One thing we can say about most TV shows is that they always try and stick to the particular genre with which they begin. If the premise, the mood, and setting of the series are built in a certain way, one cannot just suddenly change everything to give it a completely new look. Even when it comes to anthology shows, where each episode tells a completely different story, makers usually stick to the same genre within which they operate. This is exactly where the HBO original series ‘Room 104’ differs. This series tells a different story in each episode with the only connecting device being the eponymous hotel room. Each episode details the experiences of a particular occupant of the room. The genre of the stories can range from anything like science fiction to drama to horror to noirish thrillers. The fact that we do not know what to expect when an episode begins is definitely the hallmark of the series.
Despite all the stories of ‘Room 104‘ not being of equal merit, it must be said that the series definitely hits the mark as far as its ambitions are concerned. If you enjoyed watching this series and want to check out similar shows, then you have arrived at the right place. Here’s the list of best shows similar to ‘Room 104’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these series like ‘Room 104’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
7. Masters Of Horror (2005-2007)
If you are a fan of the horror genre but are tired of mainstream films crammed with jump scares for the horror effect, then this is the show you should opt for. ‘Masters Of Horror’ is a two-season anthology horror series where each episode is made by one of the best directors of the genre. How this series came into being is a fascinating tale unto itself. It was during a dinner filmmaker Mick Garris was having with other horror directors like Tobe Hooper, John Landis, Bill Malone, Guillermo del Toro, John Carpenter, and others that the phrase ‘Masters Of Horror’ was coined. Garris soon went to dinners with other esteemed horror directors until he could convince a number of them to direct one-hour episodes in the new anthology series he was planning. The best aspect of the series is that here you get a chance to witness and closely compare the horror aesthetics applied by such esteemed filmmakers of the genre.
6. Electric Dreams (2017-2018)
A co-production between Channel 4 and Amazon Prime, ‘Electric Dreams‘ is based on the works of the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. This anthology series boasts of captivating production values which bring an unparalleled authenticity to each of the episodes. The cast is also quite impressive, with eminent actors like Bryan Cranston, Vera Farmiga, and Steve Buscemi appearing in different episodes. Each of the stories that we see in ‘Electric Dreams’ is rather unique. Here we have stories about a company producing humanoids with intelligence and emotions, space travel guides who are caught up in the story of an old woman, dystopic futures with technology more fearsome than we can imagine, and so on. It is Philip K. Dick’s fertile imagination which is on display throughout this series. If you love science fiction and have still not feasted your eyes on ‘Electric Dreams’, then you are doing yourself a great disservice.
5. Dimension 404 (2017)
‘Dimension 404‘ is also a science fiction anthology series. The look and feel of this series makes it abundantly clear that it is heavily influenced by anthology shows like ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘The Outer Limits’. 404, as we are all aware of, is the HTTP status code which is associated with a page not being found by the search engine. In a similar fashion, the series tries to establish 404 as a zone deep inside the world of cyberspace, where many terrifying and vile terrors exist. The stories center around regular people falling prey to this zone and going through some rather shocking experiences. From a psychologist treating a depressed supercomputer to a physics student trying to solve the mystery as to why no one remembers her favorite cartoon show from the 90s, the premise for each of the six stories in this series is brilliant.
4. The Twilight Zone (1959-)
This anthology series tells rather disturbing stories involving horror, science fiction, and Kafka-esque distortions of reality. Regarding what ‘The Twilight Zone‘ actually is, series creator Rod Serling says, “There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone.” The explanation basically means that with the help of imagination, we can travel to areas that simple knowledge cannot guide us to. Imagination helps us reach a point between reality and fiction which can be more enlightening than anything we can or will ever witness. ‘The Twilight Zone’ is surely a series far ahead of its time, and it must be seen and appreciated for its boldness and thematic ambitions.
Read More: TV Shows Like Star Trek: Discovery
3. Black Mirror (2011-)
One of the greatest anthology shows of all time, ‘Black Mirror‘ shows us how vulnerable life still remains in this 21st century. Each one of the stories in this iconic series represents the threat that technology can turn out to be for us unless handled carefully. From dating apps to blackmailing to surveillance to rating systems that we find online, everything has the potential to destroy our lives or society in general. The series cannot be exactly called dystopic, because most of the technology that ‘Black Mirror’ uses is readily available in the real world as well. The first, second, and fifth season of the series have three episodes each, while the third and fourth boast of six episodes. Though Channel 4 is the network where ‘Black Mirror’ first began airing, Netflix picked up the series from the third season onward and even released an interactive movie called ‘Bandersnatch‘ in 2018.
Read More: TV Shows Like Black Mirror
2. The Outer Limits (1963-1965)
A predominantly sci-fi series, ‘The Outer Limits’ has inspired most of the anthology horror/science fiction shows that have come after it. The series mainly centers around man’s battles with horrific monsters which were at times the result of scientific experiments. Interestingly enough, some of these monsters were also recycled to be used in the ‘Star Trek‘ series. Besides being thoroughly entertaining, ‘The Outer Limit’ truly managed to push the boundaries of television. It is also one of the shows to raise philosophical questions in a science TV series, something we earlier saw in ‘The Twilight Zone’. Each episode begins with a creepy message, claiming that the viewer’s television show has been taken over by an unseen voice, which will now take us to ‘The Outer Limits’.
Read More: TV Shows Like The Spy
1. Inside No. 9 (2014-)
The only comedy anthology series in this entire list, ‘Inside No. 9’ has a striking similarity with ‘Room 104’, since in this series, the number 9 is a recurring occurrence in every single story. The theme of each story in this anthology series may vary, but a dark, and at times perverse humor is a mainstay. Each story of ‘Inside No. 9’ is extremely well-written by the duo of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, and throws us in a completely different world, with unique settings and characters so that no two stories look or feel the same. The performances are also quite brilliant. Critics have praised the series and it is now considered to be one of the finest comedies in television in recent times.
Read More: TV Shows Like The I-Land