Chess has been the focus, or sub-focus, of several other movies and shows but none have connected with the audience quite like Queen’s Gambit. So if you’re also a huge fan of the show and looking for shows like Queen’s Gambit then our list should be perfect for you. We see that Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) is a child prodigy who loses her parents at a very early age.
Harmon survives a child orphanage by finding a love for chess and fantasizing about chess moves. Set in the substantive parts of this story in the late 60s we witness the times changing and that talent and willpower can enable female success. Chess was so wonderfully represented on screen that the game received a big upsurge of interest after the airing of this show.
List of TV Shows Like The Queen’s Gambit
1. Peaky Blinders (2013)
In case you ever thought of watching Peaky Blinders then you should. The show follows crime leader Thomas Shelby and his gang the Peaky Blinders. As the show progresses, Thomas becomes more and more powerful and rich, all while losing more and more of his family and his own sanity. If you’ve already seen this historical fiction classic, you should check out our list of shows like Peaky Blinders.
Aside from the incredible plot and fascinating characters, the show features a great representation of 1930s English culture and governmental issues, handling drugs, liquor, science, religion, spirits, gangs, corrupt police authorities and a few other disputable and intriguing subjects. Needless to say, this is a superb series with one of the best writings similar to shows like The Queen’s Gambit you’ll ever see!
2. The Magicians (2015)
The Syfy network fantasy show The Magicians follows a guy called Quentin as he enrols at Brakebills, a secret school for magicians. Here he learns that the fantasy world that he read about as a child is real please and has now become a threat to humanity.
The magic and fantasy in this show are quite unique and exciting and not like other magic stories that you’ve seen. The characters’ stories evolve in their own ways and link together well. This show’s dynamic contrast of love and passion between friends and lovers reminds me of tv shows like The Queen’s Gambit.
3. The Crown (2016)
The royal family struggles with political upheaval, societal change, and the weight of public perception across the decades as Queen Elizabeth II’s life and reign are depicted in The Crown (starring Claire Foy as the Queen in the first 2 seasons).
The season of The Crown digs into the lives of the British royal family from over 70 years ago, with the first season beginning in the late 1940s. The elaborate, historically accurate costumes from both The Queen’s Gambit and The Crown have received accolades, and they even share a virtual costume exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. For great costumes and visuals, this is the perfect show for you.
4. Call the Midwife (2012)
The best-selling memoir Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth, who passed just six months before the first episode of the show aired, served as the inspiration for this television series. Her work as a district nurse & midwife in the East end of London throughout the 1950s and 1960s is partially depicted in the series and has since been expanded upon.
Even the guest performers do a fantastic job acting, and the characters are incredibly likeable. However, the major reason I adore and enthusiastically recommend Call the Midwife for a series like Queen’s Gambit is that it is so masterfully crafted, fusing hope and amazing human connection with the hard facts of life without dodging them.
5. The Great (2020)
The Great depicts an interesting time in history with the rise in power of Catherine The Great, the reigning Empress of Russia from the 1760s to the 1790s. Portraying the squalor and common inhuman treatment of serfs, staff and members of the court while showcasing a strong young woman amidst power and political intrigue.
The show’s writers have blended humour with witty dialogue to showcase the absurdity of Peter and showcase Catherine’s growing love of Russia and rise to power. It is a unique show on tv right now and very binge-worthy. Wild, creative, funny, and historically not very accurate but it doesn’t matter! You should try watching The Great if you are in search of shows like The Queen’s Gambit.
6. The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (2017)
Similar to the series Queen’s Gambit, Marvelous Mrs Maisel depicts a familiar struggle of women in a male-dominated world through Midge Maisel’s dream of becoming a stand-up comedian in 1950s Manhattan, New York. She breaks away from the typical rich man’s wife.
You should definitely watch Amazon’s Emmy Award-winning The Marvelous Mrs Maisel if you want to enjoy some enjoyable retro-aesthetic setting sharp wit given by Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein, as well as fantastic writing from the professionals behind the scenes.
7. Mad Men (2007)
Mad Men is one of the most iconic shows of the late 2000s. Following the journey of Don Draper, a creative director of a fictional magazine that occupies the 1960s in American culture when the world changes in warp speed. Mad Men does a great job of bringing out the full spectrum of human relationships emotions, and personality types.
In a similar fashion to Queen’s Gambit, Mad Men portrays its protagonist Don Draper as terrible at the same time a remarkable person. Don, like Beth, is driven and talented, but he also tends to be cruel, condescending, and selfish. Mad Men is an awesome series similar to Queen’s Gambit.
8. Dickinson (2019)
Hailee Steinfeld, who has been nominated for an Oscar, portrays the trailblazing young lady in Dickinson, a loosely based coming-of-age story of the renowned American poet Emily Dickinson. Audiences will like how the 19th-century series incorporates familiar patterns from our modern era. Dickinson offers a really clever modern spin on everything mid-1800s.
Dickinson’s talented cast also includes notable artists like Jane Krakowski, Nick Kroll and Whiz Khalifa, to name a few. You must be wondering ‘Hold on, Whiz Khalifa, the musician and rapper in a television show about a Victorian-era poet?’ Well, yes! Dickinson is perfect for people who watch tv shows like Queen’s Gambit, and you might like it too.
9. Godless (2017)
Before making The Queen’s Gambit, showrunner Scott Frank created the empowering drama Godless. Godless is a gritty saga encompassing an unusual situation where most of the men are killed in a mining accident leaving the strong women to survive by their skill and guile. A very entertaining story, with plenty of action and superb cinematography.
Godless is one riveting drama series with well-developed characters and such a great plot! From Michelle Dockery to Queen’s Gambit’s Thomas Brodie-Sangster, this is a show with a fantastic cast. You will get attached to every character, good or bad. The show unfolds slowly giving you the disturbingly gritty rawness of settlers’ lives out in the west. Do watch this after if you want to see more shows like The Queen’s Gambit.
10. Anne with an E (2017)
Anne With an E is a coming-of-age story. Anne is an Orphan who gets mistakenly sent to live with Matthew and Marilla, after enduring a traumatic childhood, she finds a safe haven and home on Prince Edward Island. Her spirit and bravery are one-of-a-kind, and like Beth Harmon, she is an intelligent girl who rises above her circumstances.
Whilst maintaining all the quintessential charm of the original books, this version challenges topics that are relevant to today’s society: bullying, racism, equality and more, with such respect. All without the honesty of ruining the characters. One of my personal favourites, Anne With an E is worth watching for a series similar to Queen’s Gambit.
11. 11.22.63 (2016)
Adapted from a novel written by the great fiction writer Stephen King, 11.22.63 is a sci-fi series following James Franco in the lead role of an ordinary high school teacher called Lee Harvey Oswald, who is given a mission to time-travel and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But the task is not as straightforward as it sounds.
While the genres of both shows feel poles apart, the similarities lie in the setting of the story. 11.22.63 explores the early 1960s, the fun, the glamour and the politics. And so if you were a fan of the time period in shows like The Queen’s Gambit, then 11.22.63 is sure to be in your interest.
12. Sherlock BBC (2010)
A popular mystery Tv series produced for BBC called Sherlock is a contemporary retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous Sherlock Holmes tales. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, a genius-level thinker and self-described “high-functioning psychopath.” The series includes many of well-known characters, incidents, and investigations from classic stories, all with a contemporary twist.
May it be Officer Lestrade or the murderers, Sherlock Holmes logical reasoning and high-functioning mystery-solving capabilities are extraordinary. The more you look the more you’ll realise that both the shows, Sherlock and Queen’s Gambit share a dark academic competitive vibe. Similar to shows like The Queen’s Gambit or not, you don’t need a reason to watch this one!
Here’s a short list of brilliant shows like The Queen’s Gambit that did not make our main list but you can have a look at them as well:
- Mrs. America
- Big Little Lies