From serious dramas to lighthearted comedies, these shows tell stories of crime mystery from a unique perspective that is perfect for your movie night.
True crime has become increasingly popular in recent years, and there are a number of reasons for this. For one, true crime stories give you that thrill that is not necessarily scary, but can be. It's the perfect balance for people who adore horror movies and those who can't digest them. We may never be able to experience the excitement of solving a crime ourselves, but we can get a taste of it by watching true crime shows.
In recent years, TV shows have been mirroring the fan craze for true crime and murder mystery podcast series. There are now dozens of true crime shows on the air, and they range from the serious and docuseries-style to the campy and over-the-top. Some of the most popular true crime shows include Making a Murderer, Serial, The Jinx, Mindhunter, and The Staircase. But in 2023, there has been a breaking of the fourth wall. True Crime podcast series have inspired TV shows. Recently, people, especially Gen-Z and Millennials, became obsessed with listening to unsolved murders from decades ago, and even more recent ones that occurred as early as the 2000s. This craze inspired streaming platforms to create original true crime shows and also adapt podcast series to the small screen. From campy, lighthearted comedies to serious and complex dramas, here are the best mystery thriller TV shows you need to watch if you love true crime podcasts.
The Horrors of Dolores Roach
Watch on Amazon Prime Video
The Horror of Dolores Roach is a dark comedy series (starring Justina Machado from "One Day at a Time") about a woman who returns to her old neighborhood in Washington Heights after serving 16 years in prison for a marijuana charge. The neighborhood has been gentrified, and Dolores finds herself struggling to survive. She takes a job as a masseuse in the basement of an empanada shop, but her newfound stability is quickly threatened. When she is forced to make some difficult choices, Dolores is driven to shocking extremes to survive.
The series is based on the podcast of the same name, which was created by Aaron Mark. The podcast was inspired by Mark's own experiences living in Washington Heights, and it tells the story of Dolores Roach in a serialized format. The TV series expands on the podcast's story, and it features a larger cast of characters.
The Horror of Dolores Roach is a dark and funny series that explores themes of gentrification, trauma, and survival. It is a unique and compelling show that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Based on a True Story
Watch on Peacock TV
Based on a True Story is a dark comedy thriller about a realtor, Ava Bartlett (Kaley Cuoco), and her husband, Nathan (Chris Messina), who seize a unique opportunity to capitalize on America's obsession with true crime. When Ava realizes that their plumber, Matt Pierce (Tom Bateman), is the serial killer behind a string of unsolved murders in LA, she sees an opportunity to make a name for herself. She blackmails Matt into co-creating a podcast about his "work," but they quickly realize that collaborating with a killer won't be a cakewalk.
The show is a darkly funny exploration of the intersection of true crime, celebrity culture, and obsession. It's a show that will make you laugh, but it will also make you think.
Mare of Easttown
Watch on Max (Formerly HBO Max)
Mare of Easttown is a crime drama series created and written by Brad Ingelsby for HBO. The series stars Kate Winslet as Mare Sheehan, a detective in a small Pennsylvania town who is investigating the murder of a teenage mother. The series also stars Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart, Angourie Rice, Evan Peters, Sosie Bacon, David Denman, Neal Huff, James McArdle, Guy Pearce, Cailee Spaeny, John Douglas Thompson, and Joe Tippett.
The show is set in the fictional town of Easttown, Pennsylvania, a small, close-knit community where everyone knows everyone else. Mare Sheehan is a detective who has been on the force for over 20 years. She is a good cop, but she is also struggling with her own personal demons. Her son died by suicide a year ago, and she is now raising her grandson alone.
When a teenage girl is found murdered, Mare is tasked with investigating the case. The murder rocks the town, and Mare soon finds herself under pressure to solve the case quickly. As she investigates, Mare uncovers secrets and lies that have been buried in Easttown for years.
Don't F**k with Cats
Watch on Netflix
Don't F**k with Cats is a true-crime documentary miniseries that follows a group of internet sleuths who launched a manhunt for Luka Magnotta after he gained international notoriety in 2010 for sharing a video online of himself killing two kittens in a plastic bag, and suffocating them with a vacuum cleaner.
The series begins with a group of animal lovers who are horrified by the video and determined to find the person who made it. They track down Magnotta's online presence and begin to investigate him. As they dig deeper, they uncover more disturbing evidence of his crimes, including videos of him torturing and killing more animals.
Watch on Hulu
Cruel Summer is an American teen mystery thriller television series created by Bert V. Royal. The first season premiered on Freeform on April 20, 2021, and concluded on July 12, 2021. The second season premiered on Hulu on June 6, 2023.
The first season follows the lives of two teenage girls, Kate Wallis and Jeanette Turner, over three summers in the early 1990s. Kate is a popular cheerleader who is abducted in 1993. Jeanette is a shy outcast who becomes popular in Kate's absence. When Kate reappears in 1995, she accuses Jeanette of knowing where she was all along.
The series is told from the alternating perspectives of Kate and Jeanette, and it explores the themes of memory, manipulation, and the power of social media. The second season, which premiered this past summer, has a similar flashback plot. It stars Lexi Underwood (Little Fires Everywhere), Sadie Stanley, and Griffin Gluck (Locke & Key).
The Flight Attendant
Watch on Max (formerly HBO Max)
The Flight Attendant is an American dark comedy thriller television series developed by Steve Yockey based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Chris Bohjalian. It stars Kaley Cuoco as Cassie Bowden, a flight attendant who wakes up in her hotel room in Bangkok with a dead man in bed next to her, and no memory of what happened the night before.
The series explores Cassie's attempts to piece together the night's events and clear her name, while also dealing with her alcoholism and her complex relationships with her friends, family, and coworkers.
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