As Murphy Mason investigates the disappearance of her teenage friend, she also struggles with day-to-day activities like her love life and work issues. With such a plot, the original CW In the dark manages to mix the genre of procedural crime with that of tragicomedy and drama.
Currently in its fourth season, the show is sure to propel audiences towards similar sitcoms that border on edgy territory or modern classics in the crime genre. Some of the recurring tropes of these shows include hopeless protagonists, inner conflict, sleepy towns, and more.
ten Research Party (2016-2022) – Stream on HBO Max
As Dory’s old college acquaintance disappears without a trace, she and her ragtag group of twenty-somethings reunite to investigate her whereabouts. What begins as a simple search party eventually unravels a larger conspiracy, with each of the characters finding their own intentions to join the case.
On the surface, the plot of Research group is quite similar to that of In the dark. Even though the two storylines take a radically different turn in future seasons, the emotional pressure that the main characters of Research group feeling in such cases is similar to Murphy’s struggles. Therefore, if one wishes to watch a backing track for In the dark with a similar mix of satire and emotional depth, Research group would be a perfect watch.
9 Mare Of Easttown (2021) – Stream on HBO Max
Easttown isn’t exactly a bustling area until an unexpected murder of a teenage girl creates paranoia among the townspeople. Kate Winslet’s movies are already pretty acclaimed, but the actress makes her presence felt by playing the lead role. Appearing like a sensible detective in Easttown Mareshe goes through an emotionally draining personal and professional life to solve the murder.
The trials and tribulations the case offers are quite comparable to Murphy’s situation in In the dark. Both characters attempt to investigate murder cases while struggling with their love lives and work pressures.
8 Stranger Things (2016-) – Stream on Netflix
Over the seasons, stranger things became 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, her friends, and local law enforcement search for him, they open portals to another dimension where “strange things” keep happening.
Whether it’s Will in the first season or Eleven in the last, every time a character from stranger things disappears, a very captivating mystery premise is built that will easily impress crime drama fans like In the dark.
seven Veronica Mars (2004-2019) – Stream on Hulu
Even though Veronique Mars includes several cases the titular protagonist solves in his sleepy town, the first season deals with the murder of his missing friend. It’s this case that drives her to become a full-time detective and adds a lot of emotional depth to the character.
Delivering one of Kristen Bell’s best roles, Veronique Mars went on to spawn a cult fanbase and even inspired a movie of the same name. Given its plot, the first season obviously has thematic similarities with In the dark but even the following cases carry quintessential amateur sleuth show tropes, much like the exploits of Perry Mattfeld’s main character in In the dark.
6 Euphoria (2019-) – Stream on HBO Max
Dealing with the hectic lives of many high school teenagers, Euphoria explores issues such as substance abuse, teenage love, and family trauma.
The characters of Euphoria became instant fan favorites for a variety of reasons, including the likeable drug dealer Fez. He and his brother Ashtray bring out some interesting perspectives, especially in the final season. Fez, in particular, can be compared to Tyson of In the dark. The latter’s teenage drug dealer carries a similar charm, and viewers are made to understand the circumstances that forced him into this trade. And it’s only his death that moves the main storyline forward.
5 Only Murders in the Building (2021) – Stream On Hulu
An ode to classic detective fiction, Only murders in the building stars the trio of Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez as amateur sleuths 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. A little like In the dark, the main characters embark on their own investigations out of sheer interest and passion to solve the case. Whereas In the dark has a dash of detective procedural drama, Murphy remains 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-suited hero trying to eradicate crime from his New York neighborhood. Daredevil was blinded by an accident, but it is his advanced sense of hearing and fighting abilities that allow him to fight.
Although mainstream television still has a long way to go in portraying blind actors and characters, daredevil and In the dark are popular subversions of familiar offensive tropes. The protagonists of both series are empowered individuals who go on a crusade for justice rather than simply being reduced to mere victims.
3 American Vandal (2017-2018) – Stream on Netflix
A parody of several true crime documentaries, American Vandal’Both seasons deal with quirky cases and their investigations like a mockumentary. The first season deals with “drawing phallic pictures on cars” while the second season revolves around a “mass diarrhea” incident at a Catholic high school. The synopses of the seasons themselves speak to the absurd humor that the series represents.
Whereas In the dark Functioning as a detective procedural drama on its own, the show possesses enough self-aware humor to take sarcastic shots of the genre. There are a few light moments in between that help make the main character more approachable. Subversive shows like american vandal and In the dark thus contribute to diversifying the type of crime.
2 Drunk Single Woman (2022-) – Stream on Hulu
After a drunken encounter turns into an embarrassing fiasco, a “drunken single woman” wants to start her life over. The new-age sitcom covers his journey through sobriety and bonding with his overbearing mother. What follows is a lot of chaos with some introspection.
Character-driven shows like Drunk single woman end up exploring the psyche of the protagonist in different situations instead of just a scripted sitcom setting. And therefore, the struggles of Sofia Black D’elia’s Samantha Fink can be seen as a parallel to the starring role 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 into the procedural crime drama genre, Monk incorporates a healthy dose of comedy as Tony Shalhoub’s iconic character is heavily humanized. He’s not a slick, charming detective, but rather a gifted man who sometimes faces his own fears and insecurities. It’s this realistic portrayal of the main character that would connect with those who love Murphy’s character arc in In the dark.
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