If you’re going into The Alienist completely blind, you may be disappointed to find that it isn’t about the supernatural. Instead, it dives into the human condition, using criminal psychology to look inside a serial killer’s mind. Last year, criminal profiling shows seemed to come back in style with Discovery’s Manhunt: Unabomber and Netflix’s Mindhunter. Now, TNT is following the trend with The Alienist, the most expensive show in its history. This beautifully grim mini-series doesn’t shy away from the grotesque and uses graphic imagery to move the plot forward (it’s honestly surprising that a show this gory is on cable TV rather than HBO).
In the Gilded Age, an alienist was a doctor who treated patients with mental illnesses (they were said to be alienated from their own nature). Dr. Laszlo Kriesler (Daniel Brühl) is an alienist who helps treat children who “are not themselves” (and by that, I mean