The image of the gun-slinging, horse-riding, tobacco-chewing cowboy as the quintessential symbol of the American Old West is frequently romanticized as this anarchic and chaotic frontier. The popularization of the Western United States was aided by modern media in particular. This period of large English colonization (encouraged by President Jefferson) in the 18th and 19th centuries, along with the media’s relentless sensationalization, propelled the genre into popular culture. The mythology of the West established a firm hold on the imagination of people all over the world as the American frontier slipped into history, thanks to its countless and repeated depictions in comic books, films, and children’s toys.
Westerns are still a popular film genre, with streaming giants like Amazon, HBO, and Netflix pouring money into them. With the revival of the television genre, some series are now delving further into Western themes. By sustaining the lawless, harsh, and wild indications of the time, recurring characters and plot structures of this genre map out the ‘Otherness’ amid the vast plains and deserts. Bandits, bounty hunters, Native Americans, outlaws, and gamblers are among the characters. American and Mexican folk music, such as country and ranching, are frequently featured in the background score. The ever-evolving Western genre has found a home in Netflix’s digital library, with both television and movie programming. Today, we’ll look at a list of really good Western series on Netflix that are now accessible to stream.
Table Of Content
- 1 Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013)
- 2 Cowboy Bebop (2021 -)
- 3 Damnation (2017-2018)
- 4 From Dawn till Dusk: The Series (2014-2016)
- 5 Frontier (2016-)
- 6 Godless (2017)
- 7 Hap and Leonard (2016-2018)
- 8 Heartland (2007-)
- 9 Longmire (2011-)
- 10 Luke Cage (2016 – 2018)
- 11 Supernatural (2005-2020)
- 12 The Ranch (2016-2020)
- 13 The Walking Dead (2010 -)
- 14 Thieves of the Wood (2018-)
- 15 Wynonna Earp (2016-)
Breaking Bad (2008 – 2013)
‘Breaking Bad’ is a neo-western crime drama television series that has been hailed as one of the best shows ever made in television history since its premiere in 2008. It initially aired on AMC for five seasons and was created by the maverick genius Vince Gilligan. The premise is a one-of-a-kind, modern spin on the American ‘Wild West,’ hence it’s on this list. When a delicious neo-western setting is combined with Bryan Cranston’s career-best performance as Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher turned drug king, and the background of New Mexico, you get a captivating neo-western setting. ‘Breaking Bad’ depicts the outlaws as otherwise domesticated persons, rather than donning cowboy hats and riding horses. The desert landscape’s wilderness is as important to the characters’ inherent wilderness as it is to classic Western flicks. In 2013, ‘Breaking Bad’ was named the most critically acclaimed show of all time by the Guinness Book of World Records. A spin-off prequel series titled “Better Call Saul” (created later by Gilligan) is also highly recommended.
Cowboy Bebop (2021 -)
‘Cowboy Bebop,’ a science fiction western show created by Christopher Yost, is based on the anime series of the same name. The series isn’t completely western because it combines various different genres, but it’s still worth watching for fans of shows set in the West. The plot of ‘Cowboy Bebop’ centres around bounty hunters pursuing the galaxy’s most deadly outlaws. Spike Spiegel leads the ragtag squad, which takes on a variety of life-threatening missions, frequently saving the world in the process but only if they are given the appropriate price.
Seth Davenport has a history of violence. However, he disguises himself as a preacher in order to support a strike against selfish and corrupt local industrialists and agencies. Creeley Turner, on the other hand, is there to sabotage his attempts. Seth and Creeley are estranged siblings, which the townspeople are unaware of. ‘Damnation,’ set during the Great Depression, dramatizes the American labor struggles of the 1930s. Killian Scott, Logan Marshall-Green, and Sarah Jones star in the film. Despite the fact that the show was canceled after only one season, fans have been clamoring for a sequel to this dark tale.
From Dawn till Dusk: The Series (2014-2016)
This series was created by Robert Rodriguez. Did you realize, though, that he was also the director of the cult classic eponymous film that inspired this TV show? ‘From Dawn to Dusk: The Series’ is a sequel to the horror franchise, but this time with a Western twist. Seth and Richie Gecko have returned. However, the FBI and Texas Ranger Freddie Gonzalez are on the lookout for the brothers when a robbery leaves numerous people dead. In order to gain their freedom, the siblings travel to the Mexican border and kidnap Jacob Fuller, a former clergyman, and his family.
They eventually end up in a pub run by vampires, which they had no idea about. The story that follows is one of survival. D. J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz play the Gecko brothers, while Jesse Garcia plays the Texas Ranger who is on their tail. The plot, which captures the heart of the film, combines aspects from both the Western and horror genres. So, if you’re looking for something unique, keep this concert in mind.
Frontier is a historical period drama co-produced by Discovery Canada and Netflix that extensively pulls from the Western genre. It stars none other than our very own Khal Drogo, Jason Momoa, and chronicles the North American fur trade in the late 1700s in Canada. He portrays a part-Irish, part-Cree criminal who is fighting the Hudson Bay Company’s stranglehold on the corrupt fur trade. The show is exceptionally high on our list due to its captivating plot and excellent performers.
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The Emmy-winning ‘Godless,’ a Netflix original production developed by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Scott Frank, has been named one of the ten finest TV series of the year by major magazines. In September 2016, production on this seven-episode series began in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The miniseries got favorable reviews and starred Jack O’ Connell, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy, Merrit Wever, Thomas Brodie Sangster, and Sam Waterston. The story revolves around Roy Coode, an injured outlaw on the run from his former boss, the legendary criminal Frank Griffin, who seeks safety in a remote mining town dominated by women. This series is jam-packed with action and provides for a riveting viewing experience.
Hap and Leonard (2016-2018)
Joe R. Lansdale invented the characters that the titular protagonists are based on. In a series of novels, the author recorded the adventures of Hap and Leonard, two amateur investigators who work out of the fictitious hamlet of LaBorde in East Texas. The best friends put everything they have into solving the horrible and harrowing murders they come across. James Purefoy and Michael Kenneth Williams are playing the characters in the TV series. ‘Hap and Leonard’ is set in the 1980s and contains a diverse range of stories with a variety of themes. The protagonists must juggle a buried treasure, a femme fatale, and a gang of insane killers. Drama, comedy, action, and violence are all present in the very engaging stories, and fans were disappointed when the show was not renewed for a fourth season. Keep that in mind for when you want something that follows in the footsteps of the Old West stories but in a less traditional way.
Since its premiere more than a decade ago, ‘Heartland’ has developed a devoted following. Lauren Brooke’s novel of the same name served as the inspiration for the screenplay. The Fleming sisters and their grandfather, Jack Bartlett, are introduced as they face numerous challenges while living on the ranch. So, what is it about the series that makes it so Western? After all, it may be said that it significantly relies on drama to advance the plot.
However, we believe that the genre’s core rests in the themes it addresses rather than a specific type of on-screen figure. Sure, the booted up cowboy conjures up images of the Old West, and we’re not disputing that. However, it’s also crucial to decipher the plot’s deeper meaning. In traditional Westerns, the protagonist frequently seeks vengeance to redress wrongs, albeit with the aid of guns. ‘Heartland,’ while lacking this specific feature, nevertheless focuses on themes of right vs wrong, family, love, compassion, and defending what is essential to you. After all, there’s a reason it’s in its fourteenth season.
Longmire is a modern Western crime program created by John Coveny and Hunt Baldwin in the United States. It is based on the best-selling novelist Craig Johnson’s ‘Walt Longmire Mysteries,’ a series of novels. The titular character, Walt Longmire, is a sheriff in the fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming, and the plot revolves around his solving big crimes in his territory. The show’s first three seasons aired on ‘A&E,’ and it went on to become the network’s highest-rated television series. When the network opted not to renew it, Netflix stepped in to save the fourth season. On the aforementioned platform, you may watch episodes from all six seasons online.
Luke Cage (2016 – 2018)
‘Luke Cage,’ a superhero neo-western series starring Mike Colter, Alfre Woodard, and Rosario Dawson, was created by Cheo Hodari Coker. The series follows the titular protagonist, whose life takes an unexpected turn after a failed experiment results in his gaining superhuman abilities. When Luke moves to Harlem, he tries to keep a low profile, but he is eventually pulled into a struggle for the city. The series chronicles his personal life as well as his heroic mishaps.
‘Supernatural’ will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the decade’s most important and popular shows. For those who are unfamiliar with the series, it follows the Winchester brothers as they battle evil and supernatural beings such as demons and ghosts. At its essence, the show tells a well-crafted story that explains how the characters grow as they continue to battle demonic creatures.
While it is classified as a horror film, the plot is remarkably similar to that of a Western. Instead of confronting the bad guy in the Old West, they catch up with their adversaries all around the United States. Furthermore, the brothers’ ’67 Chevy Impala, which they travel in while listening to rock music, could be considered the modern-day version of the brave horse. The plot is extremely suspenseful, and Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles deliver outstanding performances, making this show a must-see.
The Ranch (2016-2020)
Westerns are known for being passionate, violent, and confrontational films. The Ranch, on the other hand, is a comedy series. However, we believe that this is what makes the show so special. It follows the Bennetts, who live on the ranch and strive to make the best of their circumstances. It appears to be just another comedy show on the surface. However, we believe that ‘The Ranch’ significantly modernizes the Western genre. After all, the most popular picture of a cowboy from a time when industrialization brought rural towns to their knees is associated with the genre. This show may not have the same aesthetic as the original, but it contains many of the same components as the Old West stories. Furthermore, by setting the story in modern times, it allows us to examine how a cowboy ranch operates in the twenty-first century.
The Bennett brothers are played by Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson (who was later fired due to sexual harassment charges). After ‘That 70s Show,’ we get to witness them have a relationship onscreen once again. Their father, Beau, is played by Sam Elliot, while their mother, Maggie, is played by Debra Winger. As a result, the series boasts a star-studded ensemble. We recommend ‘The Ranch’ if you’re looking for something different within the genre.
The Walking Dead (2010 -)
‘The Walking Dead,’ a zombie apocalypse neo-western drama created by Frank Darabont, is based on Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore’s comic book of the same name. The story depicts a group of lucky survivors in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse who must fight for their survival while facing an existential menace. With their lives on the line, these survivors must make difficult decisions and struggle with competing groups eager to go to any length for their own survival.
Thieves of the Wood (2018-)
The storyline is based on Louis Paul Boon’s book ‘De Bende van Jan de Lichte,’ and the cinematography does not fit the description of a traditional Western. However, the plot incorporates a number of genre aspects, particularly when it comes to the action. So, what is the plot of the show? ‘Thieves of the Woods,’ on the other hand, tells the narrative of Jan de Lichte, a military hero who goes on to become a bandit and outlaw leader. However, he is more than meets the eye at first glance. Consider the protagonist as someone who lends a helping hand to people who are less fortunate. He looks a much like Robin Hood. The drama is set in the 18th century, and it deserves praise for its accurate and realistic depictions of Belgian life at the period.
This show is worth seeing if you’re looking for something historical and gritty. Matteo Simoni, Stef Aerts, Jeroen Perceval, and Dirk Roofthooft are among the cast members who have provided outstanding performances. The series is also quite interesting because of the character development.
Wynonna Earp (2016-)
This drama series expertly blends mystical elements with a hearty dosage of horror to create a one-of-a-kind Western product. Surprisingly, it is based on a Beau Smith comic book series. Wyatt Earp’s great-great-granddaughter is included in the story. (For those unfamiliar with him, he is a historical person most known for his roles as a gambler, lawman, and deputy marshal in the Old West during the nineteenth century.)
Wynonna discovers she possesses extraordinary abilities that allow her to return revenants to Hell on her 27th birthday. These animated corpses are usually those who were slaughtered by her famous ancestor. She also has to deal with a number of supernatural happenings in order to break her family’s curse. We understand if, despite the interesting plot, you’re still hesitant to watch the show. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Melanie Scrofano, Shamier Anderson, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, and Katherine Barrell’s outstanding performances in ‘Wynonna Earp.’ Furthermore, this Canadian co-production adds a fresh perspective to a traditionally male-dominated genre.
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