Taking A Stand
The Stand is easily one of Stephen King’s best books. It’s a show that perfect captures the tone and mood of a post-apocalypse with all the usual symbolic hallmarks that make King such a prolific writer.
If you’ve been watching CBS’ remake and are looking for alternatives (or supplements) we’ve got you covered.
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 The Stand.
Similarities – Outbreak & Characters
An unknown virus pandemic kills more than 90% of the world’s population. Those immune must strive to survive and overcome the difficulties of this new world order. Sound familiar?
Nope, it’s not The Stand 2.0 but instead the synopsis for this excellent BBC series that ran for 2 seasons.
The characters are well written, the pacing is nicely balanced and the relatively easy 12 episode run-time (6 episodes a season) makes this an easy show to get into and a difficult one to put down.
Similarities – Survivors Banding Together
If you’re a fan of Robert Kirkman, Outcast is a solid alternative. Although this show doesn’t tackle zombies per-se, the simple story revolves around a young man searching for answers as to why he’s been suffering from supernatural possessions.
Split across two seasons, Outcast perfectly captures the eerie horror and suspense that the early seasons of The Walking Dead (Kirkman’s other IP) conjured up so well.
Although it was unfortunately cancelled after the second season, there’s enough here to make for a solid watch nonetheless.
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 in a bleak, inhospitable world. While the later seasons do lose their way, The Walking Dead’s early run is undoubtedly a decent apocalypse choice with (arguably) four great seasons to work with.
The Last Ship
Similarities – Isolation & Outbreak
The Last Ship is a surprisingly underrated hit. It’s a show that tackles an outbreak that decimates most of the world’s population but from the confines of a naval destroyer out at sea. While the crew do dock at various different locations, there’s an intriguing main premise at work here.
Running for five seasons, the show does feel like it runs out of steam after season 3 but somehow manages to deliver something wholly fresh and exciting in the midst of a sea of other outbreak-related shows. If you’re looking for post apocalyptic content that’s a little bit different to the norm, this one may be worth checking out.
Similarities – Action & Horror
Split across four seasons, The Strain combines elements of a viral outbreak with vampires in an explosive and bloody fight to the bitter end. It’s classic monsters vs humans territory but the extended run-time allows a lot of the characters a chance to shine and flesh out across the season’s run-time.
At the heart of this fight lies Dr. Ephraim Goodweather who leads a group of New Yorkers out to fight against the undead and secure the fate of humanity itself.
The Strain is a thrilling, decently paced show and although there are a few lulls along the way, does an excellent job keeping the tension high throughout.
To The Lake
Similarities – Outbreak & Survivors
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; perfect accompanying partner to The Stand!
All the while, this is back-dropped by an eerily similar viral outbreak not unlike what we’re facing right now (minus the crazy eyes).
Similarities – Family Unit & Conflicts
While a lot more comedic than The Stand and following a simple zombie outbreak premise, Z Nation is certainly a unique offering in this post apocalyptic circuit. What it lacks in big set pieces and polish, it more than makes up for with wicked humour and ideas.
This is a show intent on having as much fun as possible with the apocalypse whilst simultaneously upping the stakes every season. The later segments of this one are great fun and the tight-knit family vibes make it an easy sell.
Similarities – Small Band Of Survivors
A small town in Kansas is left in the dark after seeing a mushroom cloud over nearby Denver, Colorado. With radio transmissions out and lots of unanswered questions, this small town tries to figure out what’s going on – and how to survive.
Suspenseful, well written and surprisingly gripping, Jericho became a cult hit until it was unceremoniously dumped by networks. The fans were so angry over this, 20 tons of peanuts were sent to the CBS offices in a bid to reinstate the show… and it worked too!
Partly the reason the show works as well as it does is the way it surpasses expectations to move beyond its simple premise. There’s some smartly written themes in here too and it’s backed up by some likable and well-rounded characters too.
Attack On Titan
Similarities – Post Apocalypse
Attack On Titan is a gorgeously rendered, surprisingly well written anime following the remaining fragments of humanity as their future hangs in the balance. Monstrous creatures called Titans roam the land, eating anyone in their wake. The remaining pockets of humanity remain huddled together within a hierarchical city, reinforced with three layers of wall.
In the town of Shiganshina, located on the edge of the outermost Wall Maria, a boy called Eren Yeager is thrust into a conflict that’ll change his life forever. When Titans attack and kill his Mother, Eren begins a blood-lusting tale of revenge as he vows to gain revenge on the Titans – seemingly led by two new types called the Colossal and Armored Titans.
Across the four seasons, the story grows and evolves before eventually changing the game at the end of season 3. Spoilers aside, Attack On Titan is definitely worth checking out.
Similarities – Survivors
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.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to CBS’ adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!