10 More Supernaturally Charged Treats
The OA is a psychologically charged, intriguing mystery show that was cancelled way ahead of its time.
If you’ve finished this one and are looking for something similar, 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 OA.
Similarities – Mystery & Drama
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.
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 – Characters & Visuals
Undone is a profoundly clever animated series. There’s some big ideas and themes discussed, wrapped up with solid characterization and a consistently progressive plot that builds up through the episodes to the finale where the truth is revealed.
The story revolves around Alma. Through her narration we learn about her average life and her average family, all living in an average neighbourhood. After being involved in a car accident and awakening in hospital following a coma, Alma learns she has new powers that allow her to manipulate time.
While it’s the mystery that keeps things moving at a steady pace, beyond that the series works much better when you view it as Alma trying to find purpose in life. Undone places a pretty big weight on the main character’s shoulders and this translates into some wonderful characterization and intriguing relationships that develop over time.
It may be one of the more unique choices on the list, but it’s certainly an animation worth checking out nonetheless.
Similarities – Mystery Box
Back in 2004, a tiny show called Lost went way over-budget with its pilot episode. The consequences of that saw several people fired. Little did they know at the time that this mishap would help grow Lost into a worldwide phenomenon that completely changed the way people watched TV.
This highly engrossing mystery series revolves around a group of plane-crash survivors washing up on shore and fighting for survival on a very weird island holding many, many secrets.
With similar religious themes to The Stand and a large ensemble of morally grey characters, Lost is at its strongest when it begins unraveling all the different mystery box elements. While the show does write itself into a corner at times, the end result is a 7 season journey full of epic moments and unforgettable action. If you haven’t seen it already, Lost is a must-watch show.
Similarities – Characters & Visuals
What do you get when you mix A Space Odyssey, Brazil, The Twilight Zone and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind? Probably something close to Netflix’s genre-bending series, Maniac.
While the opening few episodes plunge us head-first into this alternate 80’s world, introducing us to our two protagonists and their personal lives, the rest of the episodes constantly reinvent itself as the series takes a hedonistic trip into a fantastical dream world. It’s at this point where Maniac really shines, setting it apart from other shows out there and solidifying itself as one of Netflix’s best originals of 2018.
It won’t be for everyone but the trippy visuals and interesting premise make it a solid watch nonetheless.
Similarities – Sci-Fi & Mystery
Fringe feels like a modern day X-Files, taking what made that show so great and adding a scientific edge to proceedings. The later seasons are absolutely fantastic and add some really shocking twists to the fold too, breathing new life into this show.
Fronting these various cases is F.B.I. agent called Olivia Dunham, who’s forced to work with an institutionalized scientist named Walter Bishop. Together with Walter’s estranged son Peter, they start to uncover various strange phenomena. These episodic cases are mixed in with a larger conspiracy that engulfs the series.
Fringe expertly blends these two narrative arcs together and tops it off with an excellent dynamic between the characters, growing and evolving over time to produce a really gripping sci-fi series.
Similarities – Sci-Fi
Set in the near-future metropolis of Paris, Osmosis is an interesting, thought provoking series revolving around finding love in our increasingly digitalised world.
The series itself revolves around a revolutionary new technology being developed by a company called Osmosis. Through an implant and a handy AI assistant, this piece of tech takes the guesswork out of love and let’s you see your soul mate in your mind’s eye. This controversial new breakthrough ultimately splits public opinion, resulting in plenty of ensuing tensions for the episodes ahead.
With the background for the main plot established, the main story sees brother and sister, Paul and Esther, fronting the company and taking on 12 candidates to test the implant before it’s released to the general public. As the board work to remove Paul from his position and Esther conducts her own secret agenda with her Mum, the story branches in two, with an equal focus on the test candidates and the ones in charge.
With numerous subplots intricately woven throughout the overarching story, Osmosis serves 8 episodes of drama that ask some pretty big questions. The consistent pacing and twists along the way certainly make this a sci-fi trip worth taking.
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: Characters & Story
Sense8 is one of the more ambitious (and expensive) projects green-lit by Netflix. Shot on-location across the globe, Sense8 is an incredibly good looking show and it merges that with a thought provoking and action-packed story.
The narrative here centers around a group of people across the globe who suddenly and inexplicably are mentally linked together. These characters are then thrust head-first into danger, forced to find a way to survive as they’re hunted by those who see them as a threat to the world’s order.
Sense8 backs up its impressive cinematography with 8 cerebrally charged narratives intertwined together to form one interesting story. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way, and it was such a fan favourite in its time that the abrupt ending to season 2 forced Netflix’s hand to commission a conclusive feature film to finish the story.
Similarities – Characters
At first glance you’d be forgiven for writing off Travelers as another generic sci-fi show. After all, a collection of people coming together to try to stop the world from total annihilation is hardly the most original of ideas.
Where Travelers stands out though, is the unique way it manages to weave its unique premise through a well written plot and believable, complex characters.
The story takes place 100’s of years from now, as surviving humans discover how to send their consciousness back through time into people of the 21st century. Desperate to change the fateful path of humanity, Travelers combines mystery, action and tension to great effect.
The show does well to conclude its three season run too with an epic finale that does just about enough to conclude this tale on a high. However, it also leaves the door open for a possible reboot further down the line.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished watching The OA on Netflix.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!