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Top 9 Dark Shows Like Black Mirror That'd Take Your Breath Away

Rahul is a TV addict who can never get enough of good shows. His all-time favorites are 'The Wire', 'Breaking Bad', and 'The Sopranos.'

shows-like-black-mirror

What Shows Are Like Black Mirror?

Let’s admit it. Black Mirror might look pretty with all the futuristic gadgets, but things get ugly really fast. Every episode starts off slowly, painting a pretty picture of the world, and then comes the hurricane that blows everything away. The mess that remains is disturbing, and to some extent, suffocating.

There is no doubt that Black Mirror has established itself as one of the most loved sci-fi shows over the last couple of years. The only apparent problem with it is that there isn’t enough content to keep you going for a long time. As every season packs only a handful of episodes, you’re bound to suffer from withdrawal for rest of the time. Fret not. I’ve got your fix.

Being a huge fan of this series, I have compiled a list of some of the best shows like Black Mirror that will keep your heart racing. Let’s take a look.

Shows Like Black Mirror

  • Dead Set
  • Mr. Robot
  • The Leftovers
  • Darknet
  • Westworld
  • Humans
  • Brave New World
  • Upload

Let's take a look at each of these twisted shows in detail.

shows-like-black-mirror

1. Dead Set

A zombie outbreak occurs during the shoot of Big Brother, spiraling things out of control in the outside world. The housemates, however, are unaware of anything happening outside the house. What’s going to happen when they finally come face to face with the reality that the world they used to know doesn’t exist anymore? Grab some popcorn and get ready for a gore-fest.

I wasn’t expecting much from this show. To my surprise, it turned out to be much more than a brain-dead zombie show. The acting might feel a little off at times, but a brilliant storyline will keep you going.

The special effects are well done for a low-budget show. The jerky camera angles might annoy you a little, but you’ll get used to it.

There aren’t any cliché jumpscares, but Dead Set will scare you to some degree. An intriguing, spellbinding story is what this show aims for, and it delivers in an emphatic fashion.

Since it’s beautifully vehement, gorehounds will have a lot to feast their eyes on. A good mixture of violence and some dark humor makes for an entertaining show that’ll keep you hooked until the very last moment.

shows-like-black-mirror

2. Mr. Robot

The story of Mr. Robot follows Elliot, a cybersecurity engineer, who can hack into almost anything using his unbelievable skills. He looks perfect on the outside. Delve deeper and you’ll find out that his world is falling apart. He sees people who aren’t here, talks to himself a little too much, and sometimes, forgets his own identity. What’s real and what’s not?

Things get worse when Elliot joins an activist group who task him to take down his own organization with his hacking skills and expose the secrets hidden beneath the firewalls and encryptions. Which side will he choose?

If you somehow still haven’t watched it, you’re missing out on one of the best contemporary shows. Even if you don’t know much about hacking or computers, you’ll still love it. The dynamics between the characters are to die for. The way every character is fleshed out is nothing short of amazing. It feels as if you know them personally.

While everyone has done a commendable job with their roles. the main draw, however, is Elliot, our protagonist who is expert in beating the world’s best firewalls while still trying to tame his inner demons.. Have you ever felt alone even when you’re amongst people? Ever felt like you don’t belong in a group? If yes, you are going to empathize with his character. It’s hard to look away every time he appears on the screen. The drug addiction and panic attacks have turned his life upside down. You’ll be rooting for this anti-hero all the way through.

Of course, it wouldn’t be possible without the funny and thought-provoking dialogues he is given through the whole episode. The subtle digs at the world we live in is a stroke of genius. It might make you chuckle, but you’d be thinking about the dialogues for a long time.

With the third season just around the corner, there couldn’t be a better time to catch up with the show.

shows-like-black-mirror

3. The Leftovers

Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, The Leftovers revolves around the aftermath of a sudden disappearance of around 2% of the world’s population. It focuses on the grief, anger, and despair of the families who’ve lost their loved ones in a flash.

Where to start with this show? It’s one of those rare serials that can make you laugh and cry at the same time. The storylines seem a bit outlandish at times, but the way writers and actors pull everything off can’t be described in words. The writers have experimented with different storylines throughout the 3 seasons, and it has worked for them for the most part.

They have absolutely nailed it with one tear-jerking episode after the other. The last few episodes of the second season will crush you. Keep a box of tissues handy. While the show has its fair share of humor, you’ll not be smiling a lot. The dark and depressing tone never lets up.

Background music brings some life into a depressing, and to some extent, overwhelming plot. It’s loaded with some of the best tracks you’ll ever hear.

It’s sad to See The Leftovers go so soon. Even though everyone loved it, the show never had the desired audience. Props to HBO for giving it a proper farewell in form of the third and the last season.

Since it consists of only 30 episodes, there are chances that you'd burn through the whole thing pretty quickly. It’s a good thing that the show is re-watchable. Go through it again, and you’ll still love every moment of it.

shows-like-black-mirror

4. Darknet

Make sure you know about Deep Web first before getting into this series as the whole story revolves around porn addiction, online cults, sex trade, hacking and much more – things that only take place on the Deep Web. Although every episode features a new story, every tale is interlinked in one way or the other, building up to the ultimate conclusion. The common theme of every episode is a fictional Deep Web website called ‘Darknet” – a place where you can find answers to every morbid question. Like, where to hide the body after murder?

To add to the immersion, they have gone out of their way to create a website in real life just like they’ve shown in the serial. It looks and functions just like the one in the show. Cool, isn’t it?

I really loved the first season, which cionsisted of only six epsidoes. It’s a good thing that they’re back with another season.

It’s saddening to see how nobody even knows that a show like this exists. Here is hoping that it gets renewed for a third season soon.

shows-like-black-mirror

5. Westworld

We're lucky to have Westworld land on our TV screens. It'd been more than three years since HBO ordered this series. There were so many production halts and hiccups along the way that cancellation seemed like a possibility. To everyone's amazement, HBO's Westworld was one of the biggest hits of 2016, defying every prediction.

The story takes place in the near future where humans have developed advanced robots capable of doing anything, including entertaining, doing chores, romancing and doing other unspeakable things. Rich clients choose to visit a Wilds West themed park filled with these androids not only to relive those legendary moments from years long past but to also fulfill their darkest desires with no worries about any consequences. They resort to rape, mutilate, and murder these androids over and over again like it's some sort of a game (it is indeed a game). Everything goes awry when one of the automatons becomes aware of its own existence and leads a revolution against the humans.

A multi-threaded story might not make much sense in the beginning, but I'd recommend you to stick with the show till the end. Even if the first few episodes don't make much sense, the rest will, if you pay attention. The story is thought-provoking on so many levels, which will make you question the nature of our reality at least a few times. If you dig the action and the drama, have a look at some other shows similar to Westworld.

shows-like-black-mirror

6. Humans

Based on the original Swedish show Äkta människor, Humans takes place in not too distant future where humanoids have become advanced enough to assist their owners with almost everything. While they act and speak just like humans, they have no emotions of their own. Things turn upside down when a few of them gain consciousness and attempt to break others synths free.

I've not watched the original show so I can’t really comment how well this adaptation is, but I liked it enough to include it here. Some critics have gone on to call it an improvement upon the original, and I believe them. So should you.

The show deals with the pro and cons of synths in a world where machines are replacing humans in every field. If you’re a fan of shows like Westworld and Black Mirror, this show is going to hook you instantly. Just like those shows, it’s filled with twists and turns. There is much more at stake they what you’d initially thought.

You can clearly feel the Blade Runner vibe running throughout the show. The self-awareness part came directly from that film. If you've seen that classic, you'd certainly be reminded of it.

Airing on AMC, this is probably one of the best sci-fi shows around right now. Though it starts off fairly slowly, the plot moves rapidly after a few episodes. All the build-up leads to one hell of a cliffhanger in the first season. Thankfully, the second season manages to deliver on its big promises with even more spectacular content.

To sum it up, Humans is a well-crafted and acted series that never shies away from touching upon sensitive issues.

shows-like-black-mirror

7. Brave New World

Launched on Peacock, a new streaming service, Brave New World takes place in a utopian world where there is no pain and shame. Everybody is happy, or at least it looks like it. Things, however, are not as they seem.

As we delve deeper into the dark secrets of this society, we learn that many frequent sacrifices are made to keep the pace afloat. In a pace where happiness and tranquility depend upon the regular intake of pills, how long can the charade last? Well, not long.

Though the adaptation strays away from its original source - something a lot of fans are grumpy about - I personally found the series to be quite endearing. It's no Black Mirror by any means, but it's not trying to be. If you can stomach nudity and a little bit of gore, Brave New World should be a good watch.

Loosen up. Leave logic at the doorstep. Forget about the original novel for a few moments and enjoy this series for what it is - raunchy, mindless fun.

8. Upload

Developed by Greg Daniels, who's renowned for his iconic The Office series, Upload takes place in the near future where it's possible to live after death. Your consciousness gets uploaded into the machine, making it possible to live happily ever after in the virtual world of your choice, as long as you've got the money to pay for the virtual goods and services. Once the money runs out, there is a possibility of you being deleted or frozen. Both dreadful options.

The plot revolves around a tech mogul who seemingly gets murdered. Just before his death, though, he gets uploaded. And his hilarious journey begins.

It's hard to pigeonhole this new dramedy from Amazon. It's got some morbid jokes of its own, something that will make you chuckle, but its serious undertone will make you think about the meaning of your own life. The weird amalgamation should not have worked, but it somehow converges into a heartfelt story everyone will resonate with.

Ending with a huge cliffhanger with a lot of unanswered questions, there definitely needs to be at least another season. With season 2 already on the way, which will probably take a while, you can rest assured that the storyline will continue from where it left off in the first season.

Given that this series got little to no promotion, not a lot of people have heard about it. Watch it. Cherish it. Carry the good word forward.

9. The 100

The 100 takes place ninety-seven years after the nuclear annihilation of the Earth. Everything is in disarray. A few handfuls of those who could survive the blast now live on a spaceship, orbiting the Earth. With dwindling resources, however, they'll soon have to make their way back to mother Earth. To test if the ground is survivable. they send 100 juvenile convicts to Earth, preparing them for what could be a suicide mission. Are they prepared for what's coming next? Of course not.

The 100 might be a little divisive show in this list, primarily because it's nowhere near as suffocating as shows like Black Mirror or Mr. Robot. There is violence galore, but it's often served with a healthy dose of teenage anguish we're quite used to from networks like The CW. Characters often point guns at each other every other in every other episode, only to make amends later on. The cycle repeats itself so many times that'll you'll recognize the formula after a while.

That's not to say that the show is not fun. Far from it. Over the course of 7 years, The 100 has kept introducing refreshing characters and story arcs to keep things fresh. You're bound to endure some cliche moments, but I'll still wholeheartedly recommend this sci-fi show to anyone.

Did I miss out on some shows like Black Mirror? Let me know in the comments section, and I'll be glad to check them out.

Comments

odin on May 13, 2020:

None of these shows are anything like Black Mirror, can't say I'm surprised.

eve hunt on October 29, 2018:

Hello.This post was extremely interesting, particularly because I was looking for thoughts on this topic last Thursday.

regards:

Ryan from Louisiana, USA on August 09, 2017:

I am about to start this show Black Mirrors. I have heard that it is a crazy Twilight Zone type show. After I finish, I will have to check out these other shows that you have listed. Thank you for sharing. I have seen Westworld and that is one amazing show. The others I have heard of but have not seen yet.