In the realm of really good, really memorable television shows, Lost is amongst the elite. From smoke monsters to time travel to an extremely mysterious tropical island, it’s a television show engrained in time that will be hard to top.
Luckily, there are other television shows out there that can fill that void and are fairly similar to Lost. The storylines they portray revolve around fantasy, aspects of sci-fi, and maybe a monster or two that pops up out of nowhere.
Updated by Lianna Tedesco on November 29th, 2020: Lost fans know that there will never be a show quite like the first one that frustrated, confused, and rewarded them with such a powerful and emotional finale. The mind of J.J. Abrams is nothing short of poetic brilliance and while Lost reflected that in all of its smoke monster glory, many years have passed since fans shed a final tear over that beautiful series finale soundtrack. There have been contenders, however. Some of which J.J. Abrams was even involved in, while others had brilliant minds of their own behind their cryptic scenes.
16 Heroes (2006-2010)
Two years after Lost exploded on the screen, Heroes premiered and became a household favorite. Much like Lost, the premise focused on a group of strangers with mysterious backgrounds and an uncertain goal.
Heroes lasted for four seasons and even had a reboot of sorts called, Heroes Reborn. J.J. Abrams didn’t have his hand in this, but it seems like the producers took a page out of his playbook for this one.
15 Castle Rock (2018-2019)
Based on the stories from iconic horror author Stephen King, Castle Rock was brought to the small screen with J.J. Abrams as an executive producer. With King having a hand in the production, fans knew they were in for a treat.
The unique storyline around this television show combines some of King’s best-loved works into a tale of darkness and light and mythology.
14 The Leftovers (2014-2017)
For three seasons, The Leftovers television show told the story of the aftermath of losing two percent of the global population and how people are coping.
The show focuses on a small community dealing with the phenomena and contains many mysteries that fans are still wondering about even today.
13 The 100 (2014-2020)
The 100 focuses on a leap in time after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization. The people that did survive are living on a spaceship and send 100 young survivors back to Earth to re-populate.
With seven seasons and a fitting 100 episodes, there’s a lot to find in this amazing series.
12 Black Mirror (2011-)
Using an anthology style akin to the classic sci-fi show The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror focuses on the effect technology has on modern life, in one way or another.
Some episodes are set in the future, while others are in the past. There are plenty in “present day” and each brings a sense of mystery to the storyline.
11 Manifest (2018-)
There’s another contender for the crown of shows revolving around passengers on a crashed flight: Manifest.
The story follows the passengers of a missing flight that’s emerged after five years. They soon begin to experience voices and visions, which leads to an even deeper mysterious rabbit hole.
10 Fringe (2008-2013)
This one should be a no-brainer because J.J. Abrams spearheaded Fringe. It came out two years before Lost finalized its sixth season and there are underlying similarities between the two.
While Fringe starts out as more of a supernatural crime drama, it slowly immerses itself into alternate universes and made sure to pave the way for concrete character development.
9 Doctor Who (2005-)
For the ultimate binge-fest, Doctor Who is the perfect contender. It’s the longest-running sci-fi series in history and is a must-watch for fans of the genre.
The storylines stay fresh with a rotating cast and a not-so-typical main character. The Doctor can jump into other bodies, travel the universe, and befriend aliens; this fantasy/sci-fi mix is a great alternative to dive into and enjoy.
8 Sleepy Hollow (2013-2017)
The Headless Horseman is a tale as old as time and a great story to tell around the campfire. There have been several movies about Sleepy Hollow, including Tim Burton’s own interpretation, and since 2013, a television show has been on Hulu for viewing pleasure. At times, Lost could be pretty creepy, but the Sleepy Hollow television show is even creepier.
When Ichabod Crane comes back to life in the 21st century and has to stop the world from ending, there’s fantasy and sci-fi galore.
7 Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
Twin Peaks is an amazing and eccentric show about a mystery surrounding a murder in a small town.
It was a moment in time when the television industry needed a change-up like this and the mysteries and characters that swirled around it still fascinate fans to this day.
6 The X-Files (1993-2018)
The X-Files has been making fans wonder what else is out there for decades now. Being that it’s one of the longest-running sci-fi series out there, there’s a lot to be discovered n this particular show.
From paranormal activity to unexplainable creatures wreaking havoc, this show is a great choice for trying to fill your Lost-shaped void.
5 Westworld (2016-)
Westworld is definitely along the same lines as Lost with its unique, science fiction-type storyline where, underneath it all, something seems not quite right. In a world where a hybrid human-android, Wild West-themed amusement park exists, it’s encouraged that the park’s guests indulge in their own free will after entering.
Thanks to the codes programmed into the android hosts, they’re prohibited from harming human guests… Or so it’s presumed.
4 Person Of Interest (2011-2016)
Lost fans will recognize the man in the photo as Ben, but in Person of Interest, he plays a character by the name of Harold Finch. As usual, Michael Emerson does an incredible job portraying a person who knows far more than he lets on, all the while controlling a game that no one else realizes they’re playing.
This show, while not as science fiction-esque or complex as Emerson’s previous home, is still worth a watch simply due to the nature of its mystery and intrigue.
3 Under The Dome (2013-2015)
Under the Dome shares the same name as the novel serving for its inspiration by famed horror author Stephen King. Despite having only three seasons, this show broke records for the most summer viewers of any TV show since 1992.
While the reception didn’t remain consistent, the show still has a reputation worthy of being watched. It also features a star-studded cast, including Dean Norris as the town councilman, who many will recognize from Breaking Bad. The storyline of the show is very King, as fans would say, and the allure is in the details.
2 Stranger Things (2016-)
For those who haven’t watched Stranger Things yet, what are you waiting for? Not only did this Netflix original completely shatter the ceiling on modern science fiction shows, but it incorporated a retro timeline that’s fun, unique, and perfectly suited to this show’s storyline.
Each character has grown since season one into a dynamic and diverse part of the cast, and the characters added during the last season fit seamlessly into what is now one of the streaming service’s greatest accomplishments. And yes, it does have a very Lost vibe to it.
1 Dark (2017-2020)
Yet another critically acclaimed show is Dark, which is perhaps one of the most puzzling, cliffhanger-type, and frustrating horror shows out there right now. While viewers must pay attention to the subtleties in this show, it’s well worth sticking to the end for.
The entire time – very similar to Lost – it’s quite unclear what’s happening in this small town. Every person carries with them their own baggage but somehow, they’re all connected. Furthermore, each episode gives off more and more of a supernatural clue… but not nearly enough to ready viewers for what’s coming.
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