True Detective Withdrawl
July 22, 2014 11:17 PM   Subscribe

Looking for alternatives

We are looking for alternatives to the True Detective HBO show since season 2 will be in 2015. Any suggestions would be great, the quality and content of that show was really good and anything similar in quality and style would be perfect. Movie suggestions along the same line welcomed. Thanks
posted by jellyjam to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
Have you watched Luther yet?
posted by slidell at 11:18 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

Wallander! The Kenneth Brannagh one, IMO.
posted by viggorlijah at 11:39 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

And The Killing, season four, starts in August on Netflix. The first season is sublime, the second uneven, but the third was very good, and frankly at this point I will just watch the pair of them share a bag of fries and stare out the window.
posted by viggorlijah at 11:40 PM on July 22, 2014 [9 favorites]

For me, 'Edge of Darkness' (the BBC original) is still the high watermark for television drama. Brilliantly taught conspiracy drama with a policeman drawn into the machinations of the elite. Well worth seeking out.

'Angel Heart', although you've probably seen it, has the occult/ brutal murder aspect.

Not fiction but you should seek out the documentaries of Adam Curtis. They have that secret history feel about them and also show how the past has created the present and they have a strong philosphical Rust Cohle feel about them in places.
posted by oh pollo! at 11:55 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I really enjoyed Southland, there are 5 seasons. Characters, scripts and locations are all excellent - you don't get the feeling there is much set work going on much like in True Detective - I'm sure there is but you don't see it like you do in some shows.

Upon discovering that the writer, Ann Biderman also wrote Ray Donovan I've started watching season 1 and its of similar high quality.
posted by Ness at 1:37 AM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

I also like Luther -- it's a detective show, set in the UK, with very interesting characters and a complex ongoing storyline. Southland is also quite good -- more of a cop show (uniforms). Another good show is Flashpoint, set in Toronto Canada with their equivalent of a SWAT team. Finally, I recently started watching DCI Banks -- another detective show set in the UK -- I've only watched a couple of episodes, but I was hooked.
posted by elmay at 2:22 AM on July 23, 2014

It's a spy thriller series rather than crime, but if you are in the UK, I STRONGLY ENDORSE The Honourable Woman. Beautifully complex, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. There have been 3 eps on the BBC so far. There's a strong Israel/Palestine storyline which seems unfortunately timely in this current state of the world.
posted by scuza at 2:24 AM on July 23, 2014

Swedish Wallander. Jack Taylor. Luther. All on Netflix.
posted by persona au gratin at 3:31 AM on July 23, 2014

Fargo the show was surprisingly good.
posted by milarepa at 4:29 AM on July 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

Nthing Fargo and Luther. I would actually say that Fargo is even better than True Detective.
posted by JimBJ9 at 5:01 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Broadchurch. They're remaking it with David Tennant reprising his role with an American accent as "Gracepoint" this fall for Fox, but the original is really rather well-done and engrossing.
posted by inturnaround at 5:32 AM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

We've been watching The Bridge on FX which is a decent filler. Tyrant also isn't half bad.
posted by floweredfish at 5:34 AM on July 23, 2014

Prime Suspect, with Helen Mirren.
posted by troika at 5:35 AM on July 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Twin Peaks. Cracker with Robbie Coltrane.
posted by BibiRose at 5:36 AM on July 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Top of the Lake is on Netfilx. Some broad similarities in tone and theme to True Detective.
posted by spaltavian at 5:37 AM on July 23, 2014 [10 favorites]

Another vote for Luther, Fargo and Top of the Lake. Also, The Fall, starring Gillian Anderson, is streaming on Netflix and is excellent.
posted by jbickers at 5:57 AM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you're looking for Woody Harrelson or Matthew Mcconaughey in solid serious roles, you can try Rampart (Harrelson) or Killer Joe (Mcconaughey).
posted by DWRoelands at 5:59 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Last night I was having a conversation with a friend who was crazy about True Detective and she told me too watch Orphan Black next. Not sure if they're stylistically comparable but at least it's something satisfying to someone feenin forTD
posted by janey47 at 6:02 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

As of yet unmentioned:

Hannibal - US series - very dark but similar in dialogue and visual style
The Fall - British mini-series (aka 3-6 episodes only) with Gillian Anderson
Utopia - British mini-series with 2nd season currently showing
Black Mirror - British anthology series where episodes are not connected; 6 eps in total
The Lost Room - US mini-series
Lost / Fringe - lots of episodes
posted by KMB at 6:03 AM on July 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

Durham County
Red Riding, which is a six hour trilogy

Prime Suspect, with Helen Mirren.

Along side Cracker, with Robbie Coltrane.
posted by redindiaink at 6:53 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Spiral which is a French thriller/crime drama; it's on Netflix. Pretty dark.

Inspector Morse, UK detective show. There is currently also a prequel about the lead in his younger days.

The trouble is that True Detective got the raves it did (not unmitigated, but when is any piece of media universally proclaimed) is that it's pretty unique.

I second Red Riding and Top of the Lake as well.
posted by syncope at 7:17 AM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Following on scuza's rec of The Honourable Woman, check out showrunner Hugo Blick's The Shadow Line for more of the same.
posted by evoque at 8:23 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Danish/Swedish Broen/Bron (The Bridge) is available on DVD (but watch out, because most DVDs for this show are Region 2) with subtitles or in the U.K. for streaming/download 1 2. You can use a VPN to "pretend" you're in another country, but a credit card is another issue. It might also come back to the BBC iPlayer at some point.

Dark, good mystery & character development. Some really odd humorous moments. Don't know if it's because I already knew the story, but I couldn't watch the U.S. version. The slow pace that worked with ice & grey skies felt draggy in the remake.
posted by morganw at 8:40 AM on July 23, 2014

Seconding the recommendation of Spiral (Engrenages in French), Broen|Bron, Wallander (Swedish version) and The Killing (Forbrydelsen is the original Danish version, and watching one won't spoil you for the other). None of these shows have self-contained seasons and must be watched in order.

American Horror Story is different in subject matter but similarly dark in tone. It's also very high quality and self-contained in 13 episodes per season. I liked season 2 (Asylum) the best, then 1. I liked season 3 (Coven) the least. You don't need to watch the seasons in any order.
posted by desjardins at 9:43 AM on July 23, 2014

I also came in to recommend Spiral. Totally absorbing, and, because the French legal system is so different, it seemed less cliched.
posted by feste at 10:54 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Top of the Lake is amazing.
posted by Fister Roboto at 11:06 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I found the French show The Returned (Les Revenants) to be extremely creepy, atmospheric, unpredictable, and slow-paced - qualities I definitely associate with True Detective. It has a supernatural basis but feels very human and grounded, although things get pretty crazy. As a bonus, it's available on Netflix streaming!
posted by ORthey at 11:56 AM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Gotta second Hannibal, which is similarly dark and moody and philosophical, with crime drama trappings.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:48 PM on July 25, 2014

Fargo. i liked True Detective a lot (ending notwithstanding), and I think Fargo is a superior show.
posted by oog at 4:05 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding The Fall. Just flat out great.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:53 PM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Re the Inspector Morse prequel mentioned above, it's called Endeavour and airs in the US on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS (as Sherlock does). It's really very good, and I love the period setting. It's my favorite procedural this summer, but it's not as True Detective-y as True Detective.
posted by kostia at 11:30 PM on July 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm watching True Detective now and a scene reminded me of the movie, Texas Killing Fields which is based on a true story.
posted by redindiaink at 11:08 AM on July 29, 2014

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