The best shows like Peaky Blinders tend to invest a lot of their effort into a solid story line and well thought out characters. British TV has a certain grit about it that I feel our neighbors across the pond have trouble replicating. Shows like Sherlock and Whitechapel prove that us Brits can make a mean whodunit series. However, despite the theatrical success of movies like Snatch and Lock Stock, there hadn’t been a British gangster TV show that had ever reached the dizzying heights of the other shows like Peaky Blinders, including The Sopranos or Boardwalk Empire.
All that has since changed following the release of Steven Knight’s runaway success, Peaky Blinders. It’s set in post-war Birmingham and follows the exploits of a gang notorious for slashing people’s faces with razor blades attached to the insides of their peaked caps. Central to the story are the Shelby family, a small family who graduate from petty criminal to become a full-blown crime syndicate.
It debuted back in 2013 and continued for five seasons, with a sixth and seventh in the pipeline. It has a score of 8.8 on IMDb with more than 300,000 reviews. Cillian Murphy stars as the lead, Thomas Shelby, who is hell-bent on growing his family enterprise into a global force. Gangster series set in the heart of the midlands are rare, so shows similar to Peaky Blinders aren’t in great abundance.
We’ve made a list of the best Netflix shows like Peaky Blinders to get your fix of gangster antics while you wait for the new season.
What does Peaky Blinders mean?
Peaky Blinders refers to the name of the game in the series itself. Their name comes from the type of weapons they used to carry. They stitch razor blades on the inside of their flat caps and would use them when fighting. During that period, flat caps were called ‘peakys,’ and members would often headbutt during the fight causing temporary blindness. Hence the term Peaky Blinders.
The Peaky Blinders were, in fact, a real gang. The rose out of the economic deprivation that much of the British working class faced at the time.
What are the best shows like Peaky Blinders on Netflix?
If you’re looking for shows similar to Peaky Blinders set in England, you may be out of luck with this one. Godless is set in the states and around 30 years after the events of Peaky Blinders. However, there are numerous similarities between the shows. Both are packed full of shocking and brutal violence, and both also have an undertone of grimness about them.
Like Peaky Blinder, Godless has a central cast of men propped up by solid female characters. It’s got some rave views and has an excellent cast with Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery, Jeff Daniels, and Scoot McNairy starring. The legendary Steven Soderbergh is also on board as the producer.
IMDb rating: 8.5
7Suburra: Blood on Rome
Set as a prequel to the movie Suburra, the series draws from the Mafia Capitale Investigation’s real-life events. It centers around the struggle for power and corruption in the world of organized crime. The Italian director, Stefano Silloma, took the show’s reins following his exceptional work on the movie and its success.
The show was the first Italian-language Netflix original and was developed by Daniele Cesarano and Barbara Petronio. It’s a show similar to Peaky Blinders. It follows the ruthless nature of the underworld and the often surprising people that wind up in it, including politicians, and church figures.
Currently, there is a third and final season in the pipeline and could potentially arrive by the end of the year, COVID permitted. There are subtitles for the first two seasons, so grab some popcorn and enjoy it.
IMDb rating: 8.0
Who doesn’t love seeing Jason Momoa play an enormous antihero Native American dishing out some pain? The is set in colonial times and see’s Momoa play Declan Harp, who is half Irish and half Cree Native-Canadian. He is trying to disrupt the monopoly a company has on the local fur trade.
It’s like other shows similar to Peaky Blinders because it’s set in past, full of tough-talking men, and chocked full of machismo and violence.
IMDb rating: 7.2
Hache moved away from a grim and miserable post-war Birmingham to a glamorous Barcelona in the 1960s. It’s a Spanish crime drama and indeed a more high-class affair than shows similar to Peaky Blinders. It debuted in 2019, and there are eight installments for you to enjoy.
Javier Rey stars as Malpica, the drug kingpin, and Adriana Urgarte is ‘H,’ pronounced by Spanish speakers. The series is intensely gripping, and you won’t be able to take your eyes away. The acting is top-notch and has an excellent storyline, which helps to drive the plot forward at a spectacular pace.
IMDb rating: 6.2
4Dogs of Berlin
Dogs of Berlin is similar to Peaky Blinders in the sense that they are both international affairs. The Lebanese mob, the Berlin Mafia, some Turkish nationalists, neo-nazis, and even some football hooligans all-star in his action-packed series. The plot centers around the death of Orkan Erdem, a German football star who has a striking likeness to Mesut Ozil.
It follows two cops, Felix Kramer and Fahri Yardim. Kramer is corrupt while Yardim plays a by the book policeman looking to dig into the investigation. Make no mistake about it, Dogs of Berlin is full of violence and packed to the rafters with dodgy blokes carrying guns at all times. The show gives a real sense of the working of Berlin’s underbelly and offers a glimpse into the dark side of the cosmopolitan metropolis.
IMDb rating: 7.5
3Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
Sure an Aussie private detective series with a glamorous lead may not seem like it belongs on a list of shows like Peaky Blinders, but Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries will surprise you. It’s set around the same time, and there is also some on-screen violence for you to revel in.
Essie Davis sees herself on the other side of the law to the Peaky Blinders lot and plays the lead role as an outstanding detective. It makes for great entertainment but is a touch more restrained than Peaky Blinders.
IMDb rating: 8.4
Boardwalk Empire has become one of the most famous period crime dramas of all time. The HBO series isn’t on Netflix but is well worth a mention. It is set in the 1920s during the height of the prohibition and stars Steve Buscemi.
The show started in 2010 and went on to run for five incredible seasons, amassing 56 episodes along the way before finishing up in 2014. It received 57 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, taking 20. It also won the two Golden Globes for Best TV series and a couple of Screen Actors Guild Awards.
It’s shows like Peaky Blinders that were built off the success of crime dramas such as this one. It follows the story of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, a politician who controls Atlantic City in the 1920s.
IMDb rating: 8.4
Based on a book of the same name, which was written by Roberto Saviano. It follows Ciro Di Marzio, a member of the Savastano gang, as he tries to navigate the dangerous obstacles that the underworld presents. It also involves other crime bosses like Salvatore Conte and has an all-star cast, including Marco D’Amore, Maria Pia Calzone, and Salvatore Esposito.
The show is exceptionally well-paced, and the acting is spot on. It’s become one of the most-watched shows on Sky and sold in more than 190 countries.
IMDb rating: 8.7