10 Best TV Shows Like FX’s Gun
Premiering May 27, 2022, the new FX/Hulu miniseries Gun takes a dramatized retrospective look at the international punk rock music scene of the 1970s. Adapted from the memoir of Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, the show will specifically revolve around the iconic punk band and its infamous members Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious and key figures who contributed to the punk movement.
Besides the biographical nature of the show, Gun joins a rich tradition of television shows that explore what it’s like to live as a rock musician, the compromises and sacrifices necessary to succeed, the idiosyncratic rock’n’roll subculture and the legacy lasting that punk music has had in society.
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll – Stream on Hulu
Dennis Leary gives an inspired performance as Johnny Rock, a washed-up rock star doing his best to stage a triumphant return to the stage in FX’s Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. Not only does Johnny Rock look like Johnny Rotten in his final days, but both shows also have the beneficial freedom to air on FX, where the TV shows experience far less censorship than most cable networks. Since punk rock and censorship go hand in hand, the similarities are pretty obvious.
As the former frontman of ’80s rock band The Heathens, Rock gets his shot at fame when he finds out he has a 21-year-old daughter with immense singing talents. Aside from the seedy and sordid subculture of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle that is sure to appeal to Gun fans, the father-daughter dynamic is as encouraging as it gets.
Roadies – Stream on Hulu
Although it only lasted one season, Showtime Roadies is an entertaining and insightful behind-the-scenes look at the rock music industry. The story follows the management team of The Staten-House Band, a Denver-based band that plays massive stadium shows.
Using his experience as rolling stone journalist with his cinematic background, Cameron Crowe offers a loving ode to the unsung heroes who make concert events work on a grand scale. Besides the roles of various roadies, it is their complex relationship between the band itself and the audience that makes Roadies such an original rock’n’roll TV show.
We Are Lady Parts – Stream On Peacock
A direct line of the evolution of punk rock can be drawn from the Sex Pistols to Lady Parts, the name of the all-female Muslim punk band in the highly entertaining and well-received original television show Peacock. We are lady parts. Created by Nida Manzoor, the show traces the trials and tribulations of the five-member group after a doctorate. the student is asked to be the new guitarist.
The sheer anarchy, anti-authoritarianism and proud sense of self-expression that characterizes Gun are exhibited in We are lady parts, a show that won three BAFTAs after its first season. Great music, an irresistible cast, and electric power make the show a must-see.
Pam & Tommy – Stream on Hulu
For another stellar Hulu TV show that focuses on the tumultuous relationship of a rockstar and their famous girlfriend, tune in Pam & tommy. After all, a large part of Gun involves the rocky road that Sid Vicious (Louis Partridge) and Nancy Spungen (Emma Appleton) navigated.
While a large part of Pam and Tommy revolves around their home video tape that circulated in the early days of the internet, one cannot separate the influence of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle from the behavior that Pam and Tommy displayed in public and private, and the tragedy of fame that resulted.
All the Little Things – Stream on Prime Video
One of the fascinating things about the evolution of punk rock is how it went from gritty, grimy street music to being influenced by bubble gum pop. On the little-known but worthy BBC show All the small thingsa sultry choir shakes things up by covering many of Blink 182’s hits at their annual competition, reminiscent of the progression of the genre that began with the Sex Pistols and the Ramones.
What makes the show so remarkable is how the choir members slowly begin to embrace their inner punk rocker and begin to shed their inhibitions on and off stage. Funny, touching and loaded with cool songs, All the small things is not to be missed.
Vinyl – Stream on HBO Max
Canceled early after just one season, HBO’s hugely expensive series Vinyl was co-created by Mick Jagger and arguably the greatest director of all time, Martin Scorsese. Set in the New York music scene of the 1970s, Vinyl shows the American counterparts of British punk rockers featured in Gun. Much of the drama revolves around Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), a record executive whose company American Century has fallen on hard times.
Describing the ever-changing landscape of American pop music in the 70s, everything from punk rock to early hip hop is explored, forcing Finestra to use his good ear to find the newest and hottest sound. With a great soundtrack and a wonderful insight into the progression of rock music, Vinyl is one of the most underrated shows of the past decade.
I’m in the Band – Stream on Apple TV+
Those who need a little levity after the self-destructive ways of the punks of Gun should check I am in the group. The teen sitcom follows Tripp Campbell (Logan Miller), an aspiring rocker who gets the chance to play lead guitar for his favorite, albeit failed, rock band.
A much more light-hearted and family-friendly affair, the Disney XD series still manages to capture the nostalgia of a bygone era in the music industry while celebrating the artistic individualism as well as the teamwork needed to stand out in a such a competitive field. For Gun fans with children, I am in the group is a perfect intermediary.
Paradise City – Stream on Prime Video
Named after the famous classic rock song Guns N’ Rosescity of paradise aired its first season in March 2021. A coming-of-age tale mixed with a heartfelt ode to all things rock ‘n’ roll, the show serves as the small-screen sequel to the 2017 film american satan. The plot concerns Johnny Faust (Andy Biersack), singer of the Relentless, a successful rock band linked to the occult. Meanwhile, Johnny begins to bond with a local fan named Simon (Cameron Boyce) who comes of age and finds his own voice.
Hailed for his accurate depiction of the LA rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, city of paradise fuses stark realism with teenage escapist fantasy to create a thrilling outcome that sits somewhere between comedy and drama. If nothing else, Gun fans must enjoy the soundtrack of the show.
Fosse/Verdon – Stream On Hulu
Also created for FX and Hulu, Fosse/Verdon is one of the most acclaimed biographical miniseries centering on real-life personalities in the music industry. The only difference between her and Gun is it Fosse/Verdon takes place in the world of musical theater rather than punk rock.
Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams give impressive performances as Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, respectively, the influential song-and-dance partnership that pushed the boundaries of Broadway stage performance in the 1970s, the exact period that saw the emergence of punk rock in New York and London. Moreover, Fosse was just as iconoclastic as the most rebellious punk musicians, maybe even more.
Punk – Stream on Epix
While music documentaries have been deliberately avoided so far, it is imperative for Gun fans to watch the compelling four-part Epix docuseries Punk. With testimonials from real-life figures who made punk rock as important as it could be, including an account of the infamous Sex Pistols tour in 1978, the series is comprehensive, entertaining and highly informative.
Featuring Iggy Pop, John Lydon, Henry Rollins, Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, Marky Ramone and many of the most influential voices in the punk scene to tell what is dramatized in Gun (and much more), Punk is the perfect companion to watch with Hulu’s new show.
NEXT: 10 Best Music Documentaries On Hulu
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