Hell on Wheels fans, here are seven must-see TV shows for you.
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While it’s true that there aren’t many western shows on TV these days, the genre has long been one of the most popular in the United States since the invention of television. The most popular television series back when televisions were becoming a part of our daily lives were things like “Gunsmoke,” “Rawhide,” and “Bonanza.” However, there are a few good modern westerns on television right now. The AMC series ‘Hell on Wheels’ is an excellent illustration of how the western genre is far from extinct.
Construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad following World War I is central to ‘Hell on Wheels.’ Several legal and illegal businesses have sprung up along with the construction party as it moves from one location to the next. Cullen Bohannon, a former Confederate soldier, is the story’s protagonist. Bohannon, who is still haunted by the wartime murder of his wife at the hands of Union soldiers, is now on the prowl for vengeance.
We call this place “Hell On Wheels” because it’s the destination of his quest for vengeance. The show provides us with an engrossing story and maintains the tension throughout each episode. If you enjoyed this show, and you’re looking for more like it, look no further. Here’s our picks for the best shows that are similar to ‘Hell on Wheels.’. There are a number of these shows, such as ‘Hell on Wheels,’ that you can watch on Netflix, Hulu, or Prime Video.
1. Deadwood (2004-2006)
The story of the fictional South Dakota town of ‘Deadwood,’ as told in the HBO original series, is based on actual events. The city’s crime-fighting apparatus is shaky at best, and the town is crawling with the most heinous of criminals. As a result of this perilous situation, the story focuses on the lives of three characters in particular: Sheriff Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), saloon owner Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), and outlaw Wild Bill Hickok (Ian McShane).
There are moments of tension and violence when their fates collide, and those moments help to shape the rest of the show’s story. Throughout its run, the show was lauded by critics. Olyphant’s performance is unquestionably the highlight of the production. It’s also worth mentioning the production values of the sets, dialogue, and historical figures featured in the story.
2. Longmire (2012-2017)
The Walt Longmire series of novels by Craig Johnson served as the primary source of inspiration for this show. A modern-day Western with the titular character as the sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, ‘Longmire’ is unlike any other show on this list. To put it another way, he is a man who takes his job seriously while also having fun while patrolling the area in question. The death of his wife still haunts him on the inside, however. Longmire’s love and dedication to his profession are reignited by his daughter and a deputy in his office. Compared to other westerns, this is a much more character-driven crime drama. Each episode has a solid plot, is expertly directed, and features some top-notch actors.
3. Bonanza (1959-1973)
‘Bonanza,’ one of the most recognizable shows in television history, debuted on NBC in 1959. “Bonanza” takes place in the middle of the nineteenth century and revolves around the Cartwright family, which is led by Ben Cartwright, a widower three times over. Ben is the proud father of three sons, one from each of his three different marriages and births.
There are many aspects of their lives that are explored, including how they deal with their enormous estate and how their characters differ from one another. The majority of 1950s western films centered on the exploits of a lone hero, usually a bounty hunter, who roamed the wild west in pursuit of outlaws. ‘Bonanza,’ on the other hand, flipped the script and produced a show that is more of a drama. Without a doubt, it’s one of the most intriguing western films ever made.
4. The Rifleman (1958-1963)
From the 1950s comes ‘The Rifleman,’ a popular western TV series that follows the exploits of a retired Union soldier named Lucas McCain and his son. McCain, despite his valor on the battlefield, has not abandoned the use of firearms and still defends his community with a Winchester shotgun, his personal favorite. For example, one theme that keeps coming up in the show’s plot is that life always gives you another chance to make amends for your mistakes.
The show’s writing is impressive in that nobody, not even our central character, is an out-and-out good guy. McCain does have a violent streak, and this has resulted in the death toll from McCain’s actions being higher than it should have been. For those who saw the show when it first aired, Chuck Connors’ portrayal of the series’ central character is one of the most memorable from the era.
5. Wanted Dead Or Alive (1958-1961)
From his appearance on this very show, American cinema found one of its biggest stars ever. Steve McQueen is Josh Randall, a former Confederate soldier turned bounty hunter in this western series. Josh, on the other hand, differs from most of his fellow bounty hunters in that he has a compassionate nature and strives to see the best in others. Josh is always on the lookout for new ways to assist those who are less fortunate than himself.
He helps those who have been wrongfully imprisoned, as well as women who have gotten themselves into trouble, and he also works to settle family disputes before they turn ugly. After appearing in this series, McQueen shot to fame as one of the most popular actors on television. McQueen landed roles in ‘The Great Escape’ and ‘Magnificent Seven’ while ‘Wanted Dead Or Alive’ was still in theaters. To make the transition from TV star to Hollywood leading man easier, these two roles were crucial.
6. Godless (2017)
Godless on Netflix follows Frank Griffin and his gang as they search for Roy Goode, an ex-gang member who betrayed his colleagues by turning on them. Goode has taken refuge in the women-only community of La Belle, New Mexico, where she is now hiding from the authorities. This town’s women band together when they learn that Griffin’s gang has located Goode hiding in their town and is preparing to attack him, and they put their lives in danger trying to stop them. Typically, westerns focus on men, but in ‘Godless,’ we see that women aren’t afraid to pick up a gun, either. The show’s writing, direction, and performances all combine to make it a classic among western television shows.
7. Gunsmoke (1955-1975)
When a series lasts for two decades while maintaining the high production standards it set out with, it will undoubtedly have a significant impact on pop culture as a whole. Such a show is ‘Gunsmoke,’ which started out as a radio show before moving to television, where it became hugely popular. When it comes to Gunsmoke, the story focuses on Marshal Matt Dillon, a lawman who lives in Dodge City, Kansas and fights off troublemakers with everything he’s got. For more than two decades, the show has been so closely associated with American life that many have dubbed it the “American epic,” comparable to the Iliad and Odyssey in Greek mythology.