A while back I did a post on my favorite detective novel series, but I am also influenced by TV shows and movies (which I will cover later) in writing my own procedural noir, the John Simon Thrillers. Here are the five current detective shows I can’t stop watching:
1) Bosch-Hands down on of the best and most accurate procedural shows ever made, this one is based on Michael Connelly’s bestselling books about LAPD Detective Heironymous Bosch, with Connelly helping write and produce. Shot on location in L.A., it is gritty, realistic, and utterly compelling with great plotting and characters, despite deviations from the also excellent books. One of the best police shows ever made. Currently airing on Amazon Prime with 5 seasons released and 2 more to come.
2) Lincoln Rhyme: The Hunt For The Bone Collector-Based on Jeffrey Deaver’s bestselling books about the quadraplegic genius detective Lincoln Rhyme and his female partner who works the streets, this one is even better than the prior movie adaptation with Denzel Washington in the title role. Russell Hornsby, whose sidekick role on Grimm left him underappreciated, rocks the lead role here and the supporting cast are stellar as well. Utterly compelling and fascinating with a good inside look at the forensics and how all the little pieces come together to make a case.
3) Shetland-is based on novels by Ann Cleeves, an award winning British crime writer, set and shot on the Shetland Islands which the lead actor also calls home. Shetland has 5 seasons out now on Netflix and two more in production so far and followed Deputy Inspector Jimmy Perez and his team as they investigate crime within the close knit island community. Being an isolated and inhospitable environment, the team are forced to rely on unique resources and skills in policing and the result is utterly compelling noir television at its finest.
4) Luther-Starring Idris Elba and set primarily in London, Luther has 5 seasons so far with a 6th in discussion. The noir detective story follows John Luther, a flawed hero and detective who is a genius at policing. His cases often involve serial killers whose minds he has a knack for getting inside of. His methods, personality, and troubled private life often cause him trouble both on and off the job thus leading many to question whether he’s worth the cost. Compelling and well made noir. Another look at British law enforcement.
5) Stumptown-This one is still growing on me as its first season nears its end but I keep tuning in, episode after episode, because the actors give riveting performances despite their very flawed, sometimes unlikeable characters. Based on Greg Rucka’s graphic novels with Rucka involved in the show, the series followed female P.I. Dex Parios, a Marine Gulf War veteran whose life is a bit of a mess despite her skills at investigation. Her relationship with the owner of the Bar that serves as her makeshift office and her Downs Syndrome brother who works there is the heart of the show and the cases are interesting and sometimes involves ties to the nearby Indian Reservation. Set in Portland, Oregon.
Those are my top 5 at the moment, what are yours? Feel free to tell us about them in comments. I’d love to discover some new ones.
To read the series I write inspired by these shows in part,click here.