Doppelgangers, alternate realities, and murder mysteries that twist and turn give viewers a lot to think about when watching the best cerebral drama shows. Whether you like detectives with a dark side or robots struggling with sentience, this list of cerebral TV shows will exercise your mind. A few of the best cerebral TV series have even compelled fans to debate the meaning of every secret that is revealed.
Twin Peaks is a mystery that leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Blogs, YouTube channels, and books have been dedicated to the intellectual ins-and-outs of the plot. Giri/Haji – translated Duty/Shame – is a British series that finds a Japanese detective with the tough decision to choose between helping his family and honoring his profession.
When it comes to good cerebral shows, it doesn't get much better than the German series Dark. A child's disappearance provokes a mystery that spans several generations and parallel worlds in this Netflix original.
Stop racking your brain when trying to decide which cerebral series to watch next and instead check out this list to see what fellow fans recommend. Vote your favorites to the top and please add any other good shows that challenge viewers to think outside of the box.
Premiered: 2017Dark (Netflix, 2017) is a German science fiction thriller web television series created by... more
Premiered: 2010Sherlock (BBC One, 2010) is a British crime television series created by Steven Moffat and... more
Premiered: 2011Black Mirror (Netflix, 2011) is a British television anthology series created by Charlie... more
The OABrit Marling, Emory Cohen
Premiered: 2016The OA (Netflix, 2016) is an American mystery drama web television series created by Brit... more
Premiered: 2015Sense8 (Netflix, 2015) is an American science fiction drama web television series created by... more
Premiered: 2008Fringe (Fox, 2008) is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams,... more
Premiered: 2013True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic... more
Premiered: 2020The Queen's Gambit (Netflix, 2020) is an American drama miniseries based on the 1983 novel by... more
Twin PeaksKyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn
Premiered: 1990Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark... more
Premiered: 2015Mr. Robot (USA Network, 2015) is an American drama-thriller television series created by Sam... more
Premiered: 2013Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series created by screenwriter Graeme... more
Premiered: 2018Maniac (Netflix, 2018) is an American dark comedy television series created by Patrick... more
Premiered: 2016Westworld (HBO, 2016) is an American science fiction western thriller television series... more
Premiered: 2017Stranger (tvN, 2017) is a South Korean crime thriller television series. An emotionless... more
Premiered: 2019The Code (CBS, 2019) is an American drama TV series. The military's brightest minds take on... more
Premiered: 2020Giri/Haji (Netflix, 2020) is a British television drama created by Joe Barton. A detective... more
- 21Wormwood (Netflix, 2017) is an American six-part docudrama miniseries directed by Errol... more
Premiered: 2020The Third Day (HBO, 2020) is a drama television miniseries written by Dennis Kelly. The line... more
Premiered: 2019The Twelve (één, 2019) is a Belgian crime thriller. Twelve ordinary people are called for jury... more
Premiered: 2020Equinox (Netflix, 2020) is a Danish supernatural mystery thriller television series created by... more
Premiered: 2020Biohackers (Netflix, 2020) is a German drama sci-fi thriller television series created by... more
Premiered: 2014The Honourable Woman is a 2014 British political–spy thriller television miniseries in eight... more
Premiered: 2016Paranoid (Netflix, 2016) is a British crime drama directed by Mark Tonderai and Kenny Glennan.... more
Premiered: 2014Y Gwyll, titled Hinterland in the English-language version (S4C, 2013), is a Welsh noir police... more
Premiered: 2021Walker (The CW, 2021) is an American western, action-drama television series written by Anna... more