If you have Netflix and even the merest interest in sci-fi, you’ve watched Stranger Things by now. I mean, I have a couple of friends who are managing to watch the series very slowly, one episode at a time, but most of us flew through it in less than a week. My husband and I have actually watched the whole thing twice already, and we’re thinking about a third go-round.
It’s just so good! The characters! The creepiness! The nostalgia! And it’s hard to find something worth watching after you’ve finished such a good show. So here are some ideas for you from a very picky sci-fi/fantasy fan.
On Netflix (streaming)
1. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I am so pumped that this is on Netflix now! We’ve been trying to tell people about it for a while. We watched it a few months ago via nefarious means, and it is fantastic. We’d both read the wonderful book by Susanna Clarke before watching the series, but I think the show is at least as good as the book in this particular case. I highly recommend it if you have any tolerance for fantasy. It’s not very creepy though, so if you need something creepier, read on.
2. Black Mirror. Everyone said DON’T WATCH THE FIRST EPISODE, so we never have. The episodes we have watched were futuristic and thought-provoking. Not creepy the way Stranger Things is, exactly, but creepy in different ways.
3. The Walking Dead. Super creepy, gory, etc. Fun survival/zombie horror. There’s something that really hooks you, at least for a season and a half, which is when I peaced out.
4. Dark Matter. This one isn’t super great, but it’s entertaining and I enjoyed it, even with my low tolerance for cheesy TV shows. It’s an interesting twist on the motley-band-of-space-pirates theme. Sci-fi, not very creepy, zero nostalgia factor.
5. Freaks and Geeks. You’ve seen this already, right? It’s set in the ’80s, it’s about a teenage girl and her tween brother & their respective groups of friends. I had to mention it because it’s good and it relates to Stranger Things in that way. It’s a comedy, though; not the least bit creepy or fantastical.
1. Contact. It’s an excellent movie. I hated it when I was a kid, but I get it now. Worth re-watching.
2. Europa Report. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember this one perfectly. I need to re-watch it. But I remember thinking that it deserved a higher rating than it has on most sites.
Not on Netflix
1. The Magicians. This is another case where a book I loved was turned into a TV series. Don’t be fooled by the dumb artwork. They did change it in ways I don’t love, but it’s still very good. Rather bloody at times, fun in the way fantasy can be but the characters act like real people in the real, modern world—no orcs or dragons or anything like that. Highly recommended.
1. Coherence. This movie is one of those mindfuck sort of things. It’s really fun to watch, and creepy in a mostly not horrifying sort of way. Not very related to Stranger Things, but we’ve been telling people about this one for years and I don’t think anyone we know has watched it yet. So please do!
2. Super 8. Okay, the acting isn’t perfect, but it’s a Goonies-type sci-fi that’s related to Stranger Things, so give the kids a break. It’s a fun movie.
3. Under The Skin. There were scenes in Stranger Things that reminded me of this movie, but mainly in a visual way. It’s an odd one, but really interesting. Definitely worth watching.
Nothing really compares to Stranger Things, at least in my mind. But hopefully there will be something on this list that entertains you while we wait for a second season to be made. If you have TV show recommendations for me, please leave them in the comments!