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Summary

  • Fans of dark psychological thrillers will enjoy Netflix’s new show,
    Baby
    Reindeer
    , with its mix of intense drama and humor.
  • Baby
    Reindeer
    tells the story of a comedian in London being stalked.
  • Those who enjoyed
    Baby
    Reindeer
    should check out
    Fleabag
    and
    You
    for more psychological thrillers with complex characters.

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Netflix’s new show Baby Reindeer is a dark psychological drama with a sense of humor, and fans of the series will be looking for similar shows after finishing the seven episodes. Baby Reindeer follows Donny, a comedian in London, as his life is torn to shreds by an aggressive stalker. Based on the real-life experience of creator and star Richard Gadd, Baby Reindeer flips the usual narrative of stalking on its head with a man being stalked by a woman. He first told the story at a critically-acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe show.

Baby Reindeer‘s cast features a mix of familiar faces and new emerging talents. Richard Gadd plays a fictionalized version of himself, while British actor Jessica Gunning plays his stalker, Martha. Although the show deals with some extremely upsetting subjects, Gadd also injects moments of his own humor. There are a few shows like Baby Reindeer which fans will be eager to watch next, since they also deal with intense stories, some of which are also inspired by real life.

10 Fleabag (2016-2019)

Another Fringe show which was adapted for TV

Release Date
June 21, 2016

Seasons
2

Like Baby Reindeer, Fleabag also focuses on an unreliable narrator who talks directly to the audience.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s critically acclaimed comedy-drama only produced two seasons, but it left a lasting impact on the TV industry, with plenty of shows trying to replicate its deft fourth-wall breaks and its quirky humor. One could argue that Baby Reindeer might not exist if not for Fleabag, and the two shows have quite a lot in common, not least the fact that they were both originally conceived as stage shows.

Like Baby Reindeer, Fleabag also focuses on an unreliable narrator who talks directly to the audience. Fleabag isn’t about stalking or obsessive relationships, but the protagonist does have to deal with a psychologically taxing situation. In Fleabag’s case, it’s the death of her best friend that torments her. Fleabag is another likely favorite for fans of Baby Reindeer, as it also takes an experimental approach to comedy, but it isn’t afraid to probe at life’s darker side.

9 You (2018-)

You follows events from the stalker’s perspective

Cast
Elizabeth Lail , Michaela McManus , Ambyr Childers , Victoria Pedretti , Luca Padovan , Scott Speedman , Travis Van Winkle , Penn Badgley , Jenna Ortega , Shay Mitchell

Release Date
September 9, 2018

Seasons
4

While Baby Reindeer is told from the perspective of the victim, You puts the audience inside the mind of the perpetrator.

You is the most famous show about stalking, and for good reason. The psychological thriller stars Penn Badgley as Joe, a man who fixates intensely on several women and seeks to insert himself into their lives by any means necessary. While Baby Reindeer is told from the perspective of the victim, You puts the audience inside the mind of the perpetrator, with his disturbing narration making up large parts of the show.

You season 5 will be the show’s final outing, and it’s set to be an explosive ending. Despite the horrific nature of Joe’s crimes, You toys with its audience so much that there are times when it is easy to support the charismatic killer as he tries to evade the police. This psychological game tends to deepen as each season progresses, with Joe’s version of events breaking further from reality.

8 Swarm (2023)

A twisted tale of obsession

Cast
Dominique Fishback , Chloe Bailey , Damson Idris , Rickey Thompson , Paris Jackson , Rory Culkin , Kiersey Clemons , Byron Bowers

Release Date
March 17, 2023

Seasons
1

Swarm blurs the line between fact and fiction to highlight the real dangers of toxic fan culture, which is made even more intense by social media.

Co-created by Donald Glover, Swarm is a twisty psychological drama about a young fan who becomes so obsessed with a musical artist that she goes to increasingly violent lengths for her. Swarm blurs the line between fact and fiction to highlight the real dangers of toxic fan culture, which is made even more intense by social media. There are deliberate allusions to Beyoncé and her passionate fan base.

While Swarm takes down the absurdity of American society’s celebrity obsession, it also shows how misguided super fans might cling to the ideal of a famous artist as a replacement for something that’s missing in their own lives. Dominique Fishback is exceptional in the lead role. She delivers a frantic performance as her character spirals deeper and deeper into a delusional fantasy.

7 Beef (2023-)

Beef becomes more intense and dangerous with each episode

Cast
Steven Yeun , Ali Wong , David Choe , Young Mazino , Joseph Lee , Patti Yasutake

Seasons
1

Beef starts off with a seemingly innocuous road rage incident, but this one moment plunges Amy and Danny’s lives into chaos.

Beef starts off with a seemingly innocuous road rage incident, but this one moment plunges Amy and Danny’s lives into chaos as neither one of them is willing to back down or admit fault. Their rapidly escalating conflict moves on from trading insults to acts of violence very quickly. Ultimately, they become utterly consumed by their beef, to the detriment of their personal lives and their other relationships.

Beef was one of the biggest shows of 2023, so Beef season 2 is already building hype, although it seems as though it will focus on a different story with new characters. The first season can therefore be viewed as a complete miniseries. Beef works so well because of the watchable dynamic between Ali Wong and Steven Yeun. They are able to carry the plot as it descends from everyday drama into a hilariously dark

6 I May Destroy You (2020)

Award-winning TV that finds humor in dark circumstances

I May Destroy You is the perfect show for the current social landscape, as it takes a detailed look at society’s evolving attitudes toward sexual consent and victim support.

I May Destroy You stars Michaela Coel as a woman in the public eye who must piece together the events of a traumatic night when she wakes up with no recollection of what happened to her. Despite its dark premise, I May Destroy You is filled with moments of relatable humor and levity. Coel leads a fantastic cast, and she also serves as the show’s creator, writer and co-director.

I May Destroy You is the perfect show for the current social landscape, as it takes a detailed look at society’s evolving attitudes toward sexual consent and victim support. It’s an incredible achievement for a show to be so intelligent and timely while also packing a comedic punch. Unfortunately, it seems likely that Coel has no intentions of delivering a second season, but I May Destroy You is still unmissable TV.

5 Based On A True Story (2023-)

A recent hit that blends true crime with comedy

Cast
Kaley Cuoco , Chris Messina , Tom Bateman , Liana Liberato , Natalia Dyer , Priscilla Quintana

Release Date
June 8, 2023

Seasons
1

Cuoco and Messina share a delightful comedic dynamic, but there is still a lot of intense drama like there is in Baby Reindeer.

Kaley Cuoco and Chris Messina star in Based on a True Story as a married couple who uncover the identity of a serial killer in their neighborhood. When they realize that having access to the killer will provide a huge boost for their true-crime podcast, they decide to keep things under wraps. Cuoco and Messina share a delightful comedic dynamic, but there is still a lot of intense drama like there is in Baby Reindeer.

Season 1’s cliffhanger ending sets up an exciting second season of Based on a True Story, and it’s extremely possible that the show could last for several years, thanks to an intriguing mystery plot and a fun cast. Based on a True Story leans a little more into its comedic side than Baby Reindeer, but there are moments which are just as horrifying, and the comedy all but disappears.

4 Maid (2021)

Maid mirrors the darkest episodes of Baby Reindeer

Cast
Margaret Qualley , Andie MacDowell , BJ Harrison , Nick Robinson , Toby Levins , Anika Noni Rose , Raymond Ablack , Rylea Nevaeh Whittet , Aimee Carrero , Billy Burke , Tracy Vilar , Xavier de Guzman

Release Date
October 1, 2021

Seasons
1

Maid is as dark and stressful as Baby Reindeer‘s most upsetting episodes, like the one which focuses on Donny’s relationship with Darrien.

Maid stars Margaret Qualley alongside her mother Andie MacDowell. Qualley plays a woman who tries to start a new life with her daughter and escape from her abusive ex, and MacDowell plays her mother with undiagnosed BPD who she must also take care of. Maid is as dark and stressful as Baby Reindeer‘s most upsetting episodes, like the one which focuses on Donny’s relationship with Darrien.

Maid is a great showcase of Margaret Qualley’s talents as a dramatic actor. She displays a powerful emotional range as her character is pressured on all sides by her family needs, her financial struggles, and the inadequate legal system. This is another element which Maid shares with Baby Reindeer, as Donny finds that the police aren’t set up to help him deal with his stalker, even when things turn violent.

3 The End Of The F…ing World (2017-2019)

An unorthodox coming-of-age comedy

Cast
Jessica Barden

Release Date
October 24, 2017

Seasons
2

Thanks to two performances from Jessica Barden and Alex Lawther which mix dark humor with intense psychological drama, the show never wastes a moment.

The End of the F…ing World follows a teenager living in Britain who believes that he’s a psychopath, so he chooses his first murder victim from the people he knows at school. Rather than killing Alyssa as he first plans, James ends up forming a peculiar bond with her. She’s just as misanthropic and disturbed as he is, so the show tracks their unusual relationship as they try to outrun the law across the country.

The End of the F…ing World has two seasons, which amount to just 16 episodes, so it’s an easy watch. Thanks to two performances from Jessica Barden and Alex Lawther which mix dark humor with intense psychological drama, the show never wastes a moment. Based on comics by Charles Forsman, The End of the F…ing World uses some of the visual elements of a comic to show its characters trapped within the confines of a box.

2 Dirty John (2018-2020)

Dirty John also borrows from real life

Just like Baby Reindeer, Dirty John dramatizes a true story each season.

Dirty John is a twisty crime anthology series, with each season telling the story of a different case. Just like Baby Reindeer, Dirty John dramatizes a true story each season. The key difference is that Dirty John is adapted from a true-crime podcast, while Baby Reindeer uses a direct first-hand account from the victim. Still, Dirty John presents a thrilling look at two unbelievable cases which are made even more disturbing by the knowledge that they actually happened.

The first season is a particularly good match for fans of Baby Reindeer. It tells the story of a con man who weaves a web of deceit to try and extort a woman out of her fortune. This mirrors the way in which Martha feeds Donny lies about her past and her job so that he lets his guard down around her for a moment. She doesn’t succeed for long, but it’s long enough for her to gain vital information about Donny.

1 Ripley (2024-)

Another recent Netflix thriller

Cast
Andrew Scott , Johnny Flynn , Dakota Fanning , Maurizio Lombardi , Pasquale Esposito

Release Date
April 4, 2024

Seasons
1

Like Baby Reindeer, Ripley is a compelling tale that focuses on the dark and violent nature of obsession.

Netflix’s Ripley arrived on the platform to a lot of fanfare, but it’s a much stranger and slower thriller than many people anticipated. Based on the novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, Ripley follows a cold-blooded con man as he travels to Italy from New York to convince an old acquaintance to return home on his father’s behalf. Once he arrives, he becomes obsessed with the man and seeks to take over his life.

Ripley is shot entirely in black and white, which enhances the film noir feel, even if it isn’t to everyone’s taste. Like Baby Reindeer, it’s a compelling tale that focuses on the dark and violent nature of obsession. Andrew Scott captures Tom Ripley’s reptilian behavior perfectly, and the camera follows his every move around the beautiful cathedrals and stone steps of the Italian setting.



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