Full-length films have all the possibilities for revealing a complicated plot, demonstrating spectacular action and showing interesting characters. But often the stories become cramped within the “full length”, and the characters do not have enough screen time to fully reveal their nature. In this case, you can shoot the second part — or you can turn to the series format, which is much better suited for such purposes.
Today we will try to remember the most interesting series that “grew” from movies. This material can be considered a kind of continuation of 12 movies based on games that do not hurt to watch and 15 series and cartoons based on games: much better than movies.
We will immediately note that there will be only “live” series, without animation – perhaps we will turn to it another time. We also decided to add series from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to this list: although they are formally considered “series based on comics”, for the vast majority of viewers, their characters and events are inextricably linked to movies.
Agent CarterRelease years: 2015-2016 | IMDb: 7.9 | Metacritic: 73 / 7.7
A series based on the Marvel comics based on the Captain America: The First Avenger movie, which tells the story of Peggy Carter, who works as a secret agent in the United States in the 40s. Agent Carter is a stylish series with a dynamic plot that organically fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Release years: 2013–2020 | IMDb: 7.5 | Metacritic: 74 / 9.4
The first and probably the most successful series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — at least Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. lasted for 7 seasons! Created by the famous director and screenwriter Joss Whedon, it tells the story of the organization S.H.I.E.L.D., in which the agent Phil Coulson, who survived the events of the movie The Avengers. The series is quite closely related to the movies released at the time, so for the most complete immersion in the Marvel universe, it should be watched.
AndorRelease years: 2022-.. | IMDb: 8.4 | Metacritic: 74 / 8.3
The direction in which the Star Wars franchise has been developing in recent years is probably not pleasing to anyone. However, there was one film included in a separate “Anthology”, which turned out to be better than the entire last trilogy combined. This is Rogue One, which told the story of a group of rebels, who are trying to steal the plans of the Death Star, and served as a prequel to the very first classic Star Wars of 1977. It’s no wonder that one of the best series in the Star Wars universe is Andor, a prequel to Rogue One, starring one of the rebel group from the movie, Cassian Andor. In the series, he is still a thief who is just starting to work with the rebels. As in Rogue One, Andor has practically no standard “star” pathos: it is a gloomy story in which there is no clear division into unambiguously bad or good characters.
Ash vs. Evil DeadRelease years: 2015-2018 | IMDb: 8.4 | Metacritic: 76 / 8.9
In the original Evil Dead trilogy, only the first 1981 movie was really horror – from the second part, the series turns into a farce and looks more like a black comedy. The series Ash vs. Evil Dead was first released 23 years after the last part, Army of Darkness (we will not take into account the restart of the cycle in 2013 with other actors). The series also takes place much later than the trilogy, about 30 years later, so an aged Bruce Campbell, who returned to the role of Ash, looks quite natural in it. By genre Ash vs. Evil Dead, like the last two films in the trilogy, is a comedy horror, with absurd and often vulgar humor. Now you can watch the series on Netflix.
Bates MotelRelease years: 2013-2017 | IMDb: 8.1 | Metacritic: 69 / 8.2
Bates Motel is a modern prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Psycho (1960), which shows the lives of Norman Bates and his mother Norma before the events depicted in the film. The series aired on the American cable television network A&E, lasted for five seasons, had fairly high ratings and received favorable reviews from critics.
Buffy the Vampire SlayerRelease years: 1997-2003 | IMDb: 8.3 | Metacritic: 85 / 8.2
A story about the TV series based on the films is impossible without Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The youth series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, about the fate of an American girl who has superhuman powers, was released in the late 90s and early 2000s and was much more successful than the 1992 film of the same name it was based on. The author of both the film and the series was the same Joss Whedon – a famous director, screenwriter and producer, while the series is not related to the film in any way.
Cobra KaiRelease years: 2018-2023 | IMDb: 8.5 | Metacritic: 71 / 8.3
Another series that “resuscitates” a classic: Cobra Kai is a plot continuation of the 1984 movie The Karate Kid and tells the story of the adult characters of the film, how and what they live now, 34 years after the decisive match at the youth tournament All-Valley Karate Championship. Cobra Kai surprisingly turned out to be a funny series with a dynamic plot, and now has significantly higher ratings than the original movie. You can watch Cobra Kai on Netflix.
FargoRelease years: 2014 – .. | IMDb: 8.9 | Metacritic: 85 / 8.6
Detective black comedy, the creators of which were inspired by the 1996 film of the same name by the Coen brothers. The events of the series take place in the same universe, it is built in the format of an anthology: each new season has a separate story, in different eras and places and mostly with a new cast. A total of four seasons were released between 2014 and 2020, a year ago it was announced that the series would receive a fifth season, but it is still unknown when it will be released.
HighlanderRelease years: 1992-1998 | IMDb: 7.2 | Metacritic: tbd / 7.8
A fantasy series based on a series of films of the same name, or rather, an alternative sequel of the first part released in 1986. The series tells the story of another highlander from the Scottish McLeod clan – Duncan. Highlander was released in the mid-90s and now, most likely, it will no longer stand the “test of time” – however, when it was shown in Ukraine on the TET TV channel in the second half of the 2000s (in Ukrainian, by the way), it was a real hit.
Mr InbetweenRelease years: 2018-2021 | IMDb: 8.6 | Metacritic: 75 / 9.2
Australian crime “black comedy” drama based on the 2005 movie The Magician. Like the film, the series was created by director Scott Ryan, who also wrote and starred in the series. As it often happens, Mr Inbetween received much better reviews than the original film – the story of a gangster who tries to find a balance between his work and his family and friends, was liked by both critics and viewers.
Stargate SG-1Release years: 1997-2007 | IMDb: 8.4 | Metacritic: 48 / 8.9
Another classic of television fiction. Stargate SG-1 is a direct sequel to Stargate (1994) – the series begins a year after its end and shows us the adventures of the SG-1 squad, which travels through infinite worlds with the help of the stargate. The series was very popular in its time and lasted for 10 seasons (over 200 episodes!) – and even now it still has a lot of fans. In addition, the Stargate franchise includes two more major series – Stargate Atlantis (2004-2009) and Stargate Universe (2009-2011), but their ratings were lower.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor ChroniclesRelease years: 2008-2009 | IMDb: 7.6 | Metacritic: 73 / 8.0
A series in the Terminator universe, which is a continuation of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (and pretends that Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines does not exist). The Sarah Connor Chronicles is definitely not the worst thing that came out in this franchise, moreover, after the first two parts, it is probably the only thing that deserves attention. Separately, it is worth noting that Lena Headey starred as Sarah Connor (even before she became Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones), and Summer Glau (Firefly) played the terminator. Unfortunately, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was canceled after the second season due to the high cost of production.
The MandalorianRelease years: 2019-.. | IMDb: 8.7 | Metacritic: 71 / 8.4
The most successful series in the Star Wars universe. By genre, The Mandalorian is a kind of space western, which tells the story of the adventures of a lone bounty hunter and “baby Yoda”. The events of The Mandalorian take place after the fall of the Empire, five years after the last film in the classic trilogy, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. Thanks to the exciting plot and charismatic characters, The Mandalorian gained high popularity: according to the statistics of the marketing company Nielsen, the first season of the series “earned” almost 5.5 billion minutes of viewing in seven weeks of broadcasting, and became the first non-Netflix series to take first place in the Nielsen rating.
Les revenants / The ReturnedRelease years: 2012-2015 | IMDb: 8.1 | Metacritic: 89 / 8.5
French TV series based on the 2004 French film of the same name that aired on Canal+ TV channels. Les revenants is a drama series with elements of horror, which tells about the return of dead people to their living relatives and acquaintances and their efforts to reintegrate into society. The first season won the Best Drama Series category at the International Emmy Award, the second and final season was released in 2015, and in the same year, the American company A+E Studios filmed its remake under the name The Returned.
WandaVisionYear of release: 2019 | IMDb: 7.9 | Metacritic: 77 / 7.0
The series about the Scarlet Witch and the robot Vision, which is part of the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Events take place after the end of the movie Avengers: Endgame, Wanda and Vision live an idyllic country life, but when their reality begins to pass through decades of various television sitcoms, it becomes clear that “something is wrong.” WandaVision is a one-season miniseries with 9 half-hour episodes each, has a very unusual style that won’t appeal to everyone, but has been generally well-received by both viewers and critics (in particular, as seen on IMDb, it received over 30 different awards and more than 100 nominations).
WestworldRelease years: 2016-2022 | IMDb: 8.5 | Metacritic: 71 / 7.9
Fantasy series is based on the 1973 film of the same name starring Yul Brynner in the main role. Westworld is the name of a futuristic amusement park that recreates the era of the Wild West. Its inhabitants are humanoid robots that are supposed to entertain visitors who came to it to realize their wildest dreams. The first season was a great success, after which the series was quite expectedly extended to the second and so on. However, with each new season, both the ratings and the viewership steadily declined, and eventually Westworld was canceled – HBO closed the series after four seasons, although its creators were already planning a fifth and final season.
What We Do in the ShadowsRelease years: 2019-.. | IMDb: 8.6 | Metacritic: 83 / 8.5
A mockumentary horror comedy series based on the 2014 New Zealand film of the same name directed by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement. The series tells about the everyday life of vampires on Staten Island in New York and their interaction with the modern world.