Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
True crime dramas to watch after (or instead of) Netflix's Jeffrey Dahmer show
Netflix‘s Jeffrey Dahmer show has been getting a lot of attention, though not all of it is good. The drama miniseries is based on the true story of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who brutalized and killed at least 17 people, primarily targeting members of queer communities. The series has come under attack for its exploitative portrayal of a sensitive subject, with many condemning it and recommending people not watch. So, what other true crime dramas can you stream instead of Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story?
Exploitation is nothing new in the true crime genre, of course, including in narrative series and films based on true stories. It’s a genre that hones in on, in many cases, particularly grizzly or unusual crimes. The surviving victims or victims’ families are often not consulted or asked for any kind of consent. That means it’s a genre that inherently invites questions of ethical representation.
With all of that in mind, these are just a few crime dramas like Netflix’s Jeffrey Dahmer show. Or rather, they are shows that run the gamut, exploring very different crimes in very different ways. Or if you would like to watch Monster to see what people are talking about and objecting to, it’s available on Netflix below. Just be warned that these were real crimes with real victims.
More true crime dramas like the Dahmer series
My Friend Dahmer
If you’re interested in different depictions of Jeffrey Dahmer, this drama about his youth offers a thoughtful and empathetic portrait of the making of a killer. Based on the graphic novel by Derf Backderf, who was a high school classmate of Dahmer’s, My Friend Dahmer focuses less on the details of his crimes and more on the signs of things to come and on the ways youths don’t always fit perfect stereotypes or conform to all of our expectations of who they might become.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
Another Netflix original about a real, notorious killer, Joe Berlinger’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile also drew some criticisms for its treatment of disturbing subject matter. Zac Efron stars as serial killer Ted Bundy, whose crimes are chronicled from the perspective of his girlfriend, Liz, who refused to accept the reality presented to her when Bundy was caught.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
The first episode of the second season of American Crime Story was directed by executive producer Ryan Murphy, who created Netflix’s Jeffrey Dahmer series. It chronicles the murder of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace by Andrew Cunanan, looking at the lead-up to the killing. The season is based on the book Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth.
The Bling Ring
For a slightly lighter true-crime tone, there’s Sofia Copolla’s The Bling Ring. Starring Emma Watson, the 2013 feature film follows a group of teens who obsessively track the whereabouts of celebrities like Paris Hilton online and burgle their homes when they’re away. Based on 2010 Vanity Fair article, the film dramatizes a real crime ring that operated in the Hollywood Hills.
While Mindhunter is inspired by true crimes, it’s less a true crime drama than a show about criminology and the invention of criminal profiling. Two FBI agents work with a psychology professor to write the book on identifying and understanding serial killers. While currently on an indefinite hiatus, the two existing seasons are among the best TV on Netflix.
Check out: The best Netflix shows of all time
All Good Things
If you’re a fan of true crime series like The Jinx, arguably one of the titles that popularized the current wave of true crime fandom, then you may want to check out All Good Things. The 2010 film is directed by Andrew Jarecki, who would go on to direct The Jinx. It’s also based on The Jinx subject Robert Durst. Ryan Gosling plays David Marks, based on Durst, a man who comes under suspicion in a series of murders and in the disappearance of his wife, played by Kirsten Dunst.
Based on the hit true-crime dicuseries of the same name, HBO Max’s The Staircase tells the true story of a crime novelist convicted of murder when his wife is found dead at the bottom of a staircase. The miniseries stars Colin Firth and Toni Collette.
The fascinating story of conwoman Elizabeth Holmes comes to life in the Hulu miniseries The Dropout. After dropping out of college, Holmes founded Theranos, a tech company that promised to revolutionize healthcare. There was one small problem, though. The company’s claims were bogus. Holmes has since been convicted of fraud. This is her story.
Before directing Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins wowed audiences with this 2003 feature film about real-life killer Aileen Wuornos. Wuornos was a sex worker who, after killing a violent John, went on a killing spree, killing more Johns as she set out for a better life with her new girlfriend. Charlize Theron won the Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of Wuornos.
Those are a few other true crime drama movies and shows like Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story if you’re interested in Netflix’s Dahmer show and want something else to watch.