Film & TV
In the era of instant streaming and Netflix binges, it’s easy to overlook shows that are airing right now. Yet there are plenty of thrilling programs and open-case mysteries that you need to see. So, we’re highlighting some of the best mystery shows currently on television.
Fear not: You can still binge earlier seasons of most of these shows. And we’ll tell you where to find the first seasons as well as the current episodes.
This clerical mystery features a gruff detective inspector and an Anglican vicar who join forces to solve crimes. The show, set in the 1950s English countryside, is based on The Grantchester Mysteries by James Runcie and stars James Norton as vicar Sidney Chambers. It aired in the UK on ITV in 2014, and aired in the United States on PBS' Masterpiece Mystery in 2015. The series has not yet been confirmed for its fourth season, but a strong fanbase makes its return likely. If Grantchester isn't gritty enough for you, you can always try Norton’s new international crime drama, McMafia, which premiered in the UK on BBC One this month. AMC will air the series later this year. All three seasons of Grantchester are free to stream with Amazon Prime.
Related: What Is a Clerical Mystery?
Look, NBC's Blindspot isn’t going to compete with the perfect plotting of Sherlock or the powerful performances of a show like The Fall. But it is surprisingly good fun, and the high-octane episodes will certainly satisfy those who like their crime shows a bit more glittery and gritty. All three seasons are available on Hulu with your subscription or on Amazon for rental. The show returns on NBC on January 12.
Enjoy an otherworldly twist to your mystery? Lucky for you, The X-Files is back for its 11th season on Fox. It looks like this will be the final season, as Gillian Anderson has said she won’t be coming back–and creator Chris Carter says there’s no show without Scully. Both the show's original run and its current season are currently available to stream on Hulu.
Based on the Vera Stanhope novels by Ann Cleves, Vera is currently airing its eighth season in the UK on ITV. The show itself can get a bit bland at times, but Brenda Blethyn, playing Vera, will keep any mystery fan watching. Her performance is a true powerhouse, and bleak Northern England has never looked, well, bleaker. You can watch Vera on Hulu or with an Acorn TV subscription on Amazon.
The second season of True Detective may not be as well-loved as the first, but we’re very excited for the third, which will star Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff and (hopefully) return the series to its twisted Southern Gothic roots. All we know so far? The new season takes place in Arkansas and concerns a crime that happened three decades ago.
Big Little Lies
No one expected Big Little Lies to blow up quite like it did last summer, despite its star-studded cast and incredibly popular source material. HBO quickly realized what a treasure they had and commissioned a second season. We’re all in the dark about what the next season will be–after all, the narrative was complete–but we’ll keep watching Reese, Nicole, and Zoë wherever they lead us. Catch up on the first season on HBO or Amazon.
American Crime Story
The People v. O.J. Simpson blew audiences out of the water in 2016. The second season of American Crime Story is about to do the same. The Assassination of Gianni Versace begins next week, on January 17, and critics are already raving about Ryan Murphy’s newest creation and Darren Criss’s performances. This season features a much more open-and-shut case than O.J. Simpson’s. The ride will likely be discovering exactly what the motives behind Versace’s killing were. The first season of American Crime Story is currently available on Netflix. The upcoming season will be available on FX's website.
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
This series, while currently cancelled from the small screen, still appears on our list for a reason you'll soon see. It’s not often we venture Down Under for our mystery shows. Yet Miss Fisher reminds us that there is a world outside of rain-soaked British thrillers or grim Nordic dramas. Miss Phryne Fisher is a private detective in 1920s Melbourne, with a sense of flair to match her crime-solving abilities. After the third series concluded, it briefly looked like the show was over. Thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, however, the world of Miss Fisher will live on—in the form of a feature-length film and possible film trilogy. Production is currently underway for the first movie, with an anticipated release date of early 2019. The first three seasons of the series are available on Netflix.
Much like Miss Fisher, Luther once looked doomed to end despite its intense fan base. The last episodes aired in 2015, and creator Neil Cross seemed uncertain about the show’s future. But last summer, the fifth season of Luther finally got the green light. If you somehow still have not seen Luther, now’s the perfect time to catch up on the four available seasons before the fifth, and likely final, series airs on the BBC—hopefully, by late 2018. Catch up on the first four series on Netflix or Amazon.
Related: British Crime Dramas to Die For
How to Get Away With Murder
Like your mystery with more than a hint of drama? Shonda Rhimes is here for you. Everything about this show, from Viola Davis’s astonishing performance to the rapidly advancing plot, will suck you in. Currently in its fourth season on ABC, How to Get Away with Murder shows no signs of slowing down. You can watch the first seasons of HTGAWM on Netflix and current episodes on Hulu.
Featured still from "American Crime Story" via Ryan Murphy Productions