Among all the genres that we get to watch on television, crime has surely been one whose appeal has never diminished. Since the early days of television, crime shows have always been among the most popular series. Since they first stepped onto the scene, Netflix has also tried to explore this territory by coming out with crime stories in several formats. Some of them have been true crime documentaries; some have been dramatized accounts of some of the most notorious criminals in history. Examples include ‘Narcos,’ a crime mockumentary like ‘American Vandal,’ and now ‘Unbelievable,’ a miniseries based on true events.
While most crime shows deal with murder or smuggling, ‘Unbelievable’ tackles a rather sensitive crime that has horrifying effects on the victim – rape. The story centers around a girl called Marie who was raped by a man in a mask who tied her up using her own shoelaces and even took compromising pictures of her. He threatened Marie that he’d post her pictures online if she revealed this incident to anyone. When Marie does seek out her teachers, the police, and her friends and tells them about this horrific incident, they don’t believe her, and her story is never looked into. However, when other crimes using the same modus operandi keep happening, two policemen try and re-investigate Marie’s report.
The series offers a careful look inside the police investigations and how preconceived notions about rape victims do not allow them to get justice at times. If you loved this series and are looking for more similar shows, then we’ve got you covered. Here’s the list of best shows similar to ‘Unbelievable’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these series like ‘Unbelievable’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. Seven Seconds (2018)
A Netflix original series based on the Russian film ‘The Major,’ ‘Seven Seconds‘ is a crime story that takes into consideration the social and political impacts one case of manslaughter might lead to. The story starts with the case of Peter Jablonski, a police officer who ends up critically injuring a black teenager called Brenton Butler. After the incident, Jablonski calls some of his friends, and together they come to the conclusion that Butler has passed away and then proceed to cover up the incident. But Butler was actually left to die all by himself, covered in his own blood. The story then follows the kid’s parents as they battle the system to earn justice for their son. The series has a gritty, dark, and realistic tone that makes for a gripping experience.
6. Collateral (2018)
Created by David Hare, ‘Collateral‘ is a compelling police procedural series. The story follows the murder of a pizza delivery boy and the subsequent investigation by detective inspector Kip Glaspie (Carey Mulligan). While everyone around her was eager to label the crime as a random incident, Kip vows to get justice for the victim. Her investigation slowly opens up the doors to a rather complex web of characters who are linked to the murder in one way or another. While the story is well built-up and has a lot of political undertones, the makers leave the plot with a lot of questions unanswered and a lot of doubts about the way the conclusion is reached. Taking everything into consideration, “half-baked” is the best way to describe this series.
5. Marcella (2016-)
A number of disturbing murders serve as the premise of this ITV original series written, directed, and produced by Swedish screenwriter Hans Rosenfeldt. The eponymous central character is a police detective who sets out to investigate the murder of a little child whose body is discovered inside a wall. The gruesome crime takes Marcella deep down a rabbit hole where she comes across a number of sinister characters and situations while she herself is suffering from random episodic blackouts.
The second season continues Marcella’s story but introduces crimes involving a pedophile, a rockstar, and witchcraft. What the series does in all these cases is quite unique. The setting is London, which is supposed to be one of the premier cities in the world, but here the characters are as brutal and remorseless as the worst criminals in the world. Though a city is posh and well-to-do on the outside, it always has a sinister underbelly that is full of crime and despair. This modern dichotomy in urban surroundings is deftly captured in this series.
4. Wormwood (2017)
While the police tried to silence Marie after the rape, as we see in ‘Unbelievable,’ the story of ‘Wormwood‘ is that of an even more sinister cover-up. It is believed that the CIA was behind the cover-up of the death of their own employee and biological warfare scientist Frank Olson. Told from the perspective of his son Erik, ‘Wormwood’ narrates the story of how Olson was drugged by his own boss, who was experimenting on him according to the guidelines of the infamous Project MKUltra. Erik has been trying for more than six decades to find out the truth behind the murder of his father but has been unsuccessful. But if the CIA is really behind his father’s death, it is unlikely that he will ever receive any form of justice. The series is very systematically constructed, using both interviews and reenactments of several situations which shaped the case. ‘Wormwood’ goes on to show how sometimes the ones who protect us end up becoming our attackers.
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3. Broadchurch (2013-2017)
One of the finest Nordic noir shows on television in recent times, ‘Broadchurch‘ centers on the eponymous town where the murder of an 11-year-old child sends shockwaves across the townsfolk. David Tennant and Olivia Colman play the roles of two detectives who have been assigned this case. The interesting aspect of the series is that it not only covers the crime and its investigation but also looks at its aftereffects in the otherwise quaint town of Broadchurch, which has now been gripped by a sense of fear and anxiety. Moreover, an influx of reporters from all over the country proves to be another bane for the locals. The next case that the two detectives deal with is that of the rape of a woman, which happens at a birthday party in Broadchurch. Using elements of Nordic noir, this series explores the impact that crimes can have on society as a whole, with the small town of Broadchurch serving as an allegorical device.
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2. Mindhunter (2017-)
‘Mindhunter‘ is a series that focuses on the concept of serial killers and depicts how the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit started profiling such multiple murderers based on their personality types. The series is based on the book ‘Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit’ written by FBI officers John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. The central characters of this series are Special Agents Ford and Holden and psychologist Wendy Carr, who together try and get to the bottom of the psychological motives and modus operandi of such murderers. All the serial killers that they interview are portrayals of real-life murderers like Son of Sam, Charles Manson, Ed Kemper, and others. ‘Mindhunter’ diligently clarifies the history behind the classification of certain murderers as serial killers and how their crimes have impacted society and popular culture at large.
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1. American Crime Story (2016-)
One of the greatest dramatized true crime shows of all time, ‘American Crime Story‘ looks into some of the most notorious crime or murder incidents in American history. The first season focuses on the infamous O.J. Simpson trial, where the former footballer was accused of murdering his wife and another man. The second season follows the murder of Gianni Versace and the eventual manhunt, which did not yield any result. The series brilliantly explores these historic cases without any bias, helping the viewers make up their minds along the way.
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