Orphan Black is the series of the moment, but where to start? Here are 13 shows that can keep you occupied.
The “series like orphan black on netflix” is a list of 13 TV shows to watch if you loved Orphan Black. The list includes series such as The Americans and House of Cards.
There are programs that look at contemporary science’s ethics. Some of them look at identity, agency, and the concept of nature vs. nurture. Others focus on sisterhood and community while also telling a beautiful gay tale.
It’s not often that we see programs that deal with all of this and more. In 2013, we did, though, when Sarah Manning got off a train and met herself.
Orphan Black, a four-year-old sci-fi series, is a shamefully underappreciated gem. We see the talented Tatiana Maslany masterfully play over a dozen clones over the course of the show’s five seasons, each with the dawning realization that they’re unique in their similarity — that is, that they’re one of 274 genetically identical clones produced in a secret experiment and scattered all over the world.
This program has a lot to love and a lot to miss, featuring not just clones but also robotic worms and talking scorpions, as well as fascinating and intriguing characters. That’s perhaps why its dive into the origins and development of human existence has produced a slew of spin-offs, including a comic book series written by show creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, as well as co-writer Jody Houser.
It was also followed by an equally amazing podcast, Orphan Black: The Next Chapter, which recently premiered its second season and stars many of the original cast members, including Kristian Bruun (who plays Donnie Hendrix), Jordan Gavaris (who plays fan favorite Felix Manning), and Evelyne Brochu (who plays Donnie Hendrix) (Delphine Cormier).
While the continuing audio series is excellent — it has even turned me to a podcast listener – you may want your fantastically twisted, well-acted sci-fi pleasure to be on the small screen. If that’s the case, then this list is for you.
Sense8 is number one (2015-2018)
IMDb gives it an 8.3 rating, while Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 86 percent rating.
Sense8 depicts the tale of eight strangers from across the world who discover they are related in a manner that is more weirder than being clones, thanks to Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski.
Sense8’s characters, like the sestras, are pursued by clandestine groups for reasons that are eventually revealed, and the show’s two seasons are filled with homosexual, trans, and feminist themes. The conclusion, which was constructed in response to fan outcry after the show’s premature demise, is a jubilant (and sensual) celebration of radical empathy.
Wynonna Earp is number two on the list (2016-2021)
IMDb rating of 7.5, Rotten Tomatoes rating of 92
This Canadian-American supernatural series developed by Emily Andras is based on a comic book series by Beau Smith and stars the eponymous Wynonna Earp, who inherits the ability to send revenants (reincarnated outlaws murdered by her great-great-grandfather Wyatt) back to hell.
It’s more horror than sci-fi, but it explores a lot of concerns about what it means to be human, and Season 4 even has a cute little allusion to Orphan Black. Kevin Hanchard, who portrays Sarah’s confidante Art, even appears in a few episodes as a guest star. Plus, for those of us who prefer watching happy lesbians, there’s a beautiful sapphic plot.
3. The Castle in the High Sky (2015-2019)
IMDb gives it an 8.10 rating, while Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 84 percent rating.
What would have happened if World War II had ended differently? Frank Spotnitz’s The Man in the High Castle depicts a dystopian America dominated by the Greater Nazi Reich in the east and the Japanese Pacific States in the west, divided by a neutral zone on the Rocky Mountains. The heroes of the program, on the other hand, are brought together by a mystery entity who shows them newsreels from other Earths, including ones in which Germany and Japan surrendered.
In this gripping four-season series, there’s a lot to unpack. In addition, John Fawcett, co-creator and director of Orphan Black, directed certain episodes of Seasons 2 and 3.
iZombie is the fourth game in the iZombie series (2015-2019)
IMDb gives it a 7.8 rating, while Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 91 percent rating.
iZombie is loosely based on the same-named comic book series, and it recounts the narrative of Liv, a former medical resident working in the county morgue who has a secret: she’s a zombie, and her employment allows her to access brains. She soon discovers that she acquires some of the qualities, talents, and memories of the person whose brain she consumes – traits, skills, and memories that are useful in solving murders.
iZombie is a pleasant watch that, like Orphan Black, blends mystery, humor, romance, and intricate sci-fi in a manner that seems practically real.
Dark Angel, No. 5 (2000-2002)
IMDb gives it a 7.4 rating, while Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 65 percent rating.
A gang of genetically produced kid super-soldiers escapes from a secret government lab in James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee’s Dark Angel, only to discover years later that the world outside of their original prison is just as brutal. The plot follows Max, a grown-up version of one of the escaped youngsters, as she joins up with an underground journalist to battle corruption.
The genetically modified children’s identification system here is a bit more low-tech: there’s a barcode on the back of their skulls, where Cosima discovers her tag number recorded in her DNA.
Some of the show’s scenes with breakthrough actress Jessica Alba seem a bit antiquated and male gaze-y, but there’s enough of sci-fi knowledge and butt-kicking to love. In addition, Louise is generally regarded as the first American television series to portray an openly trans actor as a trans character.
6. Substitute (2017-2019)
IMDb gives it an 8.1 rating, while Rotten Tomatoes gives it a perfect score.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the American sci-fi thriller Counterpart has a perfect score of 100 percent, which is well-deserved. The comedy, created by Justin Marks, follows the narrative of Howard Silk, a poor UN agency official who has no clue what his agency does other than send out what seem to be meaningless communications.
Howard quickly discovers, however, that the agency is really guarding the gateway to a whole other version of our planet, complete with a genetic clone of himself who is a merciless intelligence operator in his world.
The subject is intriguing, but the story is handled with such restraint and delicacy that it’s difficult to put the movie down. It also includes a flu epidemic, which brings up some fascinating aspects when watched now.
7. The Loop’s Tales (2020)
On IMDb, it received a 7.5 rating, while on Rotten Tomatoes, it had an 86 percent rating.
This sci-fi drama, created by Nathaniel Halpern, explores the intertwining experiences of the citizens of Mercer, Ohio, a fictitious town where “The Loop” is located. The tales, which span eight episodes, are inspired by Swedish artist Simon Stlenhag’s beautiful paintings.
Apart from being a visual feast, the program explores consciousness, physics, and morality — but with much more warmth and devotion to wonder than is typical in the science fiction genre.
8. You Have to Live With Yourself (2019)
On IMDb, it has a score of 7.2, while on Rotten Tomatoes, it has a score of 80 percent.
What could be better than a program starring Paul Rudd, the world’s sexiest man? Living With Yourself, which premiered in 2019, provides a very reasonable answer: two Paul Rudds.
This sci-fi comedy, directed by Timothy Greenberg, follows George Elliot as he undergoes an experimental DNA therapy for burnout, only to discover that the procedure includes the production of a happy clone of himself. And, as one can expect, havoc ensues.
Of course, Paul Rudd isn’t exactly Tatiana Maslany, but the program provides an odd and surprise experience that manages to be both entertaining and thought-provoking.
9. Carbon Changes (2018-2020)
IMDb gives it an 8/10, while Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 75% rating.
Altered Carbon, based on a book by Richard K. Morgan, is another take on the search for perpetual life by Laeta Kalogridis. The program, set a few hundred years in the future, may compete with Orphan Black’s Dyad and Neolutionists. It allows human thoughts to be digitized and so downloaded from one body to another.
Because the first season had a larger budget than Seasons 1 through 3 of Game of Thrones combined, this epic sci-fi series promises lots of action and intrigue, as well as breathtaking cyberpunk aesthetics. Plus, Matt Frewer, who portrays Dr. Leekie, one of Orphan Black’s earliest antagonists, is much creepier as Carnage in Altered Carbon.
Watchmen (nine) (2019)
IMDb: 8.2/10; Rotten Tomatoes: 96 percent
Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen is set 34 years after the events of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen comic book series. Detective Angela Abar, the protagonist of the dystopian series, finds herself at the heart of violence in Tulsa, Oklahoma, perpetrated by a white supremacist gang known as the Seventh Kavalry.
There’s no mind-bending mad science here, but there’s enough of Orphan Black’s bold, sophisticated narrative that’s propelled the program to critical praise, particularly in terms of performances, graphics, and writing that creatively develops the original material. (Interestingly, the same comic book series was adapted into a film in 2009, which is also really excellent and starring Matt Frewer.)
11. The Remainders (2014-2017)
IMDb gives it an 8.3 rating, while Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 91 percent rating.
The Leftovers follows two families three years after a mysterious occurrence known as the “Sudden Departure,” in which 2% of the world’s population abruptly and simultaneously vanished. The program, which was created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, also looks at larger society in the aftermath, which is distinguished by cults like the Guilty Remnant.
The Leftovers has less science and more supernatural drama, but it is a thought-provoking analysis of human nature and society that is aesthetically captivating and elegantly created. Furthermore, a portion of the musical soundtrack is quite similar to Orphan Black’s, and is responsible for the series’ emotionally intense tone.
Russian Doll, No. 12 (2019-)
IMDb gives it a 7.8 rating, while Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97 percent approval rating.
“I’m having a really difficult, never-ending night!” exclaims Nadia, the central figure of Russian Doll. And she isn’t joking. The program follows the narrative of Nadia, who keeps coming to a party, dying, and then returning to the party in a mystery time loop, created by the great team of Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler, and actress Natasha Lyonne.
There’s a lot of repetition here, and this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a loop-related narrative, but it’s surprisingly innovative and brilliantly balances comedy with drama, as seen by Lyonne’s performance. Plus, the show’s producers are apparently planning a three-season run, so expect more of the same.
Westworld (season 13) (2016-)
IMDb gives it an 8.6 rating, while Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 81 percent rating.
The eponymous Westworld is a technologically sophisticated Wild West-themed amusement park constructed for high-paying customers eager to live out their dreams with android hosts that are indistinguishable from humans — except for the fact that their memories are erased after each cycle. Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have created a fantastic notion based on a 1973 film of the same name.
The issue is that some of the android hosts are evolving into sentient beings. There’s a lot to analyze in terms of patriarchy, agency, and what it means to be human, just as there is in Orphan Black. As the show’s android heroes get a better understanding of themselves and the world around them, we are led on a trip full with secrets that are difficult to ignore.
The “best tv shows” are the 13 TV Shows to Watch if You Loved Orphan Black. These are some of the best TV Shows that you can watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Go, and more.
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