Murder, she watched...?
March 23, 2015 3:37 PM   Subscribe

I liked Luther. I liked Wire in the Blood. I like Criminal Minds. What else will i like?

Looking for recommendations for new crime shows to watch. I love the afore-mentioned shows and I am looking for suggestions like that. Not a big fan of the Law and Order series, so direct police procedurals are out. Didn't really get Dexter either, I guess i'm looking for shows that portray a crime(s) being committed and the sleuthing that goes on to solve it. But not light fare like NCIS...Does that even make sense?
posted by ramix to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
The Fall (!!!!!!!!!!)
Happy Valley
Broadchurch (UK)/Gracepoint (US)
The Wire
posted by Crystalinne at 3:41 PM on March 23, 2015 [9 favorites]

You might like The Killing, a show that was on AMC but is now a Netflix property. It follows two detectives as they investigate a single crime over the course of one series. Great acting by Mireille Enos.

If you liked Wire in the Blood you'll probably like Cracker, another UK TV show. More recently, I thought the Irish show The Fall (with a mostly convincing Gillian Anderson as Irish badass detective) was pretty good.
posted by dis_integration at 3:42 PM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh, also the Helen Mirren led Prime Suspect is one of the best police dramas I can think of, and has that special British crime-drama vibe.
posted by dis_integration at 3:46 PM on March 23, 2015 [6 favorites]

American Crime
posted by matildaben at 3:47 PM on March 23, 2015

You might like Foyle's war, but the tone and pace is quite different. Worth a shot. I recommend both it and Prime Suspect, and I believe Peter Capaldi appears in both, amusingly enough.
posted by Trifling at 3:52 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Wallander series, either original Swedish or the BBC adaptation (but Swedish is better).
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 3:57 PM on March 23, 2015 [6 favorites]

Hinterlands, a Welsh crime show. I think there are four episodes on Netflix.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 4:13 PM on March 23, 2015 [9 favorites]

Scott & Bailey is a UK police procedural with two or three episodes per case, so there's some realism in the sleuthing. The principals are a 40s experienced woman DS, a whiz at interviewing, and the 30s woman who's on her way up. Shown on ITV in UK and some PBS in the US.

They're great at crime, but have realistically terrible luck in their home lives. It's set in Manchester, so captions/subtitles are a must unless you're familiar with the northern accent. Four seasons so far, region 1 DVDs drop in April for s. & s4; we found s1 & s2 at our local library.
posted by Jesse the K at 4:29 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nthing the Wire. Also Wallander. And Broadchurch S1.

Top of the Lake. It's a miniseries though, and it's pretty dark but has stunning cinematography.

True Detective.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:44 PM on March 23, 2015

The Fall and Top of the Lake are both very good and also fairly short.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:05 PM on March 23, 2015

posted by HumuloneRanger at 5:10 PM on March 23, 2015

Murder One is a great series (two seasons I believe) from the mid-90s that ended far too soon. I think it was before it's time and would have done better if it debuted after 2010. In the first season we watch a lawyer defending a shady client in the aftermath of a crime and the plot unfolds over the season. So you do want to catch each episode in order.

I have suggested the Poirot series many times (each episode features an unusual crime and the immaculately dapper Belgian private detective solving it despite all odds) and those I suggest it to have become hooked. The sets / costumes / cars / antiques are gloriously accurate 30s Deco and will please any history or fashion lover, but beyond this David Suchet's acting is superb and the plots are heart pounding even without the shocks or violence so common in more modern television! Some are based on actual Agatha Christie stories but occasionally have major changes to the plot (for the better I think), some are drawn from other great crime stories (e.g. re-workings of Sherlock Holmes tales). The related Miss Marple series is a bit more uneven so I would not suggest unless you're already a fan of that specific genre or love the books.

I enjoyed watching Taggart as a kid but this is more of a police focused drama and the Scottish accents are quite thick so may be hard to follow for some. I just looked it up and learned it ran for 28 years - so obviously people besides myself have enjoyed it!

I'll be honest in that I do not like Criminal Minds... I do not like Murdoch Mysteries for the same reason. Mind you I've only seen abuot 5-6 episodes of each. Even though the latter is set in the 1890s it does have (to me) character development plots I find to be an afterthought to the crime story itself, and some plot lines a bit too far-fetched for my taste. Which is what I disliked about Criminal Minds.That said it's not to the extent of something like Dexter - a show which I strongly dislike.
posted by partly squamous and partly rugose at 5:15 PM on March 23, 2015

Prime Suspect is pretty much the high water line all of those British Crime Shows are going for, also it stars Helen Mirren soooo
posted by The Whelk at 5:42 PM on March 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Ripper Street (S1 and S2 only)
Happy Valley
Bron/Broen/The Bridge
The Fixer
Inside Men
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 6:10 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like the same shows you like, and a lot of the ones already listed are great. A couple I've enjoyed but don't see mentioned: Waking the Dead, and Blue Murder.
posted by JenMarie at 6:12 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

In the same line as Prime Suspect and Poirot (very nthing those), Inspector Morse has both great mysteries (if I recall they're basically straight from the books, not messing with a thing that works) and the kind of believable character development that shows up in the best arcs from Criminal Minds. I know the spinoff, Lewis, went for quite a bit longer but I haven't seen it and can't speak as to if the quality of mystery dropped off after they ran out of books to base the plots off. They're in the police-solving-crimes category but definitely old enough in setting that it's necessarily sleuthery not CSI, and the characters are obviously thinking hard as well as playing collect-the-clue. Best of all, stars A Year in Provence's John Thaw in a polar opposite role.

On a different note. Ok, if you've only seen QI this might be hard to believe, but Alan Davies' show Jonathan Creek is not flat-out comedy; the character bits are definitely sillier in tone but not necessarily more so than the corresponding bits of Criminal Minds. The mysteries, though, are just *amazingly* crafted, often pretty eerie; most of them are the kind that show all the clues the protagonists have but are really difficult to make accurate guesses about. There aren't many series (I don't really count the specials after Caroline Quentin left) but they're really re-watchable for noticing all the clues you didn't even realize were there when the scene flew by the first time.
posted by C. K. Dexter Haven at 6:57 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

The French show Spiral (on Netflix) is gritty and good. Low Winter Light isn't quite as good, but is at least as gritty.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:03 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Bloodlines just came onto Netflix. I think it is quite watchable.
posted by jcworth at 7:17 PM on March 23, 2015

Fortitude is entertaining.
posted by flippant at 7:53 PM on March 23, 2015

Homicide: Life on the Street.
posted by buzzman at 8:27 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

nthing that The Fall is really good. Top notch acting, well done cinematography and whatnot.
posted by saul wright at 8:36 PM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Gritty:
The Killing*
The Fall*
Prime Suspect*
Ripper Street
Top of The Lake
Jack Taylor
Crossing Lines
Happy Valley
Appropriate Adult*
Low Winter Sun
Peaky Blinders (possibly more drama than total crime drama)
Silent Witness
Murphy's Law

*Particularly notable for amazing character development and acting

Soft-boiled murder mysteries:
Foyle's War
The Marple Mysteries (they come and go on Netflix)
The Bletchley Circle
George Gently
Inspector Morse
Midsomer Murders
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
Rosemary and Thyme
The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries
Inspector Lynley
A Touch of Frost
Dalziel and Pascoe

Annika Bengtzon

I've been watching British murder mystery shows for years! It's addicting.
posted by Everydayville at 10:03 PM on March 23, 2015 [9 favorites]

If you haven't watched Treme yet I highly recommend it. Not a mystery or police show but it does have some elements of that in it. It's created by the same people who did The Wire. Really wonderful stuff.
posted by BoscosMom at 1:33 AM on March 24, 2015

True Blood and Top of the Lake - both similar themes, genre(s) yet wildly different in execution. Also the same, talented cinematographer.
posted by Hugobaron at 5:43 AM on March 24, 2015

Definitely "True Detective" and "The Bletchley Circle."
posted by jbickers at 6:01 AM on March 24, 2015

Rosemary and Thyme and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 7:35 AM on March 24, 2015

Not yet mentioned:

The Escape Artist: David Tennant plays a defense attorney who finds himself experiencing the other part of the criminal justice system.

Whitechapel: Jack the Ripper style crimes.

The Jinx: True crime documentary miniseries, but sooo well produced. It is perhaps the creepiest television I've ever watched.
posted by jph at 8:39 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Please watch The Fall. Absolutely amazing series. The second season did disappoint me a little at times but the acting and cinematography are absolutely incredible and it scared me shitless.
The first few episodes of Top of the Lake were great. It then got ludicrous in my opinion and I found the last 5 episodes laughable. But the cinematography and setting are amazing.
And you owe yourself The Wire.
posted by shesbenevolent at 9:56 AM on March 24, 2015

Also seconding A Touch of Frost and although less serious, Jonathan Creek is great.
posted by shesbenevolent at 9:56 AM on March 24, 2015

There are lots of good recommendations up the page, but I have a great one not mentioned yet:

The Shadow Line
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:19 AM on March 24, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks all. I started watching The Killing last night (just because it was free on Amazon Prime) and i am hooked. I watched the first 3 episodes and didn't get to bed till 2am! I will work my way down the entire list. I now have enough shows to watch for the next year!
I'll go ahead and mark everydayville's answer as the best because he/she compiled a list of most everything that you all listed.
posted by ramix at 10:45 AM on March 24, 2015

Best answer: I just watched Jo. Season 1 is available on Acorn TV. Jean Reno is the detective--a rough type with a messed up personal life. It does require some suspension of disbelief--it is set in Paris, but only Jean Reno has a French accent, all the other actors are British or American, with their respective accents. Quite a few recognizable American actors, including one in the final episode that is a surprise. Although if you don't watch L & O: Criminal Intent, you might not get the connection. Hope there are more seasons.

I get every penny out of that Acorn subscription; British TV and lots of crime dramas. Vera is there along with some that others have listed along with several more not recommended above. Series do come and go--things rotate out as others come on.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 8:41 PM on March 24, 2015

I know you allude to it in your title, but have you ever actually watched Murder, She Wrote? I've been binging it on Netflix recently and I'm surprised how good it is.
posted by flatluigi at 1:04 AM on March 31, 2015

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