‘Luther’: All the cop and crime shows you need to be watching
Everyone loves to sit in front of their TV from time to time and play couch detective, whether that means pretending you’re some sort of legal expert because you’ve been reading Reddit crime theories all night and can now bust this Netflix true crime documentary wide open or you’re shouting “that dude definitely did it!” between mouthfuls of nachos while watching a police procedural. You love it and so do we.
To make sure you’re watching all the best cop and crime shows on TV right now, here are ten that you most definitely have to be checking out if you want to keep those couch detective skills sharp.
10. Line of Duty
As The Independent once suggested, people “can be split into two camps: those who love Line of Duty and those who are yet to love Line of Duty.” Jed Mercurio’s British crime drama is definitely worth a binge on Hulu where the intense thrills, compelling characters, and shocking twists and turns will have you obsessed from the get-go. The series is reportedly being eyed for a US remake so we recommend you watch it now so you can be one of those cool kids who says the original is better.
Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) leads a set of powerful performances in Jane Campion’s crime drama with a fierce feminist heart. S2 went a little off the rails and felt more like a standard crime procedural, but the first season (originally intended as a standalone mini-series) is a shocking interrogation of toxic masculinity and rape culture that feels more relevant in 2018 than ever.
There’s still no news about whether a third season is on its way but you might want to catch up just in case.
8. The Blacklist
Come for James Spader (Sex, Lies and Videotape) in a range of snazzy hats and stay for Megan Boone’s (My Bloody Valentine) stern performance and Ryan Eggold’s (Trophy Kids) magnificent villainy. The Blacklist is a twist-heavy crime thriller about hunting down the world’s most wanted (and slippiest) fugitives. S6 has recently been renewed for the show which means we can carry on speculating about what that duffel bag of bones is all about. Intrigued? So you should be – it’s worth your time.
7. Happy Valley
Happy Valley or Gruesome Murders Also Happen in Picturesque British Towns as we like to call it is a brutal British cop drama led by a solid no-nonsense performance from former soap opera star Sarah Lancashire (Clocking Off). The show can be utterly horrifying and shocking, so if you like that sort of thing, you need to add Happy Valley to your Netflix watchlist immediately.
The less prestigious older sibling of David Fincher’s Mindhunter nonetheless spins a great yarn following an elite squad of FBI profilers who analyze the country’s most twisted criminal minds to anticipate their next moves. The show recently finished its 13th season and has been renewed for a 14th which means you have plenty of episodes to dive into.
Immaculately shot and written and featuring a consistently strong cast that has seen actors like Billy Bob Thornton (Goliath), Kirsten Dunst (Spider–Man), Patrick Wilson (Watchmen), Colin Hanks (King Kong), and Ted Danson (Cheers), the anthology crime series based on the Coen Brothers’ 1996 film is seriously something special.
One of the richest elements of this regularly surprising show is that is manages to masterfully balance extremely dark plotlines with very funny deadpan and absurdist comedy.
It’s tense, it’s thrilling, it’s emotional, and it’s brimming with dark, brooding brilliance. It also stars Idris Elba (The Dark Tower) who is a beam of enigmatic joy as the ingenious but troubled detective ground down by the insidious side of humanity he’s witnessed in investigations. DCI John Luther will be back on the small screen for a new season later this year, meaning you have plenty of time to bingewatch the first four seasons in the meantime.
It’s hard to believe, but there are still people in this world who haven’t seen a single episode of True Detective for one reason or another. To these people we ask: what in the great ghastly name of the Yellow King are you doing? S2 can definitely be skipped but you’ll want to delve deep into the masterpiece that is S1 of Nic Pizzolatto’s drama (starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson doing their best work) before S3 brings the anthology series back to HBO.
2. The Bridge
The Scandi-noir show has long been renowned for being one of the greatest crime shows of all time. The final season is about to air, so now’s the perfect time to check in and see why the rest of the world is so cuckoo for Sofia Helin’s BAMF of an investigator and the deeply unsettling mystery that unspools in each season.
Fincher’s cinematic deep dive into the minds of serial killers is one of the most astonishingly beautiful, riveting, and immaculately crafted TV shows of the past decade.
With incredible performances from Jonathan Groff (Frozen), Holt McCallany (The Losers), Anna Torv (Fringe), and Cameron Britton (The Girl in the Spider’s Web), this semi-procedural thriller centers around the real-life story of the FBI department who first coined the term “serial killer” and profiled how to spot one. It’s mesmerizing on every possible level.