Miss True Detective Already? 10 Ways To Get Your Fix

Designed by Sandy Ley.
That ending was, well, something, wasn't it? No, don't worry. We're not going to spoil the finale of HBOs' insanely gripping True Detective for those of you who haven't seen it. We're your friends. We wouldn't do that.
However, just like you, we're going to miss this beautifully shot, darker-than-dark, existential murder drama like crazy. Come to think of it, it was pretty callous of HBO to get us addicted to something so good, only to pull it away after eight episodes.
So, while we all wait for the show to return next year with new detectives and new murders, we've cooked up a list of 10 jet-black, thought-provoking mystery series sized for bingeing. Granted, none of them is as good as True Detective. Nothing is. Instead, just think of these as something to tide you over until you overcome your habit...or Game of Thrones comes back.
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Photo: Courtesy of Lynch/Frost Productions.
Twin Peaks, Netflix
If you're down for eerie, philosophical cop shows that take a long, winding road through the dark corners of the soul, why not start where the trend for truly off-center mysteries began? Sure, it's twice as esoteric and surreal as True Detective and at least five times as funny, but David Lynch's mastery of dread is undeniable.
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Photo: Courtesy of See-Saw Films.
Top of The Lake, Netflix
Did you enjoy how True Detective brought you to haunted parts of America that are off the main roads usually traveled on television? Well, this crime-story miniseries is completely off the grid. Taking place in the rural hills of New Zealand, it touches on philosophy as True Detective does, but in a less throbbingly evil way. Holly Hunter's performance as a modern spiritual guru is a must see.
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Photo: Courtesy of BBC.
The Fall, Netflix
Talk about the banality of evil. This series from the BBC features 50 Shades of Grey's Jamie Dornan as a handsome, loving, Irish father, concerned social worker, and struggling husband who also happens to be a meticulous, psychopathic murderer. The X-Files' Gillian Anderson is the intellectual cop in pursuit and, just like True Detective, there's evil everywhere, but its definition is nebulous. Best of all, The Fall's returning for a second season later this year.
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Photo: Courtesy of BBC.
Wallander, Amazon Instant
Just as True Detective was a beautiful, creepy cop show, Wallander is a beautiful, miserable one. The characters here have heft and depth, and the murders are more disturbing for it. If True Detective lured you in with its amazing production values, this is a series you need to see.
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Photo: Courtesy of BBC.
Broadchurch, Amazon Instant
Feeling like Wallander, but structured like Twin Peaks, this small-scale BBC series studies a close-knit, seaside resort town torn apart by a brutal murder. It's beautiful-looking and lets its characters — particularly the women — breathe. Fans of Doctor Who will be psyched to see both David Tennant and Arthur Darvill in this well-considered murder drama.
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Photo: Courtesy of ITV.
Prime Suspect, Netflix
Granted, the digital transfer of this seminal ITV series leaves a lot to be desired when you're watching on instant. But, get past that and you've got one of the best lead characters in mystery drama ever. Hard-edged and suffering from substance abuse and other emotional issues, Jane Tennison was the role that proved Helen Mirren was indeed an acting heavyweight.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
The Wire, HBO Go
The Wire! Guys, remember The Wire? Really, it's unlikely there would even be a True Detective without this pioneering HBO series. Gritty, realistic, and sharp, this show's straight-up made for viewers hooked on True Detective's police-procedural elements. Fans of Idris Elba (we know who you are) will love his career-making performance as drug lord Stringer Bell.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sveriges Television.
The Killing (Forbrydelsen), Netfilx DVD Rental
No, we're not cruel enough to suggest the meandering, ultimately frustrating U.S. version of The Killing. The Danish version is far tighter, more effective and engrossing than what AMC put together. Like True Detective, this is a series that gains strength by focusing on one case, with two strong leading characters, and an unconventional (though realistic) movement through its mystery. Also, we love that sweater.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC/Universal.
Hannibal, NBC Anywhere
Based on characters from author Thomas Harris' books (and films) Silence of The Lambs and Red Dragon, Hannibal gives you all the ultra-intellectual meat you want after True Detective — with sides of gore and horror. Oddly, despite featuring disembowelments on the reg, it's the most conventional series here. Still, it treads into the same disturbing areas of the psyche that True Detective does.
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Photo: Courtesy of Channel Four Film.
The Red Riding Trilogy, Amazon Instant
At last we come to a trio of movies (Red Riding '74, '80, and '83) that, together, are as close to True Detective as you can get. Bleaker than bleak (and we mean bleak), Red Riding spans a decade-long period from the mid '70s to '80s as reporters and detectives investigate the corruption and horror surrounding the unsolved abductions and murders of little girls. Sound familiar?

It's as brutal and throbbing as True Detective and its grey, run-down location in Northern England's York mirrors Louisiana in many ways. It's not as kinetic as True Detective, and doesn't have a consistent, charismatic lead to carry you through all the flicks. Still, these three separate films feature a stellar cast including Andrew Garfield, Rebecca Hall, Michelle Dockery, Sean Bean, and a slew of other English faces you'll recognize from Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, and The Walking Dead. Worth a late-night rental any time.

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