Over the past few years, true crime has emerged as one of the most popular genres in fiction. While crime novels and cinema have always been a draw for people, there is something about true crime that draws us in almost ghoulishly so, and Netflix has capitalised on this trend.
The anthology series Monster, created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, will be returning with a second season on Netflix. After Evan Peters’ turn into serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in season one, the next season is about to be based on the murder case of the Menéndez brothers. We also have Griselda releasing this week on Netflix. Directed by Andrés Baiz, the series stars Sofía Vergara as the titular ‘Cocaine Godmother’.
In the Best of Netflix article ‘Why is true crime still growing in popularity?’, Tom Taylor wrote about our obsession with true crime, describing it as hysteria that “has reached a fever point.” As Dean Fido, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby Online Learning, explains, true crime as a genre can “give us a short, sharp shock of adrenaline, but in a relatively safe environment.”
This weekend, as you cosy up under your blanket, consider these insights while diving into the five essential true crime series on Netflix we have curated here just for you.
Whether you’re drawn to the gritty world of drug cartels in Griselda or the psychological profiling in Mindhunter, this weekend promises an immersive and thrilling binge-watching experience for true crime enthusiasts. So, switch your lights off, settle in with a hot cuppa tea, and prepare to be captivated by these gripping tales of crime and justice.
Five essential true crime-based TV shows to watch on Netflix:
This deliciously dark crime comedy gem is that rare show that never misses a beat.
Abhishek Chaubey’s brainchild, co-written by Chaubey along with Harshad Nalawade, Anant Tripathi, and Unaiza Merchant, Killer Soup boasts a stellar cast led by the formidable duo of Manoj Bajpayee and Konkona Sen. Killer Soup is a work of fiction which is very loosely based on a 2017 Telangana murder case. A woman named Swathi Reddy murdered her husband and then tried to pass off her lover as the deceased ex, as per the Deccan Chronicle.
Based on the ProPublica article ‘An Unbelievable Story of Rape,’ Unbelievable was created by Susannah Grant, Ayelet Waldman, and Michael Chabon.
The series follows the harrowing journey of a young woman named Marie Adler, played by Kaitlyn Dever, who reports a sexual assault only to face disbelief and scepticism from the authorities. With a powerful story and standout performances from the cast, Unbelievable sheds light on the flaws in the criminal justice system when it comes to handling sexual assault cases.
When They See Us
Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us is a poignant and heartbreaking exploration of the notorious Central Park Five case.
The series chronicles the wrongful conviction of five Black and Latino teenagers for the brutal assault of a jogger in Central Park. The series features powerful performances from its cast, including Jharrel Jerome and Niecy Nash. When They See Us confronts issues of systemic racism and the human cost of a flawed criminal justice system.
Mindhunter takes a unique approach to the true crime genre by delving into the minds of serial killers.
Created by Joe Penhall and based on the book by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, the series follows FBI agents, Holden Ford and Bill Tench, along with psychologist Wendy Carr, as they develop criminal profiling and behavioural science techniques. With a chilling atmosphere and stellar performances, especially from Jonathan Groff and Cameron Britton, Mindhunter offers a gripping exploration of the psychological aspects of real-life criminals.
While not exclusively a true crime series, Narcos earns its place on this list for its riveting portrayal of the rise and fall of drug cartels in Colombia.
Created by Chris Brancato, Carlo Bernard, and Doug Miro, Narcos spans multiple seasons, chronicling the lives of infamous figures like Pablo Escobar and the DEA agents determined to bring them to justice. With intense storytelling and memorable performances, including Wagner Moura as Escobar, Narcos is a thrilling and addictive addition to the true crime genre on Netflix.