Updated on January 30, 2017
Five Crime Dramas You Should Be Watching
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with the law. And by “law” I mean duhn-duhn Law and Order. It started innocently enough. My parents watched the original Law & Order through much of the 1990s, and in my teen years I started watching it with them. When Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU) started, I was an avid watcher. I even watched every episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent (which, by the way, I think ended way before it should have). So it should come as no surprise that when I’m flipping through Netflix looking for something to watch, I inevitably find myself gravitating to shows about criminal investigations. Now there are a huge number of fantastic crime drama shows to choose from on Netflix, and you’ve probably heard of many of them (Law & Order, Dexter, Criminal Minds, Sherlock, The Killing, etc.). I’m not going to talk about those shows. Yeah, they’re good and all, but there’s some seriously amazing crime drama happening on Netflix that you’re probably missing. Allow me to introduce you to the five crime dramas you really should be binge watching.
1. Luther. First off, Idris Elba. I could stop there, I know, but I won’t. This is a British crime drama that focuses on one Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) John Luther in London. Although each season is focused around a different series of connected crimes, Luther’s development as a character and the way he gets all consumed (obsessed even) with each case is amazing to watch. The show is dark and suspenseful, and Luther often finds himself embroiled into the cases he’s investigating. It’s brilliant.
2. Broadchurch. A few years ago, there was an attempt to create an American version of this British crime drama. It was called Gracepoint, and it was terrible. If you watched Gracepoint (even just an episode or two) you really need to watch Broadchurch. If you haven’t watched Gracepoint, all the better! Broadchurch focuses on just one crime: the death of an 11 year old boy in a small coastal town. The Detective Inspector (DI) brought in to lead the investigation is played brilliantly by David Tennant. He shows up in this small town as a DI surrounded by scandal over a previous case, and has to find a way to connect with the people in the town to determine who the killer is. This crime drama is SO GOOD. It is edge of your seat thrilling to watch. A brilliantly executed whodunit!
3. The Fall. If you’re sensing a theme here, you’re right! My first three picks are all British television series. What can I say? They know what their doing across the pond! The Fall stars Gillian Anderson as the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) brought to Belfast, Ireland to investigate a recent spate of murders against women. It doesn’t take long for her to figure out they’re dealing with a serial killer, and she uses her own investigative style to try to lure and bait the killer. Unlike the previous shows on my list, this time the viewer knows who the killer is the whole time. Watching the investigation unfold right alongside the planning and commission of each attack actually adds to the thrill. It’s infuriating to see the killing slip between their fingers along the way, but it’s infuriating in a good way! We just started on the third season, and it’s still just so good!
4. Secrets & Lies. Wait, wait! NOT the one with Juliette Lewis that’s currently airing on ABC. Nope. I’m talking about the original Secrets & Lies. Bet you didn’t know the US show is a spin off, did you! The real Secrets & Lies is an Australian crime drama that has to be one of the most suspenseful, most exciting, most shocking seasons of television I’ve ever watched. I mean, wow. I won’t give anything away about this one because you just need to watch it with no preconceived notions, but oh my word. This show will not disappoint, and it will leave you scooping your jaw off the floor. Promise.
5. Wentworth. After watching just the first season of this Australian drama, I knew I could never go back to Orange Is The New Black. I know, OITNB was good. I really did think it was good. BUT Wentworth is so much better in every possible way. Why am I comparing the two? Because Wentworth also takes place in a women’s prison. You might assume that it’s going to be similar to OITNB, but it’s really not. For starters, women’s prisons in Australia are completely different from anything I’ve seen portrayed on television before. The plot of Wentworth is awesome. It starts with Bea Smith, a victim of domestic abuse who is arrested for the attempted murder of her husband. She finds herself navigating the rules of life in prison while awaiting her trial. The character development in Wentworth is incredible. The women (and men) in this show are far from stagnant. They are constantly changing and evolving due to their circumstances, their surroundings, and the events that happen to them and around them. I found Wentworth easy to get into right away, but I’ve heard from others that it takes a few episodes to really get into it. If that’s the case for you, I promise that it is worth it to just keep watching. It will not disappoint. Plus, you’ll learn some incredibly bizarre (neat?) Australian slang.
If you’ve got a thing for crime drama like me, you should really check out the shows I’ve listed above. They’re all brilliant in their own way, and will provide you with hours upon hours of suspenseful, edge of your seat, thrilling entertainment. Have you seen any of the shows I’ve listed here? Did you enjoy them? What other crime dramas are you watching on Netflix?