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Shows Like Clickbait That Crime Drama Fans Need To See

From the start, "Clickbait" grabbed viewers with fast-paced, compelling, and twist-filled storytelling. Add in a dash of trashy salaciousness and hitting "Play Next" after each cliffhanger proved impossible to resist.

"Clickbait" kicks off with a viral video. Family man Nick Brewer (Adrian Grenier), visibly beaten, stares dead-eyed into the camera. He holds a sign declaring, "I ABUSE WOMEN." Soon after, a new one replaces it, promising, "AT 5 MILLION VIEWS I DIE." Predictably, the video captures the interest of many. With every click, Nick draws that much closer to death.

His sister Pia (Zoe Kazan) refuses just to stand around waiting for the inevitable. Instead, as the view count rises, she attempts to use the online space against her brother's captors, crowdsourcing his possible salvation just as they did his doom. Telling the story from multiple points in time and several perspectives, "Clickbait" ratchets up the tension with every moment. Twists, reversals, and red herrings begin to pile up, pulling the viewer deeper into the story. By the time the dust settles, fans have witnessed a shocking tale of envy in the digital age — and its cost — laid bare.

Understandably, while we wait to see if "Clickbait" will return for a second season, viewers are jonesing for shows that will give them the same mix of adrenaline, titillation, and whodunit intrigue. If you count yourself among those fans, we've got you. Here are some crime drama shows that "Clickbait" fans need to see.

Black Mirror

While the most recent — and potentially final — season of "Black Mirror" hit Netflix in 2019, it remains the benchmark for parables of technology gone too far. Boasting an incredible array of actors, the Charlie Brooker-helmed anthology series takes the realistic current excesses of technology and pushes them to their (typically worst-case) extremes.

"Clickbait" fans who found the specific themes of catfishing and the dangers of online virality will likely feel drawn to Season 3's "Shut Up and Dance" in particular. In that installment, we see a trio of men's livelihoods, if not their actual lives, threatened by a hacker. If they fail to follow through on a series of increasingly criminal acts, the hacker will release videos of them acting immorally or illegally on the internet. Those videos will almost inevitably go viral and lead to the destruction of everything the men value.

Viewers that connect with the episode's mix of dystopic pessimism and pitch-black humor will want to mainline the entirety of the series immediately.

One of Us Is Lying

Another crime drama in which online activities provide the catalyst to a potential murder, "One of Us is Lying" might be even better at the twist game than "Clickbait."

A high school's self-appointed gossip columnist, Simon (Mark McKenna), ends up in detention hall, surrounded by the four students whose sins he's been threatening to expose all day. When the teacher leaves the room, Simon begins to cough and sputter before dying right in front of his helpless classmates.

While the quartet swear they did all they could to help, the revelation that the gossip king died of anaphylactic shock stemming from a dosed glass of water suggests otherwise. At the very least, one of them must have set up their nosy peer.

As Simon's site continues to reveal secrets despite his death, the four must decide whether they can trust each other. Moreover, does it make sense to rat out one of their own, regardless of the truth, just to protect their own deepest shames?

The rare mystery that keeps both viewers and the protagonists equally in the dark, "Lying" proves both soapy and compelling. Fans will feel compelled to make like Simon and ferret out the show's every secret.

Cruel Summer

Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt) is the girl everyone else in school wants to be. Smart, attractive, popular, kind, accomplished, and well off, she seems to have everything she could ever want or need. That is, until one "Cruel Summer."

Set over the course of three years — 1993, 1994, and 1995 — "Cruel Summer" follows the disappearance of Kate, the assumption of her role as Queen Bee by previously nerdy Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia), and the fallout of Kate's return.

As with "Clickbait," this Freeform show exposes the rot underneath seemingly perfect suburban lives. Additionally, it explores how public participation — this time via television instead of the internet — can twist and complicate a situation, bringing about even worse ends.

If that's not enough to capture a potential viewer's interest, the inventive triptych storytelling and strong performances make for a captivating viewing experience. Every time you think you've gotten ahead of "Summer," a revelation from a different year exposes how much you still don't know.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

No show in recent memory has as many "Wait, what?!" revelations as Amazon Prime's "I Know What You Did Last Summer" reboot from 2021. Wilder and sexier than either the film or the original novel, "I Know" marries self-destructive pretty young men and women, "And Then There Were None..." style mystery, and horror movie conventions to deliver one outrageous season.

If "Clickbait" fried your noodle a bit, "I Know" will put your brain underneath the broiler, repeatedly shocking you with twists and revelations that don't stop even as the end credits roll on the final episodes.

"I Know" is also another series that pushes beyond the facades of its characters and setting. As beautiful as its actors and its Hawaiian location are, the secrets underneath are dark and distressing. As with "Clickbait," this show challenges the idea that an excellent place to live, a lovely family, and a well-paying job make for the perfect life. The brightest places throw the longest shadows, as they say, and "I Know" confirms that trope.


"Panic" and "Clickbait" share a commitment to family. Pia's desperate quest to rescue her brother finds a mirror in "Panic" protagonist Heather Nill and her commitment to keeping her younger sister innocent and out of harm's way. Without spoiling either show's twists, avenging a family member also drives characters in both "Panic" and "Clickbait" to actions understandable and deeply tragic.

For fans of "Clickbait" who perhaps responded more to the interpersonal dynamics than the central mystery, "Panic" will likely be a good fit. It isn't devoid of twists and turns, but the show's heart lies far more in an exploration of class, broken families, and how community helps and hinders its members. In addition, the show's exurban Texas setting offers enough different from the world of "Clickbait" that characters often act and react far differently than the Brewer family and their associates.

However, viewers should be aware "Panic" is no mere sociological study. The event at the center of the series, a game of Truth or Dare writ large and dangerous, provides plenty of adrenaline. One moment, characters will be digging into years of unspoken feelings and unrealized desires. The next, someone will be walking across a chain suspended 100 feet in the air over a pile of discarded metal and wood.


While "Clickbait" briefly gives us insight into the criminal choices made by the sociopathic, "You" offers us a headlong dive into the thinking of the amoral and murderous. Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), a bookstore manager and serial killer, welcomes viewers into his world with a chummy voiceover so deadpan that he discusses the butchering of a human body and the shelving of titles in the Mystery section with equal emotional valence.

Fans of "Clickbait" will likely take a particular interest in Season 3. In these episodes, Joe and his equally murderous but far less disciplined bride Love (Victoria Pedretti) relocate to an affluent suburb in Southern California. Culture shock soon follows, with the killers finding themselves surprisingly out of their depth when faced with homeowner associations, fitness groups, and rebellious teenagers.

Unlike several offerings on this list that dive into the dark underbelly of America's suburban dwellings, "You" pursues it with an ironic distance. Joe's observations are like that of an archaeologist discovering some long-hidden culture. Those other shows want to seriously explore what's hidden beneath the sheen of the suburbs; Joe wants to dismiss it with withering contempt. After some heavy doses of seriousness, a little nihilistic humor can be a welcome change of pace.