TV X-Streamist | Crime Shows from Foreign Lands
Rusty Unger Looks for Binge-Worthy Detective Dramas
The Twelve (Netflix; subtitles): This Flemish drama tracks the jury trial of a woman accused of killing her best friend and her own little girl. Diving deep into the well-drawn lives of the accused, her family, and all the jurors, viewers have to reach their own verdicts before the truth is revealed — at the last minute. Excellent acting adds to the recommendation.
Criminal: UK (Netflix): There are now two seasons of this intense detective show, each 45-minute episode featuring a different crime and interrogation of a suspect by the same squad of investigators. Each suspect is played by a stellar and often renowned British actor. Perfectly filmed for a pandemic, there are only a few characters in the interrogation room at a time, while the others watch behind a two-way mirror. Of course, we, the audience, are behind our own screens, debating guilt or innocence on our own. This was such a hit that it became a franchise, with France, Italy, and Spain contributing their own new and watchable Netflix versions.
Undercover: Season 2 (Netflix; subtitles): Season 1 of this Belgian crime thriller was one of my favorites last year, and the new season doesn’t disappoint. There was an Ozark-ish tone to it then, with two mis-matched, compelling undercover agents infiltrating a drug operation in what I imagine are the Belgian boondocks. The new season follows most of the same characters, and new ones, with a plot on parallel paths of nail-biting suspense and new backdrops.
Unsolved Mysteries (Netflix): You’ll probably remember this old series when it was hosted by Robert Stack, but these fresh mystery documentaries are on a much higher, slicker, 21st-century level. Almost all are absorbing, and there are now two seasons’ worth.
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