Black Mirror is not just a standout in Netflix's catalog, it's also one of the most effective anthology series ever made. After the recent release of the series’ fifth season, Black Mirror has everyone talking again.
With only three episodes to devour this season, fans of the series might be left wanting more. Thankfully, there are plenty of great shows out there which explore similar questions about reality, morality, and our relationship to technology. These ten stellar shows like Black Mirror will make you question the world around you and have you returning for more.
Stranger Things is another one of Netflix’s biggest hits. Like Black Mirror, this show features creepy sci-fi and high tech devices. In Stranger Things, this dangerous tech wreaks havoc in small-town Hawkins Indiana. Set in the 1980s, the show’s dedication to the time period’s aesthetic is impressive, and makes the supernatural world the protagonists live in feel eerily real.
After Joyce Byers' 12-year-old son Will vanishes, she takes it upon herself to investigate. Will’s group of friends also do some sleuthing of their own, and discover a strange girl who has telekinetic abilities. Will’s disappearance and the arrival of the mysterious girl called “Eleven” are all connected to an even larger force which threatens to destroy Hawkins...and possibly the world.
Electric Dreams is a science-fiction anthology series based on the works of American writer Philip K. Dick. Similar to Black Mirror, each episode in the series focuses on a weird piece of tech, or in some cases, some sort of supernatural element that impacts the lives of the protagonists.
Episodes in the series feature accomplished actors such as Anna Paquin, Richard Madden, Steve Buscemi, and many more. Whether or not Electric Dreams hits just as hard as Black Mirror is really up to you to decide. Regardless, Black Mirror fans should still press play on this compelling exploration of humanity's relationship to technology.
The Handmaid's Tale
This series is often compared to Black Mirror due to its dystopian atmosphere and setting. The Handmaid’s Tale takes place in a near-future America where environmental and health factors prevent a majority of the human population from reproducing. Women who are still fertile are called “Handmaids" and forced to procreate.
The series focuses on Offred, a Handmaid, who had her entire life taken from her after birth rates started to decline. She used to be married with a daughter, a job, and her own money, but the oppressive regime stripped away her agency. Despite living under a totalitarian regime, Offred resolves to retain her independence in whatever way she can, taking to heart advice she receives to not let 'the bastards' grind her down.
Based on the Swedish drama series Real Humans, Humans is set in a world where humanoid robots called “Synths” are part of everyday life. Programmed to do house chores and other various activities, these machines may be made of nuts and bolts, but their A.I. is definitely more advanced than is readily apparent.
When Joe Hawkins decides to get one for his home, his wife Laura becomes incredibly concerned by the Synth’s presence. Another significant storyline in the show follows a widowed man who tries to repair a Synth which contains the memories of his dead wife. Seeing how the Synths behave and how they shape society will definitely interest Black Mirror fans.
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This HBO anthology series tracks a variety of characters who check into the same room at a hotel in New York. Each episode contains a different cast of characters who have their own unique backgrounds and stories to tell.
What makes Room 104 so interesting is how the show plays with different genres. Some episodes are comedic, some dramatic, and others downright horrifying. The show’s versatility is one of its major similarities to Black Mirror.
Ever wanted a totally cyberpunk Black Mirror? Look no further than this intriguing dystopian cyperpunk mystery. The Netflix series Altered Carbon takes place in a highly advanced world where humans can store their consciousness into a device. This device can then be implanted into synthetic bodies called “sleeves.”
The series focuses on Takeshi Kovacs, the only surviving member of an elite group of fighters. He was preserved in ice for several years, and ultimately brought back to life by Laurens Bancroft, a wealthy businessman. Bancroft offers Takeshi the chance to reclaim his life if he does one thing for him—solve his murder.
Westworld takes place in the titular wild-west theme park, which features android hosts programed to satisfy humanity’s most awful impulses. This includes, and is not limited to, sexual violence, murder, and other forms of cruelty.
At the end of each day, the androids memories are erased. However, there is a small group of robots who retain their memories and begin to gain sentience. As they slowly understand their purpose, these androids plot an uprising against their creators for the abuses they’ve been put through.
The Nightmare Worlds of H.G. Wells
This bite-sized anthology series holds its own against Black Mirror when it comes to sci-fi fright. Based on the dozens of short stories written by the father of science fiction, H.G. Wells, the show adapts these works for the small screen, fully fleshing out the characters.
Each episode deals with a different twisted scenario. While The Nightmare Worlds of H.G. Wells has significantly shorter episodes than Black Mirror (most have a 23 minute runtime), they are all solid chunks of tasty horror.
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Similar to Black Mirror, Dimension 404 tackles digital-age horror through a sometimes-whimsical lens. Featuring stars like Lea Michele, Joel McHale, and Sarah Hyland, this series is a must-watch for fans of sci-fi anthologies.
From dating app drama, to replicating video game abilities in real life, this anthology dives into absurd territory, but rarely with as sobering an impact as Black Mirror.
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The Twilight Zone
You can't have a Black Mirror list without including its anthology series predecessor, The Twilight Zone. First premiering in 1958, The Twilight Zone has been revived a handful of times, most recently this year's new series from Jordan Hill. While many of the original episodes may be a little outdated compared to shows like Black Mirror, the plots are still as compelling as they were decades ago.
Some episodes dip into spooky sci-fi horror, others can deal with the supernatural, and still others verge on the comedic. Regardless of tone, Twilight Zone remains an enduring and influential classic.
Featured still from "Black Mirror" via Netflix