“Stranger Things” withdrawal is a real thing. If you just finished the epic fourth season of the Netflix series – with its feature-length runtimes, blockbuster budget and jaw-dropping twists and turns – you’re more than likely eager to know when Season 5 will come out. The bad news is, it won’t be for a while (read: years). The good news is, there are a number of other great TV shows to watch in the interim that scratch the “Stranger Things” itch in one way or another.
Below, we’ve put together a curated list of seven great TV shows like “Stranger Things” to watch next.
The Umbrella Academy
If you’re particularly intrigued by the story of Eleven and the other children Dr. Brenner “took under his wing,” you’ll probably like “The Umbrella Academy.” The Netflix series adaptation of the graphic novel by Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance fame) and Gabriel Ba follows a dysfunctional family of superpowered individuals, all of whom were adopted by an eccentric businessman shortly after they were born. The show has an irreverent sense of humor but also digs deep into sci-fi with time-travel, alternate universes, paradoxes and even an organization whose sole purpose is to maintain a pristine timeline. The best part about “The Umbrella Academy” is it’s a show that never takes itself too seriously, resulting in a delightful mix of hilarity and heart.
“The Umbrella Academy” Seasons 1-3 are streaming on Netflix
Shadow and Bone
More fantasy than sci-fi, “Shadow and Bone” hits the spot when it comes to a story about young folks thrust into situations with dire stakes. Based on the book series by author Leigh Bardugo, the story follows a young orphan with special gifts who gets caught up in a war between two countries, with a shadowy (and superpowered) figure looming large over it all. At the same time, a trio of non-superpowered thieves get wrapped up in adventures tangential to the main story, crossing paths with the core characters of the story. So with “Shadow and Bone” you really get two shows in one – a lore-driven fantasy about a girl destined for more, and a darkly comedic tale of a trio of thieves just trying to make it out in one piece.
“Shadow and Bone” Season 1 is streaming on Netflix.
If it’s the grounded mystery aspect of “Stranger Things” that intrigues you, you might like “Outer Range.” This new Prime Video series stars Josh Brolin as a rancher who discovers a giant, mysterious hole on his land, and decides to keep it secret from his family and the town. This show is chock-full of intriguing mysteries and twists and turns and will keep you guessing all the way up through the season finale, which has a big reveal. It’s basically a sci-fi version of “Yellowstone,” if that floats your boat.
It’s no secret that Stephen King is a massive influence on “Stranger Things,” and the short-lived Hulu anthology series “Castle Rock” (produced by J.J. Abrams and King himself) serves as a direct adaptation of many King stories. Season 1 pulls from “The Shawshank Redemption” and other King stories and stars Andre Holland, Bill Skarsgård and Sissy Spacek. Season 2 adapts “Misery” and “Salem’s Lot” and stars Lizzy Caplan and Elsie Fisher. Not all of King’s stories are adapted straight, which is what makes “Castle Rock” so intriguing – you never quite know how the mysteries are going to be wrapped up, especially in the titular town that seems to be teeming with unanswered questions.
“Castle Rock” Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Hulu.
The elevator pitch for “The Magicians” is essentially, “What if an R-rated version of ‘Harry Potter’, with college students instead of elementary school children?” Based on Lev Grossman’s excellent book trilogy, the Syfy series stars Jason Ralph as a young man who not only discovers that magic is real, but a book series he grew up reading (and loving) that’s essentially “The Chronicles of Narnia” is actually based in fact, and a mythical world exists beyond the realm of Earth. It’s all more grounded and realistic than you might gather from that synopsis, and very much digs into issues like mental illness and romantic relationships, and in that way is more adult than “Stranger Things.” With a few hilarious musical numbers thrown in for good measure.
“The Magicians” Seasons 1-5 are streaming on Netflix
The OG inspiration for shows ranging from “Stranger Things” to “Lost,” David Lynch’s fever dream of a network drama still holds up as a meaty mystery with richly drawn characters. The story begins with the murder of a young girl in a small Washington town, after which an FBI agent (played by Kyle MacLachlan) comes to town to help investigate. But “Twin Peaks” is more about the character interactions than the mystery at hand, which makes it both unique and divisive. This one is weird, but if you can get on its level, there’s nothing quite like it.
Here’s something brand new to keep an eye out for: “Paper Girls.” This series doesn’t premiere until July 29, but this adaptation of the beloved graphic novels by Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang is extremely “Stranger Things”-esque. The story begins in 1988 when four paper girls on their delivery route get caught in the crossfire between warring time travelers, only to then be thrust into the future where they meet and confront their adult selves.