As Murphy Mason investigates the disappearance of her teenage friend, she also struggles with everyday pursuits like her love life and job troubles. With such a plot, the CW original In The Dark succeeds at blending the procedural crime genre with that of tragicomedy and drama.
Currently in its fourth season, the show is bound to propel audiences towards checking out similar sitcoms that border on edgy territories or modern classics within the crime genre. Some of the recurring tropes in these shows include hopeless protagonists, inner conflicts, sleepy towns, and much more.
10 Search Party (2016-2022) – Stream On HBO Max
As Dory’s former college acquaintance disappears without a trace, she and her ragtag bunch of 20-somethings assemble to investigate her whereabouts. What starts out as a simple search party ends up unraveling a larger conspiracy with each of the characters finding their own intentions to join the case.
On the surface, the plot of Search Party is pretty similar to that of In The Dark. Even though both storylines take a drastically different turn in the future seasons, the emotional pressure that the main characters of Search Party feel in such cases is similar to Murphy’s struggles. Hence, if one wishes to watch a companion piece to In The Dark with a similar mix of satire and emotional depth, Search Party would be a perfect watch.
9 Mare Of Easttown (2021) – Stream On HBO Max
Easttown is not much of a happening region until an unexpected murder of a teenage girl creates paranoia among the townfolk. Kate Winslet’s movies are already acclaimed enough but the actress makes her presence felt while playing the titular lead. Appearing as a no-nonsense detective in Mare of Easttown, she goes through an emotionally-draining personal and professional life to solve the murder.
The trials and tribulations that the case offers are quite comparable to Murphy’s situation in In The Dark. Both characters attempt to investigate murder cases while also struggling with their dating life and professional pressures.
8 Stranger Things (2016-) – Stream On Netflix
Over the seasons, Stranger Things has become much more than just a mystery series incorporating sci-fi, supernatural, and even coming-of-age influences. But loyal viewers can’t forget that the haunting of Hawkins, Indiana began with the disappearance of Will Byers. As Will’s frantic mother, friends, and the local law enforcement set out to find him, they unleash portals to another dimension where “stranger things” keep on happening.
Be it Will in the debut season or Eleven in the latest one, whenever a character on Stranger Things disappears, a heavily gripping mystery premise is built which will easily impress fans of crime dramas like In The Dark.
7 Veronica Mars (2004-2019) – Stream On Hulu
Even though Veronica Mars includes several cases that the titular protagonist solves in her sleepy town, the first season deals with the murder of her missing friend. It is this case that drives her to become a full-time sleuth and adds a lot of emotional depth to the character.
Offering one of Kristen Bell’s best roles, Veronica Mars has gone on to spawn a cult fanbase and even inspired a movie of the same name. Given its plot, the first season obviously bears thematic similarities with In The Dark but even the subsequent cases carry quintessential tropes of amateur detective shows, much like the exploits of Perry Mattfeld’s lead character in In The Dark.
6 Euphoria (2019-) – Stream On HBO Max
Dealing with the turbulent lives of several high-school-going teenagers, Euphoria explores issues like drug abuse, teenage love, and familial trauma.
The characters of Euphoria have become instant fan favorites for various reasons, including the friendly drug-dealer Fez. He and his brother Ashtray bring out some interesting perspectives, especially in the latest season. Fez, in particular, can be compared to Tyson from In The Dark. The teenage drug dealer in the latter bears a similar charm and viewers are made to understand the circumstances that forced him into this trade. And it is only his death that drives the main storyline forward.
5 Only Murders In The Building (2021) – Stream On Hulu
An ode to classic crime fiction, Only Murders In The Building stars the trio of Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez as amateur detectives investigating a murder in their apartment.
With a slew of pop culture references and the charismatic energy of the three actors, Only Murders In The Building is the perfect treat for fans of detective stories celebrating everyday heroes. Much like In The Dark, the lead characters head out on their own investigations out of sheer interest and passion to solve the case. While In The Dark does have a hint of police procedural drama, Murphy still remains to be one of the best amateur sleuths in recent media.
4 Daredevil (2015-2018) – Stream On Disney+
One of the best Marvel TV shows of all time, Daredevil captures the tireless battle of a red-costumed hero who attempts to wipe out crime in his New York neighborhood. Daredevil was rendered blind because of an accident but it is his advanced sense of hearing and combat skills that allow him to fight.
Even though mainstream television still has a long way to go in the representation of blind actors and characters, Daredevil and In The Dark are popular subversions of familiar offensive tropes. The protagonists in both series are self-dependent individuals who go out on their crusade for justice rather than just being reduced to mere victims.
3 American Vandal (2017-2018) – Stream On Netflix
A parody of several true crime documentaries, American Vandal‘s two seasons deal with eccentric cases and their investigations in a mockumentary-like manner. The first season deals with “drawing phallic images on cars” while the sophomore season revolves around an incident of “mass diarrhea” in a Catholic high school. The synopses of the seasons themselves bear testimony to the absurdist humor the show stands for.
While In The Dark functions as a police procedural drama on its own, the show boasts enough self-aware humor to take sarcastic shots at the genre. There are a few light-hearted moments in between that help in making the lead character more relatable. Subversive shows like American Vandal and In The Dark are hence, helping in diversifying the crime genre.
2 Single Drunk Female (2022-) – Stream On Hulu
After a drunk encounter turns into an embarrassing fiasco, a “single, drunk female” wishes to start her life over. The new-age sitcom covers her journey through sobriety and linking up with her overbearing mother. What follows is a lot of chaos along with some self-introspection.
Character-driven shows like Single Drunk Female end up exploring the psyche of the protagonist in different situations instead of just a scripted sitcom setting. And hence, the struggles of Sofia Black D’elia’s Samantha Fink can be seen as a parallel with the lead in In The Dark.
1 Monk (2002-2009) – Stream On
Adrian Monk was once an exceptional detective who had to leave his job with the emotional trauma of his wife’s death. However, he returns years later as a private detective while also intending to use his skills as a police consultant.
Despite falling in the procedural police crime drama genre, Monk incorporates a healthy dose of comedy as Tony Shalhoub’s iconic character is heavily humanized. He isn’t some slick, charming detective but instead, a gifted man who occasionally deals with his own fears and insecurities. It is this realistic depiction of the lead character that would connect with the ones who like Murphy’s character arc in In The Dark.
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