Some detective TV shows include “The Wire,” “Law and Order” and “True Detective.” From gritty street drama to rural mystery, these three series are all popular and highly influential.
HBO’s “The Wire” takes an in-depth look at the political and social structure of Baltimore, focusing on the city’s criminal underworld, public education system, print media and police force. While each season of “The Wire” hones in on a different aspect of Baltimore, viewers follow the city’s detectives in their interactions with different organizations, from lawyers and politicians to journalists and school teachers.
“Law and Order” was the definitive police procedural drama throughout the 1990s, showcasing both the detectives who investigate crimes and the attorneys who prosecute them. With an ever-changing ensemble cast and a range of shocking plot lines ripped from news headlines, “Law and Order” became one of the most popular detective shows of its time, going on to spawn spin-offs including “Criminal Intent” and “Special Victims Unit.”
Crime novelist Nick Pizzollato’s “True Detective” offers up a mix of detective work, eerie mysticism and deep personal drama. Hinging on highly stylized camera work and dark central mysteries, the anthology series pursues a different plot and setting in each season. Major star power, including Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey in the first season and Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell in the second, makes “True Detective” one of HBO’s must-watch shows.