The wait for Stranger Things Season 3 may seem interminable, especially as the long summer days stretch on without a single new episode to sustain you. But don't get too down just yet! Whether you're craving 1980s nostalgia, science fiction, or ragtag friendships, there might be something that gives you the same sense of excitement that Stranger Things does. Try one of these 12 shows to fill your Stranger Things void this summer. They might not be exactly like the show, but they've got enough similarities to soothe you during that long, long wait.
The popularity of Stranger Things relied on a lot of factors: it seemed to be the perfect storm of something old and new, infusing the classic qualities of childhood favorites with some fresh twists. It was impossible not to get attached to the talented cast of breakout stars (while rooting for the much-deserved renaissance of Winona Ryder) as their characters navigated a world that was familiar and unusual all at once. The government mystery and bizarre monsters are part of the appeal, but the show wouldn't be the same without the family and friendships at its heart.
These shows are all unique in their own ways, but they've got just enough suspense and emotion to fill the space Stranger Things left behind.
The Duffer brothers are the creative force behind Stranger Things, but before they were winning over audiences with demo-dogs, they worked on a few episodes of Wayward Pines. This show is also about strange disappearances in a small town, which means it's on theme. It could be good to catch up on the Duffers' past projects, so give the show a shot if you have a Hulu subscription.
When the genre you're interested in is "weird things happening in a small town," look no farther than Twin Peaks. Things certainly get more surreal here than Hawkins, Indiana can ever dream of, but the show is a cult classic and really can't be missed. You can catch up on Netflix or Hulu and find new episodes awaiting you on Showtime.
If you've never watched The X-Files, then you have so many seasons to catch up on that it'll take up all your TV-watching time until Stranger Things returns. With different mysteries every week and enough 90s nostalgia to fuel your need for days gone by, it could be the perfect choice for you. You can also find it on Hulu.
Fringe can offer multiple worlds and timelines, with the family bonds that keep you hooked no matter how many wild situations are unfolding. It also boasted the TV return of a beloved star with the always enjoyable Joshua Jackson. Unfortunately, Fringe is a little more difficult to get ahold of; it isn't free to stream anywhere, but you can purchase on iTunes or Amazon.
Dark is a German series available on Netflix that shares many superficial qualities with Stranger Things: it's about missing children, secrets lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and the 80s. The stories diverge in other ways, but Dark might still be the ideal show to marathon ahead of Season 3.
Lost In Space
Lost in Space might take place on an entirely different planet but, like Stranger Things, it has a group of determined young protagonists finding their way through unknown worlds. It's more family friendly than some of the shows on this list, and its Robot even looks like a shinier Demogorgon. It's definitely worth a watch.
But if you're interested in something darker, then perhaps you can try Cinemax's Outcast. Created by The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman, it explores one man's search for answers after a life of demon possession — like if Will Byers had never managed to shake the monster's hold on him after all. It has its differences, but could be the show for you.
Syfy's Channel Zero leans into horror more than it does sci-fi (which is a surprise considering its network) but the uncomfortably creepy aesthetics and heartfelt character connections could appeal to those who like Stranger Things' more horrifying aspects. Its first season even harkens back to the 80s.
If the shadowy government agency operating out of Hawkins is especially intriguing to you, then the scientific geniuses inhabiting the town that gives Eureka its name might be similarly engaging. Its sheriff may make you miss Hawkins' chief of police a little less, too. Find Eureka on Amazon Prime.
Roswell was a much beloved series when it first aired in the 90s, and it can also assuage your desire for a show about odd happenings in a little town. It can keep you busy until Stranger Things, as well as prepare you for the upcoming reboot.
There's no better way to give into your nostalgia than to watch a show that's a genuine throwback. Eerie, Indiana aired on NBC for one season in the early 90s and it followed a young protagonist as he tried to get to the bottom of his own strange hometown. Revisiting an under-appreciated show from a couple of decades ago could be the perfect way to discover a new TV obsession.
With so many options, the days until Stranger Things Season 3 will fly by.