Best TV Shows to Watch If You're a Crime Drama Junkie
As a crime drama junkie, you already have a handle on the food pyramid of hearty, nutritiously litigious crime TV: "Criminal Minds" is your dependable grains group, the whole dysfunctional "CSI" family has your fruits covered, and "True Detective" is like a crunchy, dense helping of veggies.
OK, don't think too much about that analogy. The point is, crime show devotees such as yourself have your bases covered -- you're on that case like Veronica Mars after a double espresso. But like any good detective, you're also voracious and thorough. No need to bust out the fingerprint dust, though, 'cause we've got your back with some outside-the-box crime TV you might be missing out on.
'Fargo' (2014 - )
If you're obsessed with crime, chances are you already love the Coen brothers. And that's the start of why you should watch "Fargo," but not the end of it.
The Coens' legacy gives "Fargo" its homely, off-kilter, and dryly hilarious flavor, but the show's in-sync ensemble -- from Patrick Wilson to Kirsten Dunst -- and its smartly written, labyrinthine plots help it stand apart. It's a reflection of a unique and time-tested style that's not afraid to do its own thing. It's also not afraid to kill off characters, so consider yourself warned.
'The Bridge' (2013 - 2014)
Crime TV has a recipe, and that recipe is usually seasoned with a big ol' ensemble and a killer-of-the-week plot. Not so with "The Bridge," a show so good they had to make it twice (once in Denmark and Sweden and once in the States). This one's all about intense focus; the intricate story relies on the crazy-good hook of a dead body found exactly on the border of two countries and all the dramatic red tape and frustration that ensue. Performance-wise, it's laser-focused on Diane Kruger's knockout work as Detective Sonya Cross.
'Luther' (2010 - )
The austerity and smarts synonymous with the BBC. Luther" in a hard-boiled nutshell, and that's why you should watch it right now.
'Daredevil' (2015 - )
Don't go away -- you didn't accidentally click on a list about superhero shows. Yes, it's true that you can't throw a Batarang without hitting a comic book vigilante these days, but underneath the spandex, Marvel's "Daredevil" is a surprisingly solid procedural with beautiful cinematography, some of the best fight choreography you've seen in years, and an electric cast.
Matt Murdock might be a blind ninja prodigy, but he's also an ace lawyer with a heart of gold and a plucky crew of misfits in Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson, and among all the criminal beat-downs, you get your fill of detective work and uber-dramatic court trials. Oh, and if you root for the bad guys, Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson "the Kingpin" Fisk and Jon Bernthal's Frank "the Punisher" Castle are guaranteed to make you feel good for being bad.
'The X-Files' (1993 - )
Hear us out on this one because we're about to step even further outside the box. Like, so far outside the box that there might be some little green men and yetis and stuff.
"The X-Files" is a crime show. There, we said it. From its original nine seasons to its 2016 Fox follow-up, Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny have not only been the most dynamic -- and sexiest -- duo in the FBI, but they've set out to solve crimes every week. It just so happens that the perps sometimes turn out to be ghosts or space assassins or gender-morphing alien cults from other dimensions. That aside, you've still got your "I-don't-play-by-the-rules" agent paired with a by-the-book peer, the rugged chief with a heart of gold, the shadowy informants, the twisted conspiracies, and all the other crime TV tropes you can shake a government-issued Glock 19 at.
Give Mulder and Scully a single season of your time, and you won't just want to believe -- you will believe.