4 Shows to Get You Through ‘True Detective’ Withdrawal
The first season of HBO’s hugely popular and critically acclaimed True Detective wrapped up on Sunday night. And while viewers will get another crack at the gritty crime drama when it returns in 2015, they have to say goodbye to Rustin and Marty for good — Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson will not be back for season two.
But all is not lost. If you’re struggling to fill the True Detective-sized hole in your TV schedule, you’ve got plenty of classic series and new programs to keep you on the edge of your seat, starting with these four.
1. Veronica Mars, UPN (2004-2007)
This cult classic, featuring a scrappy teenager who moonlights as a private eye, struggled with ratings but found a new life with streaming services. Kristen Bell leads a stellar ensemble as the titular character, who splits her time as a high school student and solving mysteries — including the murder of her best friend, Lily (Amanda Seyfried). Veronica Mars features outstanding dialogue and a noir-esque look at the class divide in Southern California. And if you’re a fan of the show, you can check out the movie when it hits theaters and digital download on March 14.
2. The Wire, HBO (2002-2008)
One of the most critically acclaimed television series of all time, David Simon’s gritty show takes a realistic look at the streets of Baltimore and the men and women who patrol them. Each season of The Wire focuses on one aspect of Baltimore society, including drug rings, gangs, and organized crime. The rotating ensemble of characters helps weave a world that feels so realistic, it’s hard to remember that the people on screen aren’t real. You can watch The Wire on HBO Go, rent it on Netflix, or buy it to stream on Amazon.
3. The Killing, AMC (2010-2013); Netflix (2014-)
If you were drawn to True Detective’s season-long approach to solving crimes, then you’re in luck. AMC’s The Killing, based on the Danish series Forbrydelsen, centers on two detectives working on tough-to-crack murder cases in Seattle. The show took some flak for failing to wrap up the first big mystery — who killed Rosie Larsen? — in one season. But it came back strong for a third year, delivering a compelling, suspenseful, season-long arc with powerful performances from stars Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, and Peter Sarsgaard. AMC canceled The Killing in 2013, but Netflix has picked it up for a fourth and final season, which premieres this year.
4. The Shield, FX (2002-2008)
One of the most memorable elements of True Detective is its visceral storytelling. That quality also helped set The Shield apart during its seven-season run on FX. The series, based on the real-life Rampart Division scandal, tells the story of a group of corrupt police detectives in Los Angeles. The Shield features an incredible cast led by Michael Chiklis in his Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning portrayal of Detective Mackey. The show’s storylines are addicting, its characters complex and riveting.