inimitable tone that the rest simply couldn’t compete with. Like Stranger Things, the whole series is awash in government conspiracies, shadowy agencies, unexplained phenomena, and a cast of characters hellbent on getting to the bottom of it all. Best of all? If you like it, there are 11 seasons to catch up on.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video (seasons 1-9), Hulu (seasons 1-11)

2. The OA

The OA is like Stranger Things’s far weirder, far artsier little brother. And while it was just unfortunately canceled by Netflix, the two seasons we do have are musts for anyone interested in trippy sci-fi shenanigans. The show centers on Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling), a blind woman who returns after having been missing for seven years—but now she has mysterious scars on her back and somehow regained her sight. From there, viewers are introduced to a world of malicious scientists, immoral experiments, alternate dimensions, and a lot of confusion (but in a good way), as Prairie—who has dubbed herself The OA, or “Original Angel”—reveals more about her mysterious disappearance and apparent resurrection. It’s more of a straight-faced head-scratcher than Stranger Things, but don’t let that dissuade you from embracing The OA’s world.

Where to watch it: Netflix

3. Wayward Pines

Mysterious disappearances, creepy small towns, a smattering of sci-fi and horror—the Duffer Brothers definitely have a type. Before the duo went to Netflix with Stranger Things, they had a stint serving as writers and producers for director M. Night Shyamalan’s like-minded Fox drama, Wayward Pines. In this series, Matt Dillon stars as U.S. Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke, who’s investigating the disappearance of two agents before ending up trapped in the seemingly idyllic town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, which soon enough opens itself up to all manner of conspiracies and unsavory villains.

Where to watch it: Hulu

4. Twin Peaks

Before the Duffer Brothers breathed life into the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, there was Twin Peaks, Washington, the titular suburb at the heart of director David Lynch’s surreal mystery drama about (among many other things) the murder of homecoming queen, Laura Palmer. Its effortless blend of surreal imagery, small-town horror, and twisting narratives influenced countless series currently in your streaming queue, but Stranger Things honored Lynch’s formula far better than most.

Where to watch it: Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

5. Orphan Black

Orphan Black is a sci-fi thriller that focuses on a woman named Sarah Manning (played by Tatiana Maslany) who witnesses the suicide of a complete stranger who just so happens to look exactly like her. This sets off a chain of events that sees Manning embroiled in a clone conspiracy as she faces off against an amoral corporation and an extremist religious cult, both of which have their own intentions for Manning and her newfound "sisters." Even if the heady mystery goes over your head, Orphan Black is worth watching simply for Maslany's powerhouse performance as an ever-increasing group of clones, all with different personalities.

Where to watch it: Amazon Prime Video

6. Runaways

In this adaption of the Marvel comic by writer Brian K. Vaughan, a new type of superhero team takes center stage, starring a cast of diverse, powered-up teenagers tasked with battling their parents, who are pretty much secret super villains. It’s full of the usual conspiracies, aliens, and religious cults, but this series is automatically better than most because the character Arsenic (Ariela Barer) can telepathically control a dinosaur named Old Lace (a reference for you Frank Capra fans). Stranger Things gave the world a group of underaged underdogs to root for, and Runaways follows suit—just with a whole host of crazy powers.

Where to watch it: Hulu

7. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

If your knowledge of Sabrina begins and ends with the light-hearted Melissa Joan Hart sitcom from the ‘90s, prepare to do a complete 180 with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. In this updated take on the Archie Comics classic, Netflix has gone full-on blasphemous, throwing Sabrina and her world head-on into occult machinations and hellish plot lines, punctuated with stylish visuals and a touch of black humor. Like Stranger Things, Sabrina takes its supernatural world and throws it right into a small town and pits these terrors against the might of a hero who isn’t even old enough to drive yet.

Where to watch it: Netflix

8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer took a different stab at horror tropes by bringing a sharp wit and unique braininess to the world of monsters, vampires, and the undead—and it pulled it all off with a high-school heroine (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who proved to be a far more worthy action hero than most square-jawed, big-screen lunkheads. Creator Joss Whedon’s take on TV horror has a sublime quirkiness to it that helped set the stage for the offbeat world of Hawkins, Indiana.

Where to watch it: Hulu

9. Dark

If you’re looking for a series that goes a bit deeper and a little darker than Stranger Things, this German export from Netflix has you covered. On the surface, Dark covers familiar ground—like the disappearance of a child in a small town and a (partial) '80s setting—but this show's time-travel twists set it far apart from the goings-on in Hawkins. At the center of the vanishing children and reality-bending wormholes in Dark are the past, present, and future sins of four families: the Kahnwalds, Nielsens, Tiedemanns, and Dopplers. Expectations get subverted and characters are never quite what they seem in this one. Word of warning: Dark gets a little complex, so you may want to keep this online flowchart handy to make sense of these twists and turns. One quick note: Netflix defaults to a version with dubbed English dialogue, but do yourself a favor and switch to the original German audio with English subtitles. It's far less distracting, and easier to follow. 

Where to watch it: Netflix

10. The Toys That Made us

If your favorite part about Stranger Things is the ‘80s-soaked nostalgia factor, you can dive further into the era of excess with Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us. In this documentary series, each episode focuses on the history and cultural impact of one iconic toyline from decades past—spanning everything from He-Man and G.I. Joe to Barbie and Hello Kitty. There’s surprising depth and detail in every installment, as you’ll learn the backstory, production process, and key business decisions that helped turn these hunks of plastic into pop culture touchstones. And later this year, the show will premiere both a third season and a spin-off titled The Movies That Made Us, with one episode focusing solely on another Stranger Things crew favorite: Ghostbusters.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Breaking Bad Movie's Title, Release Date, and Plot Details Revealed

Frank Ockenfels, AMC
Frank Ockenfels, AMC

While Better Call Saul has been a wonderful way to stave off Breaking Bad withdrawals, fans have been waiting months to get more details on the Breaking Bad movie that was announced earlier this year. And it has finally arrived. Netflix has just announced that the movie, titled El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, will drop on October 11, 2019.

According to the official synopsis, the film will "reunite" fans with Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman following the events of the series' highly acclaimed finale:

"In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future. This gripping thriller is written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad."

According to Variety, "It is unclear whether Bryan Cranston, who played main character Walter White in the series, will appear in the film. Cranston has previously confirmed that the film was happening but would not say whether or not he would be involved."

While Cranston's involvement may be unknown, based on the newly released trailer, it's clear that Charles Baker will be reprising his role as Skinny Pete. (We can only hope that this means Badger will be along for the ride, too.)

Though Breaking Bad aired on AMC, partnering with Netflix makes sense for the film, as the streaming network owns the rights to the series (which remains a popular binge-watch). And Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has credited Netflix with being a key reason for the show’s ultimate ratings success.

While accepting the show’s first Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 2013 (it won again the following year), Gilligan took a moment to acknowledge the integral role Netflix played in helping Breaking Bad find its audience.

“I think Netflix kept us on the air,” Gilligan said. “Not only are we standing up here, I don’t think our show would have even lasted beyond season 2 … It’s a new era in television, and we’ve been very fortunate to reap the benefits.”

This Damn Fine Twin Peaks Box Set Is the Only One Fans Will Ever Need

Amazon
Amazon

Fans of David Lynch’s three-season drama Twin Peaks know there’s quite a lot to excavate. The series, which ran from 1990 to 1991 on ABC and returned for a one-season engagement on Showtime in 2017, has been a perpetual source of ambiguity, red herrings, and the downright inexplicable.

Now there’s a centralized hub of all things Peaks to dwell on. Twin Peaks: From Z to A is a Blu-ray box set containing all episodes of the original series; 1992’s feature film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me; 2017's Twin Peaks: The Return; an international version of the 1990 pilot with additional footage; as well as an abundance of new and archival material totaling 20 hours in length.

The box for the 'Twin Peaks: From Z to A' Blu-ray DVD set is pictured
Amazon

Inside the package, which is illustrated with the Douglas firs that are part of the show’s iconography, are mini-figures of Special Agent Dale Cooper and Laura Palmer, played in the show by Kyle MacLachlan and Sheryl Lee, respectively. The box acts as a diorama of sorts and opens to reveal the Red Room, a location where many of the show’s most surreal moments took place. A series of three-by-five index cards provide backdrops of key scenes. The only thing the set doesn’t have is Lynch’s hand-drawn map of the show’s Washington location, but you can find that here.

The set is limited to 25,000 copies. It retails for $139.99 on Amazon and is due for release on December 10.

[h/t Newsweek]

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