An acclaimed Netflix series, Mindhunter, stands as a triumph co-produced by renowned figures David Fincher, Charlize Theron, and Penhall. Adapted from the 1996 book ‘Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit’ by former agents John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, the show meticulously explores the art of profiling notorious serial killers and rapists. With masterful direction and an unwavering focus on criminal psychology, Mindhunter is a remarkable accomplishment. Vivid shows like Mindhunter come in rarity, portraying the contrast between a world-weary, seasoned FBI agent and an academic newcomer who is keen on delving into the minds of serial killers. The 1st Season and the abrupt finale- of 2nd Season followed FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) in the lead.
In spite of the high critical acclaim, Netflix, who produced the show, said the series was very expensive to make, and they found that viewer engagement did not justify the budget. Needless to say, the premature end of the series has left a void in the hearts of many viewers who cannot forget Detective Ford and Tench. For this very reason, we have curated a list of 10 outstanding shows like Mindhunter. These shows range from detective procedural to Anthology crime and offer compelling narratives that delve into the intricate world of criminal psychology and captivate viewers who relished Mindhunter’s exploration of the human psyche.
List of TV Shows Like Mindhunter
- Criminal Minds
- True Detective
- Mr. Robot
- Killing Eve
- American Crime Story
1. Dexter (2006-2013)
Dexter, an American psychological drama set in Miami, in its 8-season run, captured the hearts of many viewers. The series revolves around Dexter (Michael C. Hall), an orphan who witnesses his mother’s brutal murder as a child. Adopted by Police Officer Harry Morgan (James Remar), Dexter’s traumatic past manifests in sociopathic tendencies, which Harry channels into vigilantism, urging Dexter to eliminate those who escape the justice system. James Manos Jr., the writer of the first episode, drew inspiration from Jeff Lindsay’s debut novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter for the series.
Balancing a daytime role as a Forensic Analyst with his nighttime compulsion to kill, Dexter expertly covers his tracks. The show’s unique premise lies in the moral conflict of its iconic character, who grapples with distinguishing between good and evil despite being a serial killer.
Infused with clever twists, the series garnered numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor for Michael C. Hall. Notably, its 4th season finale achieved a record-breaking audience of 2.6 million viewers, establishing it as a phenomenon on Showtime. With Emmy nominations, Peabody Awards, and being in AFI’s top 10 tv series, Dexter is a brilliant series to watch.
2. Criminal Minds (2005-)
Criminal Minds is an enduring police procedural drama that emerged as a standout hit for CBS, captivating audiences over its impressive 16-season run. Created by Jeff Davis, the show introduces a team of criminal profilers known as the Behaviour Analyst Unit (BAU), working tirelessly within the FBI to crack complex cases and identify elusive suspects referred to as ‘unknown subjects.’ Notable cast members, including Matthew Gray Gubler, A. J. Cook, Shemar Moore, and Thomas Gibson, inject depth into their characters, preventing them from becoming one-dimensional.
With an action-packed narrative and a gripping suspense factor, Criminal Minds thrives on its ability to maintain viewer engagement. Just like Mindhunter, this show delves into criminals’ minds through psychological profiling, focusing on law enforcement’s pursuit of understanding serial offenders. Criminal Minds highlights the team’s persistent crime-solving commitment, which adapts as the cast evolves over the seasons. The writer of the show does a terrific job to ensure the viewers stay engaged all the way through!
3. True Detective (2014-)
True Detective, a captivating fantasy series, follows the journey of detectives Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey), Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson), and Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali) across 3 gripping seasons. Airing on the HBO network, the show gained widespread acclaim for its intricate storytelling and dark themes. Season 4 heralds a new chapter with an exciting cast, including the esteemed Jodie Foster. This fresh installment breathes new life into the series, promising another layer of intrigue and mystery.
The show’s quality goes beyond just its story, as the series won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series, with Cary Joji Fukunaga as the Director. True Detective will remind you of how Mindhunter delves deep into the psychology of crime, featuring intricate investigations and complex characters that navigate the dark corners of human behavior.
If you’ve already seen it, here are some more shows like True Detective you might like.
4. Mr. Robot (2015-2019)
When the Drama series Mr. Robot first aired, everyone was intrigued by the character of Elliot (Rami Malek). Elliot is a brilliant and highly unstable cyber-security engineer who is also a vigilante hacker by night. The contrast between the personality of being one thing, a ‘normal’ guy in front of the world, and totally the opposite in secrecy became the key feature in the complex storytelling. Mr. Robot‘s 4 gripping seasons have captivated viewers and critics, leading to a dedicated following.
Mr. Robot’s success included prestigious wards like a Golden Globe for Best TV Drama. The show is a unique blend of cyber and drama that delves into the intricate world of hacking while unraveling Elliot’s complex psyche. This psychological depth is where the show finds common ground with Mindhunter. Both series explore the minds of their characters in profound ways. With nerve-racking mysteries and a central character that challenges conventional norms, Mr. Robot stands out as a compelling choice for you to consider!
If you are a fan of this, here are more shows like Mr. Robot you should watch.
5. Killing Eve (2018-2022)
The dark comedy series Killing Eve, created and written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, has garnered attention for its intriguing premise and exceptional performances. Running for 4 seasons, the show follows the captivating dynamic between a female international assassin, Villanelle (Jodie Comer), and a female investigator in British intelligence, Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh). Both characters become entangled in a twisted chase, with Eve investigating Villanelle even as Villanelle becomes intrigued by Eve.
BBC America’s Killing Eve is a spy thriller that stands out for its unique storytelling and character development. Jodie Comer’s portrayal of Villanelle is particularly captivating, as she balances charisma and psychopathy, making audiences both love and empathize with her character. Notably, the series has earned recognition, including an Outstanding Emmy for Lead Actor awarded to Jodie Comer and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Sandra Oh’s role as Eve Polastri.
Their performances add depth to the enthralling narrative, ensuring that Killing Eve remains a must-watch for fans of spy thrillers and dark comedies alike. If you’re a fan of Mindhunter, Killing Eve promises a riveting blend of psychological intrigue and character-driven storytelling that’s sure to captivate your interest.
6. Hannibal (2013-2015)
Horror, thriller, crime, and drama intersect in Hannibal, a series that ran for 3 seasons and was created by Bryan Fuller and aired on NBC. The show features Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, and Hettienne Park as Beverly Katz. It’s a psychological cat-and-mouse game between investigators and perpetrators, reminiscent of Mindhunter, as both delve deep into criminal minds. Hannibal offers an even darker and more artistic portrayal of serial killers and intricate plots.
Drawing inspiration from Thomas Harris’ novels, Hannibal is a psychological horror masterpiece. Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen skillfully portray the complex characters. The show’s graphic visuals are balanced with powerful imagery, leaving audiences pondering the depths of human psychology. Echoing the allure of Silence of the Lambs, the series intricately weaves murder, cannibalism, and twisted relationships, leaving viewers captivated. For those who relished Gillian Anderson’s work in the supernatural realm, Hannibal serves as a reminiscent journey into the enigmatic, much like Mindhunter.
7. Broadchurch (2013-2017)
The suspenseful murder mystery show Broadchurch begins with the discovery of the body of an 11-year-old boy called Danny in the small fictional town of Broadchurch on the coast of Dorset, England. The series, which ran for 3 Seasons on ITV, centers around out-of-town Detective Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman).
As a gripping mystery drama, Broadchurch puts to light how we often think everything with people is okay from afar, but when we look closer, dark secrets unravel. New colors of grief are portrayed– the internal and outward struggles through the moving performances. All with beautiful and atmospheric locations and a soundtrack that feels like a haunting ballad.
Broadchurch bears striking similarities to Mindhunter, primarily evident in their themes and cinematography. Both series delves into the intricacies of crime investigation, meticulously dissecting the psychological toll on investigators and society. Through their immersive cinematography, they create an atmosphere that intensifies suspense. While distinct in settings, Broadchurch reminds the viewers of the profound exploration of the human psyche within the context of criminality.
If you’ve already seen it, check out more shows like Broadchurch
8. American Crime Story (2016-)
American Crime Story, a captivating true crime anthology series, has embarked on 3 compelling seasons so far. Each season delves into high-profile trials, meticulously dissecting crime and psychology much like “Mindhunter” does. The series masterfully navigates real-life cases, unraveling motives and consequences, all while delving deep into the human psyche within the realm of crime.
The first season, The O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, centers on the infamous O.J. Simpson murder case. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson, Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark, and Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky, the show revolves around the book “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J.” by Jeffrey Toobin. Sarah Paulson received an Emmy for her excellent role in this limited series. While the series primarily aims to faithfully portray historical events, it’s important to note that it doesn’t claim to be a documentary. Through its compelling exploration of high-stakes trials, American Crime Story weaves a riveting narrative that captivates viewers by providing both insight and entertainment.
9. Hunters (2020-2023)
The Amazon original series Hunters takes place in 1977 with Nazis living amongst us in the USA, infiltrating every aspect of our daily lives. Some are old escapees from Nazi Germany, some were invited here because of their expertise, and some are offspring of those who lived during WWll and believe in a Fourth Reich.
The legendary Al Pacino leads the role of Mayer Offerman, who leads the Nazi Hunters group with Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman), a young and determined member of the group, and Jerrika Hinton shines as Millie Morris, an intelligent FBI agent who partners with the hunters to bring the perpetrators to justice. Together, this ensemble cast navigates a high-stakes thriller that combines historical drama with intense action, unearthing the hidden darkness of the past.
The Nazi hunters discover 100s of high-ranking Nazi officials in 1977 in New York City that are conspiring to make a 4th Reich in the U.S.; the Hunters hence set out to bring the bad ones to justice and end their new genocidal plans. Although the show was untimely canceled after only 2 seasons, like Mindhunter, Hunters study the criminals responsible for the death of thousands of innocent lives. It’s worth watching for fans of the genre and Al Pacino’s performance.
10. Manhunt (2017-2020)
Based on a Shocking True Story, Manhunt or Manhunt: Unabomber is about a fascinating look at the FBI Profiler who used forensic linguistics to solve a crime in the ’90s. The true crime drama is suspenseful, beautifully shot, and sharply edited. Creator and Executive producer Andrew Sodroski expertly investigates the nuances in this Discovery Channel Police Procedural crime drama that keeps us hooked from start to finish.
The series follows Jim Fitzgerald (played by Sam Worthington), the FBI agent who tracked down Ted Kaczynski (played by Paul Bettany), aka the “Unabomber,” as he brings him to justice through his expertise in profiling and linguistics. The story goes back and forth in time (non-linear storytelling) and creates a brilliant sense of dark and thought-provoking thrill in a similarly terrifying way to Mindhunter.
Here are a couple of shows that didn’t make this psychological thriller list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
- I’ll Be Gone In The Dark