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Top 10 Best Crime Shows

Written by: Editorial Staff

March 6, 2012
Filed Under TV 


One of the top ten best crime showsContributed by Paul Seaburn, Top 10 Guru

It’s a crime that there’s so many great crime shows on TV and not enough hours in a day so watch them all.

While police shows generally tell stories of crimes and investigations from the side of law and order, I prefer crime shows that focus more on the criminal’s point of view or have unusual investigators or techniques. Here’s my list of the best crime shows.

Many are still on the air, either with new episodes or in reruns, and all are available on DVD.

10. The Wire

One of the top ten best crime shows

The Wire is a very realistic depiction of crime and criminals in Baltimore and the police departments assigned to bring them down. The Wire has a large ensemble cast because each of the five seasons focused on one aspect of the city – the illegal drug trade, the docks, city government, the school system and the newspapers. The Wire ran until 2008.

9. Breaking Bad

One of the top ten best crime shows

Set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Breaking Bad centers around the life of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with terminal cancer. White decides to make and sell methamphetamine in order to pay for his treatment and provide for his family when he’s gone. The series focuses on the dark side of White as he struggles with his disease and his criminal life.

8. The Sopranos

One of the top ten best crime shows

One of the best shows ever about the mob, The Sopranos was the story of fictional Mafia Capo Tony Soprano told mostly in the first person. It takes viewers behind the scenes in the mob crime scene, showing Tony at home, at work and sharing his innermost secrets with his psychotherapist. The series has rough language and plenty of violence and ended in 2007 with a controversial conclusion.

7. Dexter

One of the top ten best crime shows

Dexter is Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern expert for the Miami Metro police department who is also an out-of-the-ordinary serial killer – he follows a moral code taught to him by his father and only kills people who are killers themselves and Dexter must have undeniable proof of their guilt. He collects blood samples from his victims and tries to lead a normal life while hiding his urge to kill, which he calls his “Dark Passenger.”

6. Oz

One of the top ten best crime shows

The Oswald Maximum Security Correctional Facility: Level Four is the setting for Oz, a show about the crime scene inside an experimental prison cell block. The gritty and sometimes violent lives of both the inmates and the guards are realistically depicted as they attempt to survive and get out alive. Oz is narrated by an inmate. The series ended in 2005.

5. Deadwood

One of the top ten best crime shows

Set in Deadwood, North Dakota, in 1876 in the time following Custer’s Last Stand, Deadwood centers around sheriff Seth Bullock, saloon owner Al Swearengen and a cast of good and bad people mixed with historical figures like Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp and Calamity Jane. Stories of good and evil are woven in politics, business and the end of the Wild West. Deadwood ended in 2008.

4. Boardwalk Empire

One of the top ten best crime shows

Boardwalk Empire is based on a real-life politician who ran Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition era of the 1920s and 1930s. Nucky Thompson deals with mobsters, political leaders, government agents, local citizens and historical figures as he’s watched by the federal government for possible ties to organized crime.

3. Sons of Anarchy

One of the top ten best crime shows

Sons of Anarchy is about the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original, also called SAMCRO, in the town of Charming, California. While operating a legitimate auto mechanic shop, SAMCRO also sells guns, deals in porn and has run-ins with rival motorcycle clubs and gangs.

2. The Shield

One of the top ten best crime shows

The Shield centered on an experimental division of the Los Angeles Police Department comprised of a group of detectives called the Strike Team who use a variety of illegal and unethical techniques to maintain order on the streets. The show wrestles with the relationship between police ethics and the demand for safe streets and the quick apprehension of criminals. The last episode aired in 2008.

1. Monk

One of the top ten best crime shows

Monk is the story of Adrian Monk, a former police detective suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder and other phobias since the murder of his wife. He works as a freelance consultant to the police department and uses his photographic memory and ability to focus on the tiniest of details to help solve crimes. Monk ended in 2009.

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