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6 Shows like Hemlock Grove: Ohh the Haunted Places

James Thomas itcherNetflix has mastered its own, novel approach to intellectual TV series by going after the darker, less appreciated and more offbeat shows. I am not surprised that these Netflix shows have gained popularity; TV shows like ‘Hemlock Grove’ are strange and wonderful in a way that haunts you, while at the same time giving you familiar tropes with a fresh spin. If you’re like me and enjoy weird horror and fantasy check out shows like ‘True Blood’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’, ‘The Originals’, and ‘Buffy: The Vampire Slayer’. ~ James Thomas

Our Weird World

Welcome to Hemlock Grove a confusing little town named after a poison and filled with monsters and vipers, and those are the good guys. As in all good towns the population fluctuates, but when the show begins that number is on a decidedly downward trend.

The town houses werewolf gypsies who hide their condition about as well as thieves stacking bags of cash with a dollar sign drawn them in front of their house like sand bags, vampires too classy for the name, and apparently angel and aliens. Yeah, the little gray ones.

The show is written in a way that makes me feel like I am dreaming, and the two protagonists, Roman Godfrey, a young vampire, and Peter Rumancek, a teenage werewolf, dig up secrets that turn that dream quickly into a nightmare.


Shows Similar to ‘Hemlock Grove’…

‘True Blood’ (HBO, 2008-2014)

The world of ‘True Blood’ is pretty much an outpost for every arcane monster you can think of, from ifrits to maenads.

Bon Temps, a fictional backwater town near New Orleans, is a place where rotting churches, rot gut whiskey, and crawfish are common. In other words, it’s mystical enough without the monsters.

Typical of a place in a TV series like ‘Hemlock Grove’, the town of Bon Temps is full of secrets and many of them come with fangs and the ability to shift their shapes into all manner of animals. But it’s the vampires and a young woman named Sookie Stackhouse that rule this town.

Similarity Match: 95%
‘True Blood’ takes the concept of monsters living amongst humans to a more realistic place than ‘Hemlock Grove’, but they each have an unexpectedly high number of species living in a small town.

‘Vampire Diaries’ (The CW, 2009- )

When I describe ‘Vampire Diaries’ and ‘True Blood’ in the same breath, they seem identical. However, these shows are very different, and ‘Vampire Diaries’ plays to a very specific crowd. This little gem is young adult gold, filled with lots of PG violence, love triangles would make physicist’s head explode and creatures who still bother to hide their nature.

‘Vampire Diaries’ take place in Mystic Falls, a cozy town with a menagerie of vampires, werewolves, witches and more inflate the population. And as in all good series similar to ‘Hemlock Grove’ the threat of death is always present.

The supernatural beings in this town have been here since the first settlers, and by settlers I mean natives, arrived. Unfortunately, for the town and the main protagonist Elena Gilbert, when monsters want to have a war Mystic Falls is where it happens.

Similarity Match: 90%
‘Vampire Dairies’ is a stripped down romance before it’s a monster show. But it still has the same high volume of blood sucking beast added to make things interesting.

‘The Originals’ (CW, 2013- )

I think as a spin-off from ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ ‘The Originals’ might seem like a collection of old ideas to some, but honestly this thing is more graphic than a supercut of every murder in ‘Scarface,’ ‘Goodfellas,’ and the blood fountain bed in ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ all molded into one.

This slaughter is the result of every single one of the main characters being a super powered mega-vampire that can only be killed by wood from a special tree. A tree that their leader burned while laughing manically at his enemies as last bit of smoldering hope disappeared…

The vampires are the Mikaelson siblings, otherwise known as ‘The Originals,’ the very first vampires who started the whole murderous breed. Consequently if someone happens to kill one of them (good luck) every vampire in their line dies. Seriously, who is stupid enough to attack these people!?!

Similarity Match: 90%
This show really turns up the mythology of the world of supernatural creatures in a way that is organic and fun. But though it’s strange it isn’t as twisted as ‘Hemlock Grove’.

‘Buffy: The Vampire Slayer’ (The WB-UP, 1997-2003)

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer’ is an icon amongst TV shows like ‘Hemlock Grove’ and one of my favorite shows. The Buffy universe is filled with a whole variety of strange supernatural monsters… that Buffy and her friends promptly try to kill.

That’s right in this world there was initially very little room for coexistence after all Buffy Summer is the slayer. Of course after a time some witches, werewolves and vampires in Sunnydale where the show takes place, join the side of good.

As the show evolved the way the human world interacts with the supernatural, the world changes out of necessity and by the end of the show we’ve been introduced to all sorts of creatures. The biggest lesson of the show? Sometimes the most dangerous monsters are humans.

Similarity Match: 85%
The town of Sunny Dale has the same high frequency of strained relationships based on poor interspecies relationships, but ‘Hemlock Grove’ is not situated on top of a literal gateway to hell.


If You Like ‘Hemlock Grove’, You Will Like…

Not every supernatural show is grounded in a fictional town, and some tell the story of the community of the otherworldly creatures as they have affected history. These two shows share the supernatural influence of ‘Hemlock Grove’, but one of them takes its story to the big city while the other looks at a tight-knit secret community.

‘Angel’ (Fox, 1999-2004)

The spin-off series ‘Angel’ is far removed from the small town of Sunnydale where the character got his start. In the show Angel’s looking for redemption and to get over Buffy, who had dumped him in one of the toughest episodes of the series has opened up his private detective agency and spends his days saving the vulnerable folks of Los Angeles.

Of course, because Angel chooses the largest city in California his job is pretty much a cruel purgatory. The hero of the show faces triple the amount of threats that he once dealt with protecting a small group of people and occasionally saving the world.

‘Angel’ deals with the same supernatural weirdness as ‘Hemlock Grove,’ but in a much larger world.

‘American Horror Story Coven’ (FX, 2013-2014)

Every season of ‘American Horror Story’ is a different story from the one before or the one after, but the one that I am going to look at is the season called ‘American Horror Story Coven’ which mostly covers witches, and I think it might be the best one yet. The characters in this series are based in a beautiful home in an upper class area of New Orleans, but they are not so tied to the place that they don’t leave.

Murder mystery ‘American Horror Story Coven’ deals with the questions of accession to power and the survival of tradition. That’s right, we’re going to have ourselves on old fashioned witch fight!

‘American Horror Story Coven’ is a show that deals with a specific group of supernatural beings who have their own internal conflict. Though other creatures are alluded to and even encounter from time to time the witches are the stars of the show.


Monster among Us

The way that horror is being brought to the small screen is evolving in some strange and interesting ways.

Would you like to live in a town like Hemlock Grove?

Let me know in the comments down below.

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