Since its inception, murder mysteries have been a very popular genre. Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle have made full use of the genre’s popularity. Although it might seem that all murder mystery tricks are over, it is still a captivating and highly popular genre.
It’s hard to know what makes it so beloved. It could be the compelling and pulpy story that lies at its core. Maybe it’s the joy of solving a mystery (or trying to solve a crime) with the protagonist. The fascination with murder mysteries has been long-standing. Let’s take a look at the top Popular TV Series that fall under this genre.
Updated October 26, 2021, by Danielle Bruncati It’s safe to assume that the 2020s will bring back the murder mystery genre in exciting new ways. There is something for everyone, from murder mystery comedies with great actors to teens murder mysteries filled with drama – there’s plenty to see.
The Only Murders in the Building (2021-) – Available on Hulu
The Only Murders in the Building is Hulu’s latest original series. It has been renewed for season 2. The show’s central theme of murder is intriguing and captivating, but the true heart of the show is in the characters and their relationships.
The series follows three true-crime podcast lovers who live in the same building. The 3 strangers work together to solve the murder of one of their residents while simultaneously broadcasting their true-crime podcast. The first season is both dramatic and funny, with Steve Martin’s famous physical comedy.
True Detective (2014-2019) – Available On HBOMax
True Detective is well worth the effort, but the first season of this series is especially impressive. It was highly praised for almost all aspects of production, including acting (led by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson), and production design and writing.
It is a story about two detectives trying to solve the bizarre and grisly murder of a prostitute. The story is fantastic, but it mostly relies on murder mystery trappings to explore characters’ minds and discuss richly philosophical themes.
Mai of Easttown (2021). – Available on HBOMax
Because there are only so many twists one can think of to keep a story moving, murder mysteries are not an easy genre for TV. But murder mysteries are great for TV miniseries, which is why HBO’s Mai of Easttown is such a hit.
The drama revolved around a suburban detective who starts investigating the murder of a teenage mother. Despite her failure to solve the mystery of another missing local teenage girl, the town is suspicious of her abilities.
Sharp Objects (2018) – Available on Hulu
Despite competing streaming services popping up, HBO is still the best TV channel. After the success of True Detective‘s first season, HBO released Sharp objects. This is an excellent murder mystery.
Based on Gillian Flynn’s novel, SharpObjects stars Amy Adams playing Camille Preaker. She is a mentally unstable reporter returning to her small town to investigate the murders of two girls. This was easily one of the most memorable shows of 2018, with commanding performances by Adams and Patricia Clarkson.
Deep (2017-2020). – Available on Netflix
Deep is a huge German drama and one of Netflix’s most exclusives. The story starts with the disappearance of a child and quickly expands to include four families and elements of time travel.
This show is best enjoyed by a committed viewer who is willing and able to engage with the story. It may seem dense and difficult to follow but viewers will be rewarded for their involvement.
One of Us is Lying (2021-) – Available on Peacock
One of Us Is Lying is the latest young adult novel to receive its TV series. This series is entertaining and could help revive the murder mystery genre among teens.
The series opens with five high school students, from different cliques, being held in detention according to The Breakfast Club. Things take a twist when one of the five students is mysteriously killed by peanut oil. Although everyone believes that one of the four survivors is responsible for the murder, the teens realize this is not true and work together to solve it.
Big Little Lies (2017-2019) – Available On HBOMax
Another HBO hit, Big Little Lies was another success story. It was one of the most-watched and loved shows of 2017. Based on Liane’s novel, Big Little Lies opens with a murder at a high-ranking public school. The victim and the killer are not revealed, unlike other murder mysteries.
The story flashes back to reveal the drama-filled and troubled lives of several upper-class families with children in the first grades. It’s an amazing show that showcases the very best of movie star acting.
The Undoing (2020), Available on HBOMax
The Undoing is the most-watched HBO series of 2020. It stars Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman as Grace and Jonathan Fraser. Grace, a New York psychologist, befriends the mysterious and strange Elena.
Elena is found later dead in her apartment. Her husband is the prime suspect. There’s more to the story, so it’s worth taking the time to watch. It was undoubtedly one of the most memorable shows of 2020. The acting was again excellent.
Behind Her Eyes (2021), – Available on Netflix
Behind her Eyes will air on Netflix in 2021. It is a supernatural-based psychological thriller that was inspired by Sarah Pinborough’s novel.
Behind Her Eyes was written primarily by Steve Lightfoot, of Hannibal & The Punisher fame. It is a brilliantly written drama filled with unexpected twists and surprises. It’s one the most unexpected dramas of recent times, with a stellar Eve Hewson playing Adele Ferguson.
I Am The Night (2019). – Available on Hulu
TNT aired just six episodes of I Am the Night with Chris Pine. These six episodes are exceptional and make I Am the Night one of the best crime dramas of 2019. As Fauna Hodel, a young woman discovers the truth about her biological father and mother, the story continues.
George Hodel is her grandfather and a well-known physician. He is also a suspect in the Black Dahlia crime. It’s a fantastic pulp drama that is reminiscent of noir movies and novels from the ’40s.
Broadchurch (2013)-2017 – Available on Netflix
Broadchurch, a murder mystery set in a fictional English town, was entirely written by Chris Chibnall. The story centers on two police officers, Alec Hardy (and Ellie Miller), and the mysterious death and disappearance of a young boy called Danny.
The Peabody Award was won for the first season. It also received widespread praise for Olivia Colman and David Tennant’s performances.
How to Get Away with Murder (2014-2020). – Available on Netflix
How to Get Away With Murder will be remembered in TV history as the most beloved program of 2010. Shonda Rhimes produced How to Get Away With Murder. Viola Davis plays Annalise Keating (a law professor) who is involved in a mystery murder case along with her college students.
Davis was praised for her outstanding performance and won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Performer in Drama Series.
Collateral (2018) – Available On Netflix
Collateral, not to be confused with the Tom Cruise/Jamie Foxx drama of the same name is a BBC drama that stars Carey Mulligan playing Kip Glaspie, a detective inspector. Glaspie is assigned by the BBC to investigate the murder of a London pizza delivery man.
The victim is killed and the man is wounded while delivering pizzas to his ex-wife, Shadow Minister for Transport. This leads to a lot of media attention and investigation. This is a great little murder mystery, which is well-shot and well-led by Billie Piper and Mulligan (playing the ex-wife).