The German series Dark shows what happens when teens investigate the disappearance of a kid, only to discover a sinister time travel plot.
So you’ve already binged Stranger Things on Netflix, right? You might feel like you have a gigantic Demogorgon-shaped hole that needs filling while waiting for the next season, and you don’t know how to fill it?
Fret not. We have a cure for what ails you.
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Please find below: An interesting list of quality TV shows full of adventure, weird creatures, and enough thematic similarities to the Netflix original to justify a hearty binge as we say goodbye to Stranger Things. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!
Dark (3 seasons)
When children start disappearing from the small German town of Winden in German Netflix series Dark, four families discover they’re strangely interconnected and may hold the key to why certain kids go missing.
Season 1 unfolded the mystery one cryptic clue at a time with time travel, alternate timelines, and missing kids who might remind you a little of the unfortunate Stranger Things kids who found themselves stuck in the Upside Down.
Season 2 centers more around the main teen character Jonas as he continues his quest to find more answers. He’s also now suddenly thrown into the year 2052. There’s also a new struggle between characters who want to master time travel so they can control the future in their favor. Plus the apocalypse is right around the corner.
Season 3 just landed on Netflix on June 27, 2020. Watch the trailer here.
Wayward Pines (2 seasons)
If you want to see what the Duffer Brothers did before Stranger Things, check out their creepy series Wayward Pines. The series (produced by M. Night Shyamalan) has a similar small-town supernatural vibe as Stranger Things. It tells the story of FBI agent Ethan Burke (played by Matt Dillon) as he visits a small Idaho town to investigate the mysterious disappearance of fellow FBI agents.
Later he finds himself trapped in the unusual community, unable to leave town. The series has plenty of unexpected twists that ensure viewers don’t get bored. And in true Stranger Things fashion, there are strange creatures in the woods.
After the second season, the series was canceled, however since Stranger Things creators Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer worked on the first season of the show as co-exec producers, maybe they’ll miss the series, and bring it back from the dead at some point.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (4 seasons)
While the new Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series is inspired by the horror-focused Archie Comics, it has plenty of kids trying to solve creepy mysteries that’ll keep Stranger Things fans entertained.
The series follows Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) as a teenager who tries to balance her life in high school with mortals and her destiny as a witch. Sabrina and her mortal friends must constantly deal with chaos unleashed by another witch who hides in plain sight.
Like Stranger Things, this show takes place in a small town where supernatural forces seem to rule. There are plenty of monsters and evil spirits — and plucky kids to fight them.
The series seasons are referred to as “parts.” Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will end its run with its upcoming Part 4, which will be released on Netflix in late 2020.
Black Spot (2 seasons)
What is it about the woods that brings out the supernatural? In the French-Belgian television thriller Black Spot (known in France as Zone Blanche), a series of horrific murders attracts the attention of police chief Laurene Weiss (Suliane Brahim) and an eccentric new prosecutor Franck Siriani (Laurent Capelluto) in the remote village Villefranche that borders a large, creepy forest.
While villagers are upset at their beloved mill closing down, it seems as though the forest is randomly killing off people in weird ways. Is it an unusual stag-like creature? Or a serial killer obsessed with Celtic mythology? Or maybe it’s just Mother Nature getting revenge on the humans abusing her with a secret toxic waste dump?
If the murders weren’t enough, Laurene is still trying to solve a decade-old mystery of who kidnapped her when she was a child and left her in the forest to die. The series has a Stranger Things-meets-Twin Peaks vibe, with plenty of quirky characters and scary moments.
Rim of the World (movie)
While Rim of the World is a movie and not a TV series, it’s still worth mentioning in this post-Stranger Things list of things to watch. The sci-fi adventure with kids stuck at summer camp who must battle aliens feels a lot like Stranger Things meets Independence Day.
Ironically, filmmaker Zack Stentz says he wrote the script long before the Demogorgon showed its teeth on Netflix. This action-packed movie not only feels like it’s an homage to Stranger Things, but also has the excitement of Attack the Block, Independence Day, Jurassic Park and The Goonies.
Chambers (1 season)
What if you got a heart transplant only to also inherit the memories of the donor? Chambers follows the story of Native American teen girl Sasha Yazzie (Sivan Alyra Rose) after she receives a heart transplant from wealthy white teen Becky Lefevre (Lilliya Reid) and is haunted by unexplained, horrific visions.
Becky’s family reaches out to Sasha with what appears to be affection and kindness, but they may have ulterior motives. The series explores conspiracy theories, race issues, and even a weird self-help cult tied to the demon Lilith.
Sadly, the series was canceled by Netflix after one season. But it’s still worth watching for one season alone.
The Society (2 seasons)
What would you do if all the adults disappeared from your town? That’s exactly what teens have to deal with in the Netflix series The Society. After a group of teenagers discovers their hometown mysteriously no longer has adults calling the shots, they must find a way to survive by creating their own society. Sadly, that doesn’t mean everything goes smoothly as the kids start resorting to fascism and violence. This show feels like Stranger Things meets Lord of the Flies.
Season 2 of The Society is expected to debut on Netflix by late 2020.
The Magicians (5 seasons)
The Magicians is a bit like a grown-up Harry Potter series, complete with supernatural leanings, romance, violence, parallel universes, mythical creatures, and an intricate backstory involving a Narnia-esque kids’ book series. The series is more grown-up (it begins in a secret university just for budding magicians) than Harry Potter or Stranger Things, but it’s chock full of bizarre storylines and lovable characters.
The series follows the high school senior Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph), who loves fantasy novels about the adventures of five children in a magical land called Fillory. When Quentin is accepted into an exclusive, secret magicians university called Brakebills, he discovers Fillory is a real place full of magic and mayhem.
Quentin and his fellow classmates go on a quest to better understand the mysteries Fillory holds, but soon they realize all magic has consequences.
The Order (2 seasons)
Here’s another series about teens and magic, only this one also has werewolves. In season one of The Order, college student Jack Morton (Jake Manley) joins a secret society called the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose that introduces him into a world of magic, mystery, and lycanthropy.
Season 2 of The Order landed on Netflix in June. The Knights now have to struggle to regain their memories stolen from them by The Order of the Blue Rose. Once they remember and want vengeance, they’ll have to fight against murderous magicians, strange new cults, and life-threatening demons.
The Umbrella Academy (2 seasons)
If you want more superheroes than supernatural, try The Umbrella Academy. The superhero series — based on the popular comic book series of the same name — tells the story of a billionaire who adopts and trains seven super-powered children.
When the billionaire dies, the estranged siblings must reunite to solve a mystery surrounding his death. All the while, they are pursued by two unusual assassins who are pursuing the youngest sibling, who has mastered time travel. There’s also a pending global apocalypse to keep them busy.
The Umbrella Academy Season 2 will be available to stream on July 31 on Netflix.
I Am Not Okay With This (1 season)
Teen girl Syd not only has to come to terms with the recent loss of her father, and the usual pitfalls of high school. That’s those aren’t even the biggest issues in I Am Not Okay With This. Syd suddenly has superpowers and isn’t sure how to use them. Syd is a bit of a social outcast who isn’t that interested in pleasing the people around her. And that’s one of the reasons it’s fun to watch Syd grapple with her new-found powers.
Misfits (5 seasons)
If you love the flawed but persistent personalities of the characters in Stranger Things, you’ll love the misunderstood young superheroes in the British TV show Misfits.
In Misfits, a freak storm in London gives juvenile delinquents Nathan, Kelly, Curtis, Alisha, Simon, and Gary superpowers. The series redefines what it means to be a superhero, especially when you’re a mixed-up teen who likes to commit crimes.
The OA (2 seasons)
The OA follows Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling — also the show’s co-creator) who returns to her family in a Michigan suburb seven years after she mysteriously vanished. Before she disappeared she was blind, and after her return, she can see.
Prairie (also known as OA — Original Angel) tells her unusual story to a group of outcast teens and their teacher through a series of flashbacks. We learn that she was kidnapped and subjected to a series of cruel experiments by a mad scientist determined to unlock the secrets of life and death.
The OA has everything from alternate realities to disappearing kids that make it a good show to become obsessed with.
Here’s another great series that was canceled just after two seasons. But the bizarre cliffhanger ending also kind of makes sense as an odd ending for the show as a whole.
Sense8 (2 seasons)
The Wachowskis’ Sense8 series centers around eight seemingly random individuals who have been linked through shared psychic powers. But they are all hunted by a shadowy government agency. Luckily, the heroes can psychically interact with one another and share fighting abilities.
It’s an interesting take on how we are all connected, and if we band together we can fight as a team against the evils of the world. While the characters are all adults, the secretive government agents after them remind me a lot of the Hawkins National Laboratory folks from Stranger Things.
The series was also fun to watch for the diversity of its cast and storylines. The characters — who span from straight, gay, lesbian, poly and trans. Sense8’s showrunners Lana and Lilly Wachowski are also both trans women. It isn’t just the impressive representation of LGBTQI characters and storylines that makes this show fun to watch. Its sci-fi premise is original and unexpected.
Even though Sense8 was a hit with viewers, Netflix decided to cancel the show most likely due to its $9 million an episode price tag to create.
Hemlock Grove (3 seasons)
Vampires, werewolves, mutants, psychics, witches, and everything in between take center stage in Hemlock Grove.
The series (produced by Eli Roth) follows a small-town teenage girl who’s brutally murdered in the fictional steel town of Hemlock Grove. The homicide investigation uncovers sinister secrets and multiple suspects. Of course, following similar Stranger Things tropes, there’s a shady corporation called Godfrey Institute for Biomedical Technologies that performs unseemly experiments on both humans and non-humans.
A poor 17-year-old Romani boy named Peter Rumancek (Landon Liboiron), who happens to be a werewolf, teams up with privileged Roman Godfrey (Bill Skarsgard), who might just be a vampire. The two go in search of the killer stalking their town. The series has a lot of surprises that will keep viewers guessing, and some bizarre plot twists that make the over-worked vampire-werewolf genre fresh again.
Originally published July 6, 2019. Updated on July 11, 2020.