Ten Crime Dramas That I Binge Watched.
Hello everyone and welcome to Friday’s Choice. Even though thus far I have been focusing on movies and books, I do also love to get invested in a good tv series and I would have to say that crime dramas are by far my favourite genre of tv show. If you follow me on Instagram (@katelovesliterature), then you’ll already know that on Tuesday night I sat down to watch Annika, a brand new show starring Nicola Walker that premiered on Alibi. I really enjoyed the first episode and I’m already looking forward to seeing what happens but watching Annika got me thinking about all the other crime dramas that I have watched.
After reflecting over how much I enjoy crime dramas, I thought it would be fun for this week’s #fridayschoice to make a list of ten shows that I have binge watched and loved.
Disclaimer – This is not an AD. This is not sponsored. This is not promotional content. I am not promoting these shows or any particular channel or streaming platform. I am simply talking about a genre that I love. I have created this list by myself. This is simply a list of shows that I have watched and loved and I am going to talk you through why I loved them. With that very important note made, I am now going to explain how I’ve put together my list of ten crime dramas that I binge watched.
I don’t really like rating shows numerically, just because tv, and movies, and books are so subjective so I am going to list the ten shows however this is not a top ten rating system. I’m simply going to talk about ten shows I loved in alphabetical order so without further adieu let’s dive into Friday’s Choice.
A is for Annika.
This is a brand new series and the first episode just premiered on Alibi on Tuesday at 9.pm so I don’t have a whole lot to say about this show except that I really enjoyed the first episode and I am definitely going to be tuning in next week to see what happens. I really love Nicola Walker, I think she is a brilliant actress and so I look forward to see her leading this new series.
This show struck me as different because Nicola Walker actually breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience which is something that I haven’t seen done before in a crime drama. It’s new and it’s different and I do enjoy the moments where Walker talks to the camera. It feels like she’s talking to you personally and I feel as though this will be really interesting as the series plays out because we may get to hear her private thoughts on the cases she is investigating. If you’re looking for a new series to watch then I’d recommend starting Annika. If the first episode is anything to go by, this is going to be a great series. Great premise, great actors, great start. I can’t wait to see what happens.
B is for Bosch.
If you’ve been following my blog and my Instagram then you’ll know that August’s #bookofthemonth is City Of Bones by Michael Connelly. Bosch is the tv series based off of the books, starring Titus Welliver as Detective Harry Bosch. I’ve just rewatched all seven seasons of the series on the Amazon Fire Stick and I am eagerly awaiting the new series that will explore Bosch’s new journey as a private investigator. If you’re a fan of Michael Connelly’s books then I would highly recommend this show. You can tell that Connelly is involved behind-the-scenes because I feel that this tv show really captured the feel of the books. Welliver is the perfect Bosch and I believe that his name was suggested for the part by Connelly himself. This is a show that handles very sensitive crimes, it discusses family dynamics and police politics. The backdrop of Los Angeles is absolutely perfect and I love seeing the locations that are mentioned in the books brought to life onscreen. The soundtrack is incredible as Bosch loves jazz and so the show is set to some really wonderful music and every actor does a fantastic job. There are only ten episodes in each season except for the final season which has only eight. Each season feels complete but nothing feels rushed. This is a brilliant show. It’s perfectly paced, at times it’s fast moving but then it slows down sometimes too. It lets the heavy moments settle. It allows us to sit in the silence and absorb what has happened. There’s light and dark, and some really funny, sarcastic one liners. This is a great show and I would absolutely recommend it even if you haven’t read the books. Stay tuned for my #bookofthemonth discussion that will be published at the end of August. I’m really looking forward to sharing my thoughts on City Of Bones, but in the meantime, watch Bosch.
B is also for Briarpatch.
Based on Ross Thomas’s novel Briarpatch, this show follows Allegra Dill back to her hometown to search for the person responsible for her sister’s death. This hunt for her sister’s killer turns into a quest to bring the corrupt town to its knees. I enjoyed this show but I will say that is is an acquired taste. It is bizarre. It is odd. It feels surreal at times. The characters are eccentric and corrupt and it’s one of those shows that when the episode ends, even though you’re not entirely sure what you just watched, you’re compelled to watch the next episode to see what happens, to see if it will eventually make sense. The English literature student side of me loves that this show is so absurd. I do enjoy things that don’t really make sense because I do feel that’s the point. If you’re left wondering what just happened, the show has done it’s job. I equate this type of show to reading the poetry of someone like Berryman, the fact it doesn’t make sense is the point. You will struggle to make sense of a Berryman poem and that is intentional, and my interpretation of this show is that it functions almost the same way the Theatre of the Absurd does. It is eccentric and confusing and bizarre but that’s a good thing because it keeps you curious and it keeps you watching.
I’m skipping down through the alphabet all the way to the letter H and H is for Hudson & Rex.
This is probably the most lighthearted show on this list, if you can call a crime show lighthearted. Hudson & Rex is all about how Detective Charlie Hudson solves cases with the help of his faithful partner, the extremely intelligent and extremely adorable, fictional police canine Rex. Rex is possibly one of the most expressive dogs I’ve ever seen and this show highlights the bond that can exist between a dog and their human. It isn’t the most intense crime drama on television however the cases are interesting and it is charming and fun. It is somewhat formulaic as most of the episodes end with the case being solved however in my opinion this doesn’t dampen the viewing experience. Each case is interesting, the cast is great and watching this show makes me love my own dog even more. Fun fact, he sits and watches the tv very intently when Rex is on the screen, head tilts and everything. I think he’s a fan! If you want to venture into the crime drama genre but don’t want to start with anything too intense, Hudson & Rex is the perfect show for you. I love the premise and any time I sit down to watch this show I enjoy myself. You should check it out too on Alibi.
L is for Law & Order SVU.
This is one of my favourite shows. I even wrote about it in one of my final essays that counted heavily towards my degree. This is a show that is hard hitting. This series deals with inherently violent topics and portrays some of the most horrific crimes however there is always an undercurrent of justice and hope because the message of this show, in my opinion, is that rape, sexual assault, and abuse of any kind is unacceptable. This show states time and time again that it doesn’t matter what the victim was doing, wearing, drinking, etc, the attack they endured is never their fault. The fault lies with the perpetrators and only the perpetrators. This show gives survivors their voices back. It is at times hard to watch. It is at times very poignant and very emotional, and I would go as far as to say this show is educational. It covers so many important topics such as abuse, racism, homophobia, consent, victim blaming, harassment, and so much more. I could dedicate an entire post to this show alone and in the future I will. Mariska Hargitay leads this brilliant cast. She stars as Detective Olivia Benson and she is kind, caring, compassionate, and brave. There has been so many amazing guest stars on this show, and so many brilliant episodes, some that are even based on true events. It is definitely one of the more hard hitting shows on this list, purely because of the nature of the crimes that are being portrayed however I believe this is an important show to watch because it talks about the horrific things that sadly do happen in real life. They shouldn’t happen but sadly they do, and as Law & Order SVU makes clear, these horrific crimes are never acceptable. I watch all seasons of this show on the Amazon Fire Stick and I think it is a must watch show.
L is also for Line Of Duty.
Firstly, I have a question. Who hasn’t seen this show? I feel like everyone has seen this show because for a while it was talked about nonstop. It is on Netflix and I believe it airs on BBC One. This show follows DS Steve Arnott as he is moved to the Anti- Corruption Unit 12. In the unit he meets his new partner, the talented undercover officer DC Kate Fleming. Under the watchful eye of Superintendent Ted Hastings, they investigate corruption within the fictional police force and as the series goes on, it soon becomes clear that the seemingly unalike corruption cases are all linked to a long history of deep rooted corruption and organised crime. The show’s long- running arc revolves around the need to uncover who “H” is and it is believed that “H” is someone or multiple people of high rank within the police force who are instrumental to the operations of organised crime. This show is one of the most successful crime dramas there is. The viewing figures that this show has are incredible. Millions of people watched this show and it is easy to understand why. This show features gruesome crimes and gripping plot twists. The interrogations scenes in particular are my favourite. They are filled with suspense. The cast is brilliant. The characters are all believable and if you like a show with twists and turns then this is one you don’t want to miss.
S is for Scott & Bailey.
I’ll tell you all a fact about myself. Even though I have Netflix, the Amazon Fire Stick and Disney+, I still love collecting DVDs. Now you can watch this show on the Amazon Fire Stick and I believe the show aired on ITV but I actually own a box set of all five seasons and I love it. I collect box sets because as wonderful as streaming services are, they’re just not quite as impressive as a shelf of DVDs. This show is set in Manchester and it follows Detective Rachel Bailey and Detective Janet Scott as they investigate murders and series one starts off strong with this dynamic duo investigating murders that appear to be the work of a serial killer. This is a female driven cast. One of my favourite characters in any crime drama will always be DCI Gill Murray played by the brilliant Amelia Bullmore. Gill is no nonsense, sharp tongued, impressively intelligent and also very funny. All of these characters are layered and flawed and they are very believable, real people. The personal problems they face don’t feel melodramatic and their friendships they create at work are very realistic and endearing. The relationship between Scott & Bailey is the heart of the show. They’re a brilliant team. Each season has a main storyline and I really like that each season starts and ends with something new. It’s also really nice seeing the characters grow as each season progresses. This is a show that I go back and rewatch a lot because after a bit of time in between watches, it is so engaging that I can watch it all from the beginning despite seeing it more than once before, that is how much I enjoy it. The characters are believable, funny, compelling and relatable and the crimes are interesting. This is another series that has really suspenseful and dynamic interview and interrogation scenes so it is very high up on my favourites list.
T is for The Fall.
The Fall is perhaps the most intense and most violent show on this list. This is another show that I love from an analytical point of view. This is another show that I have written about academically. I think that when it comes to crime dramas, it is fair to say that most audience members have a bit of a morbid fascination with crime and violence and death. Something that I found really interesting when I was studying the portrayal of violence on television was just how popular crime dramas are. That isn’t a surprise. There are countless shows about detectives and murder and police and then there’s an entire category of true crime. It’s popular. I wouldn’t be making this list of shows if they weren’t popular and I think it’s fascinating that most people would be terrified if an actual crime happened in real life down the street from where they live. It wouldn’t be so entertaining or interesting then, and yet we love to watch crimes on tv. Now this isn’t a lecture, but I will say this, I think it can be argued that people enjoy watching violence from the safety of their own homes and there is a safety in knowing that the violence in crime dramas (unless it’s true crime) is fictional. No one actually got hurt and so therefore watching this fictional violence is a way to experience violence without actually having to experience it.
The Fall is violent. It is one of the most unsettling shows I’ve ever watched. Jamie Dornan is frightening as Paul Spector, the methodical and meticulously violent serial killer. This show was recently made available on Netflix and it is another show that I believe everyone was talking about at one point in time. Spector chooses his victims, he stalks them, he practices breaking into their homes, he gets a thrill out of getting in and out unnoticed and then after his practice run, he goes back and he kills them. I feel that this show treats violence as an art form. Spector takes pride in how he operates. He is arrogant, he is proud of the fact that he’s gotten away with murder more than once. He takes pleasure in hurting his victims. The violence is almost desirable. It is not a show for the faint hearted as it does contain some very violent sequences that last quite a long time but it is gripping. Gillian Anderson is fabulous as Stella Gibson, the detective who throws Spector off his game. She is just as intelligent as he is, and she knows how to play his game. It’s a brilliant one to watch. It’s gripping, it’s engaging, it’s unsettling and I have yet to find another series that unsettles me as much as The Fall did. It’s easy to get scared. Unsettled is a different sensation entirely and I would argue that it is more impressive if a show unsettles you than scares you.
U is for Unforgettable.
This is another lighthearted crime show that I watched on Alibi. The charming Poppy Montgomery stars as Detective Carrie Wells. Carrie has a very sophisticated and advanced photographic memory. She remembers absolutely everything except the day her sister was murdered. That is the one memory that she cannot bring to the surface and while she and her partner Al Burns put her unique skills to use while solving other cases, a long-running arc is Carrie’s wish to figure out who killed her sister. Again, I really enjoyed the premise of this show. I loved Montgomery’s portrayal of Carrie. She is is fun, she is flirty, she has great gut instincts. She’s a fiery redhead who breathes life into the investigation room. There is somewhat of a formulaic structure to each episode, some plot lines span over more than one episode but it’s fun, it’s interesting and it’s different. I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I could remember every single thing that happens in extremely vivid detail but as covered in this show, I think that would be a blessing and a curse because there are things that Carrie wishes she could forget. If you want crime drama that’s not too heavy then this show is a great one to watch.
U is also for Unforgotten.
I started this list with a crime drama starring Nicola Walker and I am ending this list with a crime drama starring Nicola Walker. Unforgotten aired on ITV I believe but it is also on Netflix. This show follows DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunny Khan as they investigate cold cases. I really like shows that revolve around cold cases because I find the premise intriguing. I’m not a law student. I have no academic background regarding legal proceedings however my understanding is that a case goes cold when there is no more evidence and the leads that detectives did have lead to dead ends. So the case goes cold. I like the idea of taking a cold case and looking at all the evidence again. You review all the leads and you think okay, there is something missing here. Let’s figure out what is missing. What aren’t we seeing? It’s always interesting when old cases get reinvestigated especially when new evidence comes to light. Each season of this show features a new case, and the show doesn’t only reinvestigate but it also shows the emotional consequences that these cases have on those connected to the victim and on the detectives themselves. It’s not easy to dig through the past, especially when the past is painful or you’d rather it stayed buried. It’s a really engaging show. Fascinating cases, brilliant cast, interesting characters and a very moving premise because really the motivation behind solving a cold case is to provide the victim with justice and provide those who remain living with closure. It’s a brilliant show to watch.
This has been my list of Ten Crime Dramas That I Binge Watched. Have you seen any of these shows? If so, which one is your favourite? Have you gotten any series inspiration from this list? Is there a show that you now feel you want to watch? If so, which one? Are crime dramas your thing? What’s your favourite show? I love hearing your opinions and reading your comments so if you have any thoughts about today’s Friday’s Choice then please do let me know.
This has been Friday’s Choice. I hope you enjoyed it, I certainly did. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I am looking forward to Movie Monday already.