Created by Víctor Sierra and Xosé Morais, ‘The Longest Night,’ alternatively known as ‘La noche más larga,’ is a Spanish crime action-thriller series. On Christmas Eve, just as Hugo Roca (Alberto Ammann), the prison director of Baruca Hill Psychiatric Correctional Facility, is preparing to have dinner with his family, he is informed that the dreaded serial killer known as The Alligator has been caught and is being brought to Baruca Hill instead of a maximum-security prison. Overcoming the initial surprise, Hugo rushes to the facility but soon discovers that his eldest daughter, Laura, has been kidnapped. And the kidnappers threaten him that if he hands over The Alligator, whose real name is Simón Lago (Luis Callejo), to the armed group that has shown up before Baruca Hill, they will kill Laura.
‘The Longest Night’ is a perfect combination of high-octane action and gripping suspense. If you have watched the series and loved it, here is a list of recommendations that might suit your taste. You can watch most of these shows similar to ‘The Longest Night’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. Hannibal (2013–2015)
Inspired by characters and elements from a series of novels by Thomas Harris, ‘Hannibal’ tells the story of FBI profiler Will Graham, who joins the investigation of a serial killing case in Minnesota. Graham has a unique ability to get inside the minds of serial killers and see things from their perspectives. However, whenever he does this, the killers inevitably become a part of him. As the investigation takes a toll on Graham, he is placed under the supervision of the titular forensic psychiatrist, who hides the fact that he is a cannibalistic serial killer. In ‘The Longest Night,’ the core of the narrative revolves around the complex relationship between Hugo and Simón. Graham and Hannibal have a similar relationship, at least initially.
6. Breakout Kings (2011–2012)
Like in ‘The Longest Night,’ inmates and law enforcement officers realize that it’s mutually beneficial for them to collaborate. Two US Marshalls recruit a con artist, a killer, and a gambler to help them catch escaped convicted criminals. The series is set in the same universe as another entry in this list, ‘Prison Break,’ though the former is not a direct spin-off of the latter series.
5. Prodigal Son (2019–2021)
‘Prodigal Son’ follows Malcolm Bright, a talented profiler who lost his job with the FBI. Gil Arroyo, an NYPD major crimes detective and the father figure in Malcolm’s life, recruits him to hunt down a serial killer. However, Malcolm soon discovers that the killer is a copycat emulating Malcolm’s birth father, Martin Whitly or The Surgeon, who murdered 23 people and is currently incarcerated at an asylum. Like ‘The Longest Night’ and ‘Hannibal,’ ‘Prodigal Son’ is about the relationship between a serial killer and a law enforcement officer.
4. Parot (2021)
The series title refers to the Parot doctrine, a real-world decision by the Spanish Supreme Court that doesn’t grant people who have committed serious crimes the rights given by Spanish law regarding the limitation or reduction of the maximum term of imprisonment. ‘Parot’ is set in 2013. As the titular doctrine is annulled, several convicted criminals whose freedom was denied due to its implementation are released. However, when a serial killer begins to murder these former convicts, it falls on agent Isabel Mora to find the person responsible. Like in ‘The Longest Knight,’ the rights of the inmates and atrocities committed by the authorities are important themes in ‘Parot.’
3. Ratched (2020–)
The titular character of ‘Ratched‘ is Nurse Mildred Ratched, who originally appears in Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and its 1975 film adaptation. Set initially in 1947, ‘Ratched’ follows Mildred as she arrives in Northern California in the hopes of being employed at a psychiatric facility. However, she has an ulterior motive for seeking the job. As her experience at the facility gradually chips away her humanity, a darker aspect of her soon begins to emerge. Despite the action and suspense of ‘The Longest Night’ and the pulpy horror of ‘Ratched,’ both shows devote a considerable part of the narrative to exploring the abuse of power, institutional corruption, and mental health.
2. Money Heist (2017-2021)
Like ‘The Longest List’ and ‘Parot,’ ‘Money Heist’ or ‘La casa de papel‘ is ultimately anti-institution and anti-authority. It revolves around a group of talented individuals seeking to rob the Royal Mint of Spain. The Professor, the leader of the robbers, considers their actions as an act of rebellion against an oppressive government. In ‘The Longest List,’ Hugo has to choose between his daughter and the people under his command and in his care. Inevitably, he chooses his daughter, causing the deaths of several people. Hugo is as compromised as the government in ‘Money Heist.’ The officials are more worried about saving their own skin than how to deal with robbers, the Professor exploits this.
1. Prison Break (2005–2017)
After his brother, Lincoln Burrows, is sentenced to death for allegedly murdering the brother of the Vice President of the United States, structural engineer Michael Scofield comes up with an elaborate plan to break his brother out from the Fox River State Penitentiary. He commits an armed robbery and ensures that he will end up in the same facility as his brother. As the series progresses, he befriends and manipulates several inmates and members of the prison staff to ensure freedom for his brother. ‘Prison Break‘ neatly blends suspense and action, just like ‘The Longest Night.’ Moreover, both shows have that rare quality that makes them incredibly binge-worthy.