“Sir, you are informed that you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights as I have just read them to you?”
If you are among those people who follow crime TV series with ritualistic tendencies, then you must already know verbatim the Miranda rights (quoted above). If you crime TV shows with favour and fervour I wouldn’t be wrong to assume that you have also, like me, mouthed off the rights with full force and unabashed glory as you see criminals handcuffed.
Crime shows on TV are a dozen for a penny and they do sell like hotcakes! In the words of Anthony Zuiker (creator of CSI) -“Murder is the ultimate catalyst for a good story, because the stakes are the highest!” Detective fiction still remains one of the most highly read books, when you add an audio-visual characteristic to a good detective story, it is obvious that you would end up with a sale-able product for TV! Thus, this list is a toast to all those amazing crime TV shows that forced us to put on Sherlock Holmes’ shoes and served us with good night-time entertainment!
10. The Mentalist
The show follows Patrick Jane, an independent consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) based in Sacramento, California. In his former career he was a successful yet admittedly fraudulent psychic medium. He uses his keen observational skills to help a team of CBI agents solve various crimes. The back story deals with how the reason Patrick Jane has collaborated with the CBI is to track down his wife and daughter’s killer – Red John.
This show is a spin-off from JAG (a show on CBS); it stars characters that were introduced in JAG and takes forward the central theme of JAG i.e. criminal investigations involving the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
It follows the Major Case Response Team of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service as they solve crimes related to the Navy or the Marine Corps. It juxtaposes criminal investigation with the Uniform Code of Military Justice and counter-intelligence. This is a show with a loyal fan base and strong following, not to mention the several awards that it has swooped away in the past years.
Now this show is a real treat! If you are the kind that enjoys good humour and sharp detective skills then this show has to feature on your most-watched list! Shawn Spencer is a keen observer and a pretend psychic as he aides the Santa Barbara Police Department solve cases, together with his best buddy Burton Guster. The show is one helluva of a joyride! Replete with witty one-liners and inane stunts pulled off by Shawn & Gus as they put themselves in extreme risk situations and yet manage to come out unscathed! The show has the forever frustrated Detective Carlton Lassiter, the lovely Detective Juliet O’Hara, Woody the whacky Medical Examiner and Henry Spencer-Shawn’s dad.
This is yet another show where the central cast comprises of a police detective and an outside consult.
This show features Detective Kate Beckett of the NYPD and Richard Castle -the handsome writer who ends up shadowing Detective Beckett as he styles the main character of his book series after her and ends up assisting the NYPD in solving cases.
The show boasts of a slick, stylish plot and the chemistry between the two lead characters is electrifying! Both the lead actors have won several awards applauding their great on-screen chemistry – this being the evidence that corroborates my statement!
6. White Collar
And we have yet another police consult!
Neal Caffrey is a conman, a forger and a thief who agrees to lend his “expertise” to the FBI as he helps Peter Burke, the FBI agent who caught him, catch other white collar criminals. The smart and quick witted Neal combined with the sharp and fearless agent Burke makes for a successful partnership. Add to that a hint of Mozzie – a close friend of Neal’s, topped off with Elizabeth Burke (Burke’s wife) as the cherry on top and we have a cast that the viewer cannot help but adore!
The series is a very fresh take on white collar crime and deals with its subject matter well. The production quality is flawless and looks rich and very soft on the eyes, excellently complemented by Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) who is a treat for the eyes!
5. CSI (franchise)
This is easily the most watched TV show/s of all time! The CSI franchise has the highest TV viewer-ship of all the enlisted shows!
The franchise comprises CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: NY and CSI: Miami. The central premise of all three shows is the use of forensic science to solve unusual and mysterious crimes. The franchise has awarded viewers with some really memorable characters like Gil Grissom – night shift supervisor of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s crime lab, Catherine Willows – his Assistant Supervisor; Mac Taylor – CSI Supervisor, Detective Mac Taylor of the NYPD’s crime unit, Stella Bonasera & Jo Danville – his assistants in different seasons; Horatio Caine- CSI Supervisor for the Miami-Dade Police Department’s crime lab and his Assistant CSI Supervisor Calleigh Duquesne.
Every bone tells a story, or so it is with this TV show. The how deals exclusively with forensic anthropology and forensic archaeology as a means to solve crimes. The lead characters are forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan and FBI agent Seeley Booth. Dr. Brennan heads her team at the Jeffersonian Institute Forensic Sciences Department and provides scientific expertise while agent Booth brings FBI criminal investigation to the table. The show is a comedy-drama with Dr. Brennan’s lack of social skills providing the fodder for light hearted humour.
All in all a well made show with an inventive story line with a back story that explores the romantic liaison between Brennan and Booth makes it a must-watch!
Another show that re-affirms my belief that hiring a “consult” in a crime show increases its chances of bagging awards and more importantly a loyal fan base. The story is about Adrian Monk – formerly a detective for the San Francisco Police Department who later becomes a private detective and consultant for homicide unit. Monk suffers from OCD- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a plethora of other phobias (312, to be specific!). His sharp memory and meticulous attention to detail are his weapons that he uses to solve crimes, this combined with comedic situations, an outcome of his silly phobias, makes for good entertainment.
The makers of the show hit jackpot with the nomenclature itself!
The show is a modern take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s gift to the world of detective fiction- Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock lives with Dr. Watson at 221B Baker Street, London and is the “consulting detective” and primarily assists Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade of the Metropolitan Police Service, very much like the Holmes of yore.
When I say a modern take, I mean it literally in every sense of the term. The names of episodes and storylines are based loosely on the stories by Conan Doyle, therefore A Study in Scarlet becomes “A Study in Pink”, A Scandal in Bohemia morphs into “A Scandal in Belgravia” while The Hound of the Baskervilles is toggled to “The Hounds of Baskerville”.
Impeccable performances, flawless storytelling and a wonderful cast are things that have won this show several nominations but personally I would say that Benedict Cumberbatch’s (Sherlock Holmes) voice and astounding screen presence have turned this show into a real success.
If you mixed crime and moral code and a vigilante killer what would you have? DEXTER!
Dexter is a blood spatter analyst working with the Miami Metro Police Department, who also moonlights as a serial killer. Umm wait, what? Yes, Dexter is a serial killer, but not your usual run-of-the-mill serial killers! He is a serial killer with a Moral Code of Ethics (courtesy his foster father). A serial killer who kills other serial killers!
The show explores the depths of moral conscience and vigilantism and has hit a high note with TV viewers. Every season brings to table a new sadistic serial killer and how Dexter hastens their meeting with their Maker. It is a gripping, edge of the seat thriller series that leaves the viewer asking for more with every progressive season. Dexter is indeed a “Guten Morgan”!