Dream A Little Dream Of Me
The Sandman is the latest comic adaptation on Netflix, taking Gaiman’s work and making character changes while (mostly) sticking to the source material of the graphic novels.
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.
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 Sandman.
Similarities – Worldbuilding & Mythology
American Gods depicts a world where human and God live side by side. Hiding in plain sight, a war is brewing between the new Gods of technology and media against the conventional Gods of old.
At the centre of this hedonist trip lies Shadow Moon, a man fresh out of jail and ready to start a new life after the death of his wife. That same wife, it’s worth noting, that cheated on Shadow with his best friend during the time he was incarcerated.
When a mysterious stranger called Wednesday recruits Shadow as his bodyguard, what ensues is a hunt across America to recruit Old Gods for the upcoming battle against the New Gods. With multiple showrunners, ideas and visual flair, American Gods is definitely the rockiest ride on the list but has a uniqueness that many should take to nonetheless.
Similarities – Eclectic Characters & Mythology
Set in Victoria London, Penny Dreadful combines blood-soaked horror and mystery beautifully into one atmospheric series. The story essentially sees explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, scientist Victor Frankenstein and medium Vanessa Ives uniting to combat supernatural threats together.
It’s a simple enough premise but where this show excels is in its storytelling and acting. Everything about Penny Dreadful oozes charisma and despite a slightly slow start during season 1, it quickly grows into a real powerhouse on the horror circuit.
It’s beautifully produced too, with some lavishly dressed sets and some well-rounded characters. This one is well worth checking out.
Similarities – Visuals & Mind-Bending Story
Legion is a challenging sci-fi series that exists somewhere within the weird space of the X-Men universe. It’s also one of the more unusual and visually stunning shows you’re likely to see in quite some time.
The show revolves around a super mutant named David Haller. This troubled young man spends his time institutionalized after being diagnosed as schizophrenic.
What follows is an unforgettable journey that makes Legion one of the better shows to grace the small screen. It also ends with a decent conclusion too, making it a must-watch for fans of The Sandman.
Similarities – Gods & Afterlife
Terry Pratchett books have a very distinct humour that’s sometimes hard to translate onto the big or small screen. Thankfully Amazon Studios rolled up its sleeves and opened its chequebook back in 2019 to deliver a very funny, quirky drama in Good Omens.
With a tasteful amount of religious humour and a story that builds to a climactic showdown at the end, Good Omens blends a mythological story involving Gods and Christianity around some trademark Pratchett humour. Oh, and it also features a pretty stacked cast too!
While tonally different to other shows on this list, the compelling story should be enough to keep you sticking around for more.
Guardian: The Lonely and Great God
Similarities – Torn Protagonist, Gods & Deep Themes
Guardian: The Lonely & Great God is quite simply one of the best Korean dramas ever made. Armed with excellent cinematography, crackling chemistry between its main cast and one of the best soundtracks in this medium, Guardian (often referred to as Goblin) is a wonderful journey from start to finish and a must-watch for fantasy fans.
At the heart of this one lies Dokkaebi (Kim Shin), a 939-year-old immortal who happens to be best friends with a Grim Reaper and a student called Eun-Tak with a tragic past. As fate would have it, Eun-Tak happens to be his bride who’s destined to break Shin’s immortal curse.
The story takes many twists and turns along the way but manages to nail every single part of its production. When it comes to gold-standard K-Dramas, this one sets a very high bar.
Similarities – Divided Worlds & Themes of Existence
What happens when you die? It’s a question many of us have had over the years. It’s also something that forms the foundation for Death Parade’s story.
The world here depicts that after death, humans go to either heaven or hell. Only, some people arrive at the Quindecim instead, a bar attended to by the mysterious white-haired Decim. This guy is an Arbiter; an emotionless puppet who judges human souls in the afterlife.
With some intriguing ideas, Death Parade is a short but thought provoking series touching on a pretty compelling idea.
Similarities – Neil Gaiman & Fantastical Worlds
Much like The Sandman’s various worlds of contrasting fortunes above and below, so too does Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. This urban fantasy series is set in “London Below”, a magical realm coexisting with the more familiar London we know. This is referred to as “London Above.”
The story centers on Richard Mayhew, a Scottish man living in London. When he encounters an injured girl called Door, he decides to help her. Only, he inexplicably ceases to exist on Earth and becomes real only to those in “London Below.”
To give much more away about the story would be a disservice, but the series does a great job adapting what’s otherwise one of Gaiman’s best novels.
Similarities – Mind-bending Visuals & Thought Provoking Themes
imagine if instead of work being a means to make money, work was just…it. Endless loops of working 9-5 without leaving, engaging in weekend breaks or holidays. Ad infinitum. If the sound of that just filled you with existential dread, welcome to the world of Severance, AppleTV+’s mind-bending, genre-hopping gem.
The story centers on Mark Scout, a man who’s still grieving the loss of his wife, deciding to undergo an experimental procedure called severance off the back of this. Severance is incredibly controversial, and many activists take to the street to try and stop it. Essentially, this severance act sees the subject’s memories surgically divided between their work and personal lives.
To reveal much more would be a disservice to this excellent series but Severance is an absolute must-watch.
Similarities – Surreal Dreams & Nightmares
With four delightfully sinister tales to choose from, Channel Zero’s four-season run makes for really compelling horror viewing. However, our top pick remains seasons 1 and 3 in terms of similarities to the spooks served up in the early episodes of Them.
With a new spin on The Tooth Fairy (pictured above) and some seriously creepy dolls, this is matched by season 3’s Dream Door plot which is equally as endearing. The characters are interesting and the plot is suitably suspenseful.
The other two seasons not mentioned tackle a variety of different ideas, making for a really unusual and intriguing horror anthology.
Brand New Cherry Flavor
Similarities – Horror & Visuals
Brand New Cherry Flavor feels like a heady cocktail of different influences; a little bit of David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino mixed in with the unsettling atmosphere of Channel Zero.
At the heart of this show lies aspiring film director Lisa Nova. Set deep in the heart of 1990’s Los Angeles, she’s just finished her first student project, Lucy’s Eye. So unsettling and grotesque is this movie, it immediately piques the interest of film producer Lou Burke. Unfortunately, he completely screws her over.
The architect in all this happens to be a strange woman called Bora. She stalks the periphery of Lisa’s storyline, slowly becoming more integral to the plot as the episodes progress. There’s definitely an air of “be careful what you wish for” with this, as Bora’s strange witchcraft and rituals allow Lisa to get her revenge – at a cost.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished with The Sandman on Netflix.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!