If you’re anything like us, you’ve just set up a NOW TV account, mostly to watch season 8 of Game Of Thrones. But, as it turns out, there’s plenty of other shows on there for you to watch.
Obviously they don’t all (none) have as many ‘t**s and dragons’ as Thrones, but there’s still plenty of reasons to recommend the following.
Well, this one does have the excessive nudity you get from Thrones, as well as the ultra-violence. No dragons yet, but there’s every possibility they’ll come eventually.
That’s because Westworld revolves around a set of fantasy theme parks, starting with the titular Westworld (which allows guests to live the cowboy life), and going to different parks in season 2 (which we won’t spoil here).
Season three could easily end up featuring ‘FantasyWorld,’ as the story of a robot uprising continues.
Read more: First look at GoT S8, E2; Jaime stands trial
One of the best things about Thrones is the way each character contains shades of good and evil within them. Characters you hate in season one end up being your favourite by season three, and vice versa.
But when Jaime Lannister was just a glint in HBO’s eye, they were already running The Wire, which explores criminal law from both sides of the legal fence. And with the most likeable character a violent stick-up man named Omar, there’s plenty of moral ambiguity for Thrones fans to enjoy.
Speaking of moral ambiguity, Deadwood takes fans and throws them face down in the mud of the old west, and expects them to survive. Like Thrones, the show’s about civilization struggling to form in the middle of violent chaos. Unlike Thrones, it only lasted for three seasons – so it’s easy to binge.
And we’d advise you do that sooner rather than later – if only to join in the fun when the Deadwood movie is released on May 31.
If you enjoy Thrones’ dark humour, then Barry is your new favourite show. The bizarre story of a hitman who decides he wants to be an actor (think Leon meets The Disaster Artist), Barry stars Bill Hader (who also co-created the series, writing and directing several episodes) as the eponymous hitman.
Very funny, but also very violent, Barry is tonally pretty unusual, but then so’s Thrones.
If you enjoy Thrones’ cinematic scope, then you may be surprised to find a similar vibe in Jim Carrey’s comedy-drama about a beloved children’s television presenter who suffers from a breakdown.
That’s because it brings Carrey back together with his Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind director, Michel Gondry – and Kidding has the same mixture of imaginative style and heightened emotions as that movie. Joining Carrey are the likes of Frank Langella, Judy Greer, and Catherine Keener, which only adds to the cinematic feel.
If you need a hit of political intrigue while you’re waiting to find out how Jon Snow’s ancestry will affect his relationship with Dany, then Veep’s the show for you. And if you enjoyed Cersei’s rise to power, then you’ll probably enjoy Selina Meyer’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) rise to power. Veep’s a lot sillier than Thrones, obviously, but it’s occasionally just as bleak.
Big Little Lies
Based on a popular book, this HBO show combines murder, conspiracy, secrets, lies, and strong female characters. Sound familiar? With a brilliant cast that includes Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies is a key part of television’s current golden age.
We’re not going to say any more about it, as part of the fun is the journey, but let’s just say that we’re excited for the surprise second season (it was originally billed as a one-off miniseries), which will be directed by the UK’s brilliant Andrea Arnold.
Okay, so if you haven’t seen The Sopranos, stop what you’re doing and start watching it immediately. Even if you’ve had the divisive final scene spoiled for you, it’s still essential viewing. If it wasn’t for Tony Soprano, many of your favourite telly anti-heroes (including several on Thrones) probably wouldn’t exist.
Game Of Thrones spin-off shows
If none of the above can fill the Thrones void, then you can spend your week watching the many Thrones-themed shows that NOW TV is making available for fans. Whether it’s the individual ‘Inside The Episode’ featurettes that explore season 8’s episodes in week-by-week depth.
There’s also a series of ‘The Cast Remembers’ featurettes to enjoy around season 8, with the main cast discussing their memories of the show. Add in the fact you can revisit every single season (or watch ‘The Story So Far’ featuring fans and cast members discussing every key moment), and there’s plenty to keep die-hard Thrones fans busy.