Life After True Detective: What to Watch Next

by | March 10, 2014 | Comments

Ending a favorite TV show, even for a few months, can leave you feeling more lost than Robert Redford on a torn-up Cal 39 in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and with True Detective wrapped up until further notice, you may need counseling for Seasonal Finale Disorder before you can face Mondays again. Even if you never find another Southern Gothic, slow-burn, anti-buddy detective story that strikes every creepy chord of True Detective, you might enjoy one of these:

Top of the Lake

What it is: Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men) plays Detective Robin Griffin searching for a 12-year-old pregnant girl in Sundance Channel’s miniseries directed by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee.

Commitment: The complete series is seven 50-minute installments. (Learn more in our Top of the Lake Weekly Binge).

Why you might like it: Atmospheric and disturbing, the mystery unravels in a remote enclave of Southern New Zealand where misfits are the norm. Compelling digressions build strong characters.

The Wicker Man


What it is: No, not the one with Nic Cage punching a bunch of ladies in the face. The 1974 version by British director Robin Hardy holds up as cult horror film and compelling mystery.

Commitment: A short but intense ride, the original Wicker Man movie runs just 88 minutes.

Why you might like it: Creepy factor is a 10 on account of religious themes and folksy terror (and animal masks). The mystery will keep you guessing until the end — and stay with you for a long time.

The Bridge

What it is: On the bridge connecting El Paso and Juarez, the discovery of a corpse — which turns out to be the halves of two different women — forces a duo of detectives from opposite sides of the U.S.-Mexico border to work together.

Commitment: Season one delivers the entire story arc of this particular crime in 13 episodes. Season two is coming to FX this summer.

Why you might like it: The unlikely partnership between a Texan straight-laced female police officer with Asperger’s and a not-so-by-the-book Mexican male detective takes this manhunt figuratively and literally all over the map.


What it is: Kenneth Brannagh is Kurt Wallander, a rumpled, middle-aged, self-loathing detective whose most challenging mystery is his own existential crisis. PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery! miniseries is based on popular Swedish crime novels by Henning Mankell.

Commitment: So far, Wallander is three seasons, with a total of nine 90-minute stand-alone mysteries.

Why you might like it: Brannagh’s world-class acting animates an intriguing character, while the dark mysteries satisfy the pickiest at-home sleuths. Cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire) interprets the Swedish countryside with gloomy beauty, even in broad daylight.

The Silence


What it is: Baran bo Odar’s German crime film is an intense, psychological whodunit which connects two murders over the span of 23 years.

Commitment: The Silence takes two hours to accomplish what other storytellers need an entire season of television to do.

Why you might like it: Similar to True Detective, the heinous crimes in The Silence occur decades apart, weaving a narrative about the investigators, victims and killers from past to present.

Angel Heart


What it is: A crime noir starring Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro and Lisa Bonet, the movie Angel Heart follows a sleazy private investigator’s unpredictable journey from Harlem to the heart of the bayou.

Commitment: Experience the descent into hell in just under two hours.

Why you might like it: Angel Heart showcases strong acting against the steamy, occult-ridden backdrop of New Orleans in the 1950s. Also, Matthew McConaughey picked it as one of his Five Favorite Films.


What it is: After the mysterious death of an 11-year-old boy in a British coastal village, Detectives Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller probe the lives of multiple suspects.

Commitment: BBC America aired the eight episodes of season one in 2013 and season two is on its way.

Why you might like it: Impeccably paced, Broadchurch sustains a multidimensional character study with masterful acting and an ominous, vivid sense of place. In a small town where everyone is a suspect, paranoia and grief are treated with equal weight.


What it is: Hannibal Lecter is a brilliant psychiatrist consulting for FBI agent Will Graham in NBC’s prequel to Silence of the Lambs.

Commitment: Season one is 13 42-minute episodes; NBC is currently airing new episodes of season two, which is Certified Fresh by critics.

Why you might like it: Hannibal takes a more cerebral (and totally gross-out) approach to the serial killer genre than other prime-time procedurals, using multiple episodes to unfold each mystery, along with Lecter and Graham’s especially dark connection.

Sin Nombre


What it is: A thrilling Spanish-language film depicts a teen’s attempt to quit a notorious Mexican street gang.

Commitment: Sin Nombre is 96 fierce minutes.

Why you might like it: In his directorial debut, True Detective director Cary Joji Fukunaga delivers an immersive character study within the richly detailed world of Mexican gang violence.



What it is: David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en) renders the perplexing true-life mystery of San Francisco’s Zodiac Killer with suspense, style and an all-star cast.

Commitment: At 157 minutes, Zodiac is the perfect rainy-day movie.

Why you might like it: Fincher’s ability to build tension over long sequences of moody photography will have your hairs standing on end and — even though Zodiac is a long one — when it’s over, you’ll wish there were more.

Tag Cloud

See It Skip It 007 E3 spinoff TCA Winter 2020 PBS ABC Family Musical thriller Comics on TV YA Character Guide Lifetime Christmas movies science fiction CBS RT21 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt historical drama MTV Rocky Netflix politics miniseries First Look TV Rock medical drama El Rey Disney The Purge Fantasy Set visit A24 TNT DGA true crime 20th Century Fox FXX cancelled television singing competition Trivia Netflix Christmas movies NYCC Best and Worst Rom-Com Sci-Fi VICE History toy story cults vampires game show ghosts richard e. Grant Turner LGBT Winners Apple TV+ Avengers BET unscripted 45 CMT TCA 2017 boxoffice DC streaming service HBO Max Warner Bros. Elton John Winter TV BBC America documentary witnail Western game of thrones Paramount OneApp award winner Cosplay halloween mutant werewolf Universal Britbox Drama robots adaptation facebook CNN what to watch Pixar sag awards sitcom Acorn TV Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Christmas south america political drama Nominations Women's History Month Marvel Anna Paquin Star Wars Discovery Channel talk show ITV kids dc spider-man TCA justice league Dark Horse Comics crime Holidays MSNBC composers cats Election Spike Teen Black Mirror Ellie Kemper dceu 2016 X-Men spy thriller technology San Diego Comic-Con Trailer crossover zero dark thirty casting Fox News Endgame Crackle screen actors guild Trophy Talk Hallmark Christmas movies romance Pet Sematary batman zombie Premiere Dates harry potter USA Network Classic Film space Freeform travel Adult Swim Chernobyl Film Photos Amazon IFC Watching Series doctor who FOX DirecTV WGN diversity animated stand-up comedy 21st Century Fox Lifetime psycho Marvel Television disaster Arrowverse hist streaming 2017 PaleyFest Brie Larson American Society of Cinematographers 24 frames series Marathons Sundance Now sequel Oscars cars CW Seed crime thriller Marvel Studios crime drama New York Comic Con Bravo Emmy Nominations SXSW romantic comedy renewed TV shows cartoon Sundance Valentine's Day Vudu latino Schedule dragons cops period drama green book Toys WarnerMedia Grammys 71st Emmy Awards natural history zombies Musicals spanish language GIFs Tubi Sundance TV Nat Geo Podcast Pirates slashers TBS supernatural binge Mindy Kaling BBC reboot book Animation joker quibi 2015 Shondaland cancelled TV shows ESPN Family Starz APB Apple canceled festivals Holiday Comic Book serial killer cancelled Extras police drama CBS All Access indie The CW docudrama Disney+ Disney Plus children's TV TV Land HBO golden globes Nickelodeon breaking bad Countdown YouTube Premium USA Binge Guide SDCC Ovation Amazon Prime Video Walt Disney Pictures Hallmark free movies Summer Video Games Awards Comedy Central SundanceTV sports Cartoon Network Ghostbusters The Walking Dead Peacock comics social media teaser Spring TV video Turner Classic Movies comic Opinion Crunchyroll movies Awards Tour directors Sneak Peek nature Infographic Reality Mary poppins VH1 rotten movies we love First Reviews christmas movies Song of Ice and Fire dramedy OWN Horror TIFF Showtime GoT Superheroes Red Carpet Tumblr Kids & Family canceled TV shows Interview Creative Arts Emmys revenge Tarantino spain Spectrum Originals anthology DC Universe screenings comiccon Cannes Emmys Apple TV Plus cooking A&E Reality Competition Super Bowl The Arrangement National Geographic FX Masterpiece President Lionsgate Food Network Esquire Columbia Pictures war Mary Tyler Moore Pop Music 2019 2020 Disney Plus ratings YouTube Writers Guild of America Heroines Disney Channel Biopics Captain marvel finale Amazon Prime TLC Action TruTV TV renewals Television Academy foreign strong female leads Fall TV Calendar cancelled TV series The Witch anime hispanic Comedy Sony Pictures cinemax Hulu Academy Awards AMC Pride Month Epix discovery TCM DC Comics Film Festival YouTube Red blockbuster mockumentary Mudbound IFC Films biography Rocketman based on movie Baby Yoda NBC aliens Stephen King elevated horror name the review jamie lee curtis Box Office Mystery Superheroe Country Year in Review Star Trek MCU Polls and Games Certified Fresh Mary Poppins Returns Disney streaming service Martial Arts Thanksgiving Syfy transformers ABC 2018 Quiz versus RT History LGBTQ GLAAD Shudder Tomatazos Paramount Network Logo television independent adventure E! psychological thriller tv talk Lucasfilm blaxploitation theme song