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10 Best Shows Like The Watcher


In a year when it seems like prolific TV producer Ryan Murphy can’t lose, his latest spooky Netflix project The Watcher has left audiences quaking in their boots. With its “it could happen to anyone” premise and brilliant performances, the relatively short-running miniseries has left many TV fanatics craving more.


From ripped-from-the-headlines shockers like Under the Banner of Heaven to lesser-known true crime miniseries like Des, there are plenty of shows to enjoy after finishing The Watcher. Though horrific miniseries are all the rage right now, only a select few managed to capture the same creepy vibe as Netflix’s new hit.

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The Act (2019)

Stream On Hulu

The modern popularity of true crime miniseries has undoubtedly been spurred on by several high-profile cases in the media, and The Act brought a truly shocking modern tale to life. The series chronicles the life of Gypsy Blanchard, a young woman who goes to extraordinary lengths to escape the control of her domineering mother.

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Similar to The Watcher, the brilliant cast of The Act is what helps put it over the top. The story is much more well-known than the newer show, but the way the narrative was plotted kept things from getting predictable or stale. Crime series are usually open-and-shut cases, but The Act showed that there was sometimes a gray area to headline-making cases.

The Staircase (2022)

Stream On HBO Max

Originally making waves in a true crime documentary that helped break the case wide open, The Staircase dramatized the gripping story with an all-star cast. Michael Peterson is a man who seemingly has everything, but the sudden and mysterious death of his wife makes him the prime suspect in her murder.

True crime is scary on its own, but The Staircase is very similar to The Watcher in that it has a creepy tone that unsettles the viewer. Though it is slower-paced, the series paints a fascinating portrait of the people involved and really does take viewers on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

A Friend Of The Family (2022)

Stream On Peacock

Though it is only a few episodes into its run, A Friend of the Family is already shaping up to be one of the best true crime series of 2022. In the 1970s, the Broberg family’s young daughter Jan is repeatedly kidnapped by a man who manages to emotionally manipulate the entire group against each other.

A lesser-known story than most that get miniseries adaptations, the harrowing experience of the Broberg clan is a cautionary tale about the dangers of too much trust. Like The Watcher, the true horror of the experience comes from how mundane it all seems, and the viewer is left to ponder what they would have done in that situation.

Candy (2022)

Stream On Hulu

Shows like The Watcher don’t really spend too much time on the “why” of their true crime story, but Candy is a rare miniseries that gets to the heart of why people snap. Candy Montgomery is a typical 1980s housewife who slowly begins to buckle under the weight of conformity.

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Jessica Biel’s performance is a revelation, and the show never pushes things too far in any direction. The audience isn’t meant to sympathize with Candy, but she also isn’t made out to be a completely inhuman monster either. The series manages to be creepy without sacrificing the human angle to the story that makes true crime so fascinating.

Under The Banner Of Heaven (2022)

Stream On Hulu

In the mad dash to adapt as many true crime stories into TV shows as possible, a lot of the real human toll is lost in the shuffle. However, Under the Banner of Heaven put the emotional weight of true crime at the forefront of its narrative. The series follows a detective in Utah who investigates a brutal murder that leads him to a fanatical pocket of the LDS church.

The experience of Detective Jeb Pyre is the meat of the story, and Andrew Garfield excels as a man whose faith is at a crossroads. Unlike The Watcher, which has an almost horror movie-like terror to it, Banner of Heaven has a creeping dread that is much more unsettling.

Des (2020)

Stream On AMC+

Serial killers have always been one of the most popular subjects for true crime media, and it takes a fair amount of tact to depict them without seeming exploitative. Des is the story of British murderer Dennis Nilsen and the biographer who interviews him in an attempt to ascertain why he did what he did.

Ranking highly among actor David Tennant’s best characters, his portrayal of Nilsen is true to life and absolutely harrowing. Unlike The Watcher which tells its story as it is happening, Des is told in retrospect and shows the truly chilling nature of Nilsen and his crimes.

The Sinner (2017-2021)

Stream On Netflix

Though it isn’t based on any true crime cases, The Sinner is one of the few fictional shows that has the same tone. Each season, Detective Harry Ambrose gets intimately involved in a brutal murder case which leads him down a dark path in order to determine why people commit heinous crimes.

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While it is ostensibly an anthology show, the character of Harry gives each season continuity, and he grows as the show progresses. It isn’t as explicitly horrifying as The Watcher, but the series has an overwhelming sense of dread that is made even creepier by the bleak setting.

Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022)

Stream On Netflix

Ryan Murphy has practically taken over television, and his redundantly named series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story helped to solidify his commitment to true crime. Dramatizing the life and crimes of American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, the series went out of its way to show things that really happened in vivid detail.

Unlike previous attempts at the story which left things out, Dahmer explored the impact that the man’s crimes had on the community of Milwaukee and had a lot to say about the failings of Law Enforcement at the time. Murphy’s other series, The Watcher, is much less controversial, but his signature touch is all over both projects.

Mindhunter (2017-2019)

Stream On Netflix

Based on the personal experiences of Special Agent John Douglas, Mindhunter showed the origins of modern criminal profiling. Set in the late ’70s, two FBI agents set out to interview notorious murderers in order to create a profile that can help them catch other killers.

Now accepted as science, the characters struggle to get their theories accepted by LEOs who doubt their efficacy. Outside the historical intrigue of the program, the character-based narrative gives audiences something to latch onto, and there is a creepy vibe of impending doom throughout. Fans of The Watcher will be charmed by its creepy pacing and stunning performances that help to make the series one of Netflix’s best.

True Detective (2014-2019)

Stream On HBO Max

Though it stretched on for three seasons, it is the first season of True Detective that completely shifted the paradigm of crime shows on TV. Each season of the show follows detectives as they investigate mysterious crimes that expose the dark underbelly of policing.

Like the slowly spreading darkness of crime, True Detective unsettles its audience over time and isn’t quite as explicit with its horror as The Watcher. Even so, the cases covered are nightmarish, and the trials and tribulations of the fictional characters are reminiscent of some of the best true crime media. In the end, True Detective lives and dies by its quality performances, and it has those in spades.

NEXT: 10 Underrated True Crime Series Worth Watching In 2022



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Denis Ava
Denis Avahttps://bizgrows.com/
Denis Ava is mainly a business blogger who writes for Biz Grows. Rather than business blogs he loves to write and explore his talents in other niches such as fashion, technology, travelling,finance,etc.

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