Absolutely gripping and nail-biting throughout its runtime, the series Chernobyl depicted one of the worst man-made disasters the planet has ever faced through the eyes of characters present there at that moment. If you are interested in more eye-opening shows like these, then for your consideration we have curated a list of shows like Chernobyl that are too good to miss!
Countless individuals and generations of ex-Soviet population have been affected as a result of political and personal ambitions and gross mishandling of something as delicate and dangerous as a Nuclear Reactor. Chernobyl is a unique show and finding something similar to it is a challenge, but we have done our best to find shows that have a similar tonality, character dynamic or storyline to Chernobyl. Here’s our list of shows like Chernobyl, have a look!
List of Shows Like Chernobyl
1. The Society (2019)
The Society is a compelling drama series that explores the dark and complex relationships that develop among a group of teenagers who are mysteriously transported to a parallel version of their hometown.
The show delves into issues of power, morality, and social order, as the teens struggle to survive and build a new society in a world without adults. The talented cast, well-crafted plot, and thought-provoking themes make The Society a must-watch for fans of thrilling, character-driven dramas. The show was cancelled after 1 season by Netflix due to Covid-19.
Also Read: Shows like Fringe
2. Sick Note (2017)
Sick Note is a dark comedy TV series that premiered in 2017. The show follows the misadventures of Daniel Glass, a down-on-his-luck salesman who pretends to have cancer to avoid getting fired from his job. The lie spirals out of control, leading to a series of hilarious and often ridiculous situations.
What makes Sick Note such a good show to watch is its clever writing, excellent performances from the cast, and the perfect balance between comedy and drama. The show’s similarity to the Chernobyl series lies in the exploration of the consequences of dishonesty and the disastrous effects of covering up one’s mistakes. Both stories delve into the human tendency to prioritise self-interest over the greater good.
3. When They See Us (2019)
When They See Us is a Netflix miniseries that depicts the real-life case of five black and Latino teenagers who were falsely accused of raping a white woman in Central Park in 1989. The series explores themes of racism, police misconduct, and the impact of the criminal justice system on marginalized communities.
Like Chernobyl, When They See Us is a powerful and emotionally charged portrayal of a historical event, featuring exceptional performances and a nuanced exploration of complex issues. Both series offer a sobering look at the consequences of systemic failures and societal injustices.
4. Westworld (2016)
Westworld is a science fiction television series that premiered in 2016. It is set in a futuristic Wild West-themed amusement park, where guests can indulge in their darkest desires without consequences, all thanks to highly advanced robotic “hosts”.
The show explores themes of consciousness, free will, and morality, as the hosts gradually become aware of their reality and rebel against their human creators. What makes Westworld a great show is its complex storytelling, stunning visuals, and strong performances by the cast. Similarly to the Chernobyl series, Westworld also delves into the consequences of humanity’s hubris and the dangers of playing God.
Also Read: Shows like Westworld
5. Snowpiercer (2020)
Snowpiercer is a post-apocalyptic science fiction series set on a massive, perpetually moving train that traverses a frozen world. The series explores themes of class struggle, social injustice, and survival. Like Chernobyl, Snowpiercer is a bleak and intense examination of the human condition under extreme circumstances.
Both series deal with the consequences of human error and how it can lead to catastrophic outcomes. They also share a sense of realism and attention to detail in their storytelling, which helps create a powerful and immersive viewing experience.
6. The Terror (2018)
The Terror is a television series based on the novel by Dan Simmons. It tells the harrowing story of the real-life British Royal Navy expedition to the Arctic in the mid-19th century, and their encounters with supernatural forces and harsh natural conditions that threaten their survival.
The series shares similarities with the Chernobyl series in its focus on a real-life historical event and its emphasis on the human drama and psychological toll of the crisis. Both shows also feature strong performances, meticulous attention to detail, and a haunting, atmospheric soundtrack.
7. Russian Doll (2019)
Russian Doll follows Nadia, a woman who finds herself trapped in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over again. As she tries to figure out how to break the cycle, she meets Alan, who is experiencing a similar predicament.
The show explores themes of existentialism, trauma, and the human experience, all while delivering a unique and unpredictable plot. The superb acting, sharp writing, and stylish visuals make Russian Doll a must-watch for fans of thought-provoking and inventive storytelling.
8. Ripper Street (2012)
Ripper Street is a British TV series set in Victorian-era London, following the investigations of the H Division police force in the aftermath of the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. The show is known for its gritty and realistic portrayal of the era, as well as its complex characters and storylines.
Similar to shows like Chernobyl, Ripper Street explores themes of corruption, morality, and the consequences of societal upheaval. Both shows also feature outstanding performances and high production values, making them compelling and thought-provoking viewing experiences.
9. Boardwalk Empire (2010)
Boardwalk Empire is a critically acclaimed period drama set during the Prohibition era in Atlantic City. The show depicts the political and criminal underbelly of the city through the eyes of Nucky Thompson, a corrupt politician and gangster. With intricate plot lines, compelling characters, and stunning production design, Boardwalk Empire offers a rich and immersive experience that transports viewers back in time.
The show’s talented cast, including Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, and Kelly Macdonald, deliver outstanding performances that bring the characters to life. Boardwalk Empire is a must-watch for fans of historical drama and crime fiction.
10. Mindhunter (2017)
Mindhunter is a crime thriller series based on the book “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit” by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. Set in the late 1970s, the series follows two FBI agents who interview convicted serial killers to gain insight into their psyche and help solve ongoing cases.
The show’s meticulous attention to detail, gripping performances by the cast, and exploration of the disturbing nature of serial killers make it one of the best shows of its genre. Its unique approach to storytelling and character development keep viewers hooked till the end.
Also Read: Shows like Mindhunter
11. Band of Brothers (2001)
Band of Brothers is a 10-part miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, based on the non-fiction book by historian Stephen E. Ambrose. The show follows the journey of Easy Company, a group of American paratroopers who fought during World War II. The series, similar to series like Chernobyl, delves deep into the harsh realities of people, the challenges they faced and the bonds they formed with each other.
One of the reasons what makes Band of Brothers a worthy-watch is its attention to detail. The show uses authentic World War II weapons, costumes, and locations, which creates a highly realistic and immersive experience. The show is a testament to the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought in World War II, making it an emotional and powerful experience for viewers.
12. The Americans (2013)
The Americans follows two KGB spies posing as a married couple in suburban Washington D.C. during the Cold War era. The show explores themes of espionage, love, loyalty, and deception.
Similar to shows like Chernobyl, The Americans focuses on the tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Americans explores the Cold War era and the intricacies of espionage, through the narrative of a relationship between 2 spies as a married couple. If you’re interested in series based around the struggles of international tensions, this one’s for you.
13. Narcos (2015)
Narcos is a popular television series that chronicles the real-life story of the drug trade in Colombia, focusing primarily on the infamous Medellin cartel led by the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar.
The series is known for its gritty and realistic portrayal of the drug trade in Colombia during the 1980s and 1990s. It uses a blend of historical footage and dramatizations to bring the story to life. With a complex web of corruption, violence, and political maneuvering that defined the drug trade during this time period, you are sure to enjoy it!
14. Maid (2012)
Maid is originally a memoir by Stephanie Land and this show, like the book chronicles her real-life experiences as a single mother living in poverty, struggling to make ends meet while working as a house cleaner.
The story takes the reader through the daily grind of her life, including the hardships she faces as a domestic worker and the difficult choices she must make in order to provide for her daughter. Land’s story sheds light on the often-overlooked struggles faced by millions of working-class Americans, highlighting the need for greater social and economic equality in the United States. After shows like Chernobyl, Maid is a must-watch.
15. The Last of Us (2023)
Recently, HBO released a post-apocalyptic series calledThe Last of Us and it took the viewers by storm. Based on the popular action-adventure game of the same name, the story of Ellie, a survivor of a fungal pandemic that has wiped out most of humanity. Joel is appointed to move her from their current camp in a world filled with danger and death. Similar to a series like Chernobyl series, you will be reminded of the human struggle to survive in the face of catastrophic events.
In The Last of Us, the pandemic has transformed much of humanity into zombie-like creatures called infected. As Ellie and Joel fight to stay alive, Ellie also grapples with the morality of killing other survivors and the toll it takes on her psyche. In a list of numerous post-apocalyptic shows, the incredibly well-made world of The Last of Us, stands out. I highly recommend you to watch this after Chernobyl, you will not regret it.
Also Read: Shows like The Last Of Us
Here are a few shows like Chernobyl that didn’t make this list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Normal People
- Sharp Objects
- I Know This Much Is True