7 best shows like 'Shogun' to watch after the miniseries

Shogun season 1
(Image credit: Hulu / Disney)

Ever since FX’s "Shogun" hit the airwaves, it’s gotten nothing but good press. Lacy Baugher Milas at Paste Magazine described "Shogun" as “a series that takes big swings, demands much of its audience, and insists that complex character dynamics are every bit as compelling as sweeping, bloody battles.”

Where to stream "Shogun"

"Shogun" is streaming on Hulu

While the series is based on a James Clavell novel of the same name, the show makes space to explore the interior lives of each of the Japanese characters English sailor John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) meets, including Lord Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Toda Mariko (Anna Sawai). FX released episodes weekly, culminating in the jaw-dropping finale today (April 23). Now that the limited series has ended, you might need to fill the "Shogun"-sized hole in your streaming life. Check these 7 TV shows like "Shogun."


"Shogun" features beautiful shots of different parts of Japan, from bustling Osaka to quieter green spaces. On X (formerly known as Twitter), Brendan Hodges noted that the show’s blend of strong writing with absolutely amazing locations and set design brought to mind older HBO projects like "Rome" and "Deadwood" (which we also included on this list). "Rome" ran from 2005-07, spending a whopping $9 million per episode

"Rome" follows two soldiers who are part of Caesar’s army. Through them, we get to see the ancient civilization's gritty, violent reality as Caesar fights to rule the city. While the show’s five-season arc was cut short because of lower viewership and high costs, it was considered masterful storytelling. The show was lauded by Sean Woods at Rolling Stone as “the best show about the nature of power and political strategy ever made.” 

Watch on Max


Many of the shows on this list are from premium channels. They promise higher budgets and more artistic freedom. But there are still plenty of fascinating, beautifully made shows on network television — and "Vikings" is one of them. It follows Ragnar Lodbrook, a small farmer, who is determined to go West to explore. Through six seasons (the show ran from 2013 - 2020), we see Lodbrook gain more power and become king. 

The show really hit its stride in Season 3, earning a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The New York Times describes it as “a well-acted, relatively lavish epic about Vikings, their lusts and their power struggles.” 

Watch on Netflix

'Game of Thrones'

Perhaps given how recently "Game of Thrones" ended, it’s no wonder "Shogun" has been consistently compared to it. TG's own Malcolm McMillan wrote it could "be the next 'Game of Thrones.'" But dig a little deeper and the comparisons are well-deserved: in addition to both being well-written and well-acted, both focus on political machinations and family dynamics inspired by historical events.  

In "Game of Thrones," two families fight for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and who shall rule on the Iron Throne. Season 1 starts strong, earning 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, with season 4 hitting the highest score of 94%. In a retrospective of the series, Ars Technica wrote, “Its early seasons felt revolutionary for how they subverted audience expectations, it propelled much of the show's female-centric cast to stardom, and its VFX may very well be the best we've ever witnessed on TV.” 

Watch on Max

'Mary and George'

While there are plenty of shows about historical England that combine sex, power, and violence, not many center on queerness. But "Mary and George" does while also featuring a stellar cast including Julianne Moore and Nicolas Galitzine. The show takes place just a few years after "Shogun," in 1615, on the other side of the ocean. Mary (Moore), a widow of the lower aristocracy, works to get her son George (Galitzine) in front of King James in order to secure her own future. George catches the attention of James I and leverages that attention to make himself the Duke of Buckingham. 

The show dropped on Starz on April 5. Variety described the show as “[d]arkly comic and lushly erotic, both boldly anachronistic and surprisingly true to history.” 

Watch on Starz

'Black Sails'

Did you watch the first episode of "Shogun" and wish you could see more of the story that took place at sea among the crew? Then "Black Sails" is the next show you should watch. The show is a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s book "Treasure Island." It uses John Silver, a defector on his own ship eager to live, as a newcomer to the pirate’s life aboard Captain Flint’s (Toby Stephens) ship. 

Amidst taking the loot from other ships, Captain Flint is also on the hunt for a Spanish ship said to contain five million US dollars. Not only can you expect plenty of sword fights, but you can also expect plenty of explosions, as Michael Bay is one of the producers. 

Watch on Netflix


If showrunner David Milch had gotten his original wish, "Deadwood" would’ve been set in ancient Rome. But because HBO was already working on "Rome," they were interested in changing the time period of Milch’s project. “I then thought about placing it in the American West, but it had to be in an exact time and place in which there was near chaos, a nascent community struggling for some kind of authority. Deadwood, I realized after extensive research, was what I had been looking for,” Milch told American Heritage

Similar to "Shogun," "Deadwood" is interested in exploring what happens in a power vacuum. Deadwood was a real town in North Dakota, offering Milch a window into exploring and reframing tales of the American West. The show, which ran for three seasons as well as a movie, earned a 92% overall rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Watch on Max

'Interview with a Vampire'

This may feel like a bit of a curveball, but hear me out. This show, based on the Anne Rice book of the same name, is also a great study in the work of adaptation. "Interview" is interested in interrogating additional themes that wouldn’t have been found in the original text. The show takes the latent homoeroticism found in the original and makes it explicit, with Louis (Jacob Anderson) and Lestat (Sam Reid) becoming lovers in 1910’s New Orleans. Their union quickly turns messy after Lestat turns Louis. 

The first season earned a near-perfect 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. Empire Magazine writes, “With a quartet of knockout performances, this is Rice’s bloody, beautiful story told on screen anew. Now finally given the chance to wear its queer heart (and guts, and gore, and assorted viscera) proudly on its sleeve.”

Watch on Prime Video

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Megan Hennessey

Megan Hennessey is a freelance writer based in Boston, MA. She covers TV and movies for Vulture, Looper, Pittsburgh City Paper, and The Seattle Times. She loves talking about heists on Twitter @HegMennessey

  • JidaigekiFan
    Actually the best shows to watch right after Shogun is the Samurai Trilogy by Yoji Yamada - Twilight Samurai, Hidden Blade, Love and Honor. Then continue on with 13 Assassins. and Sword of Desperation. The best modern Jidaigeki Samurai movies.