Sociopaths, psychopaths and anti-socials on TV

by peter-b1791 | created - 18 Feb 2014 | updated - 18 Feb 2014 | Public

*Work in progress* A list of tv shows and movies featuring both criminal and non-criminal individuals who display psychopathic tendencies of a varying degree in any of the following interpersonal, affective, behavioral and lifestyle components of their psychological makeup. Also, people with conditions within the spectrum of zero-negative degree of empathy, such as borderlines and narcissists will be included in this list, located at the bottom of my list as I want to primarily analyze the characters mentioned in the title since this is my chosen priority. I understand and agree that my analysis is limited to whatever information is available and provided by the source, so I will try to stay away from speculating the unknowns unless I perceive such action is required or useful as long as I feel it is safe to hypothesize and cogitate about whatever problem it may be. Thanks, and enjoy.

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1. White Collar (2009–2014)

TV-PG | 40 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A white collar criminal agrees to help the FBI catch other white collar criminals using his expertise as an art and securities thief, counterfeiter, and conman.

Stars: Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay, Willie Garson, Tiffani Thiessen

Votes: 103,540

Most notable characters: 1) Neal Caffrey, the main protagonist. A confidence artist, master thief, and an expert in the area of counterfeiting. Closely resembling the fourth, pseudopsychopath subtype, but as it usually is portrayed on tv, his psychopathic tendencies are severely distorted by his interpersonal and affective components making it hard to make it stick. 2) Rebecca Lowe, to avoid spoilers, she's your textbook sociopath, leaning towards the third subtype, known as manipulative, but again it's distorted by her emotional relationship with Neal, which makes it even more unclear in the aspect of her ability to empathize, at the same time some of her crimes portrayed on the show make this issue much more confusing. On the other hand, according to some of the newer research, it indicates that psychopaths are actually able to flip the empathy switch on and off, resulting in brain activity fully resembling the one of a real empath when requested, and as concluded through extensive study conducted on over 200 clinical psychopaths, by default the switch is in "off-mode" position, which is not surprising.

2. House M.D. (2004–2012)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Mystery

8.8
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An antisocial maverick doctor who specializes in diagnostic medicine does whatever it takes to solve puzzling cases that come his way using his crack team of doctors and his wits.

Stars: Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard, Jesse Spencer

Votes: 344,731

*in writing* Dr. Gregory House

3. Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 (2012–2013)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy

7.3
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Chloe is a New York party girl with the morals of a pirate. She causes trouble for her naive small town roommate, June, and Chloe's best friend, James Van Der Beek.

Stars: Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker, Michael Blaiklock, Eric André

Votes: 28,852

*in writing* Chloe

4. Saved by the Bell (1989–1992)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

7.0
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A TV show centered on six students and their years at Bayside High School in Palisades, California.

Stars: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Dustin Diamond, Lark Voorhies

Votes: 26,971

*in writing* Zack

5. Cracked (2013– )

60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

7.1
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Follows teams of cops and psychiatric professionals who make up the Psych Crimes and Crisis unit.

Stars: David Sutcliffe, Luisa d'Oliveira, Dayo Ade, Karen LeBlanc

Votes: 1,585

*in writing* Jessica O'Donnell, Season 1, Episode 9: Cherry Blossoms

6. Dexter (2006–2013)

TV-MA | 53 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.7
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By day, mild-mannered Dexter is a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police. But at night, he is a serial killer who only targets other murderers.

Stars: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, James Remar

Votes: 555,950

*in writing* Dexter Morgan, Hanna McKay

7. The Psychopath Next Door (2013 TV Movie)

Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

She drops in and starts disrupting this close, cozy little community. She wants to be queen bee But there's already one. so she sets out to destroy her. This means having to break her legs,... See full summary »

Director: Kieron J. Walsh | Stars: Anna Friel, Eva Birthistle, Kathryn Drysdale, Claire Keelan

Votes: 115

*in writing* Dr. Eve Wright

8. America Undercover (1983– )

TV-MA | Documentary

7.0
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A series that features original and previously released documentaries which look at contemporary issues with strong social relevance.

Stars: Lee Grant, Marlene Sanders, Richard Kiley, Michael Baden

Votes: 231

*in writing* Episode: Child of Rage, 1990 documentary Beth Thomas