8 TV Shows Like The Last Of Us: You’re not alone in not knowing what to do with your life now that HBO’s devastating apocalyptic drama has bid adieu for the time being. You don’t even have to look too far within yourself existentially to know that a person just, without having to answer for it responsibly, needs their heart to be ripped out of their chest every now and then.

Why else would you, time and again, crawl back to HBO’s sadistic cycle of giving you characters that are virtually impossible for you not to fall for hopelessly, only to see their vicious fate take a bite out of them right before your hapless eyes? And no, this isn’t a personal attack, considering I’m not all that different, either.

Underneath the fungi-bearing surface of Mazin and Druckman’s TV adaptation of The Last Of Us video game, there’s a labyrinth of the human condition ripe with all the threats you can dream up in a diseased world. You probably didn’t foresee the magnanimous tides of emotions washing over you and leaving you a sobbing mess.

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And now that you have to wait for quite a while for your favorite apocalyptic father-daughter duo to come back and string you along on their dreary journey, you may as well make the wait a tad more bearable with shows that will distract you from just how badly you’re missing The Last Of Us.

1. The Walking Dead

8 Shows Like The Last Of Us - The Walking Dead

You saw it coming, didn’t you? If you haven’t watched the OG gory massacre of zombies that don’t lose any cool points for not being as fast as the infected on The Last Of Us, now is your time to binge-watch The Walking Dead. By the time you’re done with what is one of the longest-running shows on TV that also has webbed out into multiple spin-offs, chances are, you would end up a fan of Rick Grimes’ zombie-killing cult. And that glow-up was unparalleled, just saying.

The spin-offs ride the proverbial coattails of the pretty darn fantastic main track that coagulates the lean human drama with enough blood splatter to keep you wanting more. And more is what you get if you hang around long enough with the survivors of the zombie apocalypse that fend off walkers almost in synchronicity with running into speckles of hopes peppered along the journey.

Antithetical to The Last Of Us, which finds its protagonists’ emotional worth through a candid look at their interpersonal relationships and just how far they would go for the ones they care about, The Walking Dead explores the heroics in the menacing context of introducing petrifying antagonists one after another.

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2. The Leftovers

8 Shows Like The Last Of Us - The Leftovers

The gamble is different with The Leftovers, in the aching substance of a consequential ethereal phenomenon, and so are the stakes. If you call the precipitous disappearance of 2% of the world’s population an apocalyptic event, then HBO’s cult classic can be helmed as the one apocalyptic drama that goes the distance to paint itself a unique color in a world of recycled narratives. It isn’t a fatalist virus or fungus that the remaining habitats of the world are compelled to fight off in the grim aftermath of waking up to find out that their loved ones have vanished.

The Leftovers graciously walks you through the stages of grief, where the passage of coping is streamlined with the muffled agony brought forth by the shock of loss. You may not be getting your fill of nihilism in the HBO drama that most would even deem a masterpiece of brazen emotional endeavors in the face of melancholia that doesn’t deny the light at the end of the tunnel.

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

In the context of “what would you do?” the desolate characters in The Leftovers are made to bear the flames of their nefarious alleyway through the suffocating hopelessness of the devilry of loss. The further you see them go, the more you’re going to find yourself appreciating the unswerving perseverance of an enigmatic anomaly that is the human heart.

3. Black Summer

8 Shows Like The Last Of Us - Black Summer

If you’re simply in need of incessant zombie action dovetailed with a lot of grisly meals made out of human limbs, there’s no other show I would sooner recommend than Black Summer. Braving the same haywire world endured by the survivors in Z Nation, Black Summer lands you knee-deep in the thick of a pandemonium haunted by flesh-eaters threatening the very life of the survivors every step of the way.

You’re not compelled to care for the characters you barely get to know anything about in a narrative that hardly bothers relying on the emotional stakes. What you’re rooting for in Black Summer is the simple survival of a part of your species against not only the vicious counterparts but also undead creatures that are as terrifying as you’d expect in a show that wants to give you the ultimate zombie experience.

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4. Yellowjackets

8 Shows Like The Last Of Us - Yellowjackets

Don’t hold the lack of zombies against Yellowjackets. If a survivalist horror with more grueling stakes than the likes of Lost is your thing, it may be time for you to give Showtime’s sensational Yellowjackets a shot.

Swinging back and forth in time, the ambiguous thriller keeps a group of soccer kids stuck in the dreary wilderness just as it keeps the “lucky” few that made it tethered to the scars they’re cursed to carry as adults. Opaque supernatural perils hold a steady threat over the already menacing metaphysical condition of being stranded in the severe wilderness after an unfortunate plane crash.

Yellowjackets may not have needed the fright meter to be underpinned by gore, but going the bloody distance to bring back blood-curdling visuals only adds to the airless anxiety you feel for the miserable survivors who face complete ruination if they don’t unlearn all that they’ve known of life in civilization.

Leaving the horror behind is as much not an option for the ones who were rescued as is ever being able to convince themselves that the life they’ve molded afterward is real. Grisly teeth of PTSD chase down the scarred women as scraps of evil continue to torment them miles away from the woods that hold the secrets that are better left buried.

5. Station Eleven

8 Shows Like The Last Of Us - Station Eleven

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

This is nowhere close to the picture of a forsaken world that you have been harboring in your consciousness. A horde of traveling performers advancing through the dilapidated traces of a life long gone seek out the notes of refinement even in a morosely dystopian reality. There’s scarcely any blood or the gritty sight of the infected spazzing out.

The brutal flu that wipes out the bulk of civilization and, with it, bags the glinting relics of a life worth living also leaves behind survivors to scour through the ruins to pick out the salvageable bits and pieces of the past.

Unlike the more savage counterparts of the genre, Station Eleven is adapted from a novel that replaced the dreariness of a post-apocalyptic global circumstance with tunes of hope emerging from the unlikeliest places and multiplying amongst kindred souls. The dangers lurking in the unfamiliar woods are of a familiar kind, with insidious cults and jittery misgivings.

With a central character that holds in her eccentric psyche more memories of the mummified past than she should and another who thrives in accord despite being born after the apocalypse, Station Eleven is a poetic experience that is sure to impact the preexisting idea of post-apocalyptic dystopia.

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6. Sweet Tooth

8 Shows Like The Last Of Us

A survivor finding his way through a wrecked-up world just doesn’t get more adorable than Gus, the little boy born part deer and part human. And that is the new normal in the Sweet Tooth universe when a virus brutalizes humanity, and human-animal hybrids are born out of the aftermath.

Gus’ journey to finding his mom is as endearing as it is tumultuous, with poachers threatening his survival every step of the way. There’s help aplenty for the likes of Gus, some of whom have been taken under the wings of a heroic woman who runs a blithe sanctuary for the hybrids.

If your post-The Last Of Us void ardently misses the trope of a reluctant man who turns soft for the little magic child he’s supposed to guide toward a noble goal, Sweet Tooth may just be the exact show that will fill the Joel and Ellie-shaped hole in your heart. The narrative you are most likely to dismiss as a juvenile has a way of getting you thinking when you expect it the least. So gear up to join Gus on his way to Colorado, and brace yourself for all the danger he is meant to fight off down the line.

7. Glitch

Questioning yet underpinning the very essence of Biblical resurrection, the Australian show raises more than just the corpses from a grave. Being back as zombies would’ve been a far less taxing return for the seven unfortunate people who get rejected by the afterlife.

Granted, there are more conflicts raised than resolved, but you’ll be glued to the screen if only to watch the sheer ambiguity of the subsequent events discombobulate everything you thought you anticipated from a story about sketchy rebirth.

Coming to care for the bewildered characters is something that you are made to notice when you’re already down the rabbit hole. Even the supremely questionable choices they’re impelled to make don’t have the privileges of a virtuous high horse. And counting on the cards they’ve been dealt is how you cope as you haplessly watch them tread the murky waters of upended interpersonal relationships and their very existence itself.

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8. Snowpiercer

Back when “eat the rich” wasn’t a genre in itself, Bong Joon-ho’s apocalyptic thriller Snowpiercer was a one-of-a-kind inquiry into the numbing and indomitable social hierarchy that primarily hinges upon the very idea of wealth.

The pivotal concept wasn’t necessarily rethought but developed further down the line in the affecting television series of the same name. The ordeal that started in the film as a daunting state of purgatory in the form of a luxury train finds the passengers stuck in it for what feels like an eternity.

The world didn’t wait around for the miserable remnants of life cursed to be aboard the train. And yet it is a blessing at the same time, considering everything other than the Snowpiercer has fallen victim to a doomsday event that left the planet a frozen rock of ice. Even in the perplexing context of an apocalypse, Snowpiercer recognizes the real threat to be class division and greed, which seems to be an ever-looming curse inescapable for humankind.

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