10 Fantastic/Historical Shows To Stream Almost As Good As Game of Thrones
When game of thrones first created in 2011, there was no way to predict the runaway success it would become. In fact, the studio balked at the first attempt to bring it to life, demanding an expensive reshoot of the pilot episode. For a company known for its pedigree in producing dramas based on real-world events, this was a huge gamble for HBO.
The rest, as they say, is history. game of thrones went on to break all sorts of records, from viewership to being the most pirated show in Australia, among other countries. It was by far the most profitable business since HBO started producing original content. Other companies have sought to capture a share of this audience by launching their own fantasy series.
“American Gods” – Amazon Prime
Neil Gaiman is one of the most prominent authors working today. One of Amazon’s earliest forays into fantasy, american gods established itself with a stellar first season but was unfortunately let down by behind-the-scenes issues that led to a reduction in quality compared to later efforts.
Ian McShane is perfectly interpreted as Odin, the All-Father and quite possibly the first of the gods. The show deals with the conflict between him and the other “old gods” and the new gods created by society as it exists today, such as technology, money, etc. The concept is rock solid, and it had great visuals and performance, but unfortunately, american gods never quite lived up to its potential.
‘Penny Dreadful’ – Showtime
The critical and commercial flop The League of Extraordinary Gentlemena film so laborious with production problems that it led to the retirement of an industry legend Sean Connery, had one thing going for it: its core idea. Bringing together various Victorian literary figures into an Avengers-style team is an inspired concept.
This idea was much better executed by the short-lived dark fantasy series dreadful pennywhich follows explorer Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) and gunman Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnet) as they enlist the aid or incur the ire of previously mentioned characters, such as Dorian Gray, Abraham Van Helsing, Frankenstein (and his monster), and Count Dracula, among others.
“Sweet Tooth” – Netflix
Funny, sincere and sincere, sweet tooth feels a bit like a throwback to the fantasy stories of the 80s and 90s. Sure, it has its dark moments, but it’s definitely the kind of show parents could watch with their kids. Adapted from a DC comic, sweet tooth follows the adventures of Gus (Christian Convery), a half-human, half-deer boy, as he navigates a post-apocalyptic world.
Defining the action from a child’s point of view immediately defines sweet tooth apart from many contemporary fantasy adaptations. While game of thrones has networks stumbling over each other to get darker this feels like the kind of series that accompanies something like The never-ending story. The innocence of this approach is refreshing in this context.
“His Dark Materials” – HBO
After a misguided attempt to bring by Philip Pullman seminal big-screen trilogy flopped around 2006, it took us 13 years to see that world again – but it was worth the wait. It is a much more accurate take on the Pullman novels, set in a world where alternate universes exist, and their discovery leads to the protagonist Lyra’s world being completely changed.
With the savvy cast of At Logan’s Dafne Keen in HBO’s head and deep pockets, the rich and detailed world of Pullman’s novels comes to breathtaking life in this take on the story. With an excellent supporting cast, including Lin-Manuel Miranda like Lee Scoresby, and a captivating and fascinating story, Its dark materials is a bit slower than game of thrones – but rewards patient viewers.
“The Almighty Johnsons” — Amazon Prime
This underrated gem is a good choice if you’re looking for something that’s still fantastical but changes the pace a bit from heavy fantasy. The central conceit of the series is that a young man named Axl Johnson (Emmett Skilton) is taken into the woods by his older siblings, and they take him through a ritual – each member of his family, at the age of 21, has the spirit of one of the Norse gods who reside.
Axl happens to have Odin as God, which means he must find Frig, Odin’s wife, so they can escape the mortal realm and return to Valhalla. Part goofy coming-of-age comedy, part modern update on a fairly well-known pantheon of gods, this New Zealand series often flies under the radar – but is worth putting in your queue. ‘waiting.
From the series on this list, the witcher is a strong contender for having the most in common with game of thrones. Both are based on best-selling book series, both with lots of sex and violence (certainly not for children), and dealing with dark fantasy themes such as the greed and selfishness of humankind. demonstrating in a fantastic setting.
Henry Cavill knocks his portrayal of Geralt de Riv out of the park as a humorless, superhuman monster hunter. Comic relief comes from his reluctant sidekick Dandelion (Joey Batey), the bard who performed one of the biggest earworms of 2019. Add to that flashy visual effects, and the witcher feels like a darker, more brutal Game of thrones – with less emphasis on politics.
“The Wheel of Time” — Amazon Prime
Amazon appears to be doing all it can to attract HBO’s fantastic audience with its nearly three-quarters of a billion dollar investment in the upcoming rings of power series. While that would be putting your eggs in one basket for most companies, they’ve also acquired the rights to another long-running fantasy series, The wheel of time.
Launched late last year, The wheel of time has its ups and downs. It is adapted from a much simpler source than George RR Martin’s books, with Robert Jordan being closer to Tolkien or Lewis in his storytelling style. Amazon updated some of these tropes and removed others, and what appears on screen is a mostly solid offering, despite getting off to a pretty slow start.
Set in modern times, this Norwegian-produced series sees a teenager (Magne, played by David Stakston) discovers that he is the reincarnation of Thor. He must fight with the powerful Jutul family, local tycoons who own industrial factories that contribute to climate change. The Jotuls use their human form as a front, however, as Magne discovers that they are Jötunn, prophesied to bring Ragnarök.
Anyone who’s seen an MCU movie has an idea of what Ragnarök is. Yet this adaptation has much more in common with ancient Norse myths than Stan Lee’s imaginative reinterpretation. This series is an interesting modern update of a story told for centuries and uses current real-world issues as a springboard for these events.
“Disenchantment” — Netflix
Disenchantment is a good palette cleanser after checking out some of the deeper and darker offerings on this list. The show is the brainchild of the legendary creator Matt Greening (The Simpsons, Futurama). It takes place in a distant land with a protagonist who is a princess – but hates every aspect of her royal life.
A little slower than his other creations, the humor in Disenchantment perhaps a touch more subtle than his more well-known, but no less effective work. Plus, the world of Dreamland is spectacularly animated, as Groening explores and tears down genre tropes. It’s definitely worth putting together, especially if you’ve just watched the equivalent of a Red Wedding and need a break from the drama.
While this series began life on the History Channel, it is based on the mythology surrounding these legendary warriors as historical fact. After the story of the bard by Ragnar Lothbrok (played by Travis Fimmel), as he became the first of his kind to make his way across the sea to England, this act would forever change the course of European history.
vikings is probably the closest thing to a true successor to game of thrones currently on our screens. It has the political intrigue, the large-scale action, and the characters you get to know – and love or hate as a result. It’s hard to believe that Travis Fimmel is an ex-model with very few acting credits to his name at this point, as his portrayal of the legendary Ragnar is the heart and soul of the show – he’s certainly struggling after. his departure. That being said, the show is worth seeing, and with Vikings: Walhalla just released, it’s the perfect time to go back and revisit the saga of Ragnar and his sons.
KEEP READING: ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ Revises the Violent Glory of the Original Series with Added Religious Nuance
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