Ria enjoys sci-fi and political thrillers on television and in films. She prioritizes characters who are intelligent and relatable over everything else.
Netflix has managed to raise the bar for online television with shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Along with killing off fan favorites, House of Cards also saw lead actor Kevin Spacey leave prematurely amid sexual harassment allegations. The show’s conclusion, which took place in November of last year, was mediocre at best.
For the time being, however, Netflix has an abundance of other shows filled with political intrigue, power-hungry characters, and compelling acting that keep everyone’s allegiances shifting.
For House of Cards fans, Scandal is a must-see show. It’s a little kinder, but the political intrigue and drama at its core are just as well-written and as engrossing. Many Emmy and SAG awards were given to the seven-season show, with lead actress Kerry Washington quickly becoming a favorite of both fans and critics.
Assassination attempts, affairs, sabotage, and other political thriller tropes abound in the series, but there are also some shocking and unexpected turns. Every member of the supporting cast is remembered for something, even if it’s something heinous but universally relatable. Though it’s not as dirty as House of Cards, it’s still a better show due to the fact that the main characters still have morals.
2. The West Wing
NBC Universal is the company in charge.
While House of Cards has more murder and mayhem, The West Wing is a welcome respite from the current political climate. Classic show by Aaron Sorkin doesn’t shy away from controversial issues and violence, but all characters are relatable and loveable.
Fans will miss many beloved characters who will be gone at the end of the seven-season run. Fans adore the witty one-liners and biting remarks, which have become legendary in the show’s scripts. Pre-teens and up can enjoy it because it’s clean, but they may get bored unless they have a strong interest in politics.
If you enjoyed murder and mayhem in House of Cards, you might enjoy Dexter as well. While House of Cards has political intrigue, Dexter’s main character, named Dexter, has the same moral ambiguity, though arguably with a little more charm and good intention. Most of the series revolves around him trying to keep his secrets hidden from his colleagues while he works as a forensic investigator who not only solves crimes but also murders those responsible for them.
With eight seasons and tens of millions of viewers, Dexter’s cult status is undeniable. It’s unquestionably bloodier than House of Cards, but it’s also a lot funnier at times.
Homeland tells the story of Claire Danes, a CIA agent tasked with tracking down and stopping terrorists around the world. A U.S. Marine who was captured by al-Qaeda is her first target because she suspects he’s turned against his country. Despite the fact that Claire isn’t as complex as the lead characters on House of Cards, the tension and suspense are masterfully crafted.
Homeland will have an eighth and final season in 2019, which means that, in contrast to many other excellent TV shows, Homeland will have a proper ending! Given the sheer number of shows that were abruptly axed this year, there’s reason to be happy about Homeland.
5. The Americans
When it comes to spy dramas, The Americans goes above and beyond what you’d expect. Even as they grit their teeth and carry out their duties with pride, the main couple remain relatable even as they are overshadowed by danger. So are the Russian characters in charge of the spy couple, which is understandable given that the show’s creator was formerly a CIA officer.
Two Primetime Emmy Awards were bestowed on the series finale, and they were well-deserved in light of how well the show wrapped up its six-season run. The Americans, on the other hand, is likely to leave you with a better aftertaste than House of Cards.
After only three seasons, this ABC show was cancelled, leaving a slew of unresolved issues in its wake. Even so, the show’s three seasons are worth watching because they’re entertaining and well-made. The first season is a bit confusing due to the abrupt shifts between the past and present, but this is remedied over the course of the second season.
After the well-written but morally bankrupt main characters of House of Cards, Alex Parrish is a breath of fresh air. Quantico has a lot to offer, despite the fact that the show’s action sequences can overshadow the drama between the characters.
7. Mad Men
There’s nothing particularly unique about Mad Men on the surface, but it’s utterly captivating. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed a show about an advertising agency. Cast members’ lives are shaped both positively and negatively by blackmail, extramarital affairs, office politics, and shady business dealings. Some of the show’s female leads refuse to put up with the selfishness and bad behavior of Mad Men’s male protagonists. There are times when it’s depressing, but it’s not on the same level as House of Cards.
8. The Good Wife
There is a strong focus on infidelity and lawyers in this show, much like Scandal. However, there is significantly less murder in it, which is good news for viewers who prefer their dramas to be less gory. In addition, it’s noticeably less political, although political ambitions of various characters do appear.
The Good Wife has 156 episodes, so it takes its time getting to know the characters and their backstories, but it never drags. Because the characters are memorable, viewers are kept guessing about their secrets and aspirations. A number of Emmys had been won and millions of viewers had been won by the time The Good Wife had finished.
9. Designated Survivor
Whereas in House of Cards, the president is elected through his own treachery, in Designated Survivor, the president is elected reluctantly and tragically. Tom Kirkman is a likeable lead, but the show’s real heart lies in the terrorist bombing that killed the previous president and every member of his cabinet. The characters suffer as a result of the unanswered questions, which results in some memorable drama.
The second season of Designated Survivor was cancelled by ABC after only two seasons, but Netflix has renewed it for a third season of ten episodes, which will air in 2019.
10. Death Note
This isn’t a plug for the abominable Netflix live-action adaptation, so don’t be alarmed. Death Note is a classic example of an anime that’s worth watching even if you’re not a fan of the genre in general. There aren’t any supernatural elements, and the story revolves around a hero with questionable morals, so fans of House of Cards will feel right at home.
Death Note also packs a punch, with only 37 episodes to its credit. Even if you don’t like it, you didn’t waste a lot of time on it.