The drama television series The Mentalist had an astounding run of 7 seasons and gained wide popularity and critical acclaim. If you enjoyed watching this smart detective drama, we have put together a list of shows like The Mentalist that you may like.
The Mentalist follows a ‘psychic’ turned detective Patrick Jane with extraordinary skills of observation investigating crimes with the Bureau of Investigation in California. Created by Bruno Heller, the show puts the psychology of human behaviour at the front of the investigation instead of the search for evidence. Simon Baker (playing Patrick Jane) has great chemistry with Robin Tunney, who plays Patrick’s boss- Senior agent Teresa Lisbon.
Heller wanted to make something different and prove himself after making the historical drama show Rome. He described the idea of The Mentalist’s main character as a part Sherlock, part justice-seeking and part con artist man. The casting of Simon Baker was perfect for the role of Patrick Jane since he bought the spiritual and physical enigma of the character masterfully. The show received many prestigious awards and nominations during its run. If you want to watch TV shows like The Mentalist, check out the following list of recommendations.
List of TV Shows Like The Mentalist
- The White Collar
- Sherlock (BBC)
- Lie to Me
- Criminal Minds
Here’s why these 10 shows are like The Mentalist
1. Psych (2006)
Psych is an American detective comedy-drama series created by Steve Franks in 2006. Shawn Spencer played by James Roday is the central character, he is a young crime consultant for the Santa Barbara Police Department. Shawn has an eidetic memory, he also learns a lot about detailed observation from his father, former detective Henry. Often called a ‘Psych’, Shawn formerly insists that there’s no such thing but after police are suspicious about his involvement in a crime he solves, he tells everyone that he is indeed a Psychic.
The show Psych has been praised for its comedic-juvenile style of script writing, the dialogues are spontaneous and brilliant. The main characters of Shawn and his best friend and work partner Burton Guster form hilariously engaging chemistry. Henry’s performance as a man unamused by Shawn’s quirkiness contributes to greater amusement for the viewers. A highly underrated show, Psych ran for 8 seasons and has 3 movies with a consistent quality of acting performances and humour. Psych was often a point of comparison for The Mentalist because of the ‘psychic’ character premise. So, if you are looking for TV shows like The Mentalist, Psych is the perfect choice for you.
Also Read: Shows like Person of Interest
2. House (2004)
Also known as House M.D., this is an American medical drama TV series created by David Shore and aired in 2004. Talented Hugh Laurie plays the titular protagonist Gregory House, an antisocial and unconventional medical genius. He leads a team of diagnosticians at the Head of Diagnostic Medicine in the fictional Princeton Plainsboro Hospital in New Jersey.
Dr House believes every question has a logical answer, he is a narcissistic, vicodin addicted crippled man walking around with a cane yet viewers find him to be likeable. Hugh Laurie’s charisma and excellent comedic timing make House irresistible. House’s characteristics and relationship dynamic with Dr Wilson will remind you of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.
The show’s writing is one of the best in the medical drama genre. Running for a total of 8 seasons, House ended 10 years ago but continues to receive high critical acclaim. If you want to watch shows like The Mentalist with a man’s deductive and humorously charming intellect, House is one of the best shows you can watch.
3. The White Collar
Created by Jeff Eastin and airing in 2009, The White Collar is a Police Procedural Drama that centres on a formal con artist and criminal, Neal Caffrey played by Matt Bomer. Neal works as a criminal consultant with the Law Enforcement agency FBI under Special agent Peter Burke, played by Tim DeKay. Peter Burke catches Neal Caffery for the second time and cuts him a deal to work with them for his 4 year sentence and avoid being in prison. Neal in the meantime is finding answers to why the love of his life, Kate leaves him and disappears.
Talented and undeniably gorgeous Matt Bomer’s performance as the sophisticated and highly skilled artist Neal Caffery is too good to miss. Just as well, the performances by the rest of the cast are absolutely on point. The show ended on a high note with its 6th season. Binge-worthy, the show has many similarities to Bruno Heller’s creation and which is why The White Collar is a perfect match for you if you’re looking for shows like The Mentalist.
4. Sherlock (BBC)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes have been a detective fiction classic for decades. There have been innumerable adaptations of the stories since then but none have quite gained popularity like the 2010 modern-day re-imagining of Sherlock. The BBC Sherlock has had an extremely dedicated fan following and, rightly so. The show has an extremely talented cast of actors, Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr John Watson, Andrew Scott as the iconic Professor Moriarty. The show uses innovative ways to express the extraordinary intelligence and ever-green charm of the man Sherlock Holmes.
Directed with a perfect mix of nostalgia to the time-appropriate re-imaging of classic lines like ‘The Game is On!’ makes the show go beyond perfection. Sherlock uses technology and forensic science with his brilliant skills of deduction, observation and logical reasoning. The show has raving reviews and highly dedicated fans. Stories of Sherlock Holmes inspire every genius character in some way or another and The Mentalist is no exception. So, if you are in search for Tv shows like The Mentalist, Sherlock is an unmissable watch.
5. Monk (2002)
The series Monk is a 2002 police procedural show created by Andy Breckman. Adrian Monk is the title character and is played by Tony Shalhoub. A former San Francisco police detective, Monk has a nervous breakdown when he loses his wife in a murder that goes unsolved. He develops an extreme case of OCD which makes it impossible for him to function in society normally and requires constant assistance.
Possessing sharp skills of investigation, Monk is often called by his former colleagues to help solve difficult cases. The show held the record of being the most-watched episode of a scripted drama show in cable television history from 2009 to 2012. Monk also received many awards and high critical acclaim including the 8 Emmys and 1 Golden Globe. If you want to watch shows similar to The Mentalist, you are sure to enjoy Monk.
6. Lie to Me (2011)
Created by Sam Baum, Lie to Me is a crime drama television series loosely based on Dr Paul Ekman and his research on human emotions, lie detection and micro-expressions. Tim Rothe plays the central character Cal Lightman, the world’s leading deception expert. To solve crimes and expose the truth, he uses his studies of facial expressions and involuntary body language. Like The Mentalist, Lie to Me uses the psychology of human behaviour as the primary approach to solving cases.
At the beginning of the show, Lightman’s team’s new associate, Ria Torres is labelled ‘natural’ at deception detection. Her innate talent does not sit well with Cal’s academic approach and so Cal often tries to show off while she proves a worthy opponent to his challenges. Even though the show only lasts 3 seasons before getting cancelled, it’s quite engaging to watch. If you want to see TV shows like The Mentalist, Lie to Me is a perfect option for you.
7. Castle (2009)
Castle was created by Andrew W. Marlowe and it aired in 2009. Nathan Filion plays the famous mystery novelist Richard Castle and Stana Katic plays the homicide detective Kate Beckett. In the beginning, Castle is bored and going through writer’s block, out of boredom he decides to kill off his main character. When a person kills someone in real life using Castle’s novel, Castle is called into the New York police department. He meets detective Kate Beckett and is inspired by her to write another story and ends up shadowing her at work.
Castle and Kate’s relationship is of the typical odd couple being forced to work together. Castle is a goofy man-child who truly loves his family while Kate is a serious and dedicated and strong detective. All the characters, including the supporting characters, are well-rounded. The show has been widely liked by viewers of all generations. If you just watch shows like The Mentalist and want to see a playful show that is similar, Castle is the right pick for you.
Also Read: Shows like Broadchurch
8. 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 ‘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 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 The Mentalist then Criminal Minds will surely be worthy of a watch.
9. Leverage (2008)
Leverage is another action crime drama show on this list and it was created by John Rogers and Chris Downey, but this time with criminals as the protagonists in the show. The story follows Nate Ford who was a former insurance investigator known for catching the most dangerous and exclusive thieves in the world. The insurance company refuses to help Nate with financial aid when his son is dying. Losing faith in the system, Nate accepts to work with a set of individually skilled thieves.
The show, Leverage depicts well-written main characters. Nate and the rest of the team carry out heists to steal from the wealthy and corrupt institutions by taking the law into their hands. If you want to watch shows like The Mentalist packed with intrigue, comedy, and action, Leverage is the show for you.
10. Bones (2005)
Bones is a crime procedural drama created by Hart Hanson with forensic anthropology and forensic archaeology investigation. Bones is loosely based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs, who also produced the show. The show ran a long course of 12 seasons before it was eventually cancelled.
Bones follows the pairing of a doctor and an FBI agent, Dr Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan, and FBI Agent Seeley Booth in an unusual approach to examining the remains of the victims for investigating the murder. The main characters have great chemistry and the show has a good balance of gravitas and humour. Bones has been a comfort watch for many viewers. If you are searching for TV shows similar to The Mentalist that you can watch for a long time, Bones will be a great choice.
Here are a few shows like The Mentalist that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- The Blacklist