Shows About Murder

(Welcome to Small-Screen Stream, a feature where we share the best television shows streaming and where you can watch them.)

It’s always a good time to do a murder, right? Wait, no. That’s wrong. I’m sorry. It’s always the perfect time to solve a murder! Nothing to see here. No skeletons or otherwise unburied body parts hiding in any closets. Everyone – I mean everything – is a-okay! 

*shifty eyes* 

How about we hop into this week’s Small Screen Stream before I get added to any more lists, yeah? 

Twin Peaks

Where: Netflix and Amazon Prime

Who doesn’t like the bodies of homecoming queens on the shores of their otherwise picturesque small towns? Twin Peaks follows the investigation of the curious death and double life of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). Each answer comes with more questions, and nothing’s ever what it seems in the sleepy Washington town. But that’s a large part of the appeal of David Lynch’s curious masterpiece. If you like the supernatural to be involved in your murder mysteries, you’ll want to add this one to your binge list. 

Murder, She Wrote

Where: Amazon Prime

Sometimes shows just feel like hugs, even when they’re about tracking down a different murderer practically every episode. The wildly popular Murder, She Wrote follows the life of one Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury). Though a rich and successful mystery writer, Jessica chooses to remain in her small town in Maine. The fame never changed Jessica, and certainly never diminished her interest in a good mystery. Through its twelve-season run, the widowed writer solves hundreds of murders and builds an unbreakable rapport with officers both domestic and international. Because, honestly, who could say no to Angela Lansbury? 

Bones

Where: Hulu and Amazon Prime

I’ll be honest- a show featuring any kind of anthropologist is immediately going to get a watch from me. With that in mind, that’s not even close to all that Bones has going for it. With Doctor Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschenel) playing the straight (wo)man to Seeley Booth’s (David Boreanaz) quirky FBI agent, the show sets up a solid amount of comedy to accompany its murder theme. Other selling points include lots of science-y talk and one of the best slow burn ships in history! 

Riverdale

Where: Netflix

Ah, my beautifully complicated Murder Archie. Riverdale features all of your favorite characters from Archie comics, but they’re all banging each other, drinking, doing drugs, and often solving murders. It’s great. While utterly ridiculous at all times (there’s a drug called jingle jangle, and somehow the cast manages to make it seem ominous without laughing every scene), it also manages to be compelling more often than not. It has suffered a bit since shifting from a thirteen-episode arc to twenty two, but extending the seasons has also allowed them to focus on more characters than just the big four. It’s murdery, it’s weird, and it’s full of hot folks. What’s not to love?

Broadchurch

Where: Netflix and Amazon Prime

If you like your murder mysteries to tackle a little bit more than simply solving the crime, Broadchurch is the right place for you to start. The critically acclaimed BBC darling follows detective Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and his partner Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) as they dig into the murder of young Danny Latimer (Oskar McNamara). It’s worth mentioning that the series shifts away from the focus on solving the murder after season one, but it remains an exceptional watch!  

Sherlock

Where: Netflix

Sherlock was The BBC’s modern-day response to the approximately elevnty-billion adaptations of the complicated detective. The show (obviously) follows the life of Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his trusty partner, John Watson (Martin Freeman) as they clue for looks in a series of Holmes’ most popular cases. Each episode is about ninety minutes, while each season is made up of three episodes. It’s a quick binge, even with episode-length, and a fun take on Holmes and his cohorts. 

Mindhunter

Where: Netflix

I’m here for any television that features the one and only Groffsauce, but Netflix’s Mindhunter has a lot going on for it even without his involvement! We follow Special Agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and his partners Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) and Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) as they investigate how serial killers think. You know the old adage “if you want to catch a criminal, you have to think like a criminal”? That’s the long and short of this one. With that said, such a simple premise is expanded upon to create some truly engaging content. 

How to Get Away with Murder

Where: Netflix and Hulu

No way we were going to finish off this list without including a Shonda Rhimes joint. Annalisa Keating (Viola Davis) is an accomplished lawyer and professor. Turns out she might be too good for her job! The series follows Annalisa and her students as they, well… try to get away with murder. At least the first season does. Things evolve as well as ebb and flow as the series progresses, with the final season kicking off back in September. If you like twisty rides written by some of the best folks in the biz, you definitely want to give this one a spin. 

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There you have it, boys and girls. Plenty of shows out there for when you want to watch people doing a murder or solving a murder or what have you! Obviously, the list of shows focusing on or including murder extends much farther than this list. If you’ve got one that you’re in love with, shout it out in the comments! Maybe someone else will fall in love with it too.

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