It’s that time of year when most of us just want to curl up on our sofa with a fuzzy blanket, a cup of something mulled, and binge watch Homeland or The Killing. Detective crime series are not only the equivalent of crack, but with the recent influx of high-end Scandi Noir, we can also feel smug and hipster when we watch it, and maybe even pick up a few choice phrases of Swedish, or French! #winning
Whether you prefer your police detectives dark and brooding, or grizzled and melancholy, or fierce and maverick with a touch of ASD, we’ve got all bases covered in our list below. (And don’t forget to add your own faves!)
#1 The Missing
OMFG this British crime drama is one of the most dark and desolate crime series out there. Not only is the acting world-class, but the plot-twists are so intense that you will be left flinching in your seat. What is truly unique about this series is that it totally rejects the tired old, 'we've found a body and now we must find the killer' format in favour of, 'oh f**k my child is missing, where have they gone!?'- Think Taken, but wayyy better.
#2 Spirals (Engrenages)
Set in the murky urban streets of Paris, Spirals centers around the investigations of a detective squad, headed by the totally bad-ass Police Captain Laure Berthaud. Gruesome murders, gang crime, terrorism and police corruption are just some of the story lines. This series is dark and effortlessly cool, gun-wielding, cigarette-flicking and peppered with plenty of 'Uh Putain's. Everyone who watches it gets instantly hooked!
#3 The Bridge (Bron)
A woman's body is found in the middle of a bridge connecting Copenhagen with Malmö- right on the border separating Sweden and Denmark. But, what is this!? Not only is the body placed on the divide, but the body itself is divided into two separate parts! Yes, the murder victim is in actual fact TWO murder victims, a Swedish politician and a Danish prostitute, that have been smushed together and left on the bridge! This is a freaky start to one of the most gripping smash-hit Scandi crime series of all time.
This British crime drama, set in London, sees Idris Elba before the James Bond rumours and Sky fame. Elba plays Luther, an edgy, troubled, maverick cop, chasing the dark forces that lurk in London's murky underworld.
Of course, it is not that simple. Luther is suffering from his marriage breaking down and is fuelled by a terrible temper that sometimes sees him exacerbate his problems.
However, it is the gritty, urban setting matched with a quite brilliant character created by Elba, that make this an absolute, must watch.
Other good news is that as you read this, Elba and company are currently knee deep creating season 5. So what are you waiting for?
Sherlock is the thinking man (or woman's) TV series. Set primarily in New York, the show places the quintessentially English Jonny Lee Miller alongside, American Angel, Lucy Liu. The two play the roles of Holmes and Watson; the former being a recovering heroin addict.
Miller's performance is nothing short of brilliant and his eccentric spikiness is perfectly matched by Liu's level-headed acumen. The show has won six TV awards and been nominated for eighteen. It has an IMDB.com rating of 7.9 out of 10 and fans believe it has improved over time.
With over five series to catch up on, what are you waiting for?
#6 The shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
While this series is not centred around a detective as such, it truly is one of the best, crime based mystery novels out there. Centred around the city of Barcelona during and after the Spanish civil war, this series will take so many twists and turns you will feel as though you are stuck in the library of forgotten books, which these novels describe.
#7 Law & Order: SVU season 1
Law and Order SVU a stable in American culture. Every episode different from the last and a plot that is now 18 seasons deep so clearly someone enjoys this series. Excellent pass time television that will leave you on the edge of your seat or possibly afraid to live alone.... everyone should watch Olivia and Elliot in what I consider to be THE BEST crime series.
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The best crime drama I have seen to date. The BBC have really outdone themselves on this one. Was’nt really a fan of the first season but the second season took it to another level.
A must watch for any real crime or detective drama enthusiast!