Skip to main content

5 TV shows like Peacock’s Twisted Metal series you need to see

For Sony PlayStation gaming fans, there’s nothing quite like the steady barrage of bullets, missiles, burnt rubber, and mayhem that unfolds in a Twisted Metal video game. The Twisted Metal series has long been a gladiatorial match-up between the most colorful characters and their gnarly vehicles stacked with munitions and weaponry. Forget racing. Explosions, smoke, and blood are the rules of this game and the live-action realization of this video game pastime is hitting the Peacock streaming service.

As longtime fans and newcomers to this brand of vehicular combat embrace the Twisted Metal series, there will surely be an interest in other shows with similar themes and narratives. The thing is, there’s not much in the TV landscape quite like Twisted Metal. It’s an experience built off the backs of epic post-apocalyptic cinematic adventures like Mad Max. Yet, there are still existing TV series that are dark and visceral and play host to a cast of wild and colorful characters, possibly in a post-apocalyptic environment that might fit the bill.

Into the Badlands (2015-2019)

Daniel Wu as Sunny, Emily Beecham as The Widow, Aramis Knight as M.K., Ally Ioannides as Tilda in the series Into the Badlands.

This series can be found streaming on Netflix. It initially aired on AMC in 2015 and wrapped up in 2019. It’s a strong contender for an epic dystopian world that manages to pull together pieces of Mad Max, A Fistful of Dollars, and Enter the Dragon. This post-apocalyptic world is a colorful tapestry woven by influences from Western and martial arts films.

It takes place in the distant future where civilization has degraded after many wars into regions run by men and women who have seized power among their people. These rulers maintain a tenuous relationship with their cohorts in other regions with bloodshed always still being a real possibility. The series follows an elite warrior known as a “clipper” by the name of Sunny (Daniel Wu) who aims to put these feudal nations behind him and live a life of peace. Only that’s not what fate has in store for him.

Daybreak (2019)

Josh Wheeler and his allies walking in the Netflix series Daybreak.

This short-lived post-apocalyptic zombie world is one that, over time, has been proven an underrated sleeper hit. Netflix hasn’t deemed the series worthy of a second season beyond its first. The series focuses on high school students who have managed to survive the zombie apocalypse. The characters often make light of their situation through dark and meta humor including references to some of pop culture’s biggest hits.

The undead are ultimately secondary to this wild adventure as the teens break off across their desolate town into different factions who often clash with one another. For instance, the jocks embrace a Mad Max-esque approach to physical challenges and football gear that has been reformed into spiky armored duds that you’d expect to see from bandits in the Mel Gibson-led film series. One outsider, however, must navigate these social clicks-turned-gangs and bring his peers together for the good of all. The series is layered with humor, action, and heart – much like Twisted Metal.

Knight Rider (1982-1986)

Michael Knight standing in KITT in the TV series Knight Rider.

Let’s rewind the clock to 1982 for this next selection. This action series centers around Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff), a sanctioned crime-fighting vigilante of sorts. As an agent for the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG), Michael is tasked with taking on various missions in the fight for justice using one particularly valuable tool: KITT. This artificially intelligent car built under the hull of a Trans Am, is Michael’s partner in crime. It’s built like a fortress on wheels to withstand the heat of combat and the rigors of high-speed chases. Furthermore, KITT has a voice and personality of his own often giving Michael advice or a dose of sarcastic wit when he makes ill-advised choices.

One of the major draws to the Twisted Metal video game series is the spectacular vehicles and their prowess in turbulent chases and combat. There aren’t many TV series that have a combat-ready vehicle at the core of its narrative, but Knight Rider is an iconic series from the ’80s where some of pop culture’s best vehicles were conceived (the Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1, Doc Brown’s DeLorean, Mad Max’s V8 Interceptor, etc). The show could help fill the void if slick vehicles pique your interest.

See (2019-2022)

Jason Momoa looking up at snow falling from the sky in a scene from Apple TV+ See.
Apple TV+

Imagine a post-apocalyptic world teeming with bandits, clans, and families who simply want to survive. But the catch is that they’re all blind. Set in the distant future, humanity has lost the ever-crucial sense of sight due to apocalyptic events of the past. The Apple TV+ series begins with the idea that two children, a set of twins, are born with the gift of sight in this dangerous, future world. Some clans see their ability to see as witchcraft, while others understand what it could mean for the future of humankind.

DC superhero and Fast X villain Jason Momoa stars as Baba Voss, a highly-skilled warrior who leads a tribe of men and women to safety from warring bandits and a corrupt Queen in a larger part of the land. Voss falls in love with Maghra Kane (Hera Hilmar) who had birthed the two sighted children from a previous relationship. Voss takes on the role of their surrogate father and endeavors to protect them. The series features a litany of colorful, heroic, and unsavory characters in this post-apocalyptic landscape. While the tone is serious and the core narrative of See is drastically different, it shares some themes and a wild post-apocalyptic setting with Twisted Metal.

The Last of Us (2023)

Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us episode 8.

Perhaps you’re a PlayStation gaming fan and that’s what attracted you to the Twisted Metal series. Sony has launched an initiative that brings many of their most beloved gaming properties to live-action serial formats. The Last of Us aired on HBO in early 2023 and re-acquainted gaming fans with Joel and Ellie and their struggle for survival in a world ravaged by the Cordyceps plague that has turned much of humanity into mindless, rabid cannibals.

Like any post-apocalyptic world, there are those who would be allies and others who have more sinister intentions. The Last of Us and Twisted Metal both share a vast fanbase from their time as award-winning video games on PlayStation consoles. If the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us is any indication, Sony is aiming to produce quality live-action entertainment from its best properties.

Twisted Metal season one is now streaming on Peacock.

Editors' Recommendations

Christopher Hinton
Chris is a passionate and creative writer whose abiding fondness for cinema, video games, television, novels, and comic books…
5 movies and TV shows about the Boogeyman that you need to watch
strongest horror movie villains ranked hulu movies babadook

The Boogeyman is one of the most prevalent creatures in worldwide folklore. Though he appears differently with a different name in each culture, just about every child has been scared by the tale of how the Boogeyman will get them if they don't behave. As a result, many films and TV shows have utilized the concept of this mythical figure actually existing in some shape or form, with some characters becoming their own version of the Boogeyman.

Author Stephen King recently had his story about this legendary creature made into a blockbuster film. To audiences who want to see more stories about this kind of monster, these films and TV shows should be scary enough to make you check under your bed after watching them.
1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street

Read more
Anthony Mackie will star in Peacock’s Twisted Metal series
Anthony Mackie in Twisted Metal.

More than a quarter-century after its debut, the Twisted Metal video game series is heading to TV. According to Deadline, Peacock has ordered a live-action Twisted Metal show with Anthony Mackie in the leading role. Mackie will also executive produce the project for Sony Pictures TV, PlayStation Productions, and Universal Television.

Mackie is no stranger to TV after headlining season 2 of Netflix's Altered Carbon and the Disney+ show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Mackie has portrayed Sam Wilson/The Falcon since 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He is also set to headline Captain America 4 as the new Cap. His non-genre credits include The Hurt Locker and Outside the Wire.

Read more
7 most controversial Netflix movies ever
Three young girls blow kisses with their eyes closed while a fourth girl looks at the camera in the 2020 movie Cuties.

Netflix is by far the most popular streaming service, not to mention the most successful. Thanks to a large and impressive library of movies, from drama to comedy and sci-fi, Netflix has become the authority in the ever-erratic and increasingly divisive streaming world. Indeed, other services struggle, and some even fall to their knees, but Netflix remains, endures, and occasionally even thrives.

That's not to say Netflix is exempt from controversy. In fact, it has often been subjected to intense scrutiny from fans and critics because of some of its most questionable offerings. Whether they're would-be erotic thrillers, misguided dramas, or largely fictitious biopics, these movies are among the most controversial and unsavory Netflix originals, and not all of them were infamous enough to be decent performers.
To The Bone (2017)

Read more