The best true-crime shows are more than just a series: They’’e part of the cultural conversation. Remember when Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness captivated everyone in 2020? It was all anyone could talk about. That’s the power of a good true-crime show.
And there are so many out there: Have you seen Hulu’s The Act, a miniseries that centers on the real-life murder of Dee Dee Blanchard, a mother with Munchausen syndrome by proxy who intentionally made her daughter, Gypsy, sick? Or director Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us, which exposes the racism that runs rampant in the criminal justice system? Also, let’s not forget about now classics of the genre like Making a Murderer, Dirty John, and American Crime Story.
True crime is a full-blown phenomenon that spans all different types of media. Podcasts like Serial and Crime Junkie are always in the top slots on iTunes. Documentaries like Fyre quickly go viral on social media and birth hundreds of memes. Why the genre is so popular remains a mystery. Maybe we love it because it helps put our own lives into perspective. Perhaps it’s the car-crash mentality—we just can’t look away. Either way, our culture’s appetite for true crime has reached critical mass, which is why there’s a new movie, TV show, or documentary release seemingly every week.
There’s a lot to digest, so check out our picks for the best true-crime shows, below. We suggest breaking them up with some comedies, though. It’s all about the balance.
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