Crime drama is a genre enjoyed by all, and when the story is penned by one of the best crime writers of all time, Stephen King, the excitement surrounding the show increases tenfold. ‘Mr. Mercedes’ is one such show. It follows Bill Hodges, a retired police detective, who tries to solve a gruesome case. The perpetrator of the case is known as Mr. Mercedes as he went over 16 people standing in a queue in his Mercedes car. Mr. Mercedes is actually a guy called Brady Hartsfield. He is very intelligent but is also a psychopath. He knows that Hodges is still after him, and thus, is now hell-bent on steering Hodges away from the case. The series met with a positive critical response, with critics praising the show for its great dialogue, amazing cast and gripping storyline. Here’s the list of best shows similar to ‘Mr. Mercedes’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these series like ‘Mr. Mercedes’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
9. Unforgettable (2011-2014)
This show centers around a character called Carrie Wells. She is a former police detective and also suffers from a special condition called hyperthymesia. This condition gives one a memory to vividly recall anything that has happened in the past. Lieutenant Al Burns is another important character in the show. He previously dated Wells, and the two were also partners on the job. Though Wells can remember almost everything that has happened in her life, she cannot remember details of the day her sister passed away. The first season opens with this monologue by Wells from which we get a glimpse of her condition: “I’m Carrie Wells. Only a few people in the world have the ability to remember everything. I’m one of them. Pick any day of my life, and I can tell you what I saw or heard: faces, conversations, clues (which comes in handy when you’re a cop). If I miss something the first time, it’s okay. I can go back and look again. My life is…..unforgettable.”
8. Killing (2011-2014)
‘The Killing’ is adapted from a Danish show called ‘Forbrydelsen’. The first season of the series focuses on the murder of a teenage girl called Rosie Larsen. The murder case gets intermingled with a possible political conspiracy while we watch the family of the deceased come to terms with their loss. The murder is not solved in the first season and drags on to season 2 where hidden secrets of the girl’s family come to light. From the third season onwards, the show focuses on other cases. The leading character in the show is called Detective Stephen Holder. The first two seasons of the show received rave reviews from critics.
7. Broadchurch (2013-2017)
A gripping, atmospheric crime drama, ‘Broadchurch‘ is a three-part series which was broadcast on ITV. The story of the show is set in a quiet English town called Broadchurch and revolves around the murder of an 11-year-old child called Danny Latimer. Detectives DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) are the officers in charge of the case. The story focuses on the investigation and Danny’s family trying to cope up with their loss. The second season also continues the story of the investigation into Danny’s murder and also focuses on an earlier case which Alec Hardy was involved in. The third season delves deep into the rape of a local woman. All three seasons of the show met with critical acclaim. The story, performances by the cast members and the writing were praised by critics.
6. Marcella (2016-)
A perfect example of a Nordic noir, ‘Marcella’ is a gripping story about a female police detective and her personal struggles which take a toll on her work as she investigates some very serious crimes. The lead character is called Marcella Backlund, and when we meet her for the first time, we learn that she is rejoining her old job as a detective of the London Metropolitan Police Service. The decision is taken after Marcella’s husband tells her he is moving out and ending their relationship. On returning to her job, Marcella begins working on a case of serial killing where three victims were murdered in and around Green Park. However, while investigating, we see that she is suffering from episodic blackouts. Marcella begins suspecting that she herself is involved in one of the cases she is investigating.
5. The Staircase (2004, 2018)
‘The Staircase’ is a miniseries which focuses on the murder charges and subsequent trial against American novelist Michael Peterson. He was accused of murdering his wife despite Peterson himself reporting the death in the first place. Peterson’s case was first made into the series in 2004 by French filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade. Later, Netflix added three new episodes to the series and released it again in 2018. In the series, we see how Peterson is charged with his wife’s murder when the police find her head bashed in. They suspect Peterson had used a blow poke to carry out the murder. However, Peterson’s daughters refuse to believe that their father could do anything like this and they support him throughout the case. The series met with critical acclaim and even won a Peabody Award.
4. Happy Valley (2014-)
‘Happy Valley’, a British crime drama series, is one of the most intriguing and shocking crime shows in recent times. The lead character of the series is a woman called Catherine Cawood. She is a police sergeant who has recently lost her daughter, who committed suicide after being raped. However, her daughter did give birth to a child, named Ryan, and he is being raised by Catherine. Because she decided to keep the child, her relationship with her husband and son has ended and now Catherine lives with her heroin-addicted sister.
When Catherine comes to know that her daughter’s rapist is being released from prison, she finds out that he was incarcerated because of a drug charge, and now she wants him to go to jail once again for her daughter’s rape and begins collecting evidence for the same. However, she sees that the rapist, Tommy Lee Royce, is involved in another murder case and she uses the new case to try and bring him down once and for all. In the second season, Ryan grows up and becomes an important part of the cast. He even questions whether Royce still deserves to be in prison or not.
3. Sherlock (2010-2017)
Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have done the finest job possible in bringing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s greatest creation, Sherlock Holmes to the 21st century world of internet and smartphones. The show released four seasons till date. The stories are almost the same but changed in ways which makes them suitable in a new context. In the series, Sherlock solves the most ingenious crimes in the smartest ways possible. But there is one person who keeps testing Sherlock to the limit — his ultimate archnemesis, James Moriarty. When we see Moriarty for the first time, we don’t really feel that he is the main antagonist of the show. Andrew Scott brings in a new life to the character and has provided a fine performance among all cast members of the show. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman play the characters of Holmes and Watson respectively. The first three seasons are truly amazing, but the fourth season seems a bit self-indulgent.
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2. Fargo (2014-)
‘Fargo‘ is one of the best crime dramas in the history of television. The show is thematically similar to the 1996 Coen Brothers‘ film of the same name starring Frances McDormand. The show has released three seasons till date, each with a different story. The first season introduces us to the characters of Lorne Malvo and Lester Nygaard, both of whose fates are connected when they meet for the first time in the waiting room of a hospital. What follows is an epic story of murder and deception. The second season is a period piece set in the 1970s. It involves a beautician and her butcher husband’s crime which brings them in contact with one of the most ruthless criminal organizations in America then — the Gerhardt crime family. The third season is a story of a probation officer’s attempt to steal a valuable stamp from his brother, and him getting mixed up with a powerful organization led by the ruthless V.M. Varga.
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1. True Detective (2014-)
‘True Detective’ is a show for the ages. It is an anthology series where each season deals with a separate story and an entirely new cast. Three seasons of the show have been released till date. In the first season, two detectives of the Louisiana State Police take 17 years to piece together clues and bring a serial killer to justice. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson play the two leading characters in the first season. The second season portrays the story of three police officers investigating the murder of a politician. The third season follows two detectives who investigate a bizarre crime involving a couple of children. The first season remains the most critically acclaimed and the highest-watched season. The second season met with a lukewarm response from critics and audience, but the third season managed to garner positive reviews.
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