The Equalizer debuted as a crime thriller series with Edward Woodward playing the titular street vigilante. Following Denzel Washington’s two films, Queen Latifah leads the franchise’s second reboot as Robyn McCall, the ex-CIA operative who brings justice to the streets.
With its third season debuting this month, Latifah is back in action with her character balancing not only her crime-fighting life, but also her family commitments as a single mom. The show is sure to bring viewers to more exciting reboots of classic TV shows as well as those who love tales featuring such crime dramas.
Stream on HBO Max
A remake of the iconic Walker directed by Chuck Norris, Texas Ranger, Walker finds Supernatural alumnus Jared Padalecki playing Cordell Walker, a local law enforcement officer in his Texas hometown. Back after a two-year undercover mission, a lot has changed in his city and his home.
Cordell Walker’s dual charge as a law enforcement officer and caring single father for his two children is what viewers of The Equalizer would resonate with. Walker is also a worthy reboot to add a darker, more humanized twist to its lead character. The original also tended to take on a preachy, preachy tone at times. The new series, on the other hand, adds a bit more grit.
The Punisher (2017-2019)
Stream on Disney+
True to the character’s comic book origins, ex-military Frank Castle vows to become a brutal vigilante since losing his family to gang violence. However, his hyperviolent journey to redemption finds him grappling with his own inner demons as audiences are made to question the very morality of all the bloodshed that stems from Castle’s new identity as The Punisher.
With Jon Bernthal’s emotionally moving take on Punisher, the Marvel spectacle is tough to watch but very introspective. The dark accents are far less promising than The Equalizer’s themes, but it’s definitely worth a watch for fans of the vigilante genre.
Stream on Freevee
Alias deals with the many conflicts that arise when an agent is forced to turn to their own agency. In the case of this iconic JJ Abrams show, Jennifer Garner plays a secret agent who, after discovering that her organization is an anti-government unit, decides to serve as a double agent for the CIA.
Even though The Equalizer’s protagonist has left the CIA, Alias is an interesting look at the agency and its agents. The double agent angle only fuels more adrenaline.
Magnum PI (2018-)
Stream on DIRECTV
Thomas Magnum returns in a new avatar with Jay Hernandez taking the place of Tom Selleck. The narrative of this Magnum PI reboot is virtually the same as the iconic 80s original with army man Magnum leaving the service and becoming a private eye.
Hernandez adds a fresh, light touch to the titular character moving away from Selleck’s machismo without disrespecting the original character. TV shows like Magnum PI and The Equalizer just show how the classics of yesteryear can be reinterpreted in modern times.
Best of LA (2019-2020)
Stream on Netflix
Gabrielle Union reprises her Bad Boys character in this spin-off series that adds Jessica Alba as a partner. The show is a typical entry into the buddy cop genre but still boasts enough charisma from its two leads to be a light break from the more melodramatic crime dramas.
Queen Latifah’s take on the titular vigilante in The Equalizer also adds a light dose of humor and liveliness, with the rapper-turned-actress’ dramatic prowess also coming in handy in serious scenes. After the discussions of morality and crime in The Equalizer, if viewers need a relatively lighthearted thriller to binge, LA’s Finest may be a good option.
Stream on Hulu
The Castle show directed by Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic incorporates several genres ranging from crime thrillers to romantic comedy. The title refers to novelist Richard Castle who meets Detective Beckett after a psychopath appears to have committed crimes based on Castle’s novels. As the unlikely duo investigate more and more cases, their professional affair turns into a romantic affair leading to several twists and turns.
While Castle is hardly similar in its themes to The Equalizer, the show is what led writing duo and real-life couple Andrew W Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller to mainstream success. Both served as writers and executive producers on the show and are now continuing that collaboration with The Equalizer. Revisiting Castle only shows off their creative versatility by offering different approaches to the detective genre.
Person of Interest (2011-2016)
Stream on HBO Max
With a prophetic machine capable of preventing crimes before they even happen, a disillusioned former CIA agent and a mysterious billionaire join forces to serve as technological vigilantes. The connection between surveillance AI systems and crime prevention makes Person Of Interest quite an interesting choice for its time before Mr. Robot even revolutionized TV shows about technological crimes.
In The Equalizer, Robyn relies on her fighting skills and street justice rather than any technological savvy. Yet his experience in the CIA and his commitment to serving justice even after relinquishing his powers is a major thematic element shared by Jim Caviziel’s John Reese who had experience in special forces as well as the CIA. but prefers to live like a burnt man. vagabond. It’s his new role as a vigilante that gives him purpose.
Stream on Hulu
The neo-Western Justified stars Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, a U.S. Marshal intent on bringing his own brand of just justice to his hometown. However, despite the protagonist exhibiting a touch of a Wild West shooter, the show takes a closer look at his heroism.
Personal arcs are explored in Justified, leaving plenty of room for Givens’ strained relationship with his ex-wife and father. The Equalizer also touches on Robyn’s personal feuds, as she also has to be a good role model for her family when she’s not fighting crime.
Living Alone (1993-1998)
Stream on Hulu
One of Queen Latifah’s first mainstream hits, Living Single focused on the daily personal and professional lives of six friends who share a brownstone apartment in New York City. Around the same time, many other sitcoms like Friends used a similar setting somewhat eclipsing Living Single. Nonetheless, the ’90s cult favorite is a classic worth revisiting for a simple, nostalgic watch.
While Latifah already has enough fans thanks to her hip-hop and film activities, The Equalizer is sure to rekindle interest in her acting career on television. Living alone would be a binge-able starting step.
Stream to Prime Video
A forensic genius by day and serial killer vigilante by night, Michael C. Hall’s twisted anti-hero Dexter Morgan exhibits an interesting duality that continues to make his gray areas even grayer. While Dexter justifies his murder by only punishing criminals who have escaped justice, viewers are still forced to question their loyalty to the legal and the illegal.
While The Equalizer’s brand of vigilance is still against the law, Robyn would hardly stoop to Dexter’s murderous levels. But along with the moral questions Dexter raises, it’s enough to give aficionados of vigilante stories food for thought.