Blessed Be The Fruit
Blessed be the fruit dear readers! The Handmaid’s Tale is an incredibly chilling and artistic series, one that depicts an alt-future where women are forced to be subservient to men. Across the different seasons, The Handmaid’s Tale blends female empowerment with the faint glimmers of rebellion.
If you’ve finished watching this one and are looking for alternatives – fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top 10 picks for alternate viewing.
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming The Handmaid’s Tale.
Similarities – Mental Health & Femininity
Alias Grace features a layered plot involving a litany of flashbacks, a well-written, poetic script and an award-winning performance from Sarah Gadon.
The story begins in 19th Century Canada, where psychiatrist Dr. Simon Jordan weighs in on whether murderess Grace should be pardoned due to insanity.
Based on a true story, the narrative is told through a series of face to face discussions between Jordan and Grace, recounting her troubled life and the adversity this woman endured leading up to the murders she stands accused of.
Alias Grace is certainly one of the best period dramas streaming on Netflix and one of the dark horses available to watch on the platform.
Similarities – Characters & Tribes
Featuring a bleak, dystopian future and a Hunger Games-esque premise, Netflix’s first Brazilian show could be mistaken for simply playing copycat with what’s come before.
However, The 3% is not one to miss. With a conclusive four-season arc, there’s no danger of this one being left incomplete and the blend of mystery and sci-fi elements are definitely worth watching.
The story takes place in a bleak vision of Brazil in the future, with the world divided between those who have and those who have not. The 3% refer to the lucky few isolated away from the ravaged mainland and living in paradise. The rest of the people live in squalor, fighting to survive. Every year a competition begins to choose 2 lucky people to join those elite numbers. Only, they’ll have to run the gauntlet first.
With a rebel force operating in the shadows and lots of interesting ideas about class divides, 3% touches on some intriguing themes after a relatively tepid first season, making for quite an absorbing watch.
Similarities – Characters
Another cancellation casualty, Colony is a sci-fi series with a lot of promise that’s only partially explored. The main premise takes place in the near future with an occupied LA. on the brink of chaos. In the midst of all these simmering tensions, a family is forced to make difficult decisions as they balance staying together whilst trying to survive.
While the show is predominantly sci-fi in nature, it’s also one of those shows that really leans into its character drama. Given this is a USA Network product, there’s lots of familial issues but this complements the tone of the piece perfectly. With 3 seasons to get through, Colony serves up plenty of twists and turns along the way, making it well worth checking out.
Similarities – Mystery, Tone & Themes
If thematic depth is your jam, The Leftovers is definitely worth checking out. Running for three seasons, the story picks up just after a global event called the “Sudden Departure”.
This inexplicable event sees the disappearance of 140 million people – or 2% of the world’s population to be precise.
Following that, mainstream religions decline which paves way for a number of cults to emerge. The most notable among them is the Guilty Remnant.
The story picks up from here and only grows more intriguing and interesting over time. The Leftovers is a must-watch show!
Similarities – Themes & Characters
While Watchmen is a series predominantly tackling superheroes, there’s an undercurrent of racial and societal examination that make it such an enthralling watch. Watchmen is as grim as it is artistic, playing up the political aspects of the comics it’s based upon.
For those unaware, Watchmen takes place in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws. Playing up the political aspects of the comic, this 9 part miniseries delivers a concise and incredibly endearing stand-alone season of action.
The various heroes (using that term lightly here) all feel part of this world, and thematically the series knocks it out the park.
Similarities – Mystery & Atmosphere
Based on Michael Crichton’s campy 1973 novel, Westworld is anything but cheesy sci-fi. In fact, Westworld is a heady, thought provoking puzzle box full of intriguing ideas and challenging themes.
At the heart of this lies a theme park known as Westworld where robot inhabitants serve their human hosts’ every desire. What would happen then if those robots start to gain sentience?
This question consumes large parts of Westworld and while the later seasons do lose sight of what made the show so special, season 1 in particular is abut as close as you could get to perfect sci-fi.
If you’re in the mood for mind-bending sci-fi with a twist, this one’s well worth a watch.
The Man In The High Castle
Similarities – Alt-History
When it comes to alt-history, Man In The High Castle is an exciting and intriguing project that asks one simple question – what would happen if Hitler won World War II?
Set in a dystopian America, the United States have essentially been carved in half. With Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan seizing control, a young woman called Juliana Crain finds herself thrust in the middle of a resistance.
Thanks to a mysterious film showing the Allies winning World War II, Juliana finds herself front and center of this effort to overthrow the current establishment. This intriguing story builds up across its four seasons to a suitably dramatic ending… and then throws in a bizarre final 60 seconds that’s best left ignored.
If you can go into this one knowing the final episode doesn’t quite live up to expectations, you should find enough to like here.
Similarities – Dystopia & Uprising
Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse is a dark and intriguing project, one that subsequently found itself axed before it really started to get going.
The story here revolves around a shadowy organization using mind-wiped humans (colloquially known as dolls.) Each of these humans have been imprinted with false memories and specialized skills, thanks in part to paying clients. Outside of their assignments, these girls find themselves living in the underground “Dollhouse.”
The story follows one of the dolls called Echo, who slowly starts to become self-aware of what’s happening to her. With a resistance underway outside, Dollhouse sets up an intriguing look at a dystopian society that works beautifully across its 2 seasons.
Similarities – Mystery & Tone
Smartly written and incredibly moreish, Orphan Black is a fascinating mystery box that slowly opens over time to reveal some shocking truths.
The story here centers on a street-wise chameleon known as Sarah. After witnessing a woman’s suicide, she assumes the stranger’s identity – who just so happens to look identical to her.
Believing she can make some easy money and clear out the girl’s savings, Sarah is thrust head-first into a crazy mystery as she discovers the truth. With an assassin on the loose, seemingly hunting her down, this cat and mouse mystery opens up in the best possible way.
Across the five seasons there’s some great drama and lots of action. This one’s a must-watch.
Similarities – Slavery & Unflinching Look At America
Although Roots was rebooted back in 2006, it’s the original 1977 version that really strikes a chord. For those unaware, Roots plays out as a TV event following the dramatization of author Alex Haley’s family line.
Starting with Kunta Kinte’s enslavement around the year 1750, Roots follows Kunta’s journey to white supremist America, where he’s sold at a slave market. What follows is an incredible family journey, spanning multiple generations while looking broadly at the evolving landscape of America. To give much more away would be a disservice to this series, but suffice to say it’s an incredible journey.
Well written and essential viewing, Roots is one of the best miniseries released in quite some time.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished with The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu/Now TV.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!