Over the years Peaky Blinders has established itself as one of the most satisfying tales of gangster and family crime. The show driven by powerful performances from the leads, iconic quotes, and a high production value is one of the most sought-after shows airing today. So if you love crime and gangster dramas, these TV shows similar to Peaky Blinders are our recommendations. You can watch several of these shows like Peaky Blinders on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.
14. Godless (2017)
Intended as a miniseries this Scott Frank epic is a superior show to boot. Featuring a dazzling star cast including an excellent Jeff Daniels, ‘Godless’ appears as a western and quite bloody to begin with. Roy Goode, a young son-like figure to infamous criminal Frank Griffin is being hunted by Griffin for allegedly betraying the gang. Goode takes refuge in a small mining town La Belle. He is being assisted by a rough widow Alice Fletcher. Soon Griffin and his gang set their foot on La Belle and the residents of the town, mostly comprising of women decides to protect the town from him. The show features a periodic setting, an authentic milieu and some excellent raw moments.
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13. Deutschland 83 (2015)
For our next pick we are heading towards Germany (as if the title wasn’t conspicuous enough). ‘Deutschland 83’ is a spy drama set in 1983 Germany. Martin Rauch, a 24 years old innocent looking upright West German soldier is ordered to act as a spy for Stasi Foreign Service in East Germany. In West German army soon he finds himself out of depth as he struggles to keep his cover intact all the while gathering information from NATO. Rauch faces emotional crisis, indifference, insecurities and constant fear of death. The show provides another competent look at the Cold War at its peak and also a coming-of-age drama of a young spy. The series is renewed for a second season named ‘Deutschland 86’.
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12. Animal Kingdom (2016-)
‘Animal Kingdom’ gets the family crime part right. It’s a show where after the death of his mother, 17 years old Joshua moves in with his grandmother’s side of the family for a better life. The caveat here? His grandma runs a crime racket. Joshua’s grandma Janine “Smurf” Cody, the family matriarch and her sons indulge in criminal activities. Soon, Joshua’s life turns on its head and he’s made a pawn in this criminal bargaining. Local police authority and detectives try to use Joshua for pieces of information regarding his grandma’s family while Smurf faces tough times ahead because of the intrusions of outer foes in her business.
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11. The Last Kingdom (2015-)
A treat for history and entertainment buffs alike, ‘The Last Kingdom’ is a show that sets the stage in late Ninth Century AD. England, as we know today, was divided into seven kingdoms, all of which had fallen under the invading Viking Danes. The Saxons are defeated but the kingdom of Wessex stands tall under the command of King Alfred. The protagonist of the show, Uhtred, a son of Saxon nobleman who was killed in the battle is taken and raised as by the invaders as their own. But when the time comes, Uhtred must choose between his ancestral kingdom and the people of his upbringing. He must decide his path and face the dark consequences of his choices. The show is made like a grand epic and it certainly feels so, with intricate plot lines, family trees, a man torn between two sides of his identity and awesome fights.
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10. The Knick (2014-15)
‘The Knick’ sets its premise in 1900’s Knickerbocker Hospital in New York. Much of the show’s credibility lies with the fact that Steven Soderbergh serves as the director of the show. It follows surgeon Dr. John Thackery and his surgery staff. They are an inventive bunch, ready to push the limits of medical advances but are chained by limited understanding of surgery of the age. Increased fatality follows with gory accidents and Thackeray tries to balance his drug and opium addiction in order to maintain his image on the surgery table. There are also two overqualified black surgeons who must fight against racism in the hospital amidst an already racist town. The show provides disturbing and gory moments but still provides ample ideas to ponder about.
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9. Sons of Anarchy (2008-14)
Sons of Anarchy is a pure adrenaline rush. Created by Kurt Sutter, the show is rough, tough and gets on your face unapologetically. It focuses on an outlaw gang of motorcyclists with a close bond between them. The club is loosely based on real-life Hell’s Angels with multiple members featuring in the show. ‘Sons of Anarchy’ is gritty, raw and full of masculine fervor. But that is not all about the show. It features a close analogy about life, death, and redemption. Charlie Hunnam shines along with an incredible ensemble cast in the show where Hunnam’s character Jax Teller undergoes several personal and gang-related crisis while dealing with a violent, racist and a corrupt suburb. The show ended on a high with its seventh season making it one of the best TV series ever from FX.
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8. Historia de un Clan (2015)
We are diversifying as we head to Argentina for the next show. ‘Historia de un Clan (History of a Clan) follows the deeds of Puccio family. The Puccios are a respected bunch in the community. They carry out usual duties, go to church and are quite popular among people. Yet their real identity is entirely different. They kidnap people, collect the ransom money and then kill off the victim. Archimedes, the father is the mastermind behind all the plans. He has four children with whacky and contrasting attributes and they execute the family crimes. The show is a well made and gripping thriller with few disturbing aspects like vague incestual inclinations and absurd philosophies.
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7. Penny Dreadful (2014-16)
‘Penny Dreadful’ is a popular British-American psychological horror series bringing back to life popular literary gothic characters. Characters like Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, Dorian Gray, Abraham Van Helsing, Count Dracula, Dr. Henry Jekyll all live, breathe and operate in dark alleys of Victorian London. Our heroine Vanessa Ives (played by an excellent Eva Green) and her alleys are up against dark and mystical threats with supernatural powers that threaten to wreak havoc in the mortal world. The season continued for three years with the original narrative coming to an end in season three.
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6. Lilyhammer (2012-14)
Frank Tagliano (Steven Van Zandt) is a former mobster who testifies against various elements of his own crime world. He joins witness protection program and heads up to Lillehammer, Norway. After being impressed with its majesticity, he decides to change the course of his life by staying there. However, for Tagliano, the drastic shift in cultural appropriation is hard to withstand. Things take a turn and he realizes that his abandoned past maybe the only way to survive in rural Lillehammer. This Norwegian show revolves around a darkly comedic tone, with many finding similarities with ‘The Sopranos’.
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5. The Sopranos (1999-2007)
If you love ‘Peaky Blinders’, it’s hard to tell you not to watch ‘The Sopranos’. One of the most exhilarating family crime drama ever made, ‘The Sopranos’ is the gold standard of TV show making. We follow the DiMeo family while focussing on the head, Tony Soprano. Tony is the epitome of an alpha male who is battling all kinds of situations. He has jealous family members, unhappy wife and daughter, police force poking around and a constant threat to his life. Unable to cope with the stress levels, he verges on depression. The show is iconic, full of dark humor and is essentially a lean and mean family crime drama.
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4. Narcos (2015-)
‘Narcos’ is a global sensation. The show focuses on the deadly world of Colombian drug cartels with an unapologetic depiction. It chronicles various notorious drug lords, disputes of boundaries, the illegal tread, corruption and socio-political crisis in the country. Season one deals with the rise of infamous Pablo Escobar stretching it to season two. Season three focuses on the DEA’s clash with the Cali cartel. The show’s narrative is action-packed, exciting, features gory details as the byproduct of volatile Colombian drug cartels and boasts of impressive performances from the ensemble cast.
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3. Taboo (2017-)
Tom Hardy shines in this British drama series as James Keziah Delaney. James returns from a decade-long hiatus in Africa to London after the death of his father. He tries to salvage his father’s shipping business in order to change the course of his bohemian life but is met with great resistance from unexpected foes. Soon he discovers dark family secrets, deadly conspiracies about murder, and his father’s valued possession that triggered interests of the US government, the British government, and the East India Company amidst a war. He starts on a journey as a man who has been wronged, braving political and lethal attacks.
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2. Ripper Street (2012-16)
The premise of ‘Ripper Street’ is as intriguing as the show itself. It begins 6 months after the infamous Jack the Ripper murders in 1889. Murders in Whitechapel reappear as the H Division, ordered to maintain the law on the streets fails to keep the lid on. In an utter chaos, Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) and Detective Sergeant Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn) starts to find the clues about the new murders inspired from the nightmarish Jack the Ripper. Reid also battles a personal crisis with his daughter being missing for several months which becomes the tipping point of degradation of his personal life. The show is violent, divisive, anarchist and engaging to say the least.
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1. Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014)
HBO’s underrated gem is the closest to ‘Peaky Blinders’ in terms of overall feel. ‘Boardwalk Empire’ is a show focussing on historical Enoch “Nucky” Thompson ruling Atlantic City, New Jersey during Prohibition Era of the 1920s and 30s. Nucky is an influential figure whose political connections bring a lot of spotlight on his personal life. Feds take a special interest in him whose means of living stands in sharp contrast to the lavish lifestyle. He battles corrupt politicians, police force and gangsters while carving a name of dominance in the area. The show features a near-perfect depiction of 19th century Prohibition Era with violent and captivating plot driven by a strong set of performers.
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