There is no denying the edge-of-your-seat suspense of crime dramas and the moral dilemmas posed to audiences who watch them and HBO’s The Sopranos is one of the greatest shows in that genre. , If you miss watching this excellent series, we have created a list of shows like The Sopranos that you might enjoy. The Sopranos follows the life of Mafia Capo Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini.
Our protagonist is a bonafide family man, and one who is stuck reliving the glory days of the mafia. Tony Soprano lives in New Jersey and is a member of the Italian-American mob. It all gets a little too much for him and he suffers nervous breakdowns which leads him to seek therapeutic help. With its in-depth look into the world of crime and the effects it has on Tony and his family, it adds a human flair to what is otherwise usually a cold and heartless setting. Although the show has long since reached its conclusion, here are 10 TV shows like The Sopranos that you will definitely enjoy watching.
List of TV Shows Like The Sopranos
1. Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
Just as creator Vince Gilligan put it, “There would be no Walter White without Tony Soprano.” Crime shows, especially shows like The Sopranos paved the way for Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad is an American television series about Walter White. White is a high school chemistry teacher who is disillusioned with his life, and it all gets worse when he is diagnosed with lung cancer. This sparks a fire under him that sees him suddenly take to a life of crime. By delving into the mass production and sale of meth, he seemingly hopes to be able to provide for his family when he is gone.
His partner-in-crime is Jesse Pinkman, a former student of his, and together they start to make the ascent up the crime ladder. By their side to help them along the way is Saul Goodman, a crooked lawyer, and Gus Fring, a restaurant chain owner who sets them up with a huge structure to pump out as much meth as possible. You are definitely going to enjoy this show for its great storytelling, and sublime pacing as Walter begins his descent into the murky waters of the crime world.
2. Mad Men (2007-2015)
Similar to shows like The Sopranos, Mad Men is a drama series that offers a unique look at American culture from another period. The show, created by Matthew Weiner, is set in the 1960s and early 1970s. The plot is focused on Don Draper, a suave and sophisticated man who works at the Sterling Cooper advertising agency as a creative director.
The series subtly showcases the social changes which sprung up during that era and the evolving American zeitgeist. If you’re a fan of shows like Breaking Bad, you would definitely also enjoy the acting and writing on display here. The show is quite stylish also, and you might find yourself growing in appreciation of the dapper style of the 60s and 70s, as well as some insight into the state of American society at the time.
3. Better Call Saul (2015-2022)
Better Call Saul is an American television series, which acts as a spin-off to one previously discussed show on this list, Breaking Bad. It is a prequel and focuses on Walter’s legal mastermind, Jimmy McGill, and how he evolved to become who ended up being by the time Walter waltzed into the scene and how he became Saul Goodman.
This series explores Jimmy’s moral struggles and his slowly deteriorating personal relationships, as well as his descent into the criminal underworld. Especially what led to him working for a man such as Gus Fring, a theme we have seen in shows like The Sopranos. Better Call Saul is definitely one of the best spin-off series of all-time, and I suggest you watch Breaking Bad first to get the proper experience.
4. Ozark (2017-2022)
Ozark is one of the better crime drama TV shows like The Sopranos, in recent years. But it differs in the aspect that the main character was not born into a life of organized crime. Ozark’s main protagonist in this story is Marty Byrde, who works as a financial advisor to a shady business involved with a cartel. To save his and his family’s life, he is forced even deeper into a life of crime and has to launder money for the cartel directly.
This show is an exposé on the lengths a man can go to when desperate. Ozark tells the story of a man who is pushed into doing unthinkable acts all in order to protect and provide for his family, quite similar to shows like The Sopranos you might say. This struggle with his inner demons and his morals will keep you entertained, and have you questioning the legitimacy of big business in America or wherever you might be.
5. The Wire (2002-2008)
The Wire is an American crime drama television series created by David Simon. The show is set in Baltimore, Maryland, and each season focuses on a different aspect of the city. The first season is mainly about the drug trade, especially with regard to the Barksdale organization, and Jimmy NcNulty’s desire to see them brought down to their knees by all means. The show has spawned the careers of many contemporary stars including Idris Elba, Dominic West, and Michael B. Jordan, among others. If you’ve already seen it, check our list of shows like The Wire.
The series shows a stark depiction of poverty, crime, corruption and the decaying education system among others. The Wire, similar to shows like The Sopranos, is widely considered among the greatest crime/political dramas of all time, and will impress you with its realistic portrayal of the kind of life that those in areas like Baltimore live. It is especially unique for its unwillingness to make everything black and white. You might even find yourself rooting for the ‘bad guys’.
6. Gomorrah (2014-2021)
Gomorrah is an Italian crime drama television series based on the novel of the same name, authored by Roberto Saviano. The show is set in the suburbs of Naples and similar to The Sopranos, it follows a criminal organization, known as the Camorra. This is one of the series similar to The Sopranos as it closely follows one of the most powerful and ruthless criminal organizations in the world.
The series also shows how a life of crime affects humans to their core, with its effects rubbing off on their families, friends and even communities. It follows the lives of various characters, including the mob boss, his lieutenants, and his enemies. Gomorrah does not romanticize crime and will bring the hard reality of crime and its consequences straight to your face.
7. Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)
If you enjoyed watching the interactions between a gangster and his family in shows like The Sopranos, then you will enjoy watching Thomas Shelby, who also portrays the role of a patriarch. Peaky Blinders is a British crime drama created by Steven Knight. The show is set in Birmingham, England, a little after World War I, and shows the effects that such an experience had upon the man who survived it. One such man is Thomas Shelby, leader of the Peaky Blinders gang. Through backdoor dealings, crime and connivances, Shelby is able to take his gang to the top of the food chain.
The Peaky Blinders who are named so because of the way they keep razors hidden in their caps at the ready in case of a fight are made up of a group of well-written and acted characters. The TV series has become highly celebrated in the UK and abroad, with Thomas Shelby gathering something of a following from young men around the world, more for his personality and less for his criminal activities. If you’re already a fan of this show, check this list of recommendations of shows like Peaky Blinders.
8. Magic City (2012-2013)
Various crime dramas are period pieces, showing us the differing states of society in previous eras, similar to series like The Sopranos. Magic City is another such TV show. Magic City is centered on Ike Evans, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who is the majority shareholder of the Miramar Playa, a luxurious hotel, as he strives to build the greatest hotel that has ever stood on the beach sands of Miami.
Magic City is set in a time where society is rapidly changing culturally. In the midst of all these Evans has to navigate a world of crime, and do all that is possible to wrest political power from those who hold it. This will all be necessary if he is to attain his goal of making his hotel the greatest in the city.
9. Queen of the South (2016-2021)
Just as characters in TV shows like The Sopranos try to juggle family and criminal enterprises at the same time. The same can be said of Teresa in Queen of the South. The show’s plot is centered on Teresa Mendoza. Once a dirt poor lady, Teresa marries a drug lord, transforming her life totally. And when her husband dies she suddenly finds herself at the helm of one of the most powerful drug cartels in the world.
Teresa has to be brave and bold in the face of dangers and fend off threats from people who would have her lose everything she fought for. This leads her to be as ruthless as it possible. This show is as wild and fast-paced as it gets, and just one episode will have your head turning with excitement, and missing just one episode might throw you into a tailspin. But thank goodness, streaming exists
10. Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014)
This is a crime drama similar to TV Shows like The Sopranos, with its backdrop of gangster drama and politics. Boardwalk Empire is an American television series created by Terence Winter. The show is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Also a period piece like many of the shows on this list, Boardwalk Empire is set during the Prohibition era when alcohol had been banned from being sold commercially. and follows Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson, the city’s corrupt treasurer who uses his political power to control the city’s illegal alcohol trade.
The series is centered on a crooked and corrupt character, similar to shows like The Sopranos. In this case, that crooked character is Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson, who uses all his political power to try to wrest control of the illegal alcohol trade from those who hold it, into his own hands. Boardwalk Empire has no dull moments and will entertain you even with its B and C plots due to its diverse cast of well-written characters.
Here are a few TV shows like The Sopranos that didn’t make the list that you can also check out:
2. The Americans
3. Top Boy
4. Burn Notice
5. The Shield