The Netflix series by Brad Falchuk, Amy Wang, and Byron Wu follows two brothers of a Taipei crime family living polarly opposite lives. The elder, Charles Sun, has accepted his role as a ruthless killer, while the younger, Bruce, is completely unaware of their gangster status. When their father is assassinated, Charles travels to LA to protect his mother and oblivious brother from a mysterious organization set on exterminating them. Bruce’s jarring introduction to crime and violence creates hilarious scenarios, while his martial arts expert family dispatches threats in gloriously bedazzling action sequences. Here are more shows like ‘The Brothers Sun,’ which deftly combine elements of crime, action, humor, and brotherhood, to deliver irresistible entertainment.
10. Healer (2014-2015)
‘Healer’ is a South Korean series written by Song Ji-na. The action-packed drama revolves around Seo Jung-hoo, known as Healer, a mysterious and highly skilled night courier and errand boy who takes on secret missions. He works in this manner to save money to buy a remote island and spend his life there alone. However, his life takes a turn when he is assigned to protect a reporter named Young-shin, a girl with a dark past whose life is under threat.
Their lives become intertwined when they discover a connection between Young-shin’s late father and Healer’s past. As Healer delves deeper into uncovering the truth, he unravels a web of corruption, dark secrets, and a decades-old mystery. Much like ‘The Brothers Sun,’ the series sports a healthy mix of action, comedy, and crime. Youn-shin has a past she is unaware of, like Bruce, and her protector is an adept fighter like Charles Sun.
9. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1996)
‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith,’ created by Simon Kinberg, revolves around Jane and John Smith, a married couple working as secret agents unbeknownst to each other. The show presents a unique twist as both spouses discover their partner’s covert profession after years of assuming they were leading ordinary lives. The revelation comes with expected comedic backlash as well as a bounty of action scenes, resonating with the episodes of Bruce discovering his violent family history and becoming involved in their fight. Both narratives deal with the challenges of balancing a normal family life with a secretive reality, that often leads them to humorous and dangerous situations.
8. Fastlane (2002-2003)
Created by McG, John McNamara, and Daniel Cerone, ‘Fastlane’ introduces us to Van Ray and Deaqon Hayes, two undercover detectives working for a secret division of the LAPD. The duo, played by Peter Facinelli and Bill Bellamy, leads a high-octane lifestyle, infiltrating criminal organizations by posing as criminals themselves. Their mission is to bring down Los Angeles’ most dangerous criminals by using their street smarts, undercover skills, and high-speed cars.
The series sees its protagonists living a double life, balancing the dangers of their jobs and their personal lives, creating a setting with a backdrop of the criminal world for plenty of pulse-pounding action scenes and comedy that will ring familiar to those who appreciate similar aspects of ‘The Brothers Sun.’
7. Vincenzo (2021-)
Vincenzo Cassano is an Italian lawyer and consigliere of the Italian mafia who travels to South Korea, where he becomes embroiled in a complex battle against a corrupt conglomerate, Babel Group. Beginning his quest for justice, Vincenzo collaborates with feisty lawyer, Hong Cha-young, and encounters an array of quirky characters in the building they aim to protect.
The series, created by Park Jae-bum, blends elements of dark humor, crime, and legal drama as Vincenzo employs unconventional methods to take down powerful adversaries. With its intricate plotlines, intense action sequences, and unexpected alliances, ‘Vincenzo’ will appeal to fans of ‘The Brothers Sun,’ who appreciate its fresh premise, thrilling narrative, and intriguing characters.
6. FUBAR (2023-)
Following the trend of being oblivious to having a family member as a badass, ‘Fubar’ goes for double trouble. Luke Brunner (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has had a long and successful career as a CIA field operative at the cost of alienating his family. As he is about to retire and attempt to reconnect with his divorced wife and picture-perfect daughter, Emma, he is called up for one last mission. An operative is stuck undercover on foreign soil and needs to be extracted.
When he reaches the location, he is thunderstruck to see the operative in question is Emma. Both father and daughter have to quickly set aside their initial shock and work together to escape and chase down a dangerous international terrorist. Created by Nick Santora, the Netflix series takes us to picturesque foreign locations and adrenaline-fueled high-stakes operations, with a team of diverse and interesting characters. The premise, constant family squabbles, and over-the-top action sequences will make fans of ‘The Brothers Sun’ feel right at home.
5. Lilyhammer (2012-2014)
‘Lilyhammer,’ helmed by creators Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin, follows Frank Tagliano, a former New York mobster, who enters the witness protection program. Opting for an unorthodox relocation, he chooses Lillehammer, Norway, after becoming captivated by the Winter Olympics’ idyllic broadcast. Frank’s new life in the picturesque Norwegian town isn’t as peaceful as he anticipated. Frank struggles to leave his criminal ways behind while interacting with the eccentric locals, and cultural clashes create instances of comedy and violence alike. Like ‘The Brothers Sun,’ the series intertwines elements of comedy, crime, and violence, presenting a similar story in regards to the past being unavoidable, no matter where one goes.
4. The Curse (2022-)
Three working-class men in 1980s London struggle to make ends meet, and are drawn to the chance of making extra cash by participating in a small-time robbery. After going through with it, the bumbling trio realizes they have just carried out the biggest gold heist in modern history. Loosely based on the real-life, 1983 Brink’s-Mat robbery, the show is a truly unique blend of comedy and crime. The protagonists are hopelessly out of their depth, and their scramble in the situation is akin to a beginner swimmer being thrown into the deep end of the pool.
Created by Allan Mustafa, Steve Stamp, and Hugo Chegwin, the British drama uses its meek protagonists to great comedic effect as they are questioned by seasoned investigators and threatened by hardcore criminals. If you were amused by Bruce’s flabbergasted antics in ‘The Brothers Sun,’ ‘The Curse’ will leave your sides aching with hysterical laughter.
3. Guns & Gulaabs (2023-)
Helmed by creators Krishna D.K. and Raj Nidimoru, the series unfolds around Gulaabgan, a town that grows opium under the rule of two conflicting gangs. Tipu, a humble mechanic with a broken heart, ends up killing two gangsters with a spanner for mocking the death of his father. The incident brings him notoriety, and further events force him to join the opposing gang. With a new incorruptible police officer in town and contract killer Four-Cut Aatmaram on the prowl, Gulaabgan is a heating powder keg.
The Indian Netflix series is a quintessential comedic crime thriller, with plenty of hysterical moments sprinkled in within its complex narrative of gang warfare intrigue, politics, and love. Both ‘The Brothers Sun’ and ‘Guns & Gulaabs’ feature warring criminal organizations, thrilling action sequences, and well-written punchlines. The crime series stands out further with its grounded narrative, gritty setting, and multifaceted characters.
2. Peacemaker (2022-)
The DC Series, created by James Gunn, takes its titular character on a violent, hilarious, conspiracy-ridden adventure. Peacemaker (John Cena) is forcibly drafted onto a covert governmental task force meant to target Operation Butterly. With him on his chaotic missions are fellow flawed characters, including his sociopathic sidekick, Vigilante.
The series is a cinematic work of art, with perfectly attuned visual effects and a soundtrack that brilliantly complements the emotions and atmosphere portrayed on screen. If you liked the intense action and well-timed comedy in ‘The Brothers Sun,’ as long as you have a stomach for a little gore, ‘Peacemaker’ will instantly draw you in with its dark humor and eccentric personality.
1. Bloodhounds (2023-)
‘Bloodhounds’ by Jeong Chan, follows the journey of two boxers who face down a large criminal organization robbing poor communities through fraudulent money lending schemes. A reserved but dedicated Kim Geon-woo befriends the streetsmart Hong Woo-jin after a boxing tournament. Their friendship turns to brotherhood as they begin working for an idealistic moneylender, who is soon targeted by the wicked loan shark Kim Myung-gil.
The South Korean Netflix series delivers a well-paced and thrilling narrative with incredible character growth and heartfelt moments. Those who liked ‘The Brothers Sun,’ for its action sequences, will revel in the extraordinarily impactful, single-take, fight scenes in ‘Bloodhounds.’ Both shows find further similarities in their themes of brotherhood and family, exploration of the criminal world as outsiders, and hard-hitting comedic moments.