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Top 7 Shows like The Mentalist Everyone Should be Watching

Rahul is a TV addict who can never get enough of good shows. His all-time favorites are The Wire, Breaking Bad, and The Sopranos.


The Mentalist: One of the Most Underappreciated TV Shows

Someone once said, “Everything in this world is magic, except to the magician.” Patrick Jane is one such magician. After working as a psychic for many years, Jane serves as an independent consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI). However, this decision was not made out of a sense of justice, but rather an attempt to capture a serial killer named Red John who massacred his wife and daughter.

The Mentalist revolves around an intense game of cat and mouse, as other minor storylines are added along the way. With his unorthodox investigation methods and a blatant disregard for rules, Jane manages to solve a lot of unusual crimes. Although solving different cases on a daily basis keeps him distracted, a strong feeling of vengeance is always present.

Jane might be the smartest man in the room but the mysterious killer always seems to be one step ahead. As the series progresses, the charming mentalist befriends his associates, and together they become a force to be reckoned with.

Watch Patrick Jane go on a manhunt using his brilliant observation skills and an inability to accept defeat. Will he do the lawful thing and hand over Red John to the police or is the mission too personal? A horrific incident caused their paths to collide and now only one of these men can walk out alive.

The Mentalist showcases two people with identical skills who enjoy contrasting lifestyles. The show ended in 2015 after seven amazing seasons. Don't fret, though. I've got your fix. Here's six other TV series that are just as captivating and nail-biting.


1. Criminal Minds

The toughest criminal cases often involve serial killings since the victims are mostly chosen randomly. On top of that, these killers are unpredictable, so differentiating them from a group is almost impossible.

The Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) has the challenging task of analyzing these dangerous individuals in an attempt to predict their next move. People who regularly stare into the abyss may find it looking back at themselves, so being a hero is not as fun as it sounds. Watching a human commit unthinkable atrocities can make anyone jaded and emotionless. Our protagonists have to be careful if they want to avoid mixing work with their already restricted lifestyles.

Criminal Minds premiered in 2005 and shows no signs of stopping. Even though the show has gone through a lot of changes during its unbelievably long run, it manages to bring in new viewers every year.


2. Castle

Sometimes life mimics art, and that’s exactly the case for mystery novelist Rick Castle’s intriguing crime books. Someone has become so obsessed with his fictional writings that they recreated its murder scenes.

Now he has to work with NYPD detective Kate Beckett to catch this killer before more crimes are committed. The crime-solving pair complement each other so well that they decide to work together. As the series progresses, our two lead characters develop a special bond, despite the ongoing chaos in their workplace.

Castle introduces a little bit of comedy to lighten the mood, but it doesn't affect the shock value. The show ended in 2016 after eight seasons, so if you’re looking for a new series to binge, Castle is definitely worth a watch.

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3. Dexter

Dexter Morgan is a gifted individual who solves murders on a daily basis. However, our he also kills people who seem unredeemable. Maybe his actions diminish the number of criminals in the short run, but at what cost? Can someone exist on both sides of the law and justify their actions?

The show makes us root for a vigilante who takes justice into his own hands, who seemingly has no regard for moral values. On the other hand, watching corrupt forces hiding behind the façade of law makes Dexter’s philosophy compelling.

While the recent Dexter reboot is decent enough, nothing can beat the original. If you want to enjoy the best, stick to the first five seasons and consider its last episode the series finale.


4. House

Unlike most shows on the list, House does not revolve around a group of crime-solving geniuses. Instead, characters use their medical talents to diagnose and treat diseases, hopefully before patients become worse.

Dr. Gregory House is an ingenious diagnostician who has turned cynical after a medical error left him disabled. He takes pills to deal with the pain, but he also appears unable to function without them. Addicted people should never be involved with such a high-risk profession, but House proves to be an exception.

There are a lot of shows about doctors but House introduces us to a unique perspective: a man who hates his own life but loves saving others' lives. Slowly, you start resonating with House’s skeptical outlook. He may be hated by many, but there’s no doubt that he’s the best at his job. Maybe eight is the lucky number for shows on this list as House was on air for eight seasons as well.


5. Da Vinci’s Demons

Everyone's heard of Leonardo Da Vinci. In this fictional re-telling of the famous Renaissance painter's life, we see the genius behind the man with so many paintings and inventions to his name.

The story revolves around a young Leonardo, who is forced to develop weapons to defend Italy if he wishes to continue with his work. We also get to see him battle inner demons as a result of his mother’s absence.

The first season of this three-season series is considered by many critics to be a television masterpiece. If you're looking for a series like The Mentalist that's not as emotionally taxing, Da Vinci's Demons is your best bet.


6. Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes is a household name thanks to the many books, movies, and TV shows about this quirky character. This BBC production might be the best one out there because it invites viewers into Holmes' thought process. Along with his trusted ally, Dr. John Watson, there’s no case that can’t be solved.

Sherlock provides the clues that our “super detective” sees, so we get the chance to solve cases together. After watching the show, you might want to create your own mind-palace like the eccentric detective, because who wouldn’t want to be a master of deduction?

Fun fact: The character of Dr. Gregory House was based on Sherlock Holmes, so maybe watch those shows back to back?


7. True Detective - Season 1

Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) is one of the most interesting characters in TV history. He describes himself as a pessimist, vehemently believing that there’s no such thing as good in the world. According to Rust, “The world needs bad men to keep other bad men from the door,” and he’s not afraid to be the bridge between these two worlds.

His partner, Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson), has an opposite personality, but his own set of family problems. Putting these two together may seem odd, but their success says otherwise. The two start working on solving a murder mystery, a murder that looks ritualistic. It appears to be the work of a serial killer and unlike any they've ever encountered.

The haunted writing and cinematic brilliance of Season 1 of True Detective remains unrivaled. Other seasons have not been as well-received, but the eight episodes that make up the first season are flawless.

© 2022 Rahul Pandey

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