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9 shows to watch like ‘Yellowstone’

Drama, romance, and Westerns!

The Yellowstone cast posed in a field with a pickup
Image via Peacock/Paramount Pictures

Paramount’s Yellowstone is an emotional, addictive, and multifaceted look at life on the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch and the fight for survival for the family that owns it — in several different ways. 

There’s the literal fight for survival — the family certainly has their fair share of enemies across the great state. There’s also the battle for the survival of their name — the Dutton name holds a lot of weight, and many people would love to see it destroyed. 

They’re also trying to keep their family together, which is a fight all on its own. The Duttons are all powerful, strong, and quite stubborn, believing they know what’s best for their family (above anyone else) and often acting upon it without consulting anyone first. They all have a similar end goal, but their journeys to finding it are all quite different. 

Amid their struggles, the Dutton family also has to learn to trust and gain the trust of particular people in their circles — relying on those they’d rather keep their distance from. The Native American storyline within the series is also important, especially in the most recent seasons.

There’s also the beautiful scenery, the romance, and the sexual tension that keeps viewers intrigued from episode to episode. Rip Wheeler and Beth Dutton have gained a cult following, Kayce and Monica Dutton have taken fans on a love/hate journey, and patriarch John Dutton has had a love interest (or two) across the series so far. 

There’s also the whole ranch setting in a surreal location with animal interaction and wildlife, which is breathtaking and appeals to all the senses, taking you on a beautiful ride. If you’re not yet sold on the series, believe us when we say — you’re missing out. 

On the other hand, if you’re anxiously awaiting the fifth season of Yellowstone, there are other shows out there that just might hold you over until November rolls around. 

1. 1883 (2021)

Most fans of Yellowstone have already watched 1883, but if you’ve not yet seen it, the series serves as a prequel and gives fans a deeper look into the Dutton’s quest to achieve their dreams. 

James Dutton (Tim McGraw), John Dutton’s great-grandfather, takes his family on a journey out West after meeting up with two wagon train leaders. The journey is anything but smooth. In fact, it’s pretty intense and painful — full of heartache and loss. 

The ten-episode series saw what the arduous road to owning the land now called the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch was like and why there’s such a power struggle for the family to keep it. We won’t give too much away, but it is a fantastic watch — and you’ll need some tissues. 

1883 is available to stream on Paramount Plus.

2. Big Sky (2020)

Big Sky is a series much like Yellowstone but emphasizes the Western genre slightly less. The series is set in Yellowstone, has a lot of drama, a high body count, and sprinkles in a touch of romance. Big Sky isn’t as long-running as Yellowstone just yet, but you’ll be hooked on the characters and their storyline from the very first episode. 

Each season continues the storyline of central characters with new ones invited in, showcasing an intricately woven story and how easy it is for the bad guys to succeed, especially when they’ve got their hand in everything. 

Big Sky is intriguing and masterfully crafted. Plus, now is the perfect opportunity to binge the first two seasons while enduring the agonizing wait for the third, which is set to premiere this fall. 

Big Sky is available to stream on Hulu.

3. Hell on Wheels (2011)

Airing originally from 2011 to 2016, Hell on Wheels was an AMC series focused on revenge, the Union Pacific Railroad, and the power of heartbreak. 

Anson Mount portrays Cullen Bohannon, a man who lost his wife and son at the hands of Union soldiers. Before their passing, Bohannon had been a Confederate Soldier, but he sets off to avenge their death, and everything changes. 

The series sees Bohannon as he undergoes a transformation from a man hell-bent on revenge to a humbled man who wants to honor his fallen family members. It’s emotional, it’s western, it’s got a heavy dose of drama, and it’s an excellent watch for any fan of Yellowstone

Hell on Wheels is available to stream on AMC Plus.

4. Virgin River (2019)

Virgin River is less a western, but still highlights romance and drama in a picturesque setting. If one of the draws of Yellowstone for you is the love that blossoms — Virgin River will likely become a new favorite. 

When Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge) moves to Virgin River in Northern California, she hopes that a beautiful small town will be the answer to the questions in her heart. 

Mel is anticipating spending just a year in Virgin River to assist the town doctor (Tim Matheson) and reset her spirit, but things soon change. She realizes that the small town life she anticipated didn’t quite prompt the reset she was hoping for. 

She finds excitement, romance, and even the cartel in Virgin River, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Yellowstone fans can now tune in and watch all four seasons. 

Virgin River is available to stream on Netflix.

5. Heartland (2007)

Heartland is an excellent watch for families; far more wholesome than Yellowstone, but it still has its share of drama, romance, and excitement. 

The series is set on a ranch and follows the Fleming-Bartlett Family as they struggle through loss, heartache, betrayal, and pain. It’s one of the longest-running shows in Canadian history and also one of the most emotional. 

Like Yellowstone, the series also highlights animals and their place on the ranch, with a specific focus of Heartland being horses and horse training. It’s a beautiful and heart-wrenching story that unfolds neatly per episode, and you grow attached to the characters as the series progresses. 

Heartland is available to stream on Hulu.

6. Sons of Anarchy (2008)

Sons of Anarchy is a series that many fans likely watched before they first tuned into Yellowstone, but if you’ve yet to see it — there are plenty of similarities. 

The story revolves around a father and member of the motorcycle club SAMCRO (Charlie Hunnam), who discovers a deeply rooted relationship with the group. The series is full of drama, violence, romance, and betrayal. Like Yellowstone, family is an essential theme in SOA, with the motorcycle club members taking the ultimate pledge of loyalty to one another.

Of course, it’s not all coming up roses, and there’s an element of back-stabbing, power hunger, and gang violence mixed with government corruption. 

SOA is a bit heavier than Yellowstone, but the elements are still the same. The characters don’t know who to trust, who to depend on, and when/if someone will take their lives from them. 

Sons of Anarchy is available to stream on Hulu.

7. Everwood (2002)

Hear us out on this one; it might not have crime and drama in troves like Yellowstone, but it does highlight the importance of relationships and the ups and downs that people experience while forming them. 

When a surgeon named Andrew Brown (Treat Williams) suffers a deep heartache from the loss of his wife, he moves his family to an idyllic Colorado town for a fresh start.

The drama in Everwood is different than it is in Yellowstone, but it’s certainly not lacking. There are secrets to be uncovered, love to be found, and hearts to be healed or broken. 

Everwood is available to stream on HBO Max. 

8. Justified (2010)

Justified is a series with many similarities to Yellowstone, including the main character, who adheres to the Western way of life. Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a deputy with a draw to the Wild West, is transferred back to his home state after shooting a criminal under questionable circumstances.

In Kentucky, Deputy Givens quickly discovers that a hometown resident killed her abusive husband and that his family will undeniably hunt her down. He must help protect her, and with good reason. The family is out to get her, and Deputy Givens’ way of getting justice is what his small town, and Ms. Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter), need most.

The series saw small-town justice being served, ties being broken, and trust both earned and lost, with all of it centered around one man and his loyalty to his word and promises.

As deputy, Givens swore to protect those who needed him most, and even in his unconventional ways, he made a point of doing just that.

Justified is available to stream on Hulu.

9. Longmire (2012)

Longmire (like a few shows on this list) sees a widower trying to adjust to life without his partner, all while maintaining his career. Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor), the Sheriff of Absaroka County, struggles with all things unjust. His plate is full, and he’s got a daughter that worries about him since he lost his wife.

Secrets are soon uncovered, and it’s evident that what people think they know is far from the truth in most cases. Airing for six seasons, there’s a lot of drama in Longmire, and it’s all open country, Western-themed, rouge justice — a lot like Yellowstone.

By the end of the series, with everything in the air and justices being served, things settle down for the characters, and it feels like a sense of order exists (in some regards). It’s a genuinely great watch for any fan of Yellowstone.

Longmire is available to stream on Peacock.

While each series has its own voice and feel, there’s a theme in any show that attracts audiences as Yellowstone does; the drama, the multifaceted characters, and the love that draws us all in. You can watch the first four seasons of Yellowstone on Peacock while waiting for the fifth to kick off this fall.

About the author

Ashley Marie

Ashley Marie is a staff writer, beat leader, Disney fanatic, and Yellowstone expert. When she's not filling her friends in on all the entertainment news they can handle, she's drinking her go-to Starbucks order — a caramel macchiato, thank you — and wishing she was at Disney World or spending time at the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. With a focus on positivity and kindness in journalism, Ashley has been writing for a decade and hopes to keep bringing you articles for decades to come.