Fans of the hit thriller series You have been clamoring over all details they can find to keep them going until the fourth season finally drops. There have been all kinds of explainers, essays outlining predictions, and people offering stopgaps to keep a fan distracted until it’s released.
You love that voyeuristic thrill, the complexly odd nature of series protagonist Joe Goldberg. Well, we’re not going to feed into that distraction train; instead, we’re going to offer a smattering of shows that stand on their own, perhaps so unique and wholly their own they just might end up stealing a spot next to You!
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Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning article, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape,” written by Ken Armstrong and T. Christian Miller, Unbelievable is a limited TV series that goes into the same depth as its source material to tell the horrifying tale of a teenager effectively silenced after being raped, lying about the events. Those lies become the seeds from which an investigation is begun, leading viewers down the proverbial rabbit hole dig up the truth. Toni Collette playing detective Grace Rasmussen is worth it alone.
One of the more popular series on this list (second to a certain money laundering operation appearing later in the list), David Fincher’s Mindhunter is three (hopefully four, the show is on hiatus) seasons of cutthroat criminal investigation with Fincher’s trademark muted tones and gritty atmosphere. FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench are at the head of the Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico, VA. They are among the first to interrogate serial killers and get a sense of their process, using psychology to solve cases. It’s controversial until it works, and soon we see Ford and Tench becoming invaluable to the FBI. Watch it if you’re fascinated with the pathology of a serial killer.
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Kevin Bacon stars as an FBI agent that gets perhaps a little too deep when he tries to incriminate a serial killer, Joe Carroll, unaware that Carroll has built up a bunch of followers, people in varying states of wanting to kill like him too. It’s a great premise and clearly with Bacon at the helm, the series has grown to evolve over the course of multiple seasons. The Following never backs away from its main intention—to incriminate—and in doing so it creates a level of voyeuristic intrigue that would satisfy fans of You and other psychologically leaning crime dramas.
I still remember when the show debuted and I had almost no expectations as I gave the first episode a shot. The first episode soon became the last episode of the first season and it was late—we’re talking late night—when I finally reemerged. Ozark's punishingly bleak yet empathetic atmosphere casts itself across the entire series. Jason Bateman and Laura Linney don the roles of a married couple that end up deep in cahoots with criminal organizations and drug cartels when Bateman’s character, Marty Byrde, uses his skill and finesse with bending the law to launder dirty money. As one does, playing on the other end of the law becomes an all-consuming gig, and their lives are forever changed. The murky waters they tread are full of monsters, and what’s so refreshing is that those monsters are deeply personal.
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Killing Eve could be explained as taking You and dropping in a hearty scoop of government espionage and hitting blend. The result is a spellbinding rush of a show starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer as an investigator and assassin respectively. Things never play out as they should, because why would they? Soon they both become captivated and obsessed with each other, much to the detriment of their own careers. Like its source material, the Villanelle series of novels by Luke Jennings, Killing Eve never lets up and acts as both an adrenaline rush and some seductive brain candy.
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The Night Of
In the vein of the Japanese classic Rashomon, The Night Of is an inventive approach on the criminal act and the subsequent investigation that blossoms around the act and all the media attention and obsession that mutates from the case details. A college student named Naz goes out for a drive in his dad’s cab one night, aiming to have some fun, attending a friend’s party, but then ends up picking up a woman named Andrea. He has his fun, a night of sex and drugs, and wakes up with her dead next to him. He flees out of fear, only to be effectively framed for the murder. Who would believe him? The Night Of plays itself out in a cutthroat manner akin to the best courtroom dramas, yet it manages to add in shades of voyeurism and media spectacle, the sort of blend perfect for people looking for something new.