9 Weird Shows Like "American Gods" You Should Check Out
What Series Are Like American Gods?
Where to begin with American Gods? One can tell within the first few minutes that it’s not your typical brain dead series. It continues to get weirder and denser with each episode, sucking you in its engrossing and sometimes confusing story, which revolves around the fight between a myriad of Gods to remain relevant and in power.
Based on the novel of the same name, American Gods has nailed it with the TV adaptation. If you’ve read the books, you know that bringing the source material to TV was always going to be a tough task. I’m glad that Brian Fuller, along with his team, has pulled it off. Being a huge fan, I have compiled a list of some other shows like American Gods. Let’s take a look.
Series Similar to American Gods
- The Leftovers
- Ther Returned
- Hemlock Grove
- Tales From The Crypt
- Penny Dreadful
- Black Mirror
If you’re looking for some shows like American Gods, why not start with another one of Brain Fuller’s masterpiece? This visual extravaganza is going to mesmerize and horrify you at the same time, with its stylish yet gory sequences.
Although the whole ensemble cast has done a great job, the two lead actors, Huge Dancy (Will Graham) and Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal Lector), shine in their role as a troubled FBI criminal profiler and a cannibal psychiatrist respectively. Will has a gift of being able to peek into the minds of psychopaths and solve the most puzzling of cases. He understands their way of operating and thinking, perhaps even empathizing with those monsters to some degree. With each case, however, he is getting one step closer to becoming a killer himself.
When he meets Hannibal Lector, a physiatrist who is also a cannibal, it doesn’t take long for him to realize the true nature of the doctor. They both know that the other party knows about their true identity and intentions, yet they want to prolong the inevitable as long as possible. Hannibal wants to turn him into a killer, much like himself. Will, however, wants to turn him in (or does he?). Who’ll win the cat and mouse game?
The sessions between the two are the best part of this series. It’s therapeutic and poetic in some way. The psychosexual relationship between them will keep you glued to your seat.
Lector might be a killer, but you’d still wanna hang on to every word he utters. For some strange reason, I found myself rooting for him. Now, before judging me, why not give this show a go for yourself and see if you react the same way?
2. The Leftovers
Around 2% of the world’s population vanished into thin air. No explanation, no traces left behind, nothing. No one seems to be able to figure out exactly where they’ve gone. They’re not dead. Just gone, somewhere.
The focus of the series is on the plights of the families left behind – the ones who refuse to believe that their loved ones are gone. A number of cults have emerged after this event, causing chaos and unrest everywhere. Is there ever going to be a coherent explanation? Will they ever come back? The series tackles these questions heads on.
It’s all about believing. The show can get a little outlandish with its stories at times. It might seem as if they’re derailing from the main storyline. You need to stick to it and wait until the second season to see whether you like it or not. The first season was underwhelming, but I’m glad that I didn’t give up on it after that. What a show it turned out to be after the first ten episodes!
The Leftovers is arguably one of the best shows to ever release on the TV landscape. The risk scriptwriters took paid off quite well in the end. Some episodes, for instance, focus solely on just one character for an hour, not giving others any screentime. You don't see that in most of the TV shows.
Most of the times, the story is a slow-burn, but it stays enthralling nonetheless. The characters are fleshed out in a way that their hardships will never fail to strike a chord with your heart. You’ll laugh and cry with them. The story can be too much to take at times, so it’s better if you watch it one episode at a time. Take your time. Keep the tissues ready. You’ll need it.
As someone who’s never read the comics it’s based on, I am loving it so far. The last three seasons have been a blast.
The story revolves around Jesse Custer, a former outlaw, who comes back to Texas, his home, and becomes a preacher as he hopes to get a fresh start. His past catches up with him when a cryptic force enters his body, empowering him with sinister power. When he finds out that God has gone missing, he teams up with his ex-girlfriend and a vampire as he embarks on a mission to find him. Can they restore the order?
I can’t go into much detail, but I’ll tell you this; the gorehounds are going to love this show! Every episode is crammed with blood, violence, guts hanging out of the body, brain-matter smeared across the floor and much more. The violence feels cartoonish at times but never goes over the top. If you can suspend your disbelief for a while, you’ll love what The Preacher has to offer.
Some fans of comic books are not too happy about this adaptation. I, however, don’t care about the accuracy of this adaptation. Nor should you.
This series casts Tom Ellis in the role of Lucifer – a charming, arrogant force from hell who’s come to Earth as he’s bored of his work in Hell. While he’s at it, he decides to help the cops with their weekly cases.
I know, it sounds like your usual cop show with weekly cases, but there’s much more to it than meets the eye. The overarching story is building up to something intriguing. Besides, the acting is just extraordinary. Tom Ellis along with the rest of the ensemble cast have come together to create something unique that will keep you hooked, one episode after the other.
As long as you keep your expectations in check and let go of the fact that it’s not as well adapted from the source material as it should have been, you’ll have a good time. To be candid, one could have seen it coming. A straight-up adaptation of the book would never have worked for a network show.
Overall, Lucifer is quite an enjoyable show but lacks variety. If you’re looking for some shows like American Gods to keep you occupied for a while, give it a go.
5. The Returned
Let me be very clear about it – don’t watch the American remake of this show. I’m talking about the original show here.
The plot revolves around a small community who’s shocked to find their loved ones back home – long after they were presumed dead. Although they appear to be just like any other human being, they bring chaos with them, spiraling things out of the control.
I loved its slow-burning episodes that successfully build the tension and intrigue us with its mystery. On top of that, the breathtaking sceneries are definitely something to behold.
If you’re thinking about binging on a foreign show, there couldn’t be a better bet than The Returned. The second season took a long time, airing two years after the first season.
6. Hemlock Grove
Hemlock Grove is probably going to be the most controversial entry in this list. While some people loved it, the majority didn't share the same sentiment. Apparently, not a lot of people have the patience for a good story to be told. You’ve got to give it some time, and before you know, you’ll be completely invested in its captivating story.
Leave logic at the doorstep and enjoy this gorefest that revolves around the murder of a teenage girl for the most part. In a town where nothing is as it appears on the surface, the hunt for perpetrator begins. The characters are not as well fleshed out as they should be, but you’ll still grow to love and hate them.
The story flounders and feels out of place at times, but sorts everything out by the end. It’s bizarre, in a good way. It's a shame that they canceled it just after three seasons. It had so much potential to turn into a gem of a show. Nevertheless, you still have thirty-three spellbinding episode to binge upon.
7. Tales From The Crypt
Based on the 1950’s E.C. comic books, Tales From The Crypt is a half-hour show with different themes in every episode. Ranging from sci-fi to horror with jaw-dropping twists, you’re bound to see some sinister things you can’t even fathom – things that are guaranteed to disgust and amaze you at the same time.
Each episode is brought to us by a crypt keeper living in some sort of haunted house. He introduces us to the stories we’re about to watch, whetting our appetite for it in advance. And when you know what’s to come, it only becomes scarier. Though the stories are never meant to be taken seriously, the dark comedy is certainly going to get you.
This show might be old, but it’s still one of the best horror shows to ever air on TV. If you’re looking for some crazy shows like American Gods, Tales From The Crypt should be right up your alley.
8. Penny Dreadful
Penny Dreadful takes place in Victorian London where a gunslinger, a scientist, and a medium unite to wipe out unholy creatures from the streets.
There are monsters to hunt and vampires to slay, but the story majorly focuses on one villain for an entire season. In the TV landscape where monster-of-week shows are popping up left and right, this approach is a breath of fresh air. An intriguing storyline combined with a talented cast (Eva Green!) and some amazing cinematography makes for a fascinating show that nobody should miss out on.
Sadly, the showrunners decided to call it quits after three seasons. There were a lot of stories still to be told, but this criminally underrated show had to go down as there wasn’t enough viewership. The good thing is, you still have three amazing seasons of sex, murder, and gore to feast your eyes upon.
9. Black Mirror
Created by Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror revolves around future technology and gadgets, successfully showing us the dark, scary future we very well could be living. It showcases the dark side of the rapid technological advancements we’ve made in recent times. Though it’s not billed as a horror show, some of the episodes are guaranteed to horrify and disgust you.
Every episode focuses on telling a different story with no overarching connection to rest of the episodes, which translates to a well-paced storyline without the ever so annoying cliffhangers. There is nothing quite like it on TV right now.
Did I miss out on any other good shows like American Gods? Let me know in the comments section.