ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

Warning: Possible spoilers for Netflix's The OA ahead, so if you haven't finished watching the series know that this list is not for you.

If you're reading this article then you probably binged the entirety of the Netflix sci-fi series fairly recently. The show took us on a interesting journey, taking us through the seven year imprisonment of Prairie Johnson (a.k.a The OA) and her new mission to impart the knowledge of all five movements capable of opening another dimension for those that possessed the will to do so.

The series was an interesting and unexpected one, with Netflix dropping the teaser trailer just a few days before the entire series landed and speculators scrambling to figure out what the series was about. But while The OA had one of the more original ideas for a series in 2016, that doesn't mean it isn't reminiscent of a bunch of other great shows. With that in mind, take a look at five other TV series which are sure to tickle your fancy if you enjoyed Season 1 of The OA:

1. The Leftovers

The Leftovers [HBO]
The Leftovers [HBO]

How many seasons? 2 with a third (and final) in production.

Another series about mysterious disappearances, The Leftovers is set three years after a devastating global event called the "Sudden Departure" which saw 140 million people (2% of the global population), disappear simultaneously leaving no trace of their whereabouts. While many people lost their faith in mainstream religions following the mass disappearances, on the flipside many cults cropped up, most notably a group called the Guilty Remnant.

The Leftovers centers on the Garvey family whose lives were torn apart after the Sudden Departure when Laurie Garvey left her husband and children to join the Guilty Remnant. Meanwhile Laurie's husband Kevin is stuck trying to maintain some sort of normal family life for his two kids, Jill and Tommy, while also acting as the Chief of Police.

If you enjoyed the mystery and sci-fi elements of The OA then The Leftovers is sure to appeal. While it's definitely more focused on the fall out from the weird event than the event itself, if you're more interested in seeing how the world would cope from something like this happening than learning what caused it, this is a series for you. Oh and by the cast is kind of amazing and includes Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman as Laurie, and Liv Tyler.

2. Stranger Things

Winona Ryder in Stranger Things [Courtesy of Netflix]
Winona Ryder in Stranger Things [Courtesy of Netflix]

How many seasons? 1 with a second in production.

is set in 1983 Indiana, where the young Will Byers vanishes into thin air. As Will's friends, family and local police search for any clue as to his whereabouts, they soon find themselves drawn into a crazy mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl.

Being a Netflix sci-fi series in 2016, The OA was always going to suffer from comparisons to Stranger Things. However, once you begin the series it doesn't take long before you realize they're both very different. Sure, they're both series about different dimensions, and they both also have little girls with bleeding noses, but overall they're telling two very distinct stories. With that said, if you watched The OA and liked what you saw then Stranger Things will almost certainly also tickle your fancy.

3. Sense8

How many seasons? 1 with a second in production.

Another Netflix original series (Netflix killing the sci-fi genre in recent times!), Sense8 is the brainchild of the Wachowski siblings. The series stars an ensemble cast of eight strangers spread over the world who become "sensates," a group of people who are mentally and emotionally connected. This power means the group are able to communicate with each other from anywhere in the world and also share knowledge, language and skills.

Sense8 follows the group as they deal with what's happened to them and are aided by another sensate named Jonas who is trying to protect the eight from a sensate called "Whispers," who is the leader of a group who hunts down sensates by tapping into their psychic link.

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If you enjoyed the sci-fi element of The OA then Sense8 could be a great follow up, and much like how The OA including a wide range of characters of different ethnicities, ages and from the LGBTQ community, Sense8 also explores such subjects - something quite refreshing to see in a sci-fi series.

4. The 4400

How many seasons? 4

Running for four seasons between 2004 and 2007, The 4400 follows of a group of 4400 people who are all mysteriously left at the bottom of Mount Rainier, Washington. Each of the 4400 suddenly disappeared at random times in the past, starting in 1938. None of the group have aged since their disappearance, and remember nothing from the years they were taken. Within the group, a smaller number have also returned with paranormal abilities such as precognition, telepathy and telekinesis.

Obviously on the surface The OA and The 4400 share a lot of similarities, with missing people returning with new gifts, however over the seasons The 4400 develops into a much bigger, and much more ambitious, story. Ultimate the show was cancelled, though there are still petitions for it to be revived (possibly by Netflix) to this day.

5. Les Revenants (or The Returned)

How many seasons? 2

French series Les Revenants is set in a small French town where the dead have started to reappear without explanation. Among the returned is a teenager killed in a bus crash, a boy who was murdered and a serial killer. As the group try to resume their lives, their loved ones try to make sense of this bizarre event, meanwhile more and more strange events start happening in and around the town.

Les Revenants is such a brilliant piece of television, that it became one of those rare foreign language series which also received a massive following in english-speaking countries. The OA definitely shares the mystery and sci-fi element with this series, but besides the similarities, Les Revenants is just a great story which is wonderfully acted and definitely worth checking out.


What series will you watch next?


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