10 Shows Like 'The Patient' to Watch Next

Serial killers, psychology, and therapy, oh my!
by Annie Lyons — 

Domhnall Gleeson and Steve Carell in 'The Patient'


In The Patient, a psychotherapist takes on an enigmatic new client but finds himself in grave danger when the client kidnaps him and reveals himself to be a serial killer. 

Only, Sam (Domhnall Gleeson) didn't kidnap and imprison Alan (Steve Carell) with murderous intentions in mind. Instead, he makes an unusual request of the therapist: to cure him of his homicidal urges. The Hulu limited series follows Alan as he navigates the tense scenario and tries to probe into Sam's dangerous compulsions, with the looming knowledge that if he is unsuccessful, he will likely not make it out of Sam's basement alive. Alan's imprisonment also forces him to confront his own painful past, including his grief over the recent death of his wife, a beloved cantor at a Reform Jewish synagogue, and his falling out with his son after he converted to an Orthodox sect. 

Created by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, the sometimes darkly comic psychological thriller explores Sam's daily life and Alan's past through flashbacks, but the show primarily centers the one-on-one conversations between Alan and Sam in Sam's basement. It soon becomes evident that Sam is not the only "patient" that the show's title refers to, as The Patient delves into themes about empathy, trauma, grief, and faith. The show has earned mostly positive reviews and has a Metascore of 74, garnering particular praise for Carell's and Gleeson's performances. 

The Patient just wrapped up its 10-episode run, so if you're looking for a similar show to check out next, Metacritic has compiled a list of more psychological thrillers, crime dramas that delve into the psyches of serial killers, and shows about therapists.

Here, Metacritic highlights 10 shows like The Patient to watch next.


Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell in 'The Americans'


The Americans

Metascore: 89
Best for: Fans of period dramas and spy thrillers
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Seasons: 6

Fields and Weisberg previously worked together on this period spy drama that's partially inspired by Weisberg's experience working at the CIA. Taking place during the 1980s, The Americans follows Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), two KGB spies who got married for their cover story and now pose as American citizens in a Washington D.C. suburb, with their two children unaware of their secret identities. While Elizabeth is fully dedicated to their cause, Philip experiences some doubts, a key tension in the show's exploration of their complex relationship. The Americans won four Emmy Awards out of a total 18 nominations, including one win for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.

"The series' nuanced depiction of espionage as grinding emotional labor is still enthralling." — James Poniewozik, The New York Times


Bill Hader in 'Barry'



Metascore: 88
Best for: Fans of tragicomedies and crime thrillers
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Seasons: 3 (so far)

Created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader, who also stars as the titular character, Barry follows a highly lethal but depressed hitman who decides to become an actor, hoping the new profession will give him a new lease on life. Barry enrolls in an acting class taught by the self-obsessed Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) but struggles to extricate himself from his dark past and his manipulative handler Fuches (Stephen Root). The show balances dark comedy, psychological drama, and tense action set pieces, with later seasons delving even further into Barry's unstable psyche. Barry has won nine Emmy Awards out of a total 44 nominations so far, which included three consecutive nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series. 

"His quest for forgiveness begets ever more violence, pulling the story in masterfully funny, tense and disturbing directions, and proving that this half-hour comedy is still one of television's best suspense-filled thrillers." — Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times



Apple TV+


Metascore: 83
Best for: Fans of science fiction thrillers that keep you guessing 
Where to watch:

Seasons: 1 (so far)

If your favorite part of watching The Patient is theorizing about how the show might end, you might enjoy this science fiction psychological thriller. Severance revolves around Lumon Industries, a powerful biotechnology corporation pioneering a surgery that divides some employees' memories between their personal lives and work. Adam Scott stars as Mark Scout, a "severed" employee who underwent the procedure after his wife's death. Following a new worker's arrival and an unexpected meeting on the outside, both Mark's inner and outer selves begin questioning Lumon's mysterious goals. For its first season, the show won two Emmy Awards out of a total 14 nominations, which included a nod for Outstanding Drama Series. 

"The best kind of science fiction sometimes feels set about 10 minutes in the future, and so it is with Severance, an extremely creepy, slow-moving but instantly engrossing Apple TV+ series." — Brian Lowry, CNN


From left to right: Taron Egerton and Paul Walter Hauser in 'Black Bird'

Apple TV+

Black Bird

Metascore: 80
Best for: Fans of true-crime dramas
Where to watch:

Seasons: 1

Much like The Patient, Black Bird also hinges on tense conversations with a serial killer, only in this case, it's a fellow prisoner who is probing for information. Adapted from James Keene and Hillel Levin's memoir, the show follows Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton), a former high school football star who receives a 10-year prison sentence after being arrested for drug dealing. Because of his talent for conversation, FBI agent Lauren McCauley (Sepideh Moafi) approaches him with a peculiar opportunity: He will receive a commuted sentence if he transfers to a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane and elicits a confession from serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser), who is currently appealing his charges.

"It is when Jimmy and Larry meet up in prison that Black Bird really begins to take flight. Suspicion gives way to tolerance, becomes fragile friendship and then moves on to something much more sinuous and slippery." — Lucy Mangan, The Guardian 


From left to right: Holt McCallany and Jonathan Groff in 'Mindhunter'



Metascore: 80
Best for: Fans of crime thrillers that explore serial killers' psyches and David Fincher
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 2

This psychological crime thriller explores the development of modern criminal profiling techniques and the establishment of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit. Set during the late 1970s and early 1980s, the show follows FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), and consulting psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) as they begin a research project to interview imprisoned serial killers, hoping to better understand their psychology. The show is based on Mark Olshaker and John E. Douglas' book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, with executive producer Fincher directing many of the series' episodes. Mindhunter received two Emmy Award nominations, including one for cinematography. 

"This isn't your typical good vs. evil, cops vs. robbers procedural. If anything, it's trying to eliminate those conceptions. Sometimes it's funny. Often it's chilling. But however you take it, at least Mindhunter is working a fresh angle." — Ben Travers, IndieWire


Mads Mikkelsen in 'Hannibal'



Metascore: 77
Best for: Fans of psychological horror and crime thrillers that explore serial killers' psyches
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Seasons: 3

Hannibal revolves around the intense and twisted emotional relationship between a FBI special investigator and a forensic psychiatrist who is secretly a serial killer and cannibal. Criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) has a highly unique thought process that allows him to empathize with psychopathic murderers but his ability haunts him, prompting his supervisor to pair him with Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) for support. Lecter strives to manipulate the FBI and grows especially fascinated with breaking down Graham, believing he has the makings of a killer. Developed by Bryan Fuller, the series is based on characters and elements in three of Thomas Harris' novels: Red Dragon, Hannibal, and Hannibal Rising

"It's a macabre dance that only promises to get more intense." — Mark A. Perigard, Boston Herald


Michael C. Hall in 'Dexter'



Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of crime thrillers, dark comedies, and antiheroes
Where to watch:

, , , , ,
Seasons: 8 and a revival limited series

In this psychological crime drama, Michael C. Hall stars as Dexter Morgan, a forensic technician who juggles with his secret life as a sociopathic serial killer. However, he abides by a strict moral code and only targets other murderers. By day, Dexter works as a blood spatter analyst at the Miami Metro Police Department and often helps his foster sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), a detective who is unaware of Dexter's vigilante life. The show won four Emmy Awards out of a total 25 nominations, which included four consecutive nominations for Outstanding Drama series from 2008 to 2011. A follow-up limited series titled Dexter: New Bloodwas released eight years after the series ended. 

"Hall, who invests strange, demented Dexter with real heart and humanity. It's a spooky tour de force." — Mike Duffy, Detroit Free Press


Gabriel Byrne in 'In Treatment'


In Treatment

Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of conversation-heavy dramas and shows about therapists
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Seasons: 4

In Treatment stars Gabriel Byrne as Dr. Paul Weston, a charming and successful psychotherapist. Based on the Israeli series BeTipul, the drama follows Paul's sessions with his patients, with each episode focusing on one of his regular weekly patients. Paul also begins his own therapy sessions with his former mentor Gina (Dianne Wiest), whom he has not seen since an argument 10 years ago. The show was rebooted for a fourth season in 2021, focusing on Dr. Brooke Taylor (Uzo Aduba), Paul's long-time mentee. The show won two Emmy Awards out of a total eight nominations, which included one acting award nomination for Aduba and two for Byrne. 

"These episodes are mini-dramas that could work on any theatrical stage and yet there's nothing theatrical about the way they're presented here. The episodes work primarily because of how carefully and subtly they're acted, photographed, and most crucially, edited." — Brian Holcomb, Slant Magazine


Penn Badgley in 'You'



Metascore: 75
Best for: Fans of psychological thrillers that explore serial killers' psyches and stories about the dangers of social media
Where to watch:

, , Netflix,
Seasons: 3 (so far)

While You has a much more soapy sensibility than The Patient, the psychological thriller also delves into the mind of someone with a compulsion for violence. Only, in bookstore manager Joe's (Penn Badgley) case, his violent urges stem from his warped and obsessive view of romance. Based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, You centers Joe's perspective through first-person narration that reveals his dangerous mindset and justifications for his actions. In the first season, Joe embeds himself into the life of aspiring writer Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), using social media as a tool to help him stalk her and remove perceived threats to their relationship. We won't spoil how or why, but in subsequent seasons, he has new objects of his affection to stalk.

"You is the best it's ever been — every bit as dark and stinging and cheerfully willing to screw with its audience, but now outfitted with a glorious foil for Joe's monstrousness." — Kathryn VanArendonk, Vulture



From left to right: Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell in 'The Shrink Next Door'

Apple TV+

The Shrink Next Door

Metascore: 61
Best for: Fans of psychological true-crime dramas and stories featuring therapists
Where to watch:

Seasons: 1

This darkly comedic psychological drama also explores a therapist-patient relationship but revolves around a completely different power dynamic. Inspired by true events and based on the podcast of the same title by Joe Nocera, The Shrink Next Door chronicles the warped, three-decades long relationship between psychiatrist Dr. Ike Herschkopf (Paul Rudd) and his patient Marty Markowitz (Will Ferrell). Following the advice of his sister Phyllis (Kathryn Hahn), Marty begins seeing Ike to help him cope with his grief following their parents' death. As the pair form a bond, Ike increasingly embeds himself into Marty's life and seeks to control his other relationships, especially after learning about Marty's large inheritance. 

"Though the performances are uniformly terrific ... The Shrink Next Door is Exhibit A in streaming series bloat. There's not enough story to justify eight episodes." — Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review