Skip to content

10 Gripping Crime Dramas to Keep You Up at Night

This week: 10 crime dramas so compelling that you will keep watching…and watching…and watching…until you’re staying up at night and seeing them even in your dreams.

Bad Guys (나쁜 녀석들)

1 season

11 episodes

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s rare that you find a drama that gets you right from episode 1—usually it takes a couple, three episodes for things to really get going, especially with crime dramas.  Not with this one: Bad Guys gets you right from the start with intriguing characters and then builds on it with plot, and keeps on going right until the end, where your left wanting more.  Fortunately, there’s a sequel.

Bad Guys, Vile City (나쁜 녀석들: 악의 도시)

1 season

16 episodes

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Unfortunately, the sequel, Bad Guys, Vile City takes A LOT longer to get going.  The characters from Bad Guys only get very, very brief cameos. I didn’t really get invested in the characters and the plot until about halfway through the series, but once I did it was worth it, which is why I gave this a 4-star rating overall (also out of loyalty to the original Bad Guys).

The Blacklist

5 seasons

111 episodes

⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is the show I mentioned I was watching in last week’s post.  I have since finished all of the episodes available on Netflix so far although Season 6 is going live today 9/16 about which I am VERY EXCITED due to the big reveal at the end of season 5—details withheld, as always, to avoid spoilers.  That said, this show is fantastic if you like plot twists, and the characters are very well developed. The show revolves around the internationally-wanted criminal known as Raymond Reddington, who some may find either too creepy or too pompous to endure.  However, if you can tolerate his personality, this is a great show for lovers of crime dramas.

Day & Night

1 season

32 episodes

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What happens when you work for the police but end up in a situation where you must prove that you did not commit a crime?  That is the premise of this drama featuring a compelling plot, brilliant characters, and great music. It’s also really great for the police procedural element, and has more than a few moments that those who work in first response will find relatable.  I really enjoyed it and will most likely watch it again at some point, it’s hard to find this kind of quality.

The Defected

1 season

30 episodes

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The premise of this show is a police procedural/crime drama that spotlights the corruption and power struggles in the Kowloon West Regional Police Headquarters.  If you are looking for something inspirational, move on, because the show does not shy away from the dirty details of the power struggles. That said, there are two great disabled characters in this show: Shueng Sing, who suffers from the sequelae of a traumatic brain injury, and Ching Yu Sum, a paraplegic who also fights the corruption at the Police Headquarters.

The Good Cop

1 season

10 episodes

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Feel-good” is not an adjective usually associated with crime dramas, but The Good Cop is a cop show that nevertheless meets that criteria.  TJ Caruso, the “good cop” for whom the show is named, solves murders as the head of the All-City Homicide department. His father, Anthony “Big Tony” Caruso did time in prison for being a dirty cop.  The Good Cop is based on the Israeli show of the same name; I don’t know how faithfully it follows the original, but I did enjoy it. Sadly, Netflix cancelled it after one season.

The Liar

1 season

16 episodes

⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Liar is a good, exciting crime show, though it did get a bit too fast at times.  I liked it for featuring a private detective agency where the detectives are all strong women who get shit done with their unique skills.  The characters are all fun and the plot is strong with this one.

Mindhunter

2 seasons

19 episodes

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

If true crime is your jam, then Mindhunter is a must-watch.  This show looks at how the now-common practice of criminal profiling came to be, and it is riveting stuff.  It is a “based on a true story” approach so it’s not a one-to-one historical approach to what really happened, but more of a dramatic retelling that incorporates true events, such as the Atlanta murders of 1979-81.  Season 1 focuses on the interviewing of convicted criminals to establish the guidelines of criminal profiling while season 2 focuses on the case of the Atlanta murders. Be advised that the show is, by nature, disturbing—not only is there abundant murder and gore, but there is also a handful of scenes involving graphic violence to animals, so bear it in mind if you’re easily squicked by such things.

Unriddle (最火搭档)

2 seasons

40 episodes

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Unriddle is a fantastic mystery/thriller show for lovers of plot—seriously, the plot is a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a baozi aka steamed bun, after which the character Da Bao (Big Bun) gets her nickname (she loves buns).  Speaking of characters, Unriddle also boasts a roster of interesting and lovable characters, some of whom do die, in the interest of full disclosure (Da Bao does not die, fortunately, as she is awesome).

Quiz from God (신의 퀴즈)

4 seasons

46 episodes

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Quiz from God (also known as Quiz of God or God’s Quiz) is a forensic crime solving show that uses forensic medicine to solve crimes associated with rare diseases.  The show takes its name from the saying that rare diseases are like a quiz from god to keep people humble. I love this show so much—the characters are fantastic and the medical aspects are depicted 99% realistically.  Sadly, it is no longer on Netflix and I have been unable to source it on other services in the US, which is unfortunate as I have been in a mood to rewatch it. Season 3 was my favorite because the character Det. Bae is A+.

 


Review finished: 9/18/19
Review posted: 9/19/19

Published inCrime Thrillers

One Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: