These gritty, thrilling shows like ‘Dexter’ will make your heart race

via Showtime

The idea of a serial killer who only targets other serial killers and predators is absolutely brilliant. That’s the premise of Dexter, a series originally premiered on Showtime in 2006. The first eight seasons of Dexter were filled with mystery, intrigue, and a ton of murder. Dexter Morgan is a blood-splatter expert who works for the Miami Metro Police Department. Instead of just solving murders that happen in his local city, he also commits murders. Since he follows an ethical code and promises to only go after those who are guilty, he feels as though his lifestyle decisions are totally justified.

He is able to quietly quench his thirst for killing without taking the lives of anyone innocent. He’s mastered what it means to live a double life since the people closest to him don’t know a single thing about his dark secret. The cast of Dexter includes Michael C. Hall as the titular character, Jennifer Carpenter as Debra Morgan (Dexter’s sister), David Zayas as Angel Batista, and Desmond Harrington as Joey Quinn. The show also features Lauren Velez as Maria LaGuerta and Julie Benz as Rita Bennett. Here are some other shows to watch that are similar to Dexter.

Dexter: New Blood

Since Dexter: New Blood is a reboot series of the original Dexter, it undoubtedly has a place on this list. Dexter: New Blood premiered in 2021, picking up where the original series left off. The show is considered a crime drama filled with loads of mystery. To those who adored the original series, it’s definitely worth watching. Fans of the original show had to wait nearly a decade for this particular reboot to come out, but a lot of people believe it was worth the wait. In the reboot, Dexter is alive and well and hiding behind an alias… Jim Lindsay.


Dexter Morgan is constantly compared to Joe Goldberg from You on Netflix. Both men are pretty creepy, both men know how to stalk their prey, and both men are easily able to fly under the radar without anyone noticing them or the illegal activities they are engaging in. Dexter and Joe are both murderers, even though they have varying methods to their madness. Dexter kills other serial killers while Joe kills anyone who gets in the way of his romantic endeavors. This show is considered a psychological thriller and fans are currently waiting for the fourth season to be released. Penn Badgley, the star of the show, recently discussed his process for getting into character.

He told Vogue, “Honestly, all I try to do is believe everything he says. In a way, it’s simpler but not necessarily easier than you’d think. He’s not a process-based serial killer. He doesn’t enjoy the process.” From Badgley’s perspective, Joe and Dexter are different in terms of how it feels to kill another person. Badgley continued saying, “[Joe] might enjoy controlling people, even when that means putting them in a box and torturing them, but actually, I think death and loss really trouble him and he’s not able to see that about himself.” There are certainly differences between Joe and Dexter, but their psychotic natures form a television kinship.

Station Eleven

After a devastating illness wipes out millions of people, the survivors who are left behind come together to rebuild a brand new world despite everything they’ve lost. Station Eleven premiered in 2021 and is available for streaming on HBO Max right now. It’s based on a novel by a Canadian writer named Emily St. John Mandel. When a fictitious swine flu pandemic devastates most of the population, it leaves those left behind in a very precarious situation. This show caused the attention of viewers around the globe because of what’s going on in the real world with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Following

The Following premiered in 2013 and lasted for three seasons. The drama is about a former FBI agent who gets called upon to go after a notorious serial killer who is escaped from death row. The former agent is named Ryan Hardy, and he’s parted ways with his position due to some physical and emotional scars. Instead of staying hidden away in retirement, he decides to come back to work to put the dangerous escaped killer away. This particular serial killer mutilated and murdered 14 women before he was caught and put in prison. Agent Hardy makes it his own personal mission to put the killer back behind bars.


Yellowjackets is a psychological drama that premiered in 2021. When a team of extremely talented high school soccer players survives a plane crash in the wilderness of Ontario, they must do whatever it takes to survive. Yellowjackets tells the story of what they do from the moment their plane crashes until the moment are able to return to civilization. At one point in the mountains, they turn to cannibalism in order to live to see another day. There’s a lot of darkness in this show, which is why it’s similar to Dexter. Some of the cast members include Melanie Lynskey, Christina Ricci, Julia Louis, Sophie Thatcher, and Ella Purnell.


Brotherhood is a drama series that premiered in 2006 and lasted for three seasons. It’s about the Caffee brothers who live in an Irish American neighborhood known as The Hill. Their city’s illegal, underworld activities begin coming to the surface and threatening their way of life. Some of the cast members include Jason Clark as Tommy, Jason Isaacs as Michael, Annabeth Gish as Eileen, Fiona C. Erickson as Mary Rose, and Ethan Embry as Declan Giggs. The good news for people who enjoyed watching Brotherhood in the mid aughts is that all three seasons are available for streaming on Hulu right now.

Ray Donovan

In the world of Hollywood elites, Ray Donovan is the man who gets called when a problem needs solving. Hollywood’s wealthiest and most noteworthy athletes, business moguls, and celebrities know they can rely on Donovan if they want to make their problems go away. His lucrative position is a big deal in the Hollywood industry since he knows how to fix so many serious issues.

Back in the day, he was a thug in South Boston, but these days he’s rubbing elbows with some of the most powerful individuals in society. After Donovan‘s father, Mickey, gets released from prison after a 20-year stint, Donovan fears his entire life might get flipped upside down. Some of the actors in this show include Liev Schrieber in the titular role, Jon Voight as Mickey Donovan, and Eddie Marsan as Terry Donovan. There’s also Devon Bagby as Connor Donovan, Dash Mihok as Bunchy Donovan, and Kerris Dorsey as Bridget Donovan.

The Killing

The Killing premiered in 2011 and lasted for four seasons. It’s about a detective named Sarah Linden who considers herself to be dedicated to the Seattle police department. She gets assigned to mentor another detective named Stephen Holder who formerly worked with the narcotics division.

Since he’s more of a carefree individual, and she likes to follow all the rules, they occasionally clash. Their varying work ethics create a struggle to see eye to eye. In the midst of a major murder investigation, they realize they need to lean on each other to achieve justice regardless of their differences. In Dexter, the titular character works with the police department and butt heads with a handful of his co-workers… especially Doakes.

The Sinner

The Sinner is a 2017 drama that focuses on a detective named Harry Ambrose. In each season of the show, he investigates a chilling homicide using unusual tactics that other detectives might not consider. Since it’s so easy for him to be an empathetic individual, his empathy comes in handy when solving his difficult cases.

He also has a strong devotion to achieving justice based on his dark past and troublesome history. Since he’s got so many secrets to hide, he’s often able to dangerously connect with suspects in the most intimate ways. This show stars Matt Bomer as Jamie, Bill Pullman as Detective Harry, Jessica Biel as Cora Tonetti, and other recognizable stars.

True Blood

There aren’t any vampires in Dexter, but there’s still plenty of blood. The fact that there’s so much blood included in both True Blood and Dexter is one of the first factors that make these shows comparable. In True Blood, a pretty Louisiana waitress named Sookie Stackhouse comes from a small town and is typically viewed as nothing more than an oddball by everyone around her. She is a tad bit odd since she has the power and ability to read the minds of her friends and neighbors.

Worrying about her reputation amongst others is the last thing on her mind since she’s more interested in getting the attention of a vampire who is risen from the dead at the age of 173. In this show, vampires are able to live peacefully amongst humans since synthetic blood has been created. The fake blood makes it possible for them to survive without having to kill innocent people. It’s still difficult for vampires to fit in with society since a lot of human beings aren’t too keen on the idea of spending time next to a bloodthirsty vampire.

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