Best Investigative Series You Should Watch, Ranked 2024

Explore the top investigative series that have taken the television landscape by storm. Join us as we rank these crime dramas based on their popularity, critical acclaim, and impact. Find your next binge-worthy show here.

Jul 20, 2023 - 10:41
Jan 30, 2024 - 08:35
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Best Investigative Series You Should Watch, Ranked 2024
Best Investigative Series You Should Watch, Ranked 2024

Crime has become one of television's most popular and beloved genres. Something intriguing and captivating about exploring the minds of criminals and understanding the motives behind their actions. Whether delving into the psychology of serial killers or following the thrilling investigations to catch them, crime series have become a favorite among viewers. 

In this article, we will look at some of the best investigative series you should watch, ranked based on their popularity, critical acclaim, and overall impact. So, grab your popcorn and get ready for a thrilling ride through the world of crime and investigations!

What is an Investigative Series?

An investigative series is a long-form piece of journalism that tells a complex story through articles, videos, or podcasts. Investigative series typically focus on uncovering wrongdoing or revealing hidden truths. They often require extensive research, interviews, and analysis.

History of Investigative Series

The roots of investigative series can be traced back to the early days of journalism. In the 19th century, investigative reporters like Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair exposed corporate malfeasance and government corruption. In the 20th century, investigative series became more common, with landmark works like "The Pentagon Papers" and "All the President's Men" significantly impacting public opinion.

Types of Investigative Series

There are many different types of investigative series. Some of the most common include:

  • Investigations of government corruption: These series typically focus on uncovering government officials' wrongdoings, such as bribery, embezzlement, or abuse of power.
  • Investigations of corporate malfeasance: These series typically focus on uncovering corporate wrongdoing, such as fraud, environmental pollution, or labor violations.
  • Investigations of social problems: These series typically uncover hidden truths about social problems, such as poverty, homelessness, or discrimination.
  • Investigations of historical events: These series typically focus on uncovering new information about historical events, such as wars, natural disasters, or political scandals.

The Best Investigative Series You Should Watch

Investigative series have gained immense popularity in recent years, captivating audiences with their compelling storylines, intriguing characters, and intense investigations. Here are some of the best investigative series that you should add to your watchlist:

Money Heist (2017 - 2021)

Money Heist, originally known as "La Casa De Papel," is a Spanish crime series that took the world by storm. The story revolves around a group of characters led by "The Professor," who plan and execute heists on various financial institutions. Its unique blend of suspense, action, and intricate character development sets this series apart. Money Heist has become a global phenomenon, winning numerous awards and a massive fan following. Money Heist is a must-watch if you are looking for a thrilling crime series to keep you on the edge of your seat.

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Broadchurch (2013 - 2017)

Broadchurch is a British crime drama that follows the investigation of a murder in a small coastal town. The series delves deep into the lives of the residents, the impact of crime on the community, and the relentless pursuit of justice by the detectives. With its compelling storytelling, brilliant performances, and realistic portrayal of human emotions, Broadchurch has been hailed as one of the best crime drama shows of the 21st century. If you enjoy character-driven mysteries with a touch of realism, Broadchurch is the perfect series for you.

Pushing Daisies (2007 - 2009)

Pushing Daisies is a unique blend of comedy, drama, and crime investigation. The series revolves around Ned, a pie-maker who can bring the dead back to life with a touch, but with a catch—they can only stay alive for a minute, or someone else must die. Ned collaborates with a private investigator and colleague to solve murder cases by questioning the deceased. Pushing Daisies's whimsical storytelling, vibrant visuals, and quirky characters stand out. It is a crime series guaranteed to captivate you with its charm.

Hannibal (2013 - 2015)

Hannibal is a psychological crime thriller based on the characters from Thomas Harris' novels. The series focuses on the complex relationship between criminal profiler Will Graham and psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter. As they work together to solve gruesome murders, a dangerous game of cat and mouse unfolds. Hannibal is known for its visually stunning cinematography, intricate storytelling, and exceptional performances, particularly by Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal is a must-watch if you are looking for a crime series that delves into the depths of the human mind.

Ozark (2017 - 2022)

Ozark is a gripping crime drama that follows the story of Marty Byrde, a financial planner forced to relocate his family to the Ozarks after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong. In order to save their lives, Marty and his wife, Wendy, must navigate the dangerous world of drug cartels while trying to keep their family intact. Ozark is known for its intense storytelling, complex characters, and intricate plot twists. It has garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base, making it one of the most renowned crime drama TV shows of recent years.

Mindhunter (2017 - 2019)

Mindhunter takes a unique approach to crime series by delving into the minds of serial killers. Set in the late 1970s, the series follows two FBI agents as they interview imprisoned serial killers to gain insights into their psychology and behavior. Mindhunter is a masterclass in character development and psychological suspense. It offers a deep dive into the minds of notorious criminals, exploring the reasons behind their actions and challenging the conventional portrayal of criminals in media. If you are fascinated by the psychology of crime, Mindhunter is a must-watch.

Lesser-Known or Underrated Investigative Series

Investigative series are a great way to learn about the world and how crimes are solved. There are many popular investigative series, but there are also some lesser-known or underrated gems. Here are a few recommendations for lesser-known or underrated investigative series that you might enjoy:

1. The Fall (2013-2016)

This British crime drama stars Gillian Anderson as Stella Gibson, a brilliant detective brought in to investigate a series of murders in Belfast. The Fall is a slow-burning, character-driven series that is both suspenseful and thought-provoking.

2. Broadchurch (2013-2017)

This British crime drama stars David Tennant as DI Alec Hardy, a detective who is brought in to investigate the murder of a young boy in a small English town. Broadchurch is a well-made, emotionally-charged series that explores the impact of a crime on a community.

3. The Killing (2011-2014)

This Danish crime drama stars Sofie Gråbøl as Sarah Lund, a detective investigating the murder of a young girl in Copenhagen. The Killing is a stylish, suspenseful series known for its complex characters and intricate plot twists.

4. Top of the Lake (2013-2017)

This Australian crime drama stars Elisabeth Moss as Robin Griffin, a detective called to a remote town to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. Top of the Lake is a dark, atmospheric series exploring abuse, violence, and redemption themes.

5. Vera (2011-present)

This British crime drama stars Brenda Blethyn as Vera Stanhope, a detective investigating crimes in Northumberland. Vera is a cozy mystery series known for its strong characters and Northumberland setting.

6. The Tunnel (2013-2018)

This British-French crime drama stars Clémence Poésy and Stephen Dillane as detectives who investigate a series of murders that straddle the English Channel. The Tunnel is a well-made, suspenseful series that  explores the cultural differences between the UK and France.

7. Happy Valley (2014-2019)

This British crime drama stars Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood, a police sergeant investigating a series of crimes in Yorkshire. Happy Valley is a gritty, realistic series known for its strong characters and Lancashire's performance.

These are just a few recommendations for lesser-known or underrated investigative series. Check out one of these series if you want a good crime drama. We have already given you al;l the information you need in this article. You might find a new favorite.

What are the Common Elements or Themes in Successful Investigative Series?

An investigative series is a powerful tool for journalists to expose wrongdoing and hold the powerful accountable. When done well, they can have a tangible impact on the world. However, what makes a successful investigative series? There are several common elements or themes that successful investigative series share. These include:

  • A solid central focus: The best investigative series has a clear and focused goal. They are not just a collection of unrelated stories but a cohesive narrative that builds to a powerful conclusion.
  • Thorough research: Investigative reporting requires a deep understanding of the issue. This means conducting extensive research, interviewing sources, and gathering evidence.
  • Compelling storytelling: Even the most essential stories can fall flat if not compellingly told. Investigative series must be well-written and engaging, with a clear narrative arc that keeps readers hooked.
  • A sense of urgency: Investigative series are often about exposing wrongdoing that is happening right now. This sense of urgency helps keep readers engaged and motivated to take action.
  • A call to action: Investigative series should end with a bang and provide readers with a call to action. This could be anything from signing a petition to contacting their elected representatives.

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Conclusion

You are in luck if you are a crime and investigative series fan! The television landscape is filled with many captivating shows that will keep you hooked from start to finish. From the gripping heists of Money Heist to the psychological thrills of Hannibal, each series offers a unique and compelling viewing experience. So, grab your remote and embark on a thrilling journey through crime, investigations, and suspense.

Joseph Richard Joseph Richard, a leading contributor to sledge.co.ke, uses his decade-long expertise in finance, business, and technology to offer clear, reliable guides and analyses. His work aids Kenyans in making informed financial and business decisions, earning him a reputation as a trusted industry authority.