What to Watch Next If You Loved Chernobyl

From AMC's The Terror to the documentary Citizenfour, here's what to watch after you've finished the addictive HBO miniseries.

by | June 14, 2019 | Comments

Chernobyl Jared Harris (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

The five episodes HBO’s miniseries Chernobyl — about the 1986 reactor explosion of the Soviet nuclear power plant, the disastrous fallout, and failed government cover-up — are at once addictive and engrossing, as well as bleak, violent, heartbreaking, and horrific.

If you’ve finished all of the series, which is currently Certified Fresh at 96% on the Tomatometer, and are searching for more entertainment to lose yourself in, Rotten Tomatoes has a few suggestions for your next binge.

Whether it’s a story about government cover-ups, a lone hero’s search for the truth, or humanity’s perseverance following a devastating disaster, let us guide you toward your next small-screen addiction.

IF YOU LIKE: Chernobyl‘s exploration of deep government cover-ups…

Citizenfour (2014) 96% 

One of the driving forces in the Chernobyl story is the enduring search for the truth amid a briar patch of lies perpetuated by the Soviet government. Mikhail Gorbachev’s administration did what it could to stop the news of the accident from spreading — everything from cutting phone lines to just not letting people leave — and of course, that plan failed. America has its own complicated relationship with government interference, which is something explored quite well in Laura Poitras’ documentary Citizenfour. Here, we get a profoundly personal look at Edward Snowden, the infamous whistleblower who released classified documents implicating the NSA in invading the privacy of unknowing Americans. In an era of so-called “fake news” and conspiracy theories, the film is an eye-opening entry that not only displays how those in power can misuse their privilege, but also shows how fragile our collective concept of law and order can be when giving in to blind trust and complacency.

IF YOU LIKE: Chernobyl‘s dramatization of environmental disaster…

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006) 94% 

Spike Lee attends Netflix Original Series "She'’s Gotta Have It" Premiere 11/11/16 in New York (Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Netflix)

(Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Netflix)

Spike Lee’s four-part docu-series When the Levees Broke gives a close-up look at the 2005 devastation Hurricane Katrina left in its wake. If HBO’s New Orleans–centered series Treme was way too long or dramatized for your liking, Lee’s documentary may be exactly what you’re looking for. Here, he gives a necessary perspective on how the category five hurricane damaged wreaked havoc on New Orleans, exploring the faulty nature in which the levees were built. The doc gives some well-educated reasoning behind the levees’ demise — thanks to a collection of news footage and interviews with politicians, journalists, and engineers who provide their recollections of the event and the fallout that followed. Both Chernobyl and When the Levees Broke walk viewers through mind-blowing catastrophes that, if the research and work had been done properly, could have been prevented, acting as a valuable lesson of preparation and accountability — and a reminder that history’s love of repeating itself should not be ignored.

IF YOU LIKE: Chernobyl‘s slow-burn horror…

The Terror 87% 

The big bad in Chernobyl is completely unseen, giving audiences a constant feeling of dread as the danger in question is just there, around every corner. That same, slow-burn sense of foreboding can be found in season 1 of AMC’s anthology horror series The Terror, which is Certified Fresh on 55 reviews. But while Chernobyl‘s threat is based on something completely real, The Terror takes the historical disappearance of The HMS Terror and HMS Erebus — two ships involved in Britain’s Arctic expedition of 1845 — and puts a supernatural spin on things. Based on Dan Simmons’ bestselling novel, season 1 of the program fills in the blanks on what happened, throwing in a hellish blood-thirsty monster for good measure. With a stellar ensemble cast of British actors, including Jared Harris (who stars in Chernobyl as Valery Legasov), we highly recommend that you don’t sleep on the series. (Expected August 12, season 2 of The Terror is set during World War II and centers on a series of bizarre deaths that haunt a Japanese-American community, and a young man’s investigation into the malevolent entity responsible.)

IF YOU LIKE: Chernobyl‘s exploration of a broken political system and its community impact…

The Wire 94% 

David Simon’s The Wire expertly explored how Baltimore’s political system, the city’s street-level community, and its criminal underbelly are all interconnected, weaving a narrative fabric that many programs are still striving to achieve. We’re not necessarily saying that Chernobyl did in five episodes what The Wire did in five seasons, but the storytelling similarities might appeal to you. Both programs shine a light on a deeper truths: that the actions of those up top are no better than those committed by the Avon Barksdales and Stringer Bells of the world. Both programs expose the faults in the bigger political systems at play, reminding viewers of the power of truth and the impact of those consequences.

IF YOU LIKE: Chernobyl‘s theme of a  life-threatening search for the truth…

Homeland 85% 

The quest for the truth in a wasteland of fear and deceit is a subject that will never go out of style. The truth simply doesn’t care about the lies people tell. In some way or another, it will find its voice. Sometimes, that voice comes from an underdog fighting through the mud all in the name of what is right and just. In Chernobyl, it’s Valery Legasov (Harris), Boris Shcherbina (Stellan Skarsgard), and Ulana Khumyuk (Emily Watson) trudging through the trenches, doing their part in getting the word out about what happened at the power plant while superseding the USSR’s faulty plan to keep everything a secret. In Homeland, that person takes the shape of CIA operative Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), who, while struggling with the daily challenges of living with a sometimes debilitating mental illness, works tirelessly, regularly sacrificing her own well-being to ensure America’s safety against a whole cavalcade of outside threats.

IF YOU LIKE: Chernobyl‘s subtle take on the KGB…

The Americans 96% 

We see the KGB mostly lurking in the shadows of Chernobyl, but the organization is definitely there. Referenced as a “circle of accountability,” the series gives the Soviet Union’s security agency just enough screen time to portray just how sinister the outfit was. In FX’s hit spy-thriller The Americans, viewers get a more up-close-and-personal perspective of the notorious organization as it focuses on Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys), two seemingly average American citizens raising their family in the suburbs. But an ordinary husband and wife they are not — Elizabeth and Philip are undercover KGB officers who struggle with their own allegiances to their country while also facing the daily challenges of maintaining a marriage and family during the Cold War ’80s.

IF YOU LIKE: Jared Harris…

Mad Men 94% 

We already mentioned The Terror, which should definitely be on your to-watch list. Not only is season 1 of AMC’s anthology horror series supported by an epic ensemble cast of British talent — including Ciarán Hinds and Tobias Menzies — it’s fronted by Harris. If you’ve only recently discovered the actor’s work, you should know that Harris has been thriving in the world of prestige television for quite some time. His villainous portrayal of David Robert Jones on Fox’s sci-fi thriller Fringe, his noble King George VI in Netflix’s The Crown, and his insurgent Anderson Dawes in Amazon’s The Expanse are all worth checking out. That said, it was the actor’s Emmy-nominated performance as Lane Pryce in Mad Men — the financial officer who helped bring ad agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce into existence — that helped cement him as a powerful performer in the Peak TV game.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

anthology disaster The Purge facebook biography E! Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Paramount Plus Tumblr Oscars Mary Tyler Moore reboot Turner black comedy latino Women's History Month Shudder die hard zero dark thirty rt labs critics edition robots miniseries The Walking Dead The Witch jurassic park spanish language leaderboard Lionsgate Heroines Star Wars crime thriller Action Nominations streaming movies Apple TLC Mindy Kaling 45 American Society of Cinematographers halloween tv Disney+ Disney Plus crime drama gangster award winner cats Oscar Disney 90s TV renewals CBS IFC Hulu worst universal monsters french ABC heist movie 2020 Video Games cancelled TV shows all-time Funimation Vudu hidden camera MSNBC films toy story science fiction joker DC streaming service ratings NYCC Reality canceled Awards Tour mutant Endgame Fargo golden globe awards Bravo Certified Fresh war marvel cinematic universe The CW RT21 docuseries venice Paramount Pictures Ghostbusters Tarantino VH1 San Diego Comic-Con Drama President Comic Book series 24 frames Western Arrowverse Rocky screenings animated Fox Searchlight Crunchyroll Holidays Disney streaming service Paramount theme song versus docudrama biopic Hollywood Foreign Press Association movie TBS Creative Arts Emmys scene in color singing competition chucky Best and Worst documentaries 2021 Reality Competition boxing YouTube Spring TV MGM movies Travel Channel Pop international golden globes pirates of the caribbean HBO Summer Awards sag awards Kids & Family Opinion Martial Arts indiana jones new zealand Pacific Islander football Super Bowl suspense Universal Pictures TCA Winter 2020 ghosts video witnail travel olympics FX on Hulu emmy awards YouTube Premium thriller 73rd Emmy Awards trophy South by Southwest Film Festival Film Festival dc Showtime Crackle game show slasher rom-coms video on demand kids IMDb TV indie nbcuniversal 93rd Oscars cults archives kaiju children's TV james bond cops comic book movie Nat Geo MCU Ovation Sci-Fi obi wan OWN reviews rt archives GLAAD Prime Video WarnerMedia dexter Television Academy scary movies canceled TV shows name the review sports Paramount Network Podcast obituary australia Mary Poppins Returns Neflix remakes GoT PlayStation USA Network feel good Horror south america transformers ABC Family composers politics documentary breaking bad Emmys X-Men TCM Television Critics Association BBC America vampires Black History Month spanish See It Skip It Pirates adventure Walt Disney Pictures Adult Swim screen actors guild medical drama dreamworks ViacomCBS Comedy Central popular renewed TV shows Amazon Prime Star Trek Tubi casting women Amazon Studios cancelled Esquire satire classics Winners crossover legend Polls and Games Election police drama comic books independent Best Director E3 Peacock broadcast SundanceTV fast and furious Turner Classic Movies Trailer mcc Writers Guild of America sitcom CW Seed Acorn TV mission: impossible Valentine's Day sequel Tomatazos TV diversity Captain marvel The Academy Sundance TV LGBTQ comic book movies CBS All Access fresh free movies Comedy toronto 2015 spain live action green book TV One dramedy History comic TV movies comedies historical drama NBC FXX elevated horror 71st Emmy Awards Watching Series king arthur HFPA Winter TV Amazon genre summer TV 4/20 directors blockbusters franchise nfl game of thrones prank Netflix cartoon Warner Bros. child's play Pixar Elton John Wes Anderson aliens CMT Pop TV japanese young adult new york AMC Food Network Marvel Image Comics blaxploitation godzilla Black Mirror Film RT History ESPN Family YouTube Red Apple TV+ Netflix Christmas movies TV Land superhero zombie Sundance Now critic resources Lifetime Christmas movies criterion stand-up comedy 79th Golden Globes Awards hispanic book Thanksgiving asian-american nature boxoffice VICE Pride Month Interview quibi a nightmare on elm street italian aapi zombies AMC Plus Box Office Freeform The Walt Disney Company twilight razzies Comic-Con@Home 2021 adenture Superheroes lord of the rings BET Awards Fall TV Toys halloween streamig Song of Ice and Fire Country hist black critics SXSW 2022 basketball posters natural history mockumentary ID richard e. Grant space Pet Sematary WGN superman revenge strong female leads true crime Biopics Emmy Nominations rotten movies we love psychological thriller Nickelodeon FOX DGA Epix target Red Carpet Best Actress finale 2017 stoner best Countdown kong hispanic heritage month Cannes dceu Musical Set visit Discovery Channel Holiday dark Marathons summer preview The Arrangement Columbia Pictures Cosplay what to watch telelvision TIFF First Reviews blockbuster Disney Channel LGBT spy thriller slashers cars 99% Hallmark Christmas movies Avengers summer TV preview 2016 Cartoon Network laika spider-verse APB scary Christmas festival First Look El Rey ITV art house VOD Teen sopranos romance scorecard Academy Awards news royal family Apple TV Plus Logo Shondaland rotten Stephen King japan Tags: Comedy New York Comic Con monster movies CNN Baby Yoda political drama psycho Rom-Com Brie Larson Schedule high school Sundance Character Guide 2019 DirecTV jamie lee curtis TCA 2017 Starz 2018 Photos Hear Us Out IFC Films 94th Oscars Lifetime parents PBS tv talk talk show king kong Comics on TV TNT marvel comics Rocketman adaptation werewolf festivals Premiere Dates Mary poppins unscripted Best Picture Dark Horse Comics romantic comedy TCA Awards TCA social media technology SXSW DC Universe hollywood Marvel Studios period drama Legendary Hallmark Sony Pictures Anna Paquin Spectrum Originals GIFs Lucasfilm batman Extras rt labs wonder woman debate USA Trivia TruTV justice league comics Amazon Prime Video christmas movies foreign book adaptation streaming mob dogs ABC Signature saw teaser FX trailers A&E sequels Calendar worst movies action-comedy cooking DC Comics HBO Max MTV doctor who Year in Review Sneak Peek National Geographic BBC Broadway Tokyo Olympics SDCC 72 Emmy Awards A24 cancelled television Chernobyl OneApp comiccon anime supernatural Fox News Infographic 20th Century Fox Superheroe Trophy Talk new star wars movies 1990s Masterpiece television Music Animation Universal spinoff Mudbound NBA 21st Century Fox Best Actor BBC One live event Musicals cinemax Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Instagram Live Britbox concert based on movie Focus Features Marvel Television PaleyFest deadpool Ellie Kemper spider-man stop motion know your critic Alien harry potter Grammys discovery 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards BAFTA cancelled TV series Classic Film Syfy Quiz vs. dragons Mystery Binge Guide Rock HBO Go YA Fantasy 007 Exclusive Video binge Disney Plus BET Spike serial killer crime