Fans fell in love with The Last of Us, HBO’s blockbuster post-apocalyptic series created by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. The highly-successful series, based on the 2013 PlayStation video game franchise of the same name, follows grizzled survivor Joel (Pascal) and young Ellie (Ramsey) as they trek across the country, doing their best to avoid mushroom-headed mutants and sinister raiders, with the goal of potentially curing humanity of a lethal fungal plague that decimated most of the population. Basically, this is no walk in the park.
Anna Torv, Nico Parker, Gabriel Luna, Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett, Storm Reid, Graham Greene, and Melanie Lynskey help to round out the show’s epic ensemble cast. With a talented roster like this, you have to wonder who may grace the screen come season 2.
Read Also: What The Last of Us Season 2 May Hold
The answer to that question, among many others, will come once the new episodes do. How long we’ll be waiting for the show to return, though, remains to be seen. And we get it, waiting can be brutal. So, in an attempt to soften the blow, we’ve compiled a list of shows that are sure to scratch that post-apocalyptic TV itch.
Here are 10 TV shows to watch if you loved The Last of Us.
Based on the Robert Kirkman comic book series of the same name, the 11-season series chronicles a group of survivors in the months and subsequent years following a viral apocalypse that brings the dead back to life. And while a whole slew of undead threats featured throughout the series, the real enemy is revealed, time and again, to be other people. Before The Walking Dead hit television, the notion of a show about zombies was deemed a destined-to-fail concept. The AMC series proved that idea wrong, bringing an array of gruesome zombies into millions of living rooms across the country and internationally. The show was a game-changer for horror TV and has since spawned several spin-offs including Fear the Walking Dead, Tales of the Walking Dead, and at least three more upcoming projects in various stages of development.
Commitment: Approximately 133 hours (for all 11 seasons)
Much like The Last of Us, this one is based on a popular video game series that also imagines a future with other-worldly creatures running rampant. Halo centers on Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber), a cybernetically enhanced super-soldier tasked with defending humanity from a threatening array of pissed-off alien monsters. Jen Taylor, who plays the voice of Cortana in the video games, reprises her role here.
Commitment: Approximately 7.5 hours (for 1 season)
This BAFTA-winning supernatural drama from BBC Three follows a teenage zombie who has been reanimated and treated for a condition called, “Partially Deceased Syndrome.” Unfortunately, once the formerly deceased dude heads home, he’s not faced with a warm welcome. And that’s just the beginning of his worries, because soon he becomes plagued with zombie flashbacks and a whole assortment of other complications.
Commitment: Approximately 8 hours (for 2 seasons)
Truly a gift for horror fans far and wide, Ash vs. Evil Dead continued the gory adventures of Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell), the unlikely hero from Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead trilogy of films. The hilarious series reunited Campbell with his iconic boomstick, chainsaw, and snarky quips, to face off against the Deadite threat once more. In the three-season series, Ash picks up two quirky, yet formidable sidekicks — Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana De Lorenzo) — to save planet from an undead plague.
Commitment: Approximately 18 hours (for 3 seasons)
What if time travel existed? And what if you could use this technology to head back in time to prevent a viral apocalypse from ever happening? That’s the gist of 12 Monkeys, an episodic adaptation of French film La Jetée — which previously inspired Terry Gilliam’s dystopian sci-fi film classic. There may not be any mushroom-head mutants roaming about, but the SYFY series delivers on the conspiracy tip, as people battle for power left and right. Oh, and lets not forget the love story that endures throughout the entire run. Before Terry Matalas was handed the keys to executive produce the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard, he oversaw SYFY’s cult hit.
Commitment: Approximately 31 hours (for 4 seasons)
Pedro Pascal may have made escorting Bella Ramsey across America’s post-apocalyptic wasteland look cool, but Sweet Tooth did it first. Based on Jeff Lemire’s comic book of the same name, the Netflix series takes place in a world where, after a viral infection obliterates most of the population, a new hybrid specials of animal-humans begin being born. Centering on a young deer-boy named Gus (Christian Convery), the show follows his dangerous cross-country journey of reuniting with his mother. And, like many of the other shows on this list, it turns out most of the people in the apocalypse are just the worst.
Commitment: Approximately 6 hours (for 1 season)
The Leftovers hails from Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, the author who penned the book on which the HBO series is based. Similar to The Last of Us, this celebrated HBO drama centers on the survivors of an indescribable massive disaster. What would happen after two percent of the population up and vanished? That’s the question the thought-provoking series attempts to answer. Themes of grief, love, letting go, and faith are explored throughout the show, which can be a bit of a depressing watch. But stick with it, and somehow, this show about the impact of a mass casualty event on society somehow evolves into something profoundly beautiful.
Commitment: Approximately 28 hours (for 3 seasons)
Before Craig Mazin churned up fears and tears in The Last of Us, he terrified pre-pandemic audiences with HBO’s award-winning miniseries Chernobyl. Recounting history’s worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl is a far cry from a post-apocalyptic video-game adaptation, but it sure does feel like one! The show is powerful television that delves into the physical, psychological, and emotional fallout that followed the tragic event.
Commitment: Approximately 6 hours (for 1 season)
Based on the best-selling fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin, the hit HBO series follows an epic saga of powerful families warring for power. Throw in magic, dragons, and quotable witticisms by Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister and you’ve got a TV show worth sinking your teeth into. Don’t take our word for it, though. The global phenomenon won a total of 59 Emmy Awards during its run — the most ever won by a drama. Plus, two familiar faces from The Last of Us show up here: Bella Ramsey played Lady Lyanna Mormont for nine episodes across seasons 6-8 and, Pedro Pascal portrayed Oberyn Martell for seven episodes in season 4, ending with one of the more memorable death scenes in television history.
Commitment: Approximately 69 hours (for 8 seasons)
If you need a break from the doom and gloom of The Last of Us, try whimsical fairy tale Pushing Daisies as an antidote. This offbeat series — which does, at least, feature reanimated dead things — premiered to ABC in 2007 and aired for just two seasons. The series absolutely made an impact, however, garnering 17 Emmy nominations and seven wins (including Best Supporting Actress for Kristen Chenoweth). Created by Bryan Fuller, the show stars Lee Pace as a pie-baker who has the uncanny ability to bring dead things back to life with just a touch. He ends up using his gift for good, helping an investigator solve murder cases by resurrecting the victims to get their story.
Commitment: Approximately 16 hours (for 2 seasons)