Police procedural shows have always captivated audiences as they offer an escape from reality but also allow viewers to see and understand the depth of evil in humanity.
These shows have mastered the perfect balance of suspense, adrenaline rush and coziness making them incredibly moreish. For this list, we’re shining the spotlight on crime TV shows that are must-watches. If you are wondering what to watch this holiday, why not binge-watch these shows?
This show was a reboot of the 1968–1980 series by the same name. The show has 10 intriguing seasons that follow the life of an elite major crimes task force in Hawaii. The team is headed by US Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett and his partner Detective-Sergeant Danny “Danno” Williams.
Throughout the series, the task force works to keep Hawaii safe and deal with some life-threatening moments. These moments bring them close and they become “ohana.” Other than the intense fighting scenes and captivating cases, you should watch this show because of Steve and Danno’s chemistry. Besides, hearing Steve saying, “Book ’em, Danno.” is good for your soul.
We can all agree that CSI: Miami is the best spinoff of the CSI series and Horatio Caine effortlessly rocked those sunglasses. The series follows a team of detectives from the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Crime Scene Investigations as they solve cases using their expertise in the science field.
Horatio Caine gave us so many thought-provoking quotes throughout the ten seasons. In 2005 the series was named one of the world’s most popular series and it is still an entertaining show you can enjoy ten years later.
Rizzoli & Isles
This is one of the coziest crime show series that has ever graced our TV screens. The series is heralded by two gorgeous women, Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander who play the role of Rizzoli and Isles respectively.
Rizzoli is a Boston Homicide police detective and Isles is the Chief Medical Examiner. Throughout the years, they have developed a deep relationship with each other and they are almost like sisters. Their friendship and the bond Rizzoli had with her family enriched this series and distracted us from the gory details of the cases they handled. The show ran for seven seasons and had a huge international following.
Patrick Jane was just the typical run-off-mill fraudulent psychic medium who used his highly developed observational skills to make a name for himself. It was going well until he went on live TV and angered a serial killer known as Red John who reiterated by killing Jane’s wife and daughter.
Jane joins the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as an independent consultant to help them solve cases and in return, he gets to keep track of the Red John case. The first six seasons of the show take the viewers on an exhilarating cat-and-mouse game between Red John and Jane in between solving other cases.
The last season focuses on the aftermath of finally catching Red John and starting a new chapter in his life. This is an extremely entertaining show and Jane is an interesting and deeply layered character that you can’t help but love and root for.
This crime-comedy series follows the unusual alliance of a famous mystery novelist, Richard Castle and a New York homicide detective, Kate Beckett as they solve crimes together and ultimately fall in love. Throughout the eight seasons of the show, the two work together drawing from their different expertise to get justice for victims.
They are also trying to solve the murder of Beckett’s mom. One of the best parts about the show is how their relationship starts as enemies to lovers, it was interesting to watch that arc between the characters. The supporting cast is also a big part of the show and adds an extra level of richness to the series.
This is one of the best FBI-based crime shows on TV and it is no wonder that it ran for 15 seasons. The high demand to bring the show back has led to the show being renewed in 2022. The show follows an elite squad of FBI profilers in the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU).
They use their expertise to profile an unsub ( unknown subject likely to be the offender) and solve cases. They are a close-knit team that has gone through hell and back and are there for each other throughout each case. Their personal struggles and their friendship adds a relatable element to the series leaving the audience wanting more.
This is a series developed from the film franchise of the same name back in 1987-1998. The show follows two detectives who have been forced to partner up even though they are very different from each other. Detective Roger Murtaugh is an old detective looking forward to working quietly as he awaits his retirement and is family-oriented and just hopes to get home every day to his wife and three kids.
On the other hand, Martin Riggs is a young man dealing with a few demons of his own and quiet is not his style. His style is more like daring the angel of death and is always putting his partner Roger in life-and-death situations.
Dexter is one of the best crime TV shows with a captivating storyline that had many of us glued to our screens. Dexter is a forensic technician who works at Miami Metro Police Department, and his expertise is bloodstain pattern analysis. He comes off as a good man dedicated to his work and family but he has a mind-blowing secret life.
He is a vigilante serial killer, who spends his free time hunting down murderers who have escaped justice and killing them. He is a protagonist who is a serial killer and viewers couldn’t stop watching the show because they wanted to see what happens when his double life is exposed.
This British psychological crime thriller is heralded by one of the most talented actors of our time, Idris Elba. He plays the role of DCI John Luther who works for the “Serious and Serial” crime unit. He is a dedicated police officer and for him, the end justifies the means.
However, he gets personally wrapped up in the life of a psychopathic killer, Alice Morgan and their relationship become the start of his downfall.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent
To be clear, Law & Order: SVU will always be queen and that is why it is on its 24th season. Law & Order: Criminal Intent is one of the spin-off series from the Law & Order franchise. It ran for 10 seasons and it followed the lives of The NYPD Manhattan “Major Case Squad.’’
This group of detectives worked on high-profile cases and the circumstances that led to the case. Law & Order: Criminal intent focused more on the motives behind the crimes and is considered one of the most volatile series in the franchise. The heart of the show was detective Robert Goren who stole the show as he battled some inner demons from his traumatic childhood.
There we have it, the list of iconic police procedural dramas to binge. Did we include one of your favourites? We would love to hear your thoughts, so do let us know in the comments below!