10 Must-See Shows For Fans of True Detective to Watch

The long-awaited third season of True Detective features the same dark tone and film noir style of storytelling that made the first season such a hit with critics and audiences. There's no telling how long the wait will be for another season of the HBO show, though, so in the meantime, fans might want to find a new mystery series in which to indulge.

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Luckily, there are plenty of great options out there for people who like a little bit of darkness in their entertainment. Not only are these shows as compelling and addictive as True Detective, but they also feature stories that will keep you hooked in until the very end.


India Eisley and Chris Pine in I Am the Night

This new crime series on TNT from Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins tells the true-life tale of Fauna Hodel, a biracial girl who was given away by her mother shortly after her birth. When she decides to seek the truth about her family, Fauna finds out that her parents may be linked to the infamous Black Dahlia case that rocked the city of Los Angeles in 1947.

Chris Pine stars in the series as a disgraced journalist, working with Fauna to find out the secrets of her family history. Pine talked about what it was like working with Jenkins again, telling Variety "I can entrust Patty with what should be one of the genetic pieces of directing, which is understanding another human’s psychology."


Julia Roberts in Homecoming

Homecoming spins a twisty, thrilling story about a mysterious facility that is ostensibly helping soldiers returning from active duty with transitioning back into everyday life. However, there is more to the facility than meets the eye, and the mystery is built up both in the present and in the future.

Based on a popular podcast from Gimlet Media and starring Julia Roberts, Stephan James, and Bobby Cannavale, Homecoming draws its inspiration from paranoid political thrillers of the past. It is produced by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail. The show will return for a second season, but will not feature Julia Roberts.


This thrilling HBO miniseries based on the first season of British series Criminal Justice begins with one fateful night in the life of Nasir, a Pakistani-American college student (played by Riz Ahmed), and how it leads him to be charged with the murder of a young woman. The series then explores the case through both the courts and the police investigation.

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The Night Of smartly doesn't overplay its hand. The first episode allows the audience to see the numerous ways in which things will go wrong for Nasir later. The show is an inside out mystery, revealing all of the clues which seem to indicate Nasir's guilt, but leaving enough doubt that there are still questions that need to be answered.


Mindhunter, based on the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, is set in 1977 and tells the story of the FBI's early days of criminal profiling and psychology. The Netflix series follows the work of two FBI agents played by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany as they try to figure out how serial killers think in order to better track down future criminals.

David Fincher and Charlize Theron serve as producers on the series, with Fincher also directing four out of ten of the first season's episodes. The show dives right into exploring the mindset of serial killers and utilizes real-life cases in order to build upon its story.


Keri Russell Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich The Americans

FX's The Americans may have just concluded in May 2018, but it remains a timely piece of entertainment. It is a tense, slow-burning political thriller that may be set in the '80s but could be more relevant than ever. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star as Russian spies living in the United States during the height of the Cold War.

RELATED: The Americans Finale: Keri Russell On Knowing It Was Time To End The Series

The series gains much of its credibility from the fact that its creator, Joe Weisberg, worked for the CIA before becoming a television writer. "I wanted a job where I could be a cold warrior," Weisman told the New York Times in 2013, "where you can be a brainy, dark weirdo and do all kinds of fascinating crazy stuff."


Amy Adams Sharp Objects HBO

Sharp Objects is an HBO series based on the book of the same name by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. The series revolves around a crime reporter played by Amy Adams, who is sent back to her hometown to cover the murders of two girls. While there, she must face some of her own demons and reconcile her past.

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who also helmed the critically acclaimed HBO series Big Little LiesSharp Objects explores not only a small town mystery but also a damaged family dynamic that has resulted in years of trauma. Much like the story in Gone Girl, this series also features a deliriously twisty conclusion.


Broadchurch - Olivia Coleman and David Tennant

Originally a British TV series which was later adapted as an American miniseries titled GracepointBroadchurch tells the story of two detectives investigating the murder of a young boy in a small coastal town. David Tenant and Olivia Colman starred in the lead roles, with Tenant reprising his role for Gracepoint as well.

Broadchurch gains much of its appeal by contrasting the gruesome crime with the idyllic setting of the titular town. It also focuses on how the residents of this small town react to the growing media attention brought to their home. Tenant and Colman also turn in great performances as detectives who are struggling with the case in their own personal ways.


Jessica Biel The Sinner

The Sinner is a mystery series on the USA Network based on a book of the same name by author Petra Hammesfahr. The first season centers around a young mother (played by Jessica Biel) who fatally stabs a man at a crowded beach, and the detective (Bill Pullman) who needs to figure out why she did it.

RELATED: The Sinner Season 2 Review: Carrie Coon Helps Elevate The Series’ Game

What makes The Sinner an interesting story is that its mystery is not based in the "how" of what happened, but rather the "why." The audience already knows that Biel's character is the murderer, but the real tension comes in trying to parse out what drove her to commit such an act in the first place. A second season, co-starring Carrie Coon premiered in August 2018.


Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern in Twin Peaks

As far as mystery series go, there may not be one more historically picked apart than Twin Peaks. The series, created by Mark Frost and idiosyncratic film director David Lynch, first premiered back in 1990 on the ABC network. It was immediately recognized as being one of the strangest yet most intriguing drama series on television at the time.

Twin Peaks originally ran for two seasons. A film, entitled Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me was also produced. In 2017, the show received a third season on Showtime which continued the story from the first two seasons. Many of the cast members returned to their original roles, including Kyle MacLachlan.


If you've worked your way through True Detective and are now looking for a crime series that is maybe a little more down-to-earth and not quite as heady, then you should definitely consider a binging of all five seasons of HBO's The Wire. Throughout the show, The Wire traced the paths of Baltimore's various criminals and the cops who attempt to bring down their operation.

The series has been praised for its realistic depiction of police work, as well as its biting social commentary and expansive look at institutions within the city of Baltimore. Creator David Simon previously worked as a journalist for the Baltimore Sun, so he has plenty of experience in how the city handles its various problems.

NEXT: True Detective: 10 Facts About Season Three’s Mahershala Ali

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