Gotta love a good series. New and old, I binge watch so many that I would drown if they were made of water. Here's a bunch I love.
First Aired 13th October 2017
The newest buzz word to hit the Netflix platform, Mindhunter is not your more of the same-type crime show.
This series is set in 1977 and shows the FBI learning about criminal psychology and applying it to solve crimes. Many in the force hear about the concept and are unwilling to see the point of wanting to understand what goes on in a criminal's mind.
In Mindhunter, agents Holden and Bill become an unlikely team. Both work within the confines of the behavioural science unit trying to showcase that understanding what a criminal thinks will help in solving crimes.
Bill and Holden set out to interview serial killers in the hopes linking the common attributes of known killers to figure out why they do the things they do. Dr Wendy Carr, a psychologist helps them create a system to use the data they collect.
Like many parts of this intriguing season, the characters and narrative are based on real people. The show uses a criminal psychology from a real FBI agent, Robert Ressler, who wanted to find things in common with a criminals’ background and their motives.
A point of conflict for some about this series is that the serial killers featured for the interviews with Bill and Holden are from real imprisoned criminals and some of the narrative taken from actual interviews.
One thing I found quite creepy was the portrayal of some characters in the show like Edmund Kemper, who were cast and made-up to look eerily similar to the man himself. I have seen commentary from people talking about the show and that they find this disrespectful to the victims families.
Season 2 was renewed 6 months before season 1 aired. Season 2 sees a plot around the Atlanta child murders that occurred between 1979 and 1981. Wayne Williams was eventually convicted of killing 2 of the 28 African-American children, teens and adults killed in that period.
This series is confronting and fascinating.
I give Mindhunter 7 egg salad sandwiches out of 10.
First Aired August 2017
In days such as these, people blowing up things and shooting at people is somewhat common place. The word terrorist gets used so often now that it's not unexpected to hear it in the news more than once a week. It's a scary world sometimes.
This series first showed on The Discovery Channel. It’s a play-by-play of events of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski (played by Paul Bettany.) FBI Agent 'Fitz' (played by the illustrious Sam Worthington) is a well-known FBI pro-filer who’s a technical adviser, among other projects, for the show Criminal Minds. So if you want to see how a real behavioural analyst behaves and compare it to Holden, Bill and Wendy in Mindhunter, it could be a good place to start.
The term Unabomber got coined because Kaczynski was a bomber of University and Airlines. Horrible stuff. More horrible was that this guy targeted people involved with modern technology. In this series, you get to find out what makes him tick. If you find that sort of thing interesting, then this will be an insightful series to watch.
This show is unique to The Discovery Channel due to the scripted nature of the docudrama and is a first for them. It’s now appeared on Netflix too.
Manhunt is an anthology and although no official nod has been given for a second season, the show runner and executive producer Greg Yaitanes, has excitedly offered some options for where it may go next. Some 90's crimes stories they have to choose from in an interview include; Waco, Oklahoma, Menendez, OJ Simpson and Jon Benet Ramsey.
Waco has just premiered Netflix, so be sure to check it out too.
I really liked this début season. It had the same level of intense fascination as Making a Murderer (2015) only his guilt is not up for speculation.
I give Manhunt: Unabomber 3.5 admissions of guilt out of 5.
Trailer for Manhunt: Unabomber
First Aired September 2017
Tim Roth (who I liked in The Hateful Eight 2015 and Lie to Me TV Series) covers the lead, Jim, who was recently an undercover cop, a blazing alcoholic and totally out of control.
Reminiscent of the story line of Ozark (2017) he grabs his family and moves to a remote town in the Rocky Mountains called Little Bear and begins afresh as the county sheriff.
This series takes a while to ignite. It is like a bottle of wine, let it breathe before casting it aside and the story will develop into a well honed dark and twisted story of deception and revenge. My favourite.
If you like a bit of violence in your thrillers, let the writers coax you into a state of relaxation via subtle dark, blackish comedy before throwing you headfirst into some fantastic twists on what Jim's deal might be. There is also some very skillful cinematography, given that filming is in a beautiful place, and your eyes will delight at the scenery.
Although this one is less like Mindhunter as there are no serial killers, it still maintains that gritty, dirty feel and involves law enforcement and crime and a small town so I thought I would throw it in. I also find it of a similar vein as it has that chill factor within its plot and includes scenes that do not hold back any punches.
Tin Star has been renewed for a second season and will start filming in January 2018.
I give Tin Star 3.5 hidden cigarette butts out of 5.
Tin Star Trailer
First Aired April 2016
I love a good fugue and in this series Anna Friel is cast as Marcella, a detective who suffers from blackouts that enable her to continue to run about doing things she may or may not normally do.
After some crappy things happen in Marcella's life, she gets told that one of her cases from 11 years ago needs reopening. It involves a serial killer, which is the only link to Mindhunter that this series has, and they are killing again. Poor Marcella needs to navigate the subterfuge within her day-to-day life and try to solve the case.
I must admit I found this one a little hard to navigate. Being set as a crime-noir series, I thought I would like this more than I did. I didn't take a liking to many of the characters in the story. I think to get the value from this season, it needs binge-watching to give it the required full attention. To take stock of the twists, turns and red-herrings peppered throughout I needed less time to pass between episodes. I don't mind a murder-mystery, but I like it fairly straightforward and at times I found the writing a little confusing.
Although many crime fuelled series rotate around the lead character breaking the rules, in this series it's not like Marcella is solving crimes in every episode to compensate for her superiors allowing her to continue to do so.
It really wasn't my type of show simply because it was too complex of a detective story for me, but those who like puzzles will probably enjoy this more.
I give Marcella 2.5 wrapped in plastic bodies out of 5.
First Aired 2005 with season 13 arriving in September 2017.
One of my favourite shows to watch is Law and Order SVU and Criminal Minds runs in the same format as that, only this is a Behavioural Analysis Group for the FBI rather that SVU's precinct of cops investigating sex crimes.
If watching pro-filers solve crimes is your jam, then this would be the go to show to while away those pesky hours while you wait for Mindhunter's behaviour analysis group to start back up. With 13 seasons to choose from, there is no shortage of episodes to watch.
With some enduring hot-ties like Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan) and some not-ties (depending on your taste), crimes within this series cover ones that are either serial or extremely violent. The main thing to know about this show is the use of their terminology if you haven't watched it before.
Unsub: Unknown Subject - This word describes the person who is committing the crime they are trying to solve.
Victimology: The basic characteristic of the person who is dead.
Now you have the Criminal Minds FBI speak down, go in with gusto. I like a bit of Criminal Minds from time-to-time. I think the characters are engaging and likeable, the crimes they cover are interesting and it is practically the brother or sister of SVU.
Criminal Minds has even touched on real cases such as The Vampire of Sacramento (season 1 - episode 11), The Pig Farmer Killer (Season 4 - episode 24) and a few other ones that die-hard fans of this show will know.
I give Criminal Minds 4 crazy killers out of 5.
Criminal Minds 2017 - Trailer
The Killing Season
First Aired November 2016
Firstly, there is no news yet on a second season and shouldn’t be confused with a series called "The Killing."
This one completely encompasses taking a microscope and looking at the connection between serial killers and their habits just like Mindhunter. In the first episode, you transport back in time to the beach and are given a no holes barred explanation of The Long Island Serial Killer.
This is a documentary and not a series, and snapped together in 8 episode chunks that keep your eyes wide along the way. The show also delves into other unsolved crimes and the particular hook is that these crimes are still unsolved. In fact, this perpetrator was still at it in 2013. Not that long ago really.
It also covers involvement of an online community group called Websleuths who gather on a forum to discuss unsolved murders and talk about missing persons.
I liked this documentary and although it has that made-for-TV feel, Josh and Rachel who run the stories are not into sensationalizing facts. It's a well put together informative mystery and I would love to see a second season.
I give The Killing Season 3.5 cold cases out of 5.
The Killing Season - Trailer
First aired in 1996 and finished after 3 seasons
Although this one is quite old in the tooth now, I had to include it. Just like the skills of The Mentalist, which didn't make this list, this series is about a guy called Frank Black (played by Lance Henriksen aka Bishop in the Alien movie franchise.)
Frank has a gift where he is able to see the world just like a serial killer would or perhaps like a murderer would. Unlike The Mentalist though, this series is much darker, and more sinister and follows Franks initiation into the Millennium Group.
In the first season, Frank works cases here and there as a forensic profiler and he investigates serial killers, cults, a murderer who mails body parts and many more dark themes as only Frank can. It includes all the facets of Mindhunter but plays it out in a different realm and adds a decent helping of science fiction.
I was a massive fan of The X-Files and the creator of that Chris Carter, is the creator of this so I devoured Millennium. It's the perfect mix of X-File weirdness, horror and twists and turns that the trailer below does not encompass one bit. You really have to watch a few episodes to get on board with how cool this show is.
When the show got cancelled after 3 seasons, it concluded abruptly. I for one was not particularly happy with the finale.
If you want to watch a show with all the bells and whistles of a crime show, some great gore and violence with an apocalyptic end game plus the ability to watch someone delve into the mind of a killer then dig this one out and give it a spin. Millennium might just end up being your favourite show ever.
I give Millennium 4.5 X-Ray eyes out of 5.
Millennium - Trailer
Those Who Kill
First aired in March 2014 and cancelled after one season.
A lot of times, I get around to watching a series and get hooked on it straight away. I loved the casting and the story in this and I feel like I've only scratched the surface before The season finshed. In this case, it got axed after 10 episodes. It has a similar vibe to Criminal Minds and can also be compared to The Mentalist, if the latter included some blood spatter, swearing and some side-boob here and there.
The story around this series features a woman called Catherine (Chloe Sevigny) who teams up with psychologist Thomas to go on the hunt for serial killers. Like Mindhunter, this series studies patterns and behaviour behind people who like to get stabby with things and gets up close and personal with each case.
I love Chloe Sevigny and got excited when I found this series during a hunt on the net for crime shows with serial killers. Those Who Kill was a great little show that never got the attention or audience it deserved. There is plenty of backstory and character development and a massive dose of thriller to keep you going. The first episode was awesome, I thought. I have read this show is a remake of a Swedish series of the same name from 2011. I did however like this enough to put the original on my watch list, who knows, maybe it’s even better and I'll get to watch a unique well thought out series for a second time.
I give Those Who Kill 3.5 step-daddy issues out of 5
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