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

89%

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.

Wallander

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

88%

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

79%

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.

Broadchurch

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.

Hannibal

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

88%

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.

Zodiac

89%

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

Marvel Studios children's TV HBO Go Logo Ovation disaster Dark Horse Comics sequel YouTube Premium a nightmare on elm street 24 frames TCA Winter 2020 singing competition TCA what to watch scorecard stand-up comedy indiana jones Trailer Star Wars Sony Pictures werewolf ghosts TCA Awards DGA cults spain Disney streaming service spy thriller science fiction crossover football Musical Hear Us Out X-Men Lifetime Teen Hallmark Christmas movies christmas movies comic tv talk Tomatazos Super Bowl Netflix aliens mutant video CW Seed MSNBC natural history PBS Opinion Masterpiece comedies Winter TV Mary poppins Thanksgiving chucky Polls and Games HBO Max Emmy Nominations Crackle History 72 Emmy Awards Spring TV Walt Disney Pictures TIFF transformers Freeform Spectrum Originals Vudu cancelled TV shows ABC 2015 Pop TV TNT Classic Film elevated horror 2016 Red Carpet nbcuniversal ITV sports indie space Food Network slashers Rocky Tumblr crime drama social media blaxploitation award winner USA stop motion emmy awards toronto name the review directors Acorn TV Pop CMT superhero Pride Month Apple TV Plus Peacock Drama laika romantic comedy rotten Rocketman free movies Stephen King Tubi YA 007 discovery Avengers comics binge Emmys Holiday Pixar mission: impossible SDCC New York Comic Con thriller venice Women's History Month based on movie A&E IFC TLC BBC One Bravo CNN golden globes Mudbound historical drama Year in Review Fantasy documentary GoT Nominations supernatural Family First Look festival news strong female leads YouTube 2018 The Purge LGBTQ festivals parents Shudder APB remakes breaking bad dramedy Quiz Awards Tour Warner Bros. Best and Worst Sci-Fi batman TV Columbia Pictures Netflix Christmas movies Mary Poppins Returns LGBT psychological thriller National Geographic Television Critics Association TruTV Academy Awards E3 Film Trivia Martial Arts WarnerMedia Infographic sag awards period drama cats American Society of Cinematographers Esquire nfl Britbox technology Western Reality independent FX First Reviews Travel Channel rotten movies we love Oscars anime Paramount Black Mirror Ghostbusters WGN E! hispanic docudrama canceled universal monsters quibi San Diego Comic-Con RT21 cancelled television Hulu Endgame RT History Spike all-time dc medical drama nature Cannes biography TBS criterion Arrowverse Apple dogs PlayStation movie anthology Country Animation green book Marathons documentaries Comedy ESPN Nickelodeon Horror latino south america Comics on TV 2020 Heroines Pet Sematary renewed TV shows Epix Interview DirecTV Summer Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Christmas USA Network Music screenings Sneak Peek Photos Character Guide canceled TV shows Amazon Studios BBC true crime Amazon Prime Video best justice league BBC America facebook Turner HBO obituary Creative Arts Emmys war CBS All Access Black History Month Television Academy composers cinemax worst Starz NYCC hollywood films game of thrones Showtime BET unscripted Universal stoner screen actors guild See It Skip It critics AMC Lucasfilm satire Film Festival The Witch Disney Plus Adult Swim adaptation Reality Competition book franchise Fox News Cartoon Network Sundance Now cars ABC Family Podcast Crunchyroll Star Trek FOX The Walking Dead teaser Marvel Television series TV Land 21st Century Fox BET Awards twilight FXX Box Office Captain marvel 2019 Binge Guide political drama Video Games blockbuster Rock ratings GIFs diversity dark NBC Superheroes Baby Yoda Premiere Dates Election Valentine's Day animated Funimation Discovery Channel zombie Turner Classic Movies Brie Larson MCU worst movies harry potter kids Cosplay Amazon dragons boxoffice Elton John Schedule police drama 2017 71st Emmy Awards TCM Set visit asian-american President Pirates cops Hallmark toy story Action DC Universe child's play cancelled TV series Winners talk show sitcom DC Comics Disney Channel politics 20th Century Fox Sundance GLAAD TV renewals 4/20 cooking halloween Writers Guild of America Lifetime Christmas movies BAFTA Awards jamie lee curtis romance cancelled serial killer spider-man casting vampires classics Nat Geo Disney Musicals concert comiccon zero dark thirty Certified Fresh OneApp hist Toys Watching Series Chernobyl theme song versus joker Mystery 45 television IFC Films reboot Marvel El Rey Holidays OWN Ellie Kemper YouTube Red zombies VOD fast and furious video on demand Calendar FX on Hulu SXSW VICE revenge The CW Lionsgate foreign CBS cartoon Shondaland Mindy Kaling witnail crime Disney+ Disney Plus Grammys travel mockumentary movies A24 The Arrangement finale DC streaming service doctor who Trophy Talk psycho spanish language Song of Ice and Fire Extras SundanceTV reviews PaleyFest miniseries sequels Rom-Com robots Superheroe spinoff Comic Book Countdown scary movies dceu Paramount Network Sundance TV Anna Paquin Kids & Family TCA 2017 Syfy VH1 MTV Fall TV streaming die hard crime thriller Tarantino Apple TV+ Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Biopics Comedy Central Mary Tyler Moore game show richard e. Grant adventure Amazon Prime