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12 Shows Like Hannibal To Watch If You Enjoy Intense Psychological Thrillers

shows like hannibal


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

  1. Killing Eve
  2. Dexter
  3. The Fall
  4. Mindhunter
  5. Bates Motel
  6. Mr Robot
  7. Lucifer
  8. Breaking Bad
  9. Criminal Minds
  10. Luther
  11. Twin Peaks
  12. 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.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few shows like Hannibal that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. The X Files
  2. The Walking Dead
  3. The Mentalist
  4. True Detective

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.

Lost

The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTu8iDynwNc

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLT3YUALJno&t=8s

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake


The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1hNAIzkQWY

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfWrECLnFYU

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

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. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwn9ou_nf-I

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 TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan


The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JrNr85fPms

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnYsf2Yv8i8

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLeG0w3kL8k

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29bSzbqZ3xE

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V514ACIGp_k

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Y5YeYrqUk

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrwycJ08PSA

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward