Five taut, exciting and totally binge-worthy crime series

My Five Favourite Taut, Exciting and Binge-worthy Crime Series

Here are five memorable and mind-blowing British and Polish crime dramas that will keep you hooked until the very last second.

Blinded by the Lights

An incredible Polish crime drama, originally titled Ślepnąc od świateł. An epic eight episode retelling of a few days in the life of a Warsaw cocaine dealer whose life progressively sinks into chaos and darkness. The beautiful and eerie visual aesthetics reminded me of a Stanley Kubric’s Eyes Wide Shut, the hot cars and electro soundtrack reminded me of the film Drive, combined with the dark humour of a Tarantino film. The acting is superb.

River

On the surface this seems like a bog standard British crime drama. But then a surprising and dark twist is revealed in the first episode that adds psychological depth and gravitas to the show. It stars the always great Stellan Skarsgård as River and Nicola Walker as his partner, the two characters are immensely believable and layered with a lot of complexity and pathos.

The Teach

Originally called Belfer in Polish, the Teach is the story of a high school teacher who moves to a rural village and becomes involved in investigating the brutal murder of a local high school girl. As the series unfolds, he learns more about the complex relationships she has with classmates and a strange conspiracy amongst the town’s elites. A very sophisticated and complex crime drama from Poland.

Shetland

Taking place on the remote Scottish isles of Shetland, we follow DI Jimmy Perez and his team as they investigate crime that rock their close-knit island community. In this windswept and haunting landscape, we get to witness old-fashioned detective work and resourcefulness. Shetland lacks the blood and gore of many other crime dramas and although a bit slow at times, (matching the pace of the islands) it has great cinematography and acting.

London Spy

The title London Spy makes this series sound very generic, like a cookie-cutter double O seven story. However, London Spy is a remarkable departure from this mould. It’s the story of two men who fall into a sexual relationship but who come from completely different worlds, then one ends up dead. I won’t give away the plot too much, but this erotic spy thriller starring the always great Ben Whishaw is totally out of the box and definitely worth your time.

14 thoughts on “My Five Favourite Taut, Exciting and Binge-worthy Crime Series

  1. Some very good choices, I too also like Shetland. My personal current favourite is Vera set in the part of the U.K. where I come from. I have to encourage everyone to watch the Swedish/Danish police drama The Bridge and also the French cop show Braquo. Both finished a year or two ago and I miss them both terribly.

    1. I have seen the Bridge but haven’t watched it yet on Netflix…so with this recommendation I will now watch it very excitedly! Vera and Braquo…I will look into these ones too, thanks Stephen for the recommendations. I saw on the news they will be allowing everyone out to enjoy the amazing weather over there in parks etc, I am so glad that you will get to enjoy the sun 🙂

      1. I am sure you will like them. Vera is written by the same person responsible for Shetland only it is in Newcastle and Northumberland (my neck of the woods) but the moors and Shetland have the same grim remoteness about them. I can’t say enough about The Bridge; I’ve never seen a programme like it before or since and it caused a huge storm for the years it was aired here… peak time on BBC can you imagine that for a foreign language show! Without sounding rude, Braquo is the most un-French show you can imagine. Hard-hitting and very murky and violent. Yes it will be nice to get out a little. Maybe one Sunday soon I can put my mask on and get on the tube to old Roman London and do my exploring thing there 🙂

      2. WordPress just threw a tantrum at me lol….my reply to your post is at the bottom, sorry for the confusion

  2. Remember ‘Cracker’ back in the day….what a show!
    I’m on the verge of cancelling Netflix (something I tend to do soon after signing up again) so will try some of these. Thanks

    1. I haven’t seen Cracker I have heard of it though…I believe it was really popular will look for it. 😁 About Netflix, you and me both….there is some high quality stuff but mostly it’s just crappy, like normal TV. The Blinded by Light and Belfer the other Polish one I managed to watch via VPN which pretty much opens up a world of foreign language stuff…including SBS. TV is rarely as good as books though I reckon 😉

      1. Agreed on that – though sometimes if you’re a bit tired it seems like a good idea. The HK selection is pretty dire but they did just upload the godfather trilogy so I’m happy for now!

    2. I replied to this but for some reason WordPress nested it under Jonelle’s comment LOL

  3. Ooo, thanks for putting a few more binge-streamers on my radar! I can tell I’m going to like the ones I haven’t seen yet, because we so agree on Shetland and London Spy ^^;;

    1. I haven’t seen Cracker I have heard of it though…I believe it was really popular will look for it. 😁 About Netflix, you and me both….there is some high quality stuff but mostly it’s just crappy, like normal TV. The Blinded by Light and Belfer the other Polish one I managed to watch via VPN which pretty much opens up a world of foreign language stuff…including SBS. TV is rarely as good as books though I reckon 😉

    2. Loved these two Shetland and London Spy….if you have any other suggestions, let me know!

  4. Awesome…there are a fair few seasons of The Bridge so will have a lot of enjoyment out of it!! 😁 Also Vera too. Braquo…will give it a go, but I find too much blood and gore puts me off a bit, it’s too much for me. Sounds good exploring Roman London…look forward to seeing more posts about it. I am kicking myself that the only time I was in London I didn’t explore this.

  5. Shetland is great. The held-in character of the key male somehow resonates with the bleak landscape. We’re watching The Break on Netflix. Murder investigations set in a Belgian rural landscape that makes me think of Twin Peaks. One of the best ever was Top of the Lake, set in your part of the world. I enjoy flawed, fucked up detectives that have to delve into themselves. (eg True Detective).

    1. Yes that guy in Shetland…I can’t remember his name but his brooding temperament does fit with the landscape, great show. There is a season 3 I can’t wait to watch it. The Break? ooh yet another one to add to my list – great thanks Kev. Yet another I’ve discovered on Netflix is Criminal….so good, no blood and gore just psychological intrigue https://m.imdb.com/title/tt9348692

Leave a Reply