So, it’s been a month since True Detective ended and you’re wondering What the hell am I gonna watch now? Is there anything out there that can help me ride this high a little longer? I’m here to tell you there is. The moody, gritty, character piece wrapped up inside a grand mystery, that is True Detective, is a tough genre to crack, but here at Renegade Cinema we think we found enough to keep you busy until the sun finally comes out and you gotta start tanning that pasty white skin of yours. You’re Welcome.
#1- Red Riding 1974, Red Riding 1980, & Red Riding 1983
Dubbed “Yorkshire Noir” this story that follows the lives that intersect with the serial murders, police corruption, and organized crime, is actually three full TV-movies that make up a trilogy. Based on a series of books written by David Pearce, the film as moving, gritty, and surprisingly bleak. Young Amazing Spider-man himself, Andrew Garfield stars in the first film (Red Riding 1974) as a young reporter trying to bring down an unethical business owner played by the one and only Sean Bean. Each film covers the year in the title showing how, over the years the crimes have infected each of the players.
Those who watch Doctor Who, might have already see this, as it stars the 10th Doctor, David Tennant. 8 episodes about a town rocked to its very core after a young boy is found dead on the beach. Tennant, is a Detective from the city coming at the murder with cold, clinical mindset, unaffected at how the accusations and inquiries are pealing the corners back on an otherwise idyllic town, all the while working with the local Detective who has roots in the town and might be turning a blind eye to clues because of how it might make her friends look. A strong character drama that will keep you saying, “One more?”
Based on an Elmore Leonard short story called, Fire in the Hole, which introduced us to Raylan Givens, a U.S. Marshall who, after a “justified” quick-draw kill of a mob hit man, Raylan is sent back to his home town in Kentucky to cool off, where he is reunited with an old mining buddy, Boyd Crowder, who is now a white supremacist and rising local criminal. Thus begins the epic 6 season story that shows how fine the line is between right and wrong, and what is the definition of family. Following the journey of Raylan is sometimes dark, sometimes frustrating, and always top-tier television. Season 5 just ended with such a bang that everyone is counting the days until Season 6.
Dripping with moody, forbidding terror, this Michael Mann film was the first film to adapt the Thomas Harris novel, Red Dragon following the story of Special Agent Will Graham as he comes out of retirement to aid in the apprehension of the serial killer, The Tooth Fairy. Those watching the Bryan Fuller TV series Hannibal will recognize aspects of this in it, but this was the beginning. No one can ever forget the wheel chair scene, and arguably the silent menace that Brian Cox brings to his interpretation of Hannibal Lektor is in a league of its own. For trembling, knee-rattling 2 hours of impending dread, look no further than Manhunter.
#5- Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks needs no introduction, if it wasn’t for Twin Peaks we wouldn’t have most TV that we have today- well, not as quickly. David Lynch created a show that originally was never going to ever reveal who murdered Laura Palmer, but after a season and a bit, the network, and audience demanded an answer. An ensemble that launched the careers of countless names, and gave TV execs, and TV viewers permission to take their time, that a story can last a whole season if the writing, and the characters are good. Once you get started, be prepared to give up the rest of the weekend.
And just for fun…
#6- A Touch of Cloth
Charlie Brooker, creator of the must see Zombie series, Dead Set, lends his brilliance to a series that plays like lost episodes of Police Squad. This time, the satire takes aim at Crime Procedurals, and all the tropes that they contain: Long pieces of dialogue that explain the suspects, chase scenes, bloody murder scenes, brooding detectives, diabolical bad guys, and so much comedy that it will take at least three viewings to hear every joke as you will be laughing too much to catch them all. The series just finished their Second Series, each series consisting of 2 one hour length episodes, with a third series already in the can and coming out next year. This is the perfect show to wash away the bleakness you will feel after watching the above list.