Fans of Dexter know that nothing will quite compare Michael C. Hall‘s performance as the non-traditional hero, Dexter Morgan. Usually, television shows will focus on the protagonist’s point of view and give viewers some of the antagonist’s thoughts and actions, but Dexter completely flips the script and focus on how Dexter Morgan processes his “dark passenger” and what he knows with his forensic hook-ups and stealthy ways of tip-toeing around the law.
It’s also one of those shows that will make a viewer fan in love with a character and rip the rug from underneath them. It’s an odd feeling to have a love-hate relationship with a person that breaks the law, but for some characters, it completely works. For eight seasons fans got to watch Dexter grow, fall in love, commit gory murders, and go through his everyday interactions with those closest to him.
Updated on November 24th, 2020 by Matthew Wilkinson: Fans of Dexter were left shocked and excited recently when it was announced that the hit series would be making its return. The story had seemingly wrapped up for good, but interest is as high as ever. With this in mind, there are numerous other excellent crime shows out there that offer just as many thrills and a high amount of tension that will keep people entertained until Dexter’s next appearance.
15 Top Of The Lake
Previous to when Elizabeth Moss made her iconic debut in The Handmaid’s Tale, she played a detective who was assigned a case of a missing 12-year-old girl in New Zealand. This show closely follows her character and puts viewers into the mind of her perspective as a woman.
Like Dexter, viewers get to see the flawed and human sides to the characters, which makes the two-season series even better.
14 The Following
From 2013-2015, The Following entertained viewers with a story about an FBI agent and a cult of killers. The cult is a group of people that wouldn’t otherwise be connected, are drawn to each other as they have a desire to kill.
Like Breaking Bad and Dexter, law enforcement seems to be a step behind the real monster, and the puzzles and pieces that need to be put together to get there are exciting to watch. Starring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, this one is a must-watch.
This crime show is a little different as it actually has a lot of action, which makes it gripping to watch from start to finish. Following a CIA operative, as they try to find a prisoner who is believed to have joined up with Al-Qaeda, there is certainly a lot of tension within this one.
While there isn’t a standout anti-hero like Dexter Morgan, the series does have plenty of twists and turns to offer and provides a lot of moral questions in a similar way to Dexter. Overall, Homeland is just a very exciting series and one that is a lot of fun to watch.
12 Breaking Bad
It’s very rare that someone will watch Breaking Bad and not like it. There’s something for everyone in this show and like Dexter, it shows the rise and fall of the main character, Walter White (Brian Cranston). White is an incredibly smart man, with a knack for chemistry.
He’s playing the white hat role, but really, he leads a double-life that eventually tiptoes toward being the villain. Pair him with Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and they are one of the best duos to grace the television screen.
11 Line Of Duty
Line of Duty has quickly become one of the most popular crime shows on television, and a big part of that is the huge secrecy that surrounds the show. The series follows DS Steve Arnott as he joins the anti-corruption unit, which is a specialist team that works to catch the biggest criminals possible.
There are plenty of lies, secrets, and deceit along the way with crooked cops who are secretly committing crimes as the team desperately tries to work out the identity of ‘H.’ Nobody can be trusted in this show, much like Dexter, and the characters are very easy to connect with which only intensifies the series.
10 The Killing (2011)
The Killing seemed to have gotten the short end of the stick, as it was an excellent show with depth, but only survived for four seasons. The story follows detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder, who are partners for the Seattle Police that try to track down killers and put them behind bars.
They both have their own demons and viewers get to see the good, bad, and the in-between. The performances are top-notch and filled with mystery.
9 The Fall
Before Jamie Dornan was Christian Gray in Fifty Shades of Grey, he was a serial killer running amuck in Belfast, Ireland. This role gives the audience a chance to see a different side of Dornan and the depth of his acting skills.
Like Dexter, viewers are immersed into Paul Spector’s (Jamie Dornan) life and get to see the struggles, the unnerving moments, and the love-hate relationships viewers will most certainly have.
It’s very easy to see the parallels between You and Dexter and this really is the perfect crime series for people to watch. It has the same type of lead anti-hero character, someone who believes they’re doing good when committing murders, justifying things with their own complex moral code.
It follows Joe and his failed attempts at love, which often lead to disaster with people getting hurt along the way. With the running commentary from Joe, just as Dexter does playing throughout, and him being a very cold and calculated killer, it is clear that this is one show any Dexter fan would appreciate.
7 True Detective
True Detective burst on the scene with a unique approach and different characters for each season. Rather than focusing on the killer, it looked into the lives of the detectives instead.
Starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the show is stellar all-around with acting and the storyline. There are two other seasons, but the first shined the brightest and is the most popular.
Bringing it back to the time when “serial killer” was a new term, Mindhunter immerses its viewers into the world of criminal research, infamous serial killers, and the lives of the FBI agents that try to understand the reasoning behind these heinous acts.
All at the same time, they try to solve other cases, as well. It’s a tad of a slow burner, but so worth it as the acting is spot on and the compelling crime aspect is there.
5 American Crime Story
When it comes to fans of crime shows, there is often nothing they enjoy more than seeing a real-life crime be showcased on television. Normally, this comes in the form of a documentary, but American Crime Story did a great job of taking the incredibly well-known OJ Simpson case and turned it into a drama.
This show is cast perfectly, with everyone bringing their very best to the roles. Even though people know how this one plays out, the show really focuses on the details and the interactions everyone had at the time, telling the story in a gripping manner that leads to a lot of tense moments taking place.
In the horror genre, Hannibal Lecter is a household name, thanks to Anthony Hopkin’s portrayal in The Silence of the Lambs. What better way to pay homage to the classic, other than to make a television show about it? This show is a bit different, as Lecter helps a criminal profiler with unsolvable crimes.
At the same time, Lecter’s motive is to shatter the system, rather than help it, which sounds a little like Dexter Morgan in that aspect.
Criminal is a really unique series that can be found on Netflix and is certainly one that fans of Dexter will enjoy watching. This series sees a brand new episode each time with a detective team questioning someone over a crime, which is different each time, making the series fresh.
The team stays the same and it showcases their dynamic and leaves a lot of the answers as to whether people are guilty or not up to the opinion of the viewer. It showcases the great detail that has to go into interrogating people, and because the show never leaves the interrogation room, it is all about great dialogue and it is very tense to watch.
2 CSI: Miami
From 2002-2012, CSI: Miami has entertained viewers with countless cases while keeping it fun to watch at the same time. It’s a no-brainer as it’s set in Miami like Dexter is and a core group of characters is trying to track down bad guys and put them away.
While this won’t be a slow-burner or a show that’s hard to solve, it’s a show that involves crime, law enforcement, and beautiful, sandy beaches.
1 Mr. Robot
Snuggled between the drama and thriller genre, Mr. Robot presents the story of Elliot Alderson, a genius with a computer and a part-time computer hacker in his free-time. Rami Malek plays Alderson like it’s his second-skin and each season gets better with character build-up and the situation the characters get themselves in.
Like Dexter, Alderson pretty much lives in plain sight but is committing crimes, left and right.