This past Sunday, the decade-defining series, Game of Thrones, aired its final episode. Whether you hated it or loved it, the series will inevitably go down as one of the greatest television series of all-time.
Gone are the years of anticipation and waiting for David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to bring to life the George R.R. Martin novels that inspired the show. No longer will our favorite character have an abrupt, usually deadly exit. Never again will we get to see Peter Dinklage drink wine at a pace virtually inhuman. In a way this feels like the end of some chapter in life, a world post Game of Thrones, bittersweet but necessary.
Yes, eventually we will all return to this monumental show rewatching from season one, catching hints of what is to ultimately come. Going through any show a second, or third time, always highlights the smaller details missed during the initial viewing of a show. After all, some people have been watching this show since the pilot aired in 2011. However, after episode six aired it is fair to say we all need a bit of a break before jumping back into the world of Westeros.
Next Sunday night on HBO an exclusive documentary will air in place of the imaginary seventh episode. The exclusive look at how the final season was filmed will perhaps add some closure to those that are not quite ready to give up the show. But, there is no way better to move on from a show like Game of Thrones then by diving headfirst into another one.
Here are six TV shows to watch that’ll help your postpartum depression in a world without Game of Thrones — taking into consideration some of the elements that made the show such a global phenomenon.
Minor ‘Game of Thrones’ spoiler to follow.
If you want a show based on a novel
For many, George R.R. Martin’s books, The Songs of Ice and Fire, were their first glimpse of Westeros and the characters who inhabit it. If you want a series that also has a novel to go along with it then Catch-22 is for you. The satirical dark comedy is based off of Joseph Heller’s 1961 classic of the same name. A Hulu original follows US Army Air Forces bombardier Yossarian who is struggling to cope with the struggles of World War II.
As he fights an enemy he’s never seen — as well as his own military increasing the number of missions needed to complete service — Yossarian faces a true Catch-22: continue deadly bombings over Germany, or attempt to plead insane. With a cast featuring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie and Friday Night Light’s Kyle Chandler, this show has the potential to be an on-screen classic along with being a literary one.
If you want a show that has a fantasy element
What: His Dark Materials
There is something special about fantasy shows because the world being explored is often vastly different than our own — yet also recognizable. Game of Thrones was the perfect balance, something that HBO’s His Dark Materials is hoping to replicate.
You might remember the 2007 blockbuster-bust, The Golden Compass. This is the revamped version of that movie, which also happens to be the first novel in the His Dark Materials series. Based in a world similar to ours — except that all humans have a tether-like relationship with an animal — the show features a diverse and well-rounded cast with James McAvoy, Clarke Peters, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Ruth Wilson all confirmed.
With the forces of good and evil colliding around the world of the show’s protagonist, Lyra Belacqua, His Dark Materials has all the makings of an amazing show. While there is no release date currently, look for this show to premiere sometime in 2019.
If you want a show that still has a lot of sex
What: The Deuce
Regardless of how critical social media was about Season 8, one thing all Game of Thrones fans can agree on is that the show had a lot of sex. One benefit HBO has is that almost anything goes, something that the next show on our list showcases. The Deuce is set to begin its third season in the coming weeks, but any show with James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal as pioneers of the porn industry is worth catching up on.
Set in 1970s New York City, The Deuce tells the story of the golden age of porn, and the subsequent legalization and rise of the porn industry in New York City’s Times Square. From government and police corruption, to the drug epidemic, to the real estate booms and busts, The Deuce showcases nearly as much nudity as some early episodes of Game of Thrones. With sultry scenes from this dynamic, beautiful cast, this show is definitely NSFW.
If you want a show with the unpredictable factor
Barry might be the best show HBO has to offer now that GoT’s ended. The Bill Hader executive produced, directed, and featured show had a thrilling first season that got Hader and co-star Harry Winkler Primetime Emmy Awards. Featuring a relatively unknown cast, the show follows almost anti-protagonist Barry Berkman’s journey to becoming an actor while attempting to leave a life of crime in the past.
Along the way Barry accidentally joins Winkler’s acting class while working a job for a Chechen crime syndicate. A standout of the show is the light-hearted Anthony Carrigan character, Noho Hank, one of the Chechen Crime Bosses with a soft spot for American culture. With his one-liners and take on pop culture Hank acts as the comic relief for a show that deals with issues like PTSD, depression, and murder. This comedy perfectly balances the fine line of being funny but also intensely serious, even dark at times.
The show is currently wrapping up its second season but for those looking to hold on to that HBO GO account a little longer Barry is worth the fee.
If you want a show with a lot of action
What: The Bodyguard
Who will ever forget the amazing battles like the Battle of the Bastards, or how the living defeated the dead at Winterfell. These action sequences are the best to date, all credit going to director, Miguel Sapochnik.
While unfamiliar to American audiences, BBC’s Bodyguard attempts to fill the adrenaline gap left beyond from Game of Thrones. Written by Jed Mercurio — and featuring Richard Madden (Rob Stark) as Police Sergeant David Budd — the show is high stakes from the first episode onward, including everything from assassination attempts to corruption. The series follows Budd, a British Army war veteran suffering from PTSD, who now works for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch, Britain’s version of the secret service. He is assigned as the principal protection officer for Home Secretary Julia Montague, whose politics has made her many enemies.
Originally airing in the UK, Netflix bought the rights to the show, and the entire series is available on their streaming platform.
If you want a show that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat
While many readers were not alive in 1986 when the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor exploded, we all have the opportunity to relive the atrocity with the miniseries, Chernobyl. The five-part British-American historical drama dramatizes the true story of the men and women who sacrificed themselves to save Europe from unimaginable disaster. Featuring a cast with Mad Men’s Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson and many more, the show focuses on the heartbreaking scope of the nuclear plant disaster, revealing how and why it happened and telling the shocking, remarkable stories of the heroes who fought and fell.
The show just premiered this May and with only five episodes it is the perfect show to jump into after dedicating nine years of laughs and tears to Game of Thrones.
- Words: Drayton Mayers