True Detective shaped up to be one of the most well-regarded and most-watched shows of the past few years.
One of the most intriguing features of True Detective is its short length: at only eight episodes per season, it often seems more like an extended movie than a true television series.
Yet the growing trend for short, incredibly well-crafted television series has ensured that there are plenty of shows like True Detective available for fans seeking another short, sharp, shock.
There’s also some real classics from the past.
5 Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks is an American serial drama, written and produced by David Lynch (of Mulholland Drive fame).
Although this dense, bizarre psychological thriller aired during the early nineties, it was light-years ahead of its time.
What ostensibly starts out as a straightforward investigation into the murder of a teenage girl morphs gradually into a no-holds-barred expose of the seedy underbelly of small-town life.
Quirky, surreal, and brimming with pop-culture homages; this show is also an excellent introduction to the rest of David Lynch’s work.
Many of the fans of this cult series insist that it was cancelled too soon after the two original series, however a new continuation of the series with many of the original cast is set to debut on Showtime in 2017.
4 House of Cards
Many True Detective fans will already be closely acquainted with this show. In House of Cards, Netflix has produced a slick, atmospheric series, with all of the episodes released in one go to facilitate “binge” viewing.
If you like True Detective, you’ll love this show for its brilliant, crisp direction and extensive use of location shooting, as well as the complex characterisation and amoral (yet very compelling) protagonist.
3 Mildred Pierce
If you liked True Detective, you might aos0enjoy Mildred Pierce, which was produced by the same network, HBO.
True Detective fans will also enjoy this series because it is character-based: much of the drama comes from the interplay between the damaged, narcissistic characters, not necessarily from the crime.
Also, for viewers who liked True Detective because of how effectively it immersed the viewer in the Louisiana landscape, this series’ lush period presentation and sunny exteriors will certainly be an attraction.
2 American Horror Story
Like True Detective, American Horror Story tells a completely different story each series.
If you liked True Detective yet are looking for a TV show that plays up the horror or thriller aspects of the series, then American Horror Story is ideal.
At only twelve or thirteen episodes per season, each series is a very manageable, totally atmospheric investigation into a set of bizarre situations that unfold over time.
1 Life on Mars
Life on Mars is a British TV series which very successfully blends elements of science fiction and detective fiction.
A man from modern England is involved in an accident and accidentally transported back in time to the Manchester of the 1970s.
The original British series contains only sixteen episodes over two seasons, which gives True Detective fans a chance to digest an amusing, original detective series with an interesting setting and compelling characters, yet in a very small space of time with no decline in quality.
An American version based on the UK show aired on ABC in 2008/2009, but only lasted one series.