Hannibal series, based on Thomas Harris’ novels Red Dragon, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising, is an American psychological horror starring Mad Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in the challenging roles of Dr Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham, respectively. With elements that remind you of Silence of Lambs, the series showcases the complexities of human behaviour through murder, cannibalism and twisted relationships. The charms and mysteries of the main characters leave one wanting to see more. If you miss watching this brilliant crime thriller, we have curated a brilliant list of shows like Hannibal that you will have a great time watching.
List of TV Shows Like Hannibal
- Killing Eve
- The Fall
- Bates Motel
- Mr Robot
- Breaking Bad
- Criminal Minds
- Twin Peaks
- Penny Dreadful
Here Is Why These 12 TV Shows are like Hannibal
1. Killing Eve (2018)
Killing Eve is a dark comedy about an international assassin and an investigator in British intelligence. They both get the tip on each other (Eve is looking for Villanelle, and Villanelle is- well- not looking for her but “interested” in her). The show gets straight to the point, so it doesn’t allow you to lose track of the events.
In my opinion, Killing Eve is a wild ride of a spy thriller show. Jodie’s Villanelle is such a charismatic beast of a character, and even though she’s a chaotic psychopathic killer, you still want to watch her and empathize with her. Sandra’s Eve starts as an understated MI5 agent who gets drawn to Villanelle like a moth to a flame. Killing Eve is definitely worth a try if you are a fan of a series like Hannibal.
2. Dexter (2006)
Running for 8 seasons, the super popular show Dexter is the perfect example of Mr Robot’s double life. Dexter Morgan is a forensic technician for the police department by day and a killer by night. At the centre of the show is an anti-social misfit who lives his life according to the rules of his father, he has the inability to form relationships with the opposite sex, has to wear a social mask and has a job doing the exact opposite thing that you do in your spare time, all sounds too familiar, doesn’t it?
In shows like Mr Robot and Dexter, you find yourself rooting for and identifying with the worst human on the show. Dexter is a serial killer who likes to torture, and Elliott is a hacker who helps destroy the economy, yet both are very compelling protagonists for a television show. Dexter is one of my favourites to binge-watch. There’s lots of humour, weirdly relatable situations and gory, dark yet entertaining suspense of ‘will he gets caught?’. You’ll be on the edge of your seats in each and every episode of dexter.
3. The Fall (2013)
The Fall is probably the least like Sherlock in this list, but what the show lacks in similarity, it makes up for with Gillian Anderson’s brilliant performance as Detective Stella Gibson. The story follows Stella fighting her own demons as she tries to catch a serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan).
The show’s storytelling is very gripping, and the characters are so perplexing that you might find yourself developing complicated feelings for the serial killer and maybe even half-rooting him. If you find yourself out of options for shows similar to Hannibal and don’t know what to watch in your free time then give The Fall a try.
4. Mindhunter (2017)
Produced by the iconic David Fincher along with Charlize Theron and Penhall, the psychological crime thriller Mindhunter is based on the 1996 book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit written by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker ( former special agent). Their experiences inspired the show. For years, John pursued extremely notorious serial killers and rapists and, along the way, developed profiling techniques to catch them.
Mindhunter is absolutely outstanding in every respect. Extremely well-directed with meticulous attention to detail- the mid to late ‘70s. The show is a tour de force in the field of criminal psychology. The combination of the academic relative rookie who wants to get inside the minds and motivations of serial killers is juxtaposed with the world-weary hard-bitten veteran FBI agent. A gripping series like Mindhunter is worth a watch if you are in search of TV shows similar to Mr Robot.
5. Bates Motel (2013)
The American psychological horror show Bates Motel aired in 2013 and ran for 5 seasons. When I first watched Alfred Hitchcock’s thrilling Psycho, I was so intrigued by this psychopathic serial killer, and I wondered why he was the way he was Bates Motel answers that question. After the death of her husband, Norma Bates buys a motel in the town of White Pine Pay to give herself and her son Norman a new life. Check out more shows like Bates Motel.
Bates Motel is, without a doubt, a captivating, thrilling, suspenseful and beautifully written story. The acting performances by Vera Farmiga and Freddie are phenomenal, to say the least! Bates Motel’s perfect mystery built up, and excellent climax is worth every praise they receive. Bates Motel is easily one of my favourite shows of all time, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it if you are looking for shows like Hannibal.
6. Mr Robot (2015)
When the show 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. Check out more shows like Mr Robot.
Elliot is not only brilliant but an introverted individual whose presence challenges the psyche of humans. Psychological thrillers like Mr Robot present nerve-breaking mysteries, so if you are trying to find shows like Hannibal, this will be the right choice.
7. Lucifer (2016)
Based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, this series follows Lucifer, who is the original fallen angel. He has become dissatisfied with his life in hell. This TV series is the sort of show that makes you go back to re-live some scenes after you’ve watched the whole series because it brings back some sweet thoughts or funny, crazy things that still make you laugh long after you’ve seen it.
Although it highlights some elements from the Bible, it’s fictional but very thought-provoking. Tom Ellis is phenomenal as Lucifer, and the cast of characters is so compelling, as is the storyline. The show is full of amazing quips, and Lucifer is just hilarious. It’s a binge-able show that will keep you thoroughly entertained if you love shows like Hannibal, this is cleverly and brilliantly written, and we couldn’t recommend it enough.
8. Breaking Bad (2008)
There are few shows that can match up to the excellence of Breaking Bad, as it’s considered to be amongst the best shows of all time. The protagonist Walter Benjamin (Bryan Cranston), is a chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with terminal cancer and so decides to get into the meth-making business, where he meets a man called Jesse.
Breaking Bad’s every single episode is so engaging that it’s worth binge-watching entire seasons in one go. The acting, the direction, the storyline, everything is done to such PERFECTION that I could not fault much even if I tried, the show is consistently good till the end. If you want to watch shows similar to Hannibal, then the prestige drama Breaking Bad will be one of the best shows for you.
9. Criminal Minds (2005)
The police procedural drama, Criminal Minds premiered in 2005 and was created by Jeff Davis. The show follows a group called the Behaviour Analyst Unit (BAU) of criminal profilers who work for the FBI to help solve crimes and find a suspect known as an ‘unknown subject’. The show manages to handle a large cast really well; every character gets the opportunity to shine. The dark and somewhat grim story of Criminal minds is very compelling.
Criminal Minds is action-packed and full of suspense. Having been on the air for a total of 15 seasons, the show has gathered a dedicated viewership. Much of the cast changes as the seasons progress, but the presence of the well-liked core cast keeps the viewers hooked. For a show running as long as Criminal Minds, writers managed to write new episodes with engaging plots almost every time. If you want to watch shows similar to Hannibal then Criminal Minds will surely be worthy of a watch.
10. Luther (2010)
Luther is a British crime thriller drama series; Idris Elba plays the intelligent DCI John Luther. Luther works in the Serious Crime Unit; he is often obsessed with the investigation, and the questions possess his mind, which also brings out the violence in his character.
Luther is dedicated to bringing justice to the victims of brutal crimes who are stuck in a twisted bureaucratic legal system. It’s a constant struggle for Luther to retain his morals as he uses questionable methods to ensure justice. Set in gloomy and harsh London to translate the show’s nature, the show does not shy away from focusing on the dark side of reality to bring out a more honest representation. If you want to watch shows like Hannibal then Luther’s rawness will be worth a watch.
11. Twin Peaks (1990)
David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it; after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.
With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch. I must warn you; it’s not for the faint-hearted! If you are in search of shows like Hannibal then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you. Check out more shows like Twin Peaks.
12. Penny Dreadful (2014)
The show Penny Dreadful’s title refers to 19th-century British publications called Penny Dreadfuls; they were popular and cheap literary publications sold to the general population of the time. Penny dreadfuls focused on characters like Sweeny Todd and Varney the Vampire.
This psychological thriller series Penny Dreadful takes inspiration from fictional writings. It gives a nod to popular Victorian Gothic Horror characters like Dr Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula and Abraham Van Helsing. Eva Green’s portrayal as Vanessa Ives was a force of nature, and all fans of the show unanimously agreed that she deserved awards for her performance. Penny Dreadful is a binge-worthy show if you’re looking for shows similar to Hannibal.
Here are a few shows like Hannibal that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- The X Files
- The Walking Dead
- The Mentalist
- True Detective