After it was announced last October that the showrunners of the Golden Globe-winning crime drama Dexter are taking another stab at its groundbreaking series following a contentious finale in 2013, fans are officially pumped for its return later this year. With lead star Michael C. Hall speaking out about the show's anticipated foray back onto the small screen with a 10-episode order on Showtime, it's no secret the series truly created an affable relationship between audiences and the nontraditional hero.
But while the show set a precedent among dramas chronicling the struggles and almost humanized aspect of a dark hero or antagonist, there are plenty more shows to watch to get your "dark passenger" vibes with. If you can't wait until Dexter premieres this fall for a show that gives you those strange and odd feelings of a love-hate relationship with a very, very bad character, check out these six shows that will satiate those sentiments.
Long before Jamie Dornan was playing Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades franchise or singing his heart out on a beach in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, the Irish actor played a sinister character for the BBC production of The Fall alongside Gillian Anderson. With a role that garnered him an award, Paul Spector's character is one fans will have a legitimate love-hate relationship with — actually, maybe more hate than love. After all, his kills are nothing like Dexter's in a retributive play for justification. Instead, Dornan's Paul is a cold-blooded killer running amok in Belfast while keeping up appearances as a bereavement counselor with a family. But like Dexter, fans will become well immersed in the series thanks to several unnerving moments and a glimpse into his character's humanization when it comes to family.prevnext
As one of the characters in pop culture that perhaps sparked it all, Bates Motel covered the teenage years of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho antagonist Norman Bates and life with his mother Norma. Premiering on A&E in 2013, all five seasons received favorable reviews with a freshness score on Rotten Tomatoes higher than 80%. The show did a great job of reinventing the classic thriller with exceptional writing and convincing performances led by Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga for a show that was consistently dark and creepy. Utilizing manipulation and suspense, the series is sharp and provides for some uncomfortable moments, but one that nails its dark tone.prevnext
If you're more into understanding why a serial killer is exactly the way he or she is, then Mindhunter is the old-school charmer you need to check out first. Throwing it back to the late '70s, Mindhunter, based on the 1995 true-crime book, immerses viewers deep into the abyss of criminal research and the infamous killers that prompt investigations for two FBI agents, Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany). Executive produced by David Fincher of Zodiac, the series is a slow-burn but has those definite vibes among the dark realm of criminal profiling, criminal psychology and gruesome murders. The fate of Mindhunter is currently up in the air.prevnext
After You first premiered on Netflix in 2018, fans were hooked on the series based on the 2014 book by Caroline Kepnes, which follows a New York bookstore manager and a serial killer named Joe who falls hard in love with a customer and then quickly develops an extreme, toxic and delusionally obsessive. Starring Gossip Girl alum Penn Badgley, it's easy to notice the parallels between You and Dexter in this crime series, especially through the eyes of an anti-hero who leads with his heart and personal moral code — even if it's not right. Additionally, the running commentary by Badgley is incredibly similar to Dexter, who narrates the hijinks of his day and the motives of his "dark passenger." The show will return for its third season later this year.prevnext
Often stated as the show that went too far, NBC's Hannibal was beloved by fans for all three of its seasons that chronicled a gifted criminal profiler named Graham (Hugh Dancy) who teams up with the cunning psychiatrist (and cannibal) Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) to solve murders. (Yes, that Hannibal Lector — the one with the fava beans and chianti.) Little does Graham know, Hannibal is actually trying his best to connect with him and turn him into a killer himself. With the show by Bryan Fuller raking in a cult following since its last episode aired in 2015, Hannibal catered to a clever audience appreciating the darkness of psychological thrillers in their fullest capacity. Based on Thomas Harris's crime novels' characters, the show built up with a lot of mystery and demented premises for an ending no one could foresee.prevnext
Originally airing on AMC and then transitioning to Netflix, The Killing was a series that garnered "universal acclaim," according to numerous critics. Though it only lasted four seasons, the show based on a Danish-TV crime drama was revered for its nuanced themes and profundity. Led by homicide detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) tracking down killers and putting them behind bars, the series was a slow-burn mystery that resonated with viewers thanks to its thoughtful writing and chilling scenarios — even if fans were a bit peeved with the ending, like Dexter's. Oops.prevnext
What's ahead for 'Dexter'?
While Dexter will return this year for a limited 10-episode series on Showtime, actor Michael C. Hall opened up about getting back into his character's shoes, though he isn't exactly sure what to expect — especially after they wrap up the set order. Will there be more after this is over?
"I've never returned to a job after so much time. Having Dexter in a completely different context, we'll see how that feels. It's been interesting to figure out how to do that, and I thought it was time to find out what the hell happened to him," he told NME, later admitting the 10-part limited series might not exactly be the end. "I'm reluctant to say 'definitely,' you know? Let's see. What's plain now is that there's 10 new episodes."0comments
Hall admits he just needed a bit of "persuasion" following the passing of time so that he could get some "distance away" from the part while also providing the character with more possibilities. "Really, it was about being presented with a story I felt was worth telling," he said. "There had been some other proposals and possibilities for Dexter, other roads we started down, but this was the first one that was worth continuing on."
For more on Dexter and all your favorite true-crime shows, keep it locked to PopCulture.com for the latest. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.prev