Here we go, then. It’s time for the crème de la crème, the dog’s bollocks, the grand fromages – the top five crime dramas of the year, and the ones that really stood out for us. This year has seen plenty of quantity but perhaps not the overall quality of previous years, but these top five are all superb pieces of work in their own ways. And the unifying theme? All bar one are from America, and the other is from Canada – sadly there were no British crime dramas aside from Unforgotten in the Top 10 this year. If anything, 2017 proved that American crime drama was back with a vengeance. Let’s have at it.
Joe Penhall and David Fincher’s serial killer drama-with-a-difference has been one of the highlights of the crime drama year. Starring Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv, Hannah Gross, and newcomer Cameron Britton, and set in the 1970s within the FBI’s nascent serial killer investigative unit, it was a thoughtful, uncomfortably intimate and sneakily brave drama series. Now news has reached us today that will make its many fans very happy indeed.
Like most good shows, Mindhunter’s reputation has been spreading like wildfire since its release date the week before last thanks to good reviews (see our’s here) and social media word-of-mouth. The serial killer drama, that took a slightly different approach to crime-solving, has already been commissioned for a second series by streaming site, Netflix, and speculation has already started as to what – or who – series two will focus on next.
NB: Spoilers inside
You’d have thought that after the likes of Se7en and Zodiac that Hollywood director David Fincher would’ve exhausted all he needed to say about serial killers, but not so. Mindhunter, a 10-part series available on Netflix and based on the memoirs of ex-FBI agent John Douglas (called Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit), sees Fincher team with writer and playwright Joe Penhall to go back to the mid-1970s when serial killers were all the rage in America and the FBI’s understanding of them was just beginning to form. As ever with Netflix series, you’re never sure what form these series will take – was Mindhunter to be a procedural? If not, was it going to be simply a study of psychopathy and explore the nurture versus nature argument? It was both of these things and more, and certainly one of the best and most accomplished crime dramas of the year.
Is it me or is American TV crime drama enjoying a renaissance this year? We’ve had Big Little Lies, Twin Peaks and the always fabulous Fargo, Ozark is getting rave reviews on Netflix, while Mr Mercedes, Stranger Things 2 and Sharp Objects will be coming soon. Netflix – again – has released a trailer for a series that’s not only executively produced by David Fincher and Charlize Theron, but actually directed by Fincher himself. It’s called Mindhunter (bit corny) and it’ll be on our screens in October. Read on for more…