Game Of Thrones came to a typically bloody, explosive end this past weekend. So if you're in need of something new to watch, let us offer some suggestions. We haven't plumped for shows that replicate the experience or style of Thrones (what does?), but are recommending shows you might enjoy and even obsess over. In no particular order, then...
Possibly the most unlikely combination of source material (Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's cult comics run) and creators (Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Breaking Bad veteran Sam Catlin), Preacher is nonetheless working well on TV. It's early days, but it has both the manic spirit of the comic, an unabashed love for its characters and the steady pace more suited to the small screen. Already the likes of Joe Gilgun's vampire Cassidy and Ruth Negga's troublemaker Tulip are the standouts, and it's only going to get weirder from here. Want more? Dominic Cooper talks Jesse Custer and the show.
UK: Amazon Prime, US: AMC
If you're missing the power plays and scheming of Thrones, dive into the world of hedge funds, corporate cutthroats and the equally driven people trying to root out their financial lies. Damian Lewis is the shifty, seemingly Teflon billionaire and Paul Giamatti is the US Attorney looking to take him down by any means necessary. It's propulsive and topical.
UK: Sky Atlantic/Now TV. US: Showtime
Dismissed before it aired as a futile mission make a TV series from a Coen brothers classic, Fargo, led by executive producer Noah Hawley has proved a canny work of art. Rounding up some great actors (Martin Freeman, Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson and Jesse Plemons among them), the series has taken a fresh approach to its story each season (though the first two are linked) and managed to balance great moments each episode with consistency.
UK: Channel 4/Netflix, US: FX
Robert Kirkman already had one massive hit under his belt thanks to a little show called The Walking Dead, and now he turns his attention to demonic possession with Outcast. It's a creepy tale of a small town afflicted by some truly nasty entities and boasts the unexpected pleasure of seeing Philip Glenister – usually found rooting out criminals on UK shores – as a troubled reverend. Read why we think Outcast could be the new Walking Dead.
UK: Fox UK, US: Cinemax
A series that could offer a little of the Thrones flavour you might be craving in a more direct sense than some of the choices here. Period drama, political intrigue, sexual manipulation, battles... It's a different story, and finds Lorenzo Richelmy's adventurer ingratiating himself into the court of Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong). But finding his feet is one thing. Keeping his head is another. It's vibrant and full of superb set-pieces.
UK & US: Netflix
A surprise success given that people were worried hacker stories and been done to death. Mr. Robot hinges on Rami Malek's troubled Eliot, backed by a stew of conspiracy theories, difficult friends and the alternately charming and dangerous wiles of Mr. Robot (Christian Slater). Crafted by Sam Esmail, who has taken on the task of directing every episode of Season Two (starting in July), it's well worth your time. Take a look at our interview with Sam Esmail.
UK: Amazon Prime, US: USA
Though it hasn't started yet, the buzz is good on this latest Netflix original series, which aims straight for our love of '80s supernatural classics. Winona Ryder plays a mother whose son goes missing and discovers that's just part of the mystery lurking in her seemingly sleepy small American town. Matthew Modine also pops up in this one, which arrives on July 15.
UK & US: Netflix
Time to highlight a show that rarely gets the love it deserves from audiences. Set in the frosty depths of Cold War '80s Washington (or the suburbs, at least), it's the story of Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys) Jennings, who seem like an ordinary couple but are actually Russian spies. As they try to raise their family while digging up information and taking out enemies, the drama is calculated to perfection. It only has two more seasons left, but is more than worth a watch.
UK: ITV Encore, US: FX
Halt And Catch Fire
Another underappreciated gem that forever seems on the verge of cancellation. And, like The Americans, it's set in the 1980s. This one, though, charts the rise of online gaming from its infancy, following the likes of Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis and Kerry Bishé as they try to jump on the ever-accelerating growth of technology.
UK: Amazon Prime, US: AMC
Chad Hodge developed this mystery series from Blake Crouch's novels and aims for the sort of creepy, weird vibe that David Lynch brought us in Twin Peaks. The titular town is a seemingly idyllic place, which of course means that it's hiding a wealth of terrifying secrets and lethal problems. The new season loses some of the original cast members and sets up some new stories.
UK: Fox UK, US: Fox
Orange Is The New Black
The current season (you can read our review of Orange Is The New Black Season Four right here) is a darker, even more political one, but it's also a fantastic run of episodes. The series, set in Litchfield Penitentiary has smart writing, award-winning acting, and a welcome blend of the comic and the dramatic. It's not hard to root for characters when they're this well developed.
UK & US: Netflix
Bounty hunters... in spaaaace! But don't start thinking Dog The Bounty Hunter meets Boba Fett immediately. Killjoys is actually the story of Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), John (Aaron Ashmore) and D'avin (Luke Macfarlane) who ply their trade in a fracturing quadrant of space. Full of charismatic characters and fun interstellar action, this is a show that never pretends to be something it isn't and knows how to deliver. New episodes start July 1 in the US and July 2 here.
UK: SyFy UK, US: SyFy
What looked at first like a show driven by a gimmick (an amnesiac woman, played by Jaimie Alexander wakes up in Times Square covered in mysterious tattoos) has gone on to be an entertaining blend of crime procedural and slowly unravelling enigmas. It helps that Alexander makes it work and the show around her is an unpretentious entertainment.
UK: Sky Living, US: NBC
Based on Robert Saviano's bestseller (which similarly birthed the eponymous film), this Italian crime drama follows the brutal Neapolitan crime organisation known as the Camorra. Saviano's story has some parallels with The Sopranos, but this is very much its own thing and offers its own pleasures. If by "pleasures" you mean unpleasant people doing unpleasant things. But it's still gripping. American audiences will get their first taste in August.
UK: Sky Atlantic, US: Sundance TV
Liev Schreiber plays the titular Ray, a hard-nut "fixer" who solves problems for studio bosses, businessmen and friends but just can't seem to sort out his own family. Perhaps that's because his dad Mickey (Jon Voight, eating up every scene he's given) is a menace at every turn and Ray's brothers aren't much easier to deal with. It's back already in the States, Season Four kicks off in the UK on July 4.
UK: Sky Atlantic UK, US: Showtime