More Small Town Mysteries
Mare Of Easttown is a well-paced small town mystery. It’s a show that takes its time with the characters and drama, delivering one of this year’s best mysteries.
If you’ve finished watching this one and are looking for alternatives – fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top 10 picks for alternate viewing.
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Mare Of Easttown.
Similarities – Hunting A Killer
Happy Valley is a British-based crime drama, centering on a strong-willed police sergeant in West Yorkshire called Catherine Cawood.
Still reeling from her teenage daughter Becky’s suicide 8 years prior, Catherine is a woman on a mission. When she learns Tommy Lee Royce (the man responsible for the brutal rape of Becky prior to her suicide) has been released from prison, Catherine sets out to try and find him.
As Catherine’s vengeance becomes obsession, unbeknownst to her Tommy is actually involved in the kidnapping of a woman known as Ann Gallagher. What ensues is a cat and mouse chase as Catherine tries to track down and apprehend the suspects before it’s too late.
The second season then picks up 18 months after these events for a new crime but along the way, Happy Valley excels with its relatable, strong characters and gripping drama. This one is definitely worth a watch.
Similarities – Mystery & Crime Drama
Broadchurch’s strength lies with its characters. In particular, the bond between Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller who both play detectives.
The story centers on a seemingly friendly and idyllic seaside town. Only, this is a town wrapped in secrets when the death of an 11 year old boy sparks a media frenzy. As the town’s locals open up, it falls to the police to apprehend the killer. This first season sets some strong foundations.
Season 2 and 3 continue the trend, armed with shady characters, solid investigative work and great acting. Broadchurch is crime drama at its best.
The Village: Achiara’s Secret
Similarities – Small Town Mystery
The Village: Achiara’s Secret combines elements from Twin Peaks, Midsomer Murders and other mystery series of its kind to produce a small-town horror thriller. In its simplest form, this drama slowly chips away at its own happy façade to showcase something very ugly and shocking at its core.
The centerpiece for this tale is Achiara, a quiet, peaceful village boasting very little crime. The villagers there unfortunately find their world turned upside down when English teacher Han So-Yoon discovers a buried corpse.
With no identity or motive, it’s up to rookie policeman Park Woo-Jae and So-Yoon to find out what’s really going on.
If you’re looking for a compelling whodunit with eerie, unsettling vibes, this Korean drama definitely fits the description.
Similarities – Tone & Mood
Twin Peaks is one of those classic, quintessential shows from the 90’s that sticks with you long after the final credits have rolled. The simple story about a peculiar FBI agent investigating the murder of a young woman – in the even more peculiar town of Twin Peaks – is simple but surprisingly effective.
It’s one of those rare gems that completely changed the landscape of the small screen when it released in 1990 and showed what could be achieved with horror through this medium.
There’s some genuinely creepy moments along the way, typified by the stunningly horrific nightmare montage in the episode “Lonely Soul.”
If you haven’t watched this already, you absolutely should – it’s one of the better shows out there.
Similarities – Mystery & Characters
The Bay is an ITV crime drama that’s a little hit or miss at times. After a somewhat lukewarm first season, the second follows up with a much-improved dose of crime drama.
The story revolves around a quiet community situated on a seaside bay. After sleeping with a man at a bar, a hungover DS Armstrong arrives to work the following day. When she does, she finds herself fronting an investigation into a pair of missing twins.
Acting as the family liaison, Armstrong is horrified to learn the Father of the twins happens to be the same man she slept with the night before.
Similarities – Mystery & Characters
Psychologically charged murder mystery Sharp Objects is as engaging as it is technically impressive. From the exquisite sound design to the perfect editing, every part of Sharp Objects has been finely tuned and crafted to create a compelling mystery.
The story follows troubled reporter Camille who begrudgingly finds herself assigned to reporting a violent murder case in her hometown Wind Gap. Haunted by a troubled past mired in violence and depression, Camille feels alienated from the adults, growing closer to the young girls whom the killer in town is targeting.
The show is a must-watch if you’re looking for a compelling character-driven mystery.
Similarities – Slow Burn Mystery
If you’re in the mood for slow burn thrillers, look no further than Belgium’s Tabula Rasa. With an intriguing premise, some solid characters and an itching mystery that compels you to see it through to its conclusion, this crime drama is certainly worth your time.
The psychological thriller revolves around an amnesia-stricken young woman called Mie, who’s locked up in a secure psychiatric hospital. When she receives a visit from Detective Wolkers, he claims to be the last person seen with Thomas Spectre, who has vanished.
As a witness and prime suspect in the case, Mie is forced to remember what happened that night before she can even think about being released. In order to fight for the truth, Mie is forced into reconstructing her lost memories. The more she remembers though, the more Mie starts to distrust those around her.
Moody, ambitious and really well written, Tabula Rasa is a solid series to check out.
Similarities – Mystery
The Missing, unsurprisingly, is a series about a missing child. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare and the way The Missing captures this in its rawest essence is partly why the show works as well as it does.
Our protagonists here are Tony and Emily Hughes, who travel to France with their 5-year-old son Oliver. Their family holiday turns into a nightmare when Oliver disappears from a large celebrating crowd in Northern France.
Suspenseful, gripping and split across two seasons, The Missing really hits that character-driven essence of what makes this scenario so frightening. It also makes for quite the engrossing watch that we highly recommend checking out.
Similarities – Whodunit & Small Town Mystery
Harlan Coben has a knack for creating page-turning books that seem to translate incredibly well to the small screen. After the success of both Safe and The Stranger, the prolific American author teams up with Netflix once more.
Our tale begins in 1994 where four kids go missing in the woods during a summer camp; two of the kids turn up dead and the other two vanish without a trace. One of the missing kids happens to be our main protagonist Pawel’s sister and from here, this past timeline sees Pawel set out to try and discover what happened to Kamile.
With jumps back and forth through time, The Woods layers this mystery with some nice reveals. However, it’s also arguably the weakest Harlan Coben adaptation.
Similarities – Small Town Mystery
Beyond Evil is a great example of how to take a simple concept and absolutely run with it. Between the exemplary acting, tight writing and numerous twists and turns along the way, this Korean drama is easily one of the best shows of the year. It’s hardly surprising then that it’s been nominated for 7 Baeksang Awards.
At its core, Beyond Evil plays out as a simple murder mystery. Police detective Dong-Sik is haunted by the death of his sister Yu-Yeon 20 years prior. With the case still unresolved, a string of new murders seem to be connected with her death. It also coincides with the arrival of junior detective Joo-Won.
He suspects Dong-Sik killed Yu-Yeon and sets to work piecing together evidence to incriminate him. Only, as he soon comes to learn, those at Manyang substation are a tight-knit family and watch out for one another.
Beyond the killings, Beyond Evil is a tale of forgiveness, healing, and respect. There’s no big romance or montage sequences, there’s just 16 episodes of crime investigating and character development. Beyond Evil completely exceeds expectations, solidifying itself as one of the best Korean dramas of all time.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished watching Mare of Easttown on HBO/Sky.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!