10 More Mystery Boxes Waiting To Be Opened
There’s something endearing about a good mystery box thriller. Whether it be the endless questions, the fan theories circulating online or the heady blend of horror, drama and tension, Servant adopts all of these traits across its two season run. It’s also pretty atmospheric and chock full of some wonderfully edited scenes.
If you’ve finished watching Servant and are looking for more of the same, fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle of having to try and find something similar with our top 10 picks.
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 Servant.
Similarities – Mystery Box
The OA’s cancellation caused quite the stir online. That alone should tell you all you need to know about the power and quality surrounding this utterly bizarre Netflix Original.
The OA is undeniably weird and its mystery does so well to keep you glued to find out what happens next. The main story revolves around a missing blind girl called Prairie returning home. Now in her twenties, she suddenly has her sight restored and no one seems to know why.
From here, the show grows and piles on more mystery, delivering two seasons of utterly compelling TV. Unfortunately, the final episode of season 2 does end on a cliffhanger which could make or break the experience for you. However, in terms of atmosphere and riveting mystery, The OA absolutely nails it.
The Third Day
Similarities – Religion & Mystery
The Third Day is a fascinating drama that has a lot of symbolism dotted throughout its 6 episode run. While a little short, the mystery is compelling enough to really lean into the creepy atmosphere. This is really where the show is at its best.
The story revolves around a man and a woman making separate journeys to a mysterious island off the British coast. To give much more away would be a disservice to this show but it certainly grows and evolves over time into something really special. The ending may be a little subjective for some but the ride to get there is suitably eerie and full of questions.
In fact, the tone throughout is fantastic and the uneasy dread is ultimately what makes this show so endearing.
Similarities – Characters & Tone
Unlike the second season’s more action-driven plot, the first is a suitably moody, mysterious story that perfectly combines all the hallmarks of what makes a good mystery show. Based on the stories of Stephen King, the series intertwines characters and themes from the fictional town of Castle Rock. The central character for season 1 is Henry Deaver, who returns to his hometown after receiving a strange call.
Only, when a stranger arrives in town called The Kid, things take a turn for the weird.
The first season is absolutely suffocating in tension and while the second season adopts a more action-driven slant, the first matches Servant’s atmosphere blow for blow.
Similarities – Unsettling Atmosphere
If you’re looking for a deliciously sinister thriller that hits all the right notes, look no further.
The story of Hannibal predominantly revolves around two key characters; the calculated cannibal Hannibal Lector and criminal profiler Will Graham. Interestingly, Will can “see” crimes as they happen which gives him an edge while out in the field.
Each episode has a different case to deal with but an overarching story tackles one murder in particular that brings both these characters together.
Mads Mikkelsen does an incredible job portraying Hannibal Lector and the chemistry between these two leads is enough to make for a unique offering in the crime drama genre.
Similarities – Sci-Fi & Moody Atmosphere
Black Mirror is still the go-to for most people looking for a dark slice of sci-fi. While the later episodes do wane in quality, there’s no denying that some of the early episodes are absolutely fantastic. In its simplest form, this dark cautionary tale about technology comes straight from the mind of Charlie Brooker. From VR games gone wrong to the bizarre satirical world of political personalities, Black Mirror remains one of the best modern-day Twilight Zone replacements.
With an uneasy dread clinging to a lot of the episodes and plenty of social commentary to boot, this one’s a solid choice and one you should absolutely check out if you haven’t already.
Similarities – Mystery & Suspense
Produced by Alex Garland, Devs revolves around a girl called Lily working at a tech company called Amaya. When her boyfriend Sergei is invited to join the top secret branch there known as Devs, everything changes.
Unfortunately Sergei stumbles onto something he shouldn’t and his disappearance sparks some big questions, which Lily aims to answer.
While the story is a little overlong and sags in the middle, the thought provoking questions and moody atmosphere are enough to stick it out until the end. There’s an absolutely incredible musical score attached to this one too, which is easily the big highlight of the show.
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!
The Haunting Of Hill House
Similarities – Horror
Technically sound and featuring a lot of well-worked scares, The Haunting Of Hill House is a stunningly well executed show, one that weaves a group of perfectly written characters with a story that never feels like careering off track.
In its simplest form, Haunting Of Hill House is a typical haunted house series with flashes between the past and present making up the bulk of this show. The poor family at the center of this conflict are haunted by memories of their old home and the terrifying events that befell them there.
Word of mouth helped this show grow a lot when it released back in 2018 and it deserves recognition for managing to keep up suspense and tension over 10 hours – which is certainly no easy feat. Haunting Of Hill House is quite simply a benchmark for all TV horror to aspire toward.
Similarities – Mystery
Dark is thought provocative, regularly surprising and full of interesting characters to keep you watching until the final scene. Across its 3 season run, Dark shows exactly how to craft a compelling and complicated web of time travel.
The story begins in the (at time of broadcast) near future of 2019 Germany in a small town called Winden. This tight-knit community is rocked by the sudden disappearance of two young children who seem to be connected with a cave there.
I won’t spoil more but suffice to say, this is one story you’ll probably need to revisit numerous times to catch all the clues along the way.
Using a distinctly dark tone and a gorgeous, atmospheric score, Dark is easily one of the best time travel series ever created and easily a top contender to add to your watch-list if you haven’t already.
The Promised Neverland
Similarities – Mystery Box
Around so many mediocre and formulaic anime released every year, The Promised Neverland offers something very different. It’s a special animated offering, one that perfectly adds all the elements that make mystery box shows so appealing and backs it up with satisfying and well-written reveals.
To divulge anything about the plot would be a disservice to what a wonderful surprise this show is but essentially it revolves around a trio of children living at an orphanage. One day they learn that everything they once knew is completely wrong and hiding a far more sinister truth.
Armed with strong characters, a gorgeous aesthetic and a carefully constructed 12 episode prologue, The Promised Neverland is shaping up to be a very special anime offering – one that’s just started its second season in fact. The first season is a must-watch.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished with Servant on Apple TV+.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!