The 20 Best Shows to Watch As You Wait for “Stranger Things” Season 5

"Stranger Things", PopViewers
"Stranger Things", Credit: Netflix

In the wake of “Stranger Things” meteoric rise in 2016, a newfound love for genre-blending shows has gripped audiences worldwide. “Stranger Things” has masterfully interwoven elements of science fiction, horror, and coming-of-age drama, leaving a huge mark on popular culture. As we prepare to bid farewell to the residents of Hawkins, Indiana with the final season coming (fingers crossed) early next year. Here is a list of 20 shows that promise to transport us to realms where the extraordinary collides with the ordinary.

1. “Dark” – 2017-2020

Summary: When children start disappearing in the fictional German town of Winden, the lives of four interconnected families become entwined in a mind-bending conspiracy that transcends time itself. As the mystery unfolds, parallel universes, supernatural occurrences, and a looming nuclear threat converge, challenging the very fabric of reality.

“Dark” was ranked the 58th Greatest Television Show of the 21st Century by BBC. If you relished the slow-burning narrative of “Stranger Things”, “Dark” will undoubtedly captivate you.

Dark, PopViewers, Netflix
“Dark” on Netflix

2. “The Chosen One” – 2023

Summary: In the sun-drenched landscapes of Baja California, Mexico, a young boy named Jodie miraculously survives a life-threatening incident, only to discover that he possesses Christ-like powers. As his newfound abilities garner attention from local leaders vying for his aid, Jodie embarks on a journey of self-discovery, grappling with the weight of his divine gifts.

Echoing the friendship ensemble that endeared viewers to the “Stranger Things” crew, “The Chosen One” introduces a tight-knit group of friends whose bonds are tested by extraordinary circumstances. Brace yourself for a thought-provoking exploration of identity and the consequences of wielding immense power.

The Chosen One, Netflix, PopViewers
“The Chosen One” on Netflix

3. “Twin Peaks” – 1990-1991, 2017

Summary: In the sleepy town of “Twin Peaks”, the mysterious death of homecoming queen Laura Palmer sets off a chain of events that unravels a tapestry of secrets and supernatural occurrences. FBI Agent Dale Cooper leads the investigation, uncovering a world where the lines between reality and the otherworldly blur.

“Twin Peaks”, a seminal work that influenced “Stranger Things”, masterfully blends horror, mystery, and offbeat humor. The show was cancelled following two critically acclaimed seasons in the 90s. However, it was rebooted by Showtime in 2017 to more critical acclaim and Golden Globe/Emmy nominations.

Twin Peaks,
“Twin Peaks” on ABC

4. “A Murder at the End of the World” – 2023

Summary: When detective Darby Hart reunites with her former partner, Bill, at a reclusive AI billionaire’s retreat, she finds herself entangled in a web of deceit and murder. As she delves deeper into the mystery, the lines between reality and advanced technology blur, unveiling a sinister plot that threatens to unravel the very fabric of existence.

“A Murder at the End of the World” fuses elements of crime, technology, and the supernatural, creating a gripping narrative that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Brace yourself for a thought-provoking exploration of the consequences of unchecked technological advancement and the lengths to which humanity will go to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

A Murder At The End Of The World, PopViewers
“A Murder At The End Of The World” on Hulu

5. “The Umbrella Academy” – 2019-Present

Summary: In 1989, 43 women around the world gave birth simultaneously, their children possessing extraordinary abilities. Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a billionaire, adopted seven of these gifted individuals, forming the Umbrella Academy – a team of superheroes tasked with saving the world. Years later, the estranged siblings must reunite to confront a looming apocalyptic threat.

“The Umbrella Academy” blends action, humor, and character-driven drama, offering a fresh take on the superhero genre.

The Umbrella Academy, PopViewers
“The Umbrella Academy” on Netflix

6. “All of Us Are Dead” – 2022-Present

Summary: In the fictional town of Hyosan, South Korea, a group of high school students finds themselves thrust into a nightmarish scenario when a zombie virus outbreak sweeps through their school. As the adults attempt to contain the crisis, the students must band together, navigating a treacherous landscape where the line between survival and morality blurs.

“All of Us Are Dead” was watched for over 474.26 Million Hours in the first month of release on Netflix. It was quickly renewed for a second season and is premiering in 2025.

All Of Us Are Dead,
“All Of Us Are Dead” on Netflix

7. “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” – 2018-2020

Summary: Sabrina Spellman, a half-witch, half-human teenager, finds herself torn between her occult heritage and her mortal life as a high school student. As she goes between the complexities of her dual identity, Sabrina’s choices have far-reaching consequences, ensnaring both her family and mortal friends in a world of dark magic and otherworldly perils.

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” offers a fresh take on the beloved Archie Comics character, blending teenage angst with supernatural elements. The series is created by the same team as “Riverdale” so expect a similar vibe to the CW series.

Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, Netflix, PopViewers
“Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina” on Netflix

8. “Warrior Nun” – 2020-2022

Summary: Ava Silva, a formerly dead quadriplegic orphan, awakens in a morgue with a holy artifact embedded in her back, granting her extraordinary abilities. Thrust into a world of demon-hunting nuns known as the Order of the Cruciform Sword, Ava must navigate her newfound powers while grappling with the weight of her destiny.

“Warrior Nun” has a revival of trilogy films coming following the second season. The biting commentary on religion and teenage romance makes for a great binge!

Warrior Nun,
“Warrior Nun” on Netflix

9. “Ms. Marvel” – 2022

Summary: Kamala Khan, an Avengers superfan living in Jersey City, suddenly finds herself imbued with extraordinary powers stemming from a magical bangle. As she navigates the complexities of high school life and her newfound abilities, Kamala must confront the pursuit of the Department of Damage Control and a mysterious group known as the Clandestines.

“Ms. Marvel” offers a refreshing take on the superhero genre, centering around a relatable and endearing protagonist who embodies the struggles and triumphs of adolescence.

Ms. Marvel, Disney, PopViewers
“Ms. Marvel” on Disney+

10. “One Piece” – 2023-Present

Summary: Monkey D. Luffy, a young man with the ability to stretch his body like rubber, sets sail on the treacherous Grand Line, a perilous stretch of sea that promises both formidable foes and untold riches. Assembling a motley crew of ambitious pirates, Luffy embarks on a quest to become the King of the Pirates, toppling villainous adversaries along the way.

“One Piece” delivers a rollicking adventure that seamlessly blends action, humor, and camaraderie, echoing the spirit of Stranger Things’ ensemble cast. A second season was quickly ordered and started filming in June 2024.

One Piece, Netflix, PopViewers
“One Piece” on Netflix

11. “The Haunting of Hill House” – 2018

Summary: “The Haunting of Hill House” is a chilling supernatural series that follows a family through different time periods in their lives. The family used to live in a haunted house, Hill House and it triggers them in both the past and present. The series will take viewers on the ride of a lifetime through gripping performances and amazing writing.

The series is beloved by Industry titans and audiences alike. Famous director, Quentin Tarantino called it his “favorite Netflix series”. The show has ten episodes and can be a very quick binge with amazing cliffhangers and plot twists!

The Haunting Of Hill House,
“The Haunting Of Hill House” on Netflix

12. “Outer Banks” – 2020-Present

Summary: While “Outer Banks” is a very different show tonally than Stranger Things, it has similar crossovers. Both are ensemble teenage casts that are on a mission for something. Both series have audience crossover as well with similar generations tuning into both. The show is set in a community in the “Outer Banks” of North Carolina as teenagers search for lost treasure.

The series final season is expected to premiere in 2024. The show was one of the most watched during Quarantine in 2020 and went viral on social media.

Outer Banks,
“Outer Banks” on Netflix

13. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” – 2001-2003

Summary: Buffy Summers, a teenage girl chosen to be the latest in a line of vampire slayers, must balance the weight of her destiny with the trials and tribulations of high school life. Guided by her Watcher and supported by a tight-knit group of friends, Buffy navigates a world where the supernatural and the mundane collide, fighting to save the world time and again.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is a genre-defining classic that seamlessly blends elements of horror, action, and coming-of-age drama, echoing the themes and character dynamics that made Stranger Things a cultural phenomenon.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer,
“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” on The WB (CW)

14. “The X-Files” 1993-2002, 2016-2018

Summary: FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are tasked with investigating the bizarre, the unexplained, and the downright extraordinary. As they delve deeper into a vast government conspiracy, they uncover a world where the boundaries between science and the paranormal blur, and the truth is always just out of reach.

“The X-Files” is a seminal work that has influenced countless shows, including Stranger Things, with its unique blend of science fiction, horror, and investigative drama. The series totaled 62 Emmy Nominations over the course of its run and 16 wins. “The X-Files” has gained a cult following and is still watched by millions to this day.

The X-Files,
“The X-Files” on FOX

15. “Fringe” – 2008-2013

Summary: A federal task force, led by the brilliant but eccentric Walter Bishop, is charged with monitoring and containing incursions into our reality from parallel universes. As the team delves deeper into the mysteries that blur the lines between science and the supernatural, they uncover a vast conspiracy that threatens the very fabric of existence.

“Fringe” offers a unique blend of science fiction, horror, and character-driven drama, echoing the themes that made Stranger Things the series that it is today. Created by famous director, J.J. Abrams, the series captured the zeitgeist like “Stranger Things” but has gained a large cult following.

“Fringe” on FOX

16. “Channel Zero” – 2016-2018

Summary: Based on tales from the darkest corners of the internet, “Channel Zero” brings to life terrifying stories that blur the lines between reality and nightmare. Each season explores a different narrative, delving into the depths of human fear and the consequences of unleashing the unknown.

“Channel Zero” offers a unique and chilling take on the horror genre, drawing inspiration from the collective unconscious of the internet.

"Channel Zero",
“Channel Zero” on Syfy

17. “Hannibal” – 2013-2015

Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist with a penchant for gourmet cuisine, finds himself at the center of a web of deceit and murder. As FBI profiler Will Graham delves deeper into Lecter’s world, he uncovers a darkness that threatens to consume them both, blurring the lines between sanity and madness.

“Hannibal” brings a unique and visually stunning take on the iconic character, blending elements of psychological horror, drama, and culinary intrigue. The series is considered one of the best of the horror genre by audiences and critics alike.

“Hannibal” on NBC

18. “Supacell” – 2024

“Supacell” is a sci-fi Netflix drama set in South London where a group of ordinary people start to develop super powers. However, the newfound powers make them targets for a powerful entity. The cast is made up of relative newcomers and is only six episodes. It is quick binge that will get you hooked from the first episode. “Supacell” has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score and PopViewers has an exclusive interview with the creator, Rapman.

"Supacell", Netflix,
“Supacell” on NetflixCredit: Netflix

19. “The Midnight Club” – 2022

Summary: “The Midnight Club” is a series that revolves around a group of terminally ill teenagers who uncover a dark secret while staying in hospice. The group forms a bond and shares their fears, making for a great journey of unexpected friendship.

The series was created by the same team as “The Haunting of Hill House” with Mike Flanagan at the helm. The show broke the Guinness World Record for the most scripted jump-scares in an episode of television with 21.

"The Midnight Club", Netflix,
“The Midnight Club” on Netflix

20. “Wednesday” – 2022-Present

Summary: “Wednesday” is a dark comedy series that reimagines the character from the classic “The Addams Family” films. The show stars Jenna Ortega as “Wednesday” as she navigates supernatural mysteries at her new school. The series expertly blends humor, mystery, and a touch of romance to make for a thrilling watch.

Within three weeks of release, it became the second most watched Netflix English language television series of all time. A few months later, it became the most popular English language television series on Netflix by overtaking “Stranger Things” Season 4. The first season won 4 Emmy Awards and was nominated for “Best Comedy Series”. The second season started production in 2024.

“Wednesday” on Netflix

As we look to the future of television, the influence of “Stranger Things” continues to resonate, inspiring creators to push the boundaries of storytelling. These 20 shows not only capture the spirit of adventure and mystery but also invite viewers to explore new dimensions of imagination. Whether you’re a fan of supernatural thrillers, epic sci-fi sagas, or heartfelt dramas, this curated list is sure to offer something that will captivate your senses and keep the magic of genre-blending alive. So, grab your popcorn, settle in, and get ready to embark on new adventures that promise to be as thrilling and unforgettable as the journey through Hawkins.

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