When you watch detective TV shows, you’re watching a story about the triumph of good over evil. The show’s characters are all fighting for justice in their way.
Some detectives use their smarts, and others rely on sheer brute strength to solve crimes.
The following list contains the best detective TV series on Netflix.
The series is based on the true story of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, which profiler John Douglas led.
It follows his work with other agents to develop profiling techniques to help solve cases and their relationship with law enforcement agencies around the country.
The show also focuses on how this process changes over time, especially during an era when serial killers were unheard of until they became a common occurrence in the 1980s.
Mindhunter is an excellent choice if you like shows that focus on serial killers, police procedures, or true stories about real people and events that happened in history. This is one of the best detective TV series on Netflix.
Ozark is a Netflix original series that was released in 2017. It’s about a Chicago financial advisor who moves to Missouri to launder money for the drug cartel and his wife, who is also involved.
The show stars Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Laura Linney (The Big C), and Julia Garner (Fruitvale Station).
The show was created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams, who wrote several screenplays, including The Judge starring Robert Downey Jr. and Kate Hudson. Ozark is considered one of the best detective TV series.
3. Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad was created and produced as an American crime drama television series by Vince Gilligan.
The movie was produced and set in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Breaking Bad was created from the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who is a struggling high school chemistry teacher and is diagnosed with lung cancer, that is inoperable at the beginning of the series.
After his death, Walter begins to produce and sell methamphetamine with a former student named Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) to ensure his family’s financial security.
The series explores how a fatal diagnosis such as cancer affects Walter’s morality as he proceeds down this dangerous path. This was also selected as one of the best detective TV series in 2022.
4. Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom
Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom was created as a crime drama series of British origin. It was created by Steven Knight and produced by Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions.
The show stars Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby, leader of the Peaky Blinders gang in post-World War I Birmingham, England.
The title refers to a name given to an underhanded trick where someone stabs someone else with a cap or hat pin placed inside their clothing without them noticing it beforehand.
As you watch this series, you will be taken back to a time when England was rebuilding after being at war for many years, and people were trying to get back on their feet again, including people like Tommy Shelby.
He wants prosperity for himself, his family, and everyone around him to prosper. Hence, he does whatever it takes, even if that means going against the law or doing illegal activities, just to ensure everyone else is okay and comfortable with life.
5. Better Call Saul
Better Call Saul is a prequel to Breaking Bad, set in 2002 and following the life of Jimmy McGill as he transforms into the criminal lawyer Saul Goodman.
The show is also set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where you’ll find plenty of dusty streets, hot desert winds, and gorgeous sunsets.
It’s produced by Peter Gould (who created Saul), Vince Gilligan (the creator of Breaking Bad), and Mark Johnson (the co-president of Gran Via Productions).
The plot of this series revolves around a polygraph examiner named Paul Woodruff, who investigates crimes and helps put criminals behind bars.
The main characters of the show include Detective Sergeant Jim Clegg (Julian McMahon), Detective Inspector Roberta Steel (Jodi Balfour), Senior Constable Wayne Crick (Luke Ford), and Senior Constable Nate Cooper (Daniel MacPherson). This movie is set in Melbourne, Australia.
This movie has a rating of 4 out of 5 stars on Netflix based on more than 50 thousand votes from viewers.
Its first season was released on March 25, 2018, while its second season came out exactly one year later, with ten episodes, each lasting 54 minutes long. Overall, 20 episodes are all available for streaming on Netflix now. Unbelievable was rated as one of the best detective TV series on Netflix.
7. The Sinner
The Sinner is a crime drama series that follows the story of a young mother who inexplicably murders a stranger.
The series is based on the eponymous novel by German crime writer Petra Hammesfahr. The show focuses on Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel), a young and seemingly ordinary wife and mother living in New York City with her husband, Mike (Christopher Abbott), and their son, Augie (Henry Maximilian).
After attending an open-air concert one night, Cora drives back home with her husband and son when she suddenly kills a pedestrian while driving under what appears to be extreme emotional distress.
She spends time in prison for this crime but seems unable to explain why she committed it or understand what drove her to do it. While incarcerated, she meets Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman).
She becomes determined to help Cora understand why this happened so that she might avoid making similar mistakes again.
Fargo is a series based on the Coen brothers’ film of the same name.
The first season won an Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, and its second season was awarded Outstanding Television Movie.
Since then, it has continued to win Emmys for its various seasons. Fargo was renewed for a fifth season by FX and premiered in 2020.
9. Manhunt: Unabomber
The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski (played by Paul Bettany), was a domestic terrorist and a mathematician who worked as a professor.
He was known for sending mail bombs to targets across America in the 1980s and 1990s.
The FBI led a manhunt to find him that lasted nearly 20 years before they eventually identified him through DNA evidence.
Manhunt: Unabomber follows FBI agents as they pursue an unknown killer who sends bombs through the U.S postal system, targeting professors and universities, notably Northwestern University in Chicago, where he taught math between 1978-1994.
It focuses on how law enforcement tracked down this notorious criminal over two decades of bombings that left three people dead and injured another 23.
10. The Stranger
The Stranger is about a retired detective who, before he retires, has one last case: to solve the murder of a young boy.
The case was never solved, and the boy’s identity was never discovered. The detective hopes to find out who murdered the boy before he leaves NYPD for good.
The story follows real-life homicide detective Jim Roth, who worked on some of New York’s most notorious cases, including Son of Sam and Tylenol poisonings in 1982.
It’s based on a novel by Laura Lippman called In A Strange City: A Detective Novel.
11. Criminal: UK
The show is about a criminal profiler, Dr. Sam Ryan, who works for the police and helps them solve crimes.
The series is set in London. Sam is played by actress Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), who attracted attention from critics for her role as the titular character in Agent Carter.
She’s joined by other stars such as Eddie Marsan (The World’s End) and Shaun Evans (Endeavour).
In conclusion, here’s a quick list of the 11 Best Detective TV Series on Netflix:
- Breaking Bad
- Peaky Blinders
- Better Call Saul
- The Sinner
- Manhunt: Unabomber
- The Stranger
- Criminal: UK
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