The Best Crime TV of 2022 ‹ CrimeReads

2022 was a fantastic year for television, so making this list was harder than usual. And it is usually hard! But there were so many excellent shows that picking a mere 15 to rave about felt nearly impossible. You do not know what I have been through, making this thing. So I picked 20 to spotlight and listed a bunch of honorable mentions at the end. Hopefully one of these will satisfy your entertainment cravings, during this cozy end-of-year stretch.

TV in general had an excellent year as well, and if you’re looking for recommendations in the non-crime department(s), try Season 1 of Pachinko, Season 4 of Stranger Things, Season 2 of Abbott Elementary, Season 4 of What We Do in the Shadows, Season 3 of Derry Girls, Season 1 of The Bear, Season 4 of Atlanta, Season 1 of Fleishman is in Trouble, and Season 3 of The Boys. Or just watch the BBC series Ghosts, the best comedy currently on the air (not to be confused with the American spin-off of the same name on CBS, which is cute).

Anyway, if you want crime TV, keep reading! This list composes many different types of shows. This was a great year for “the miniseries,” a great year for the “true crime” adaptation, a great year for the “millennial whodunnit.” I did not rank this list, but I did check it twice. So.


The White Lotus, Season 2 (HBO Max)

Season 2 of this canny social satire takes place in Italy, at another luxurious White Lotus property. There’s almost a totally new cast, but the frame is the same: a body is found, and the whole season is a long, slow ride towards figuring out who it is. Allora.—OR

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Slow Horses, Season 1 (Apple TV+)

Based on the widely acclaimed Mick Herron novels, Slow Horses follows the exploits of Slough House, where the bottomed-out agents of MI5 are sent to shuffle through the rest of their careers in quiet disgrace. But then, of course, something happens that brings them back into action. A compelling thriller bundled up with grace notes of dark humor, this adaptation boasts a pretty incredible cast, with Gary Oldman, Olivia Cooke, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jonathan Pryce, and more. Serious espionage fans have long had this one circled on their calendar.—DM


The Dropout, Limited Series (Hulu)

Amanda Seyfried acting her heart out as discredited Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is the best part of this all-around excellent true-crime drama miniseries from Elizabeth Meriwether.—OR

Reacher, Season 1 (Amazon Prime Video)

Reacher, Season 1 (Amazon Prime Video)

“Waiting is a skill like anything else.” And we waited. And now Jack Reacher is back! Alan Ritchson plays our favorite retired military police officer-turned-investigator in this explosive new series.—OR


Bad Sisters, Limited Series (Apple TV +)

This wonderful ten-episode miniseries follows the five Garvey sisters—Eva, Grace, Becka, Ursula, Bibi), who, after the death of their parents, promise to look out for one another. Even if it means murdering Grace’s abusive husband. PERFECT holiday entertainment. —OR

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The Old Man, Limited Series (FX)

My parents were very adamant that I watch this compelling espionage/on-the-lam drama about a retired, widowed operative (Jeff Bridges) living a quiet life with his two dogs, who has to go on the run after he is found by the United States government three decades after turning on an investigation and going underground. John Lithgow plays his former friend, who is now in charge of hunting him down. And man, my parents were spot-on with their recommendation.—OR


Andor, Season 1 (Disney +)

Andor was one of the great delights of 2022, a propulsive and emotional prison break drama in space. Diego Luna is magnetic, reprising his role as Cassian Andor from Rogue One, but you don’t even need to have seen it in order to enjoy.—OR

Severance, Season 1 (Apple TV+)

Severance was the single-best television show of 2022, in my opinion. And if you haven’t watched, you had better go fix this. It is about a company, Lumen, whose workers’ memories about life outside work are inaccessible during work hours, and vice versa. Part scathing condemnation of workplace culture, part white-hot thriller.—OR


The Patient, Limited Series (Hulu)

The Patient, a gripping new miniseries from Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, is about a serial killer (Domhnall Gleeson) who kidnaps a psychologist (Steve Carell) and keeps him in his basement so that they might have intensive therapy sessions that keep him from acting on his homicidal urges. A good show to watch if you feel trapped, this holiday season? No?—OR

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Dead to Me, Season 3 (Netflix)

Our unlikely best friends Jen Harding (Christina Applegate) and Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini) are back in the final installment of this madcap crime series about murder, cover-ups, money-laundering, and other ties that bind. Once again, this duo is wickedly entertaining—OR


Under the Banner of Heaven, Limited Series, (Hulu)

Andrew Garfield is the lead in this sweeping, epic crime story based on the devastating Jon Krakauer book of the same name, about a police detective whose faith is tested when he investigates a murder of a Mormon woman and her baby.—OR


We Own This City, Limited Series (HBO)

The investigative book by Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton is now getting an HBO adaptation from none other than David Simon, George Pelecanos, and Reinaldo Marcus Green. The story follows the egregious abuses of the Gun Trace Task Force, emblematic of the broader structural ills of the so-called War on Drugs and the militarization of America’s police forces. This is the series Wire fans have been waiting on for a long while.—DM


The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, Limited Series (Apple TV+)

Samuel L. Jackson is incredible in this gorgeous, elegiac six-episode series based on the Walter Mosley novel of the same name. The Last Days of Ptolemy is about a lonely older man on the brink of dementia, who winds up caring for an orphaned teenager (Dominique Fishback). And then they learn about a treatment that might be able to restore his slipping memories. In case you’re wondering, yes it is a crime series.—OR

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Magpie Murders, Limited Series (Masterpiece/PBS)

The show we’ve all (or at least, me and my mystery-loving friends) been waiting for! Anthony Horowitz adapted his own novel into this delightful, six-episode meta-whodunnit, and man did he do a wonderful job. Perfect for Boxing Day-lounging.—OR


Better Call Saul, Season 6 (Netflix)

The final season of Better Call Saul, capturing the final stage of Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman, was hilarious and bittersweet. Best enjoyed over Cinnabon.—OR


Reservation Dogs, Season 2 (FX)

Season 2 of the fantastic breakout series Reservation Dogs begins with the gang broken up and scattered, with their big dream of making it to California more elusive than ever. But that doesn’t stop them.—OR


Barry, Season 3 (HBO Max)

Season 3 of Barry is the most grueling yet, but the most worthwhile. Gene Cousineau forever!—OR

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Black Bird, Limited Series, (Apple TV +)

This one comes to us from none other than Dennis Lehane. It’s based on a memoir from James Keene, who was serving a ten year sentence at a minimum security prison when, in the hopes of getting his time reduced, he agreed to be moved into a maximum security outfit, bunking with a believed serial killer in the hopes of getting a confession from him.—DM

Tokyo Vice, Season 1 (HBO Max)

We enjoyed Tokyo Vice, the J.T. Rogers-created, Michael Mann-produced adaptation of Jake Adelstein’s memoir of the same name, about an American journalist in Japan who stumbles on a case involving yakuza and organized crime.—OR


The Good Fight, Season 6 (Paramount+)

The final season of the under-sung, but fantastic series The Good Fight is finally here! And it’s a perfect farewell. It’s not too late to get in on of the best shows on television.—OR


Other Worthy Crime and Mystery TV Shows from 2022:

The Girl From Plainville, Limited Series (Hulu)

Shining Girls, Limited Series (Apple TV+)

Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, Limited Series (BritBox)

Candy, Limited Series (Hulu)

Wednesday, Season 1 (Netflix)

Three Pines, Season 1 (Amazon Prime Video)

The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window, Season 1 (Netflix)

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Inventing Anna, Limited Series (Netflix)

The Flight Attendant, Season 2 (HBO Max)

Jack Ryan, Season 3 (Amazon Prime Video)

Search Party, Season 5 (HBO Max)

Only Murders in the Building, Season 2 (Hulu)

Ozark, Season 4 (Netflix)

Our Flag Means Death, Season 1 (HBO Max)

Peaky Blinders, Season 6 (Netflix)

Shantaram, Season 1 (Apple TV)

Archive 81, Season 1 (Netflix)

#Crime #CrimeReads

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