There is something irresistible about crime shows. From the ones that inject humour to the dark ones that delve deep into horrors, it is fascinating to see the processes that go behind a crime, the criminal’s psyche and justifications, and how the media, law and general population reacts to it. Of course, the safety of the couch is an added benefit. Here are some amazing crime shows you must add to your list.
1. American Crime Story
The FX anthology series seamlessly blends reality and fiction as it covers the most impactful crimes in American history. There are no embellishments, but the facts are presented in a way that makes the show gripping, covering not just the crime but also the wider social and private implications they bring. The first season dealt with the controversial trial of O.J Simpson, and the second season centred around the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace.
Back in the 1970s, the FBI began developing a powerful new tool to catch criminals. It was not a physical weapon, but the technique of criminal profiling. The show follows the efforts of two agents and a psychologist has they try to unlock the psyche of incarcerated criminals in the hopes of preventing and solving ongoing cases. The show was labelled as among the best of 2017, and is arguably the best representation of the contested method.
3. Making a Murderer
Based on a twisted true story, the ten part Netflix documentary follows the life of Steven Avery, who was convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder – only to be exonerated by DNA evidence 18 years later. Within two years however, he faced another charge of murder, with his nephew now dragged alongside him. The show is a stellar example of just how shaded crime and punishment can get, and would perhaps make you question many verdicts.
A high-profile criminal at the top of his game surrenders suddenly to the FBI, willing to exchange information about some of the most dangerous criminals for immunity from prosecution. But his condition also extends to sole partnership with novice profiler Elizabeth Keen. The subsequent criminal hunt becomes a background for the mysteries that envelop the protagonists.
5. Breaking Bad
Regarded as one of the greatest shows ever created, the series follows Walter White, a high school teacher who enters the world of drugs to ensure financial stability for his family post his diagnosis of terminal cancer. However, navigating the murky world of crime turns White into a far more ruthless being, and the consequences of his life of crime spills out to affect others around him, including the family for whom he claims it was all for.
A detective with the Series Crime Unit blurs the line between his job and obsession when he becomes involved in a tangled web created by a brilliant psychopath, which threatens to amplify his own lack of control over his methods and emotions. The lack of a straight-laced honourable lead is refreshing, and the show also follows the inverted detective format, focusing on the process of catching a criminal rather than his identity.
7. The Honourable Woman
The show dials up the crime factor by taking it to the international stage, twining conflicts in the Middle East, business projects, espionage and personal actions and their consequences into a riveting story. Politically charged, action packed and full of twists, the show is one great watch with a seriously satisfying end.
This list should have you covered for a while as you settle into a binging spree. It is interesting to note many of the shows above seem to take a leaf out of real crimes committed in recent past. Others remain true to real life complexities by showing their protagonists not as simple do-gooders but as complex and dimensional people who take morally grey decisions sometimes, and by highlighting the many issues and complications that crop up when law deals with crime. Overall, these shows above reflect real life in a brilliant fashion while at the same time retaining the core elements of the genre and ensuring top-notch entertainment.
By Niharika Rawat