5 of the Best TV Crime Dramas That Leave You Craving More
These shows prove this is the new Golden Age of television.
Instead of the Weekend Boost, this week I’m focusing just on introducing you to five exceptional television crime dramas. Streaming competition has made this the new Golden Age of Television, with so many quality shows on that it’s difficult to know what to tune in next. Even some shows with top movie stars can turn out to be meh.
That’s why I’m here. I read crime dramas, I watch crime dramas, and I write crime dramas (Veronica Mars and my Mycroft Holmes novels). I’ll be your personal guide through the labyrinth, highlighting shows that should leave you craving more.
Mayor of Kingstown (Paramount+)
The grittiest most realistic crime drama on television.
The first episode of this intense neo-noir crime drama actually had me gasp with shock during a scene. After 60 years of reading and watching crime stories, it’s not easy to surprise me. But everything about this show (from the creator of Yellowstone and 1883) is surprising and riveting, starting with the setting of Kingstown, Michigan, where the main businesses keeping the town afloat are the prisons. In the center, brokering peace among the inmates inside, the gangs outside, the guards, the police, and the families of all of them, is the McLusky family: three brothers (Kyle Chandler, Jeremy Renner), one of which is a cop (Taylor Handley), and a history professor mother (Dianne Wiest).
Keeping the peace requires negotiating with men who enjoy violence. That brings an enormous amount of tension to every scene because we are never sure what will happen. Jeremy Renner as the middle brother who just wants to leave town forever but probably never will brings two-fisted bravado to the role, but also a compassion that he knows might be his downfall. At the end of every episode, you feel like you can start breathing normally again.
Five TV shows! Does Kareem just sit in front of the television all day? No, but I do sit in front of a computer writing these blogs for your enjoyment and edification. If you’re enjoying this, then Subscribe. Share. Like. Comment.
Shining Girls (Apple TV+)
Serial killer story unlike anything you’ve seen before.
In 1979, the movie Time After Time involved H.G. Wells, the author of The Time Machine, using an actual time machine to travel to the 1970s where Jack the Ripper has escaped to murder again. That is a pretty inventive and entertaining premise. The premise for Shining Girls, based on the excellent 2013 novel by Lauen Beukes, is much, much better.
Elizabeth Moss plays Kirby, a library archivist who, following a brutal attack years earlier, experiences an ever-shifting reality in which her cat becomes a dog, her apartment changes, her mother is replaced by a boyfriend, and so forth leaving her unstuck in time and reality. She teams with a reporter in an effort to catch the serial killer who also lives in an ever-shifting time and reality.
The suspense of anticipating how Kirby’s life will change next, while waiting for the killer (Jamie Bell) to strike next, is the stuff white-knuckles are made of. The anxiety is deliciously intense. You will want to devour every episode as quickly as possible.