Believe in the Fireflies
The Last Of Us is the latest serial video-game adaptation, taking core elements of the game and adding extra bits of lore here and there to flesh out the world.
If you’ve finished watching this and are looking for alternate shows, 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 for alternate viewing.
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 Last Of Us
The Walking Dead
Similarities – Outbreak
The behemoth that refuses to die; The Walking Dead franchise continues to churn out spin-offs, sequels and movie adaptations to Robert Kirkman’s original comic.
Through this myriad of noise is a show (at least early on) that perfectly captures the essence of surviving against the undead. While the later seasons do lose their way a bit, The Walking Dead is undoubtedly a decent apocalyptic choice with four great seasons followed by a declining quality to its final eleventh season.
Similarities – Action & Survival
Black Summer is an interesting take on the downfall of humanity, sticking much closer to the days following the infection rather than cutting forward to a bleak post-apocalyptic wasteland straight away.
The story follows pockets of different survivors, just trying to make it out alive while the zombie threat remains a constant obstacle. Later seasons do include more human factions and drama.
Black Summer maintains a consistent danger throughout and its large ensemble of characters are constantly thwarted by intelligent, fast zombies. There’s an extremely tense atmosphere gripping most of the season and while many people remain torn over this one, we were definitely fans of this.
Similarities: Human drama & viral infection
Happiness is a brilliantly written hidden gem from Korea. Our story takes place post-COVID. Korea and the rest of the world are just starting to get back on their feet.
When experimental vaccine pills called Next drip-feed onto the market, it’s soon revealed that these are the catalyst for another outbreak – one far deadlier than Corona.
With an unquenchable thirst for water and a madness that descends over the infected, the virus spreads courtesy of bites and scratches – as well as taking the pills.
Happiness is an absolute must-watch and one of the hidden gems in recent years.
Similarities – Viral outbreak
Adapted from the popular graphic novels back in 2009, Sweet Tooth takes place some time in the near-future. A viral outbreak has decimated the world. Dubbed the H5G9 strain, what begins with a simple cough soon mutates into something much, more worse. This is known colloquially as “The Great Crumble.”
Hiding out at Yellowstone National Park with his “Pubba”, Gus finds himself growing up and learning how to survive. However, he soon becomes curious about the outside world and decides to venture off to find his Mum, Birdie.
Along the way he’s joined by a bruiser called Tommy Jepp and the two form an unlikely bond that ultimately serves as the glue that ties everything together.
Well written and undeniably charming, Sweet Tooth is well worth your time.
To The Lake
Similarities – Surviving
To The Lake feels like a mash-up between the latter half of 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead Season 1. The human drama is tense, the characters nicely developed and the dystopian world is bleak and unforgiving.
It’s refreshing in some ways to find a series like this with such a controlled dose of dread without going overboard. This plays out much closer to a character-driven commentary about the selfishness and paranoia hidden away in all of us.
Similarities – Story & Complicated Time Travel
When it comes to under-rated sci-fi, 12 Monkeys must be near the top of the list. This incredibly thrilling show completely surpasses its big screen brother to produce something really special – and criminally overlooked.
The story is relatively unchanged from the film. In the future, a virus has absolutely ravaged humanity and a lone time traveler jumps back to stop a plague from wiping out Earth. While this sounds simple in theory, 12 Monkeys quickly adds layers of depth to rival that seen in complicated time travel series like Dark.
After an enjoyable and relatively predictable first season, 12 Monkeys changes the game by introducing a shadowy group called the Army of the 12 Monkeys. They too seem desperate to change the past but to what end?
Similarities – Virus Wipes Out The World
Stephen King’s epic novel remains one of his best pieces of work, a sprawling post-apocalyptic romp that surpasses the brilliance of IT.
The story revolves around a deadly plague outbreak that kills most of the world’s population. For those left over, they’re split into two distinct groups. One that’s led by the maniacal malevolent being known as Randall and the others guided by a wise elder called Mother Theresa. This essentially sets up a massive war to rage between the two sides.
This 1994 miniseries still holds up to this day and is miles better than the pale imitation of a remake released in 2020. This one’s another must-watch folks!
Similarities – Zombies & Suspense
Beautifully presented and dripping in Asian culture, zombie action-thriller Kingdom is quite the thrill ride. Split across two seasons, Kingdom effortlessly blends political drama with a thrilling action plot, full of beautifully shot set pieces.
The story begins slowly, using its first episode to show off the gorgeous setting of Hanyang in South Korea as we travel back through time to the Joseon Period. Crown King Lee Chang is our protagonist and while he begins engaging in a bitter feud with the Queen, physician Seo-Bi in Jiyulheon makes a horrific discovery.
With Lee Chang by her side, the pair realize the dead are coming back to life and mercilessly hunting the living. With no guns or modern weaponry, much of the tension comes from seeing these men and women make do with the scarce resources around them.
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. To give much more away would be a disservice to the series but if you haven’t already, The Leftovers is a must-watch.
Similarities: Atmosphere & viral outbreak
Day 5 is another intriguing post-apocalyptic romp, one that adds a unique spin to the usual pandemic formula. Here though the attention turns to an unexplainable epidemic which sweeps across the globe and affects every human being. Quite simply, whenever someone falls asleep they die.
As people frantically search for answers, the show focuses on a junkie called Jake, who – joined by a small band of survivors – works to try and find a cure before it’s too late.
Although there are some loose ends and the show starts a little slow, if you can look past that, there’s certainly lots to like.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished with The Last Of Us on HBO!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!