Instant Obsession: 15 Compelling TV Shows That Instantly Hook Viewers

Gillian Anderson in The Fall

Some TV shows are so good, you can watch them over and over. Many amazing shows pull you in so hard you can't stop watching — and they become the perfect go-tos for binge-worthy watches.

1. Severance

Image Credit: Red Hour Productions.

For starters, the visual storytelling in Severance is stunning. You get a mix of surrealism and reality, which takes you on an odd journey between a dream state and being awake.

Making sense of the hidden meanings in each scene makes this must-see TV for those who like thought-provoking shows. Though we're still waiting for season 2, the first season is enough to hook you. 

2. Valhalla Murders

Valhalla Murders
Image Credit: DR Sales.

Valhalla Murders gives you an adrenaline rush as you unpack the mystery and darkness of the plot. The soundtrack is really good, but even aside from that, it's one of the few crime thrillers that actually has a decent amount of unexpected twists that aren't cheesy.

The characters are all somewhat interconnected, but they still have their own stories and personalities to follow, distinct from one another. Essentially, this is the type of TV show that will leave you guessing until the final episode, making it addictive and intriguing. 

3. River

Image Credit: Kudos.

River is an emotionally charged detective drama that stands out for its portrayal of grief and the human psyche. It takes you along for the ride of unraveling the layers of the protagonist's disturbed mind. 

You get a glimpse into his complex relationships with the dead and the living, which is very interesting. The excellent acting and poetic storytelling blend seamlessly, delivering a narrative that will keep you watching episode after episode to figure out what happens.

4. The Stranger

The Stranger
Image Credit: Red Production Company.

This mystery series keeps you engaged with its alluring web of secrets and unexpected reveals. As the cryptic stranger unveils shocking truths about the characters, the tension builds, making each episode hard to pull yourself away from. 

The show does a great job of using suspense and cliffhangers. You always feel like you have to watch the next episode immediately because the constant twists keep you guessing about what's going to happen to your favorite characters. 

5. The Outsider

The Outsider
Image Credit: Aggregate Films.

The Outsider is a masterful blend of supernatural and crime thriller. The scenery is eerie in a good way, and even though the pacing is slow, they build enough suspense so that you don't feel like the show is dragging. 

It's not so sluggish that it's boring, but it adds the right amount of dread for what's coming next. Mix that with the exceptional performances, and you've got all the makings for the perfect binge-watch experience.

6. Unbelievable 

Image Credit: Beth Dubber- Katie Couric Media.

Unbelievable is a limited series that grips you from the start with its heart-wrenching and harrowing true-crime narrative. The chilling portrayal of real-life events shed light on the resilience of survivors and the determination of detectives. 

Fans of the show appreciate the attention to detail and focus on the investigation process. All the lawyers at heart will be drawn into the pursuit of justice. This series tugs at your empathy and understanding, taking you on quite an emotional journey. 

7. The Fall

The Fall
Image Credit: Fables Limited.

This crime drama features an intense cat-and-mouse game between the meticulous detective and the enigmatic serial killer. The show's focus on psychological profiling and the unsettling insights into the antagonist's mind is more than enough to keep you captivated.

 As the plot goes deep into the motives and methods of the killer, the anxiety builds, making it a compelling watch. Stellar acting and an intriguing plot make The Fall hard to resist. 

8. Yellowjackets

Yellowjackets Christina Ricci
Image Credit: Entertainment One.

Yellowjackets is a show of survival and mystery. This series intertwines the harrowing journey of young plane crash survivors forced to live in the wilds of Canada for 19 months with their adult selves. The show keeps you watching with its seamless shifts between past and present, unveiling startling secrets and moral dilemmas.

The complex characters and their transformational arcs reveal interesting human nature and group dynamics, leaving you eagerly anticipating each episode's next revelation.

9. Alice in Borderland

Alice in Borderland
Image Credit: Robot Communications Inc.

This thrilling Japanese series lures you into a high-stakes survival game where outsmarting death becomes an addiction. The show's ingenious puzzles and death-defying challenges keep you on the edge of your seat, immersed in a world where reality and illusion blur.

With a relentless pace and narrative, Alice in Borderland crafts a suspenseful and adrenaline-pumping adventure, urging you to follow the characters' unwavering quest for freedom.

10. Hannibal

Image Credit: Dino de Laurentiis Company.

This psychological thriller captivates with its hauntingly artistic visuals. Hannibal's cerebral and intricate dialogue, coupled with the elaborate mind games between the brilliant and cannibalistic titular character and the empathetic profiler, make for a compelling encounter. The fusion of psychological drama and graphic horror elevates this series and makes you think about it even after you're done watching.

11. Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks
Image Credit: Lynch-Frost Productions.

Twin Peaks is a surreal series where the boundary between what's real and what's an illusion becomes so deeply entangled that you're not quite sure which one you're indulging in. This cult classic doesn't disappoint with its quirky characters, offbeat humor, and intriguing small-town mysteries. 

The series carries a frightening tone and a beautiful soundtrack that transports you into the spellbinding universe created by David Lynch and Mark Frost. Each episode offers a unique blend of mystery and introspection, making it a stimulating experience.

12. Mare of Easttown

Mare of Easttown
Image Credit: Zobot Projects.

Mare of Easttown explores a small community marred by secrets and tragedy. The attention to realistic character portrayals and its focus on the impact of crime on ordinary lives make the series even more relatable.

Kate Winslet's compelling performance as the flawed yet resilient detective adds depth to the story, making it a great binge-watch that explores the complexities of human relationships and personal struggles.

13. Mindhunter

Image Credit: Patrick Harbron-Denver and Delilah Productions.

The series Mindhunter captivates you with its in-depth exploration into the minds of serial killers. Through meticulous interviews and psychological profiling of imprisoned serial killers, the show offers an insightful look into the darkest corners of human depravity and criminal psychology. The concentration on trying to understand the criminal psyche and develop the FBI's profiling process is fascinating to watch, especially thanks to the awe-inspiring performances who work to create an intellectually stimulating TV show.

14. Orange Is the New Black

Orange is the New Black
Image Credit: Tilted Productions.

OITNB is a compelling dramedy that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster within the confines of a women's prison. The show's diverse and well-developed ensemble of characters creates an authentic depiction of life behind bars. 

As the narrative delves into each inmate's backstory, the show skillfully balances humor, drama, and poignant moments, creating a powerful connection with its audience. Orange Is the New Black‘s excellent depiction of struggles and resilience makes it an unforgettable television show.

15. You

Image Credit: Man Sewing Dinosaur.

This show will mesmerize with its unfiltered and disturbing narration, placing you uncomfortably close to the protagonist's mind. The show's exploration of toxic relationships, social media's impact on modern romance, and the scars left by our life experiences add a riveting layer to the suspense-inducing series.

With a constant sense of impending danger, You creates an addictive and twisted show that will leave you questioning the boundaries of love and obsession.

Author: Creshonda Smith

Title: Trending Topics Writer

Expertise: Travel, Food, Parenting, Lifestyle


Creshonda is a content writer with a passion for entertainment and lifestyle topics like parenting, travel, and movies. Hailing from Cleveland, OH, she graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's and master's degree in Clinical Social Work. While she has specific topics that she enjoys writing about, she likes to tackle other topics that she's not as familiar with in an attempt to continually improve her writing skills and knowledge about the world around us. Creshonda has written for various publications such as MSN, Detroit Legal News, Jacksonville Journal-Courier, and more. When she's not serving as a Trending Topics writer for Wealth of Geeks, she's searching for tropical destinations to travel to with her family.