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10 Shows To Watch If You Liked Hulu's Tell Me Lies

One of the biggest and most interesting shows out there has got to be Hulu's "Tell Me Lies," which follows the development of a complicated relationship over the course of eight years. The series, created by Meaghan Oppenheimer, stars Grace Van Patten as Lucy Albright and Jackson White as Stephen DeMarco in this complex drama full of deception and intrigue.

What sets "Tell Me Lies" apart from other shows about tragic and or unhealthy relationships is that it is keenly aware that the romance between these two characters is not a good thing. Oppenheimer has gone on to discuss how Lucy is changed by her relationship, telling Forbes, "We see her turn into this person who hurts others. They become this little island of toxicity."

"Tell Me Lies" is all about the dynamic between two complicated humans over a long period of time, flashing back and forth to different key moments in their lives. We see everything — from the moment they met in college all the way to after they've split apart — with an intimate eye for detail. This makes it a unique viewing experience for audiences trying to parse through the lies and deception on both sides of the relationship in order to figure out who these people really are. While "Tell Me Lies" is different than most shows, there are plenty of other programs out there that may feel familiar in style, tone, and structure.

Pretty Little Liars

When it comes to dramatic shows about lies and backstabbing, few are as iconic as "Pretty Little Liars." This series first premiered back in 2010 and was created by I. Marlene King as a loose adaptation of Sara Shepard's series of novels centered around the spiraling relationships of four girls after their friend vanishes. The hook of the show is that about a year after the disappearance, the other girls receive a strange letter that threatens to reveal their complicity in what happened. Much like "Tell Me Lies," this story is centered around the results of letting toxic relationships go on for far too long, as both Lucy Albright and the friend group surrounding Alison DeLaurentis do. While Lucy's co-dependent relationship with Stephen is a more romantic dynamic, the ongoing tension between the main characters of "Pretty Little Liars" is similarly engrossing for fans. 

"Pretty Little Liars" stars Troian Bellisario as Spencer Hastings, Ashley Benson as Hanna Marin, Shay Mitchell as Emily Fields, and Lucy Hale as Aria Montgomery as the four remaining friends within this estranged clique who are trying to untangle their own web of lies regarding Allison's (played by Sasha Pieterse) disappearance. The show is less about romance (although there is plenty of that), and more about the intrigue between these so-called friends as they continue to deceive one another. "Pretty Little Liars" has been a very successful show, running for seven seasons from 2010 to 2017, and spawning three spinoff series in the process.


Showtime's "Yellowjackets," created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, is a totally new intellectual property. After a horrific plane crash in 1996, a high school girls' soccer team must fight for survival in the harsh Canadian wilderness for 19 months. "Yellowjackets" has its fair share of intrigue as it jumps back and forth between the younger girls in the woods, and their older selves in the present trying to uncover the unfolding mystery around the death of a fellow survivor under suspicious circumstances. While this may sound like a completely different genre than a show like "Tell Me Lies," the complicated interactions between these teammates-turned-survivalists are underscored by the same intense emotional stakes as Lucy's story. Both shows take advantage of time jumps in order to help the audience experience the full extent of the characters' lives and see the consequences of their decisions. 

"Yellowjackets" boasts an incredible cast playing different versions of the same roles. Melanie Lynskey and Sophie Nélisse share the spotlight as Shauna Shipman, one of the key survivors of the plane crash who struggles to hide her secrets from the team. Tawny Cypress and Jasmin Savoy Brown play Taissa Turner, a self-appointed leader whose ruthlessness becomes apparent at every age. Other major roles include Christina Ricci and Sammi Hanratty as Misty Quigley, and Juliette Lewis and Sophie Thatcher as Nat Scatorccio. What makes "Yellowjackets" so engaging is watching how the lies, secrets, and conflicting personalities of this all-star team become deadly when thrown into a survival situation.

Desperate Housewives

"Desperate Housewives," in many ways, helped create the genre that many of these other shows fit within by playing on dramatic soap opera tropes in a refreshingly-interesting way. The series, created by Marc Cherry, is centered around a group of suburban women whose lives are turned upside down following the suicide of one of their neighborhood friends (who actually narrates the show from beyond the grave). "Desperate Housewives" rides the line between drama and comedy by peeling back sordid layers of the deception behind the seemingly-ideal lives of each housewife, as well as the deeper reasons behind their friend's death.

"Desperate Housewives" was a critical success, running for eight seasons between 2004 and 2012, and featured an impressive ensemble cast with actors like Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, and Teri Hatcher as the lead stars. This series received numerous accolades during its run with seven Emmys and even more nominations to its name. While it may seem generally more lighthearted than something like "Tell Me Lies," the show manages to subvert the expectations of a regular soap opera by delving into the deceit and treachery these characters participate in throughout the series.

A Teacher

Much like "Tell Me Lies," this fellow Hulu series touches on the toxicity and unhealthy obsession that can lead to tragic outcomes. "A Teacher" shows this dichotomy through the sickeningly inappropriate relationship that grows between high school teacher, Claire Wilson (played by Kate Mara) and her 17-year-old student, Eric Walker (played by Nick Robinson).

"A Teacher" was created by Hannah Fidell as an adaptation of her own film from 2013, but takes a delicate and respectful approach to this unfortunately-real abuse that happens when a power dynamic is taken advantage of. While the relationship between Lucy and Stephen in "Tell Me Lies" is a consensual coupling of adults, in "A Teacher" it's clear how Claire takes advantage of her power dynamic to abuse her student.

The relationship explored in "A Teacher" leads to a tumultuous affair that destroys both Claire's and Eric's lives. Through pushing the boundaries of other shows by showing the complexities of this unethical relationship, "A Teacher" strikes a successful balance between a harrowing morality play and a tragedy with all the drama one would expect. The show retains a respectable 73% Rotten Tomatoes score and apparently remains one of the highest-streamed shows in Hulu's catalog to date.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).


A very similar show to "Tell Me Lies" is Netflix's "You," which shares the premise of an abusive and toxic man whose relationship with women causes serious issues. What sets "You" apart is that it takes the premise to the next level by making the toxic boyfriend a straight-up serial killer. The show, based on books by Caroline Kepnes, but adapted to television by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble, follows the evil deeds of Joe Goldberg (played by Penn Badgley) as he becomes obsessed with various women he stalks and tries to romance. Joe and Stephen share many similarities in the obsessive and controlling way they approach relationships with women, although Joe takes it much further than his "Tell Me Lies" counterpart.

"You" has proved to be an extremely popular show with Netflix reporting that Season 1 garnered millions of viewers (via The Hollywood Reporter). The show has also gained high critical reception, with a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Overall, "You" has proven to be a solid alternative for anyone with a Netflix account looking for a show with tension and drama mixed with a healthy amount of true crime intensity. Despite how reviled Joe is, Penn Badgley seems to be well aware of how horrible the character appears. In an interview with InStyle he said, "Trust me, as an actor, I find it very challenging to sometimes suspend my disbelief when you're forced into a position that is just in the literal sense of the word incredible," adding, "That's the interesting thing about this show — it works."


"Scandal" is a show that puts the steamy intrigue of a standard show and sets it firmly in a complex political setting. Unlike most of the shows on this list, where the main characters themselves are dealing with the consequences of their own scandalous actions, "Scandal" puts the focus on someone who is tasked with fixing other people's dangerous indiscretions. From the mind of Shonda Rhimes comes a story about Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington), a D.C. fixer who owns a firm dedicated to brushing away the various PR disasters of a presidential administration.

This show relies heavily on the balance between your typical political thriller tropes and the seedy actions of people in power that get swept beneath the rug, regardless of the ethicality. What really sets the story into overdrive, however, is when Olivia begins her own extramarital affair with the President of the United States (played by Tony Goldwyn) which ironically proves to be the biggest scandal of all. As the dynamic between Olivia and the President unfolds, it should come as no surprise that the show needed seven seasons to tell the full story. But "Scandal" doesn't shy away from portraying a completely unethical sexual relationship in ways that are reminiscent of "Tell Me Lies," with both couples struggling to come to terms with how badly their romance is hurting their lives.

Big Little Lies

Next on the list is HBO's award-winning series, "Big Little Lies," written and created by David E. Kelley and based on a novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty. This show features an insanely-stacked cast of some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgård, Meryl Streep, and many more who are all featured in prominent roles. The show is centered around three wealthy women who struggle between their lives as mothers, wives, and murderers as the story devolves into chaos. The stakes are high in "Big Little Lies," but the characters and situations are just as relatable as what Lucy endures throughout the 10-episode run of "Tell Me Lies" since she also has to navigate her own web of deception in her struggle to keep a relationship alive.

"Big Little Lies" is by far one of the most highly-decorated shows on this list, with numerous accolades accumulated over the course of the show's two seasons. Following its release, the series received 21 Emmy nominations and actually won eight (including outstanding limited series), while also retaining a high 89% score on Rotten Tomatoes. What makes this show particularly special is that the main cast had a strong hand in its creation, with Kidman and Witherspoon also serving as producers. This tale of gender roles, dissatisfaction with life, and mortality itself is completely their project from the get-go.

Normal People

For a more straightforward, earnest, and touching show focused on complicated relationships, look no further than the aptly-named "Normal People." This show comes across the pond from the BBC and is focused on the ongoing and complex relationship between two people in secondary school together in Ireland. Starring Daisy Edgar-Jones from "Where the Crawdads Sing" as Marianne Sheridan and Paul Mescal as Connell Waldron, "Normal People" is very similar in tone and pacing to "Tell Me Lies," as they both deal with a complicated ongoing relationship told in a limited series format. This mini-series only has a total of 12 episodes to track the intense romance as they navigate their feelings for one another. 

Although there's only a total of about five and a half hours of "Normal People" across its one season, it packs a powerful punch. The show has received widespread praise for the performances of the two main leads, and as a result, it has earned a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and an even higher 92% from audiences. In regards to the experience making the series, Edgar-Jones told The Guardian how overwhelming it was to make a show as dramatic as "Normal People," saying, "Filming was so intense. So full-on and all-consuming. Only you and that specific group of people know what it was like. A very insular experience that I now have this massive nostalgia for." What this show has proved is that sometimes, less is more.


A slight change of pace from some of the other recommendations on the list is the Netflix comedy series, "Uncoupled." This show was created by Darren Star and Jeffrey Richman, and is all about the life of real estate agent Michael Lawson (played by Neil Patrick Harris) as he re-enters the dating scene after a sudden breakup with his ex-boyfriend of 17 years (played by Tuc Watkins).

"Uncoupled" takes the tried and true elements of romantic comedies and pairs them with a modern, queer perspective to great effect. Again, if you're looking for a series similar to the premise of "Tell Me Lies," but with a comedic LGBTQ+ flair, then this is worth checking out.

Although there's only one season, the show has proven to be a success with positive reviews across the board and a 75% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes to back that up. Unfortunately, there's currently no word on if a second season is in the works since the show still hasn't been renewed at the time of writing.


Probably the most talked about show in a long time, odds are you already know a bit about HBO's "Euphoria." This intense drama, created by Sam Levinson, features a powerful cast of performers such as Zendaya, Maude ApatowHunter SchaferSydney Sweeny, and many more young actors in their prime. "Euphoria" follows the lives of high schoolers as they struggle with drug addiction, mental illness, sexuality, and many more relevant issues for young people today. Centered around Rue Bennett (Zendaya), the show portrays these touchy topics with various levels of delicacy and taste. "Euphoria" is full of the same complex interactions and tense moments as "Tell Me Lies," since many of the characters are deep in the same traumatic toxic relationships such as Nate Jacobs and Maddy Perez (who consistently exhibit unhealthy behavior). 

Regardless, "Euphoria" remains a critical and commercial success for HBO as one of its biggest hits in years. According to Variety, the Season 2 premiere brought in upwards of 2.4 million viewers. This was a massive success, with the show being, "the strongest digital premiere night performance for any episode of an HBO series since HBO Max's launch and a series record more than double the Season 1 premiere." As a result, "Euphoria" has been renewed for a third season to be released at some point in 2023. Until then, it's not too late to catch up on all the drama, betrayal, and drug-fueled mania of the first two seasons.