10 Forgotten Mystery TV Shows That Deserve A Second Chance
Audiences love a good mystery, so it only makes sense that there are endless genre-appropriate shows out there. Many of them rank among the most popular series of all time and are constantly reviewed by fans. But there are also a number of solid mystery shows that have been overlooked.
Some of these shows were important in their day only to be gradually forgotten since they went off the air. Other shows didn’t get much attention despite their excellent quality. But for fans of the mystery genre, these are some of the forgotten shows that deserve a second chance.
ten Agatha Christie’s Poirot (1989-2013)
The recent murder mystery Death on the Nile shows that the legendary literary detective Hercule Poirot is still a very popular character. But if the brilliant Belgian detective is well known for his cinematic and literary adventures, his television series deserves just as much praise.
David Suchet lands the title role in Poirot as he investigates complex crimes with his keen eye for detail and human behavior. With Agatha Christie’s writing serving as inspiration, this is a classic mystery series for fans of those stories.
9 Burn notice (2007-2013)
An important factor that can distinguish great mystery shows from others is how intriguing the setup is to the usual Case of the Week structure. Burn notice takes an interesting take on the story of a spy named Michael Westen who is disowned by his government. With few opportunities, he uses his skills to help desperate people.
It’s a lot of fun watching this main character with his back against the wall having to do one impossible job after another. As a bonus, Bruce Campbell co-stars as Westen’s partner.
8 Boom City (2002-2003)
There are countless police procedurals, so it takes a special approach to feel like something new. This was the case with the excellent short-lived C Booming city. The series would focus on one crime in each episode and examine it from various angles.
It was fascinating to see how the details and the action would take on new meaning through the eyes of detectives, civilian witnesses, politicians and witnesses. Despite the clever concept and successful execution, Boomtown only lasted two seasons.
7 The Disappeared (2014-2016)
In the era of prestige television, there has been a shift from the case-of-the-week structure to shorter series exploring a case in greater depth. Such was the case with missinga short drama whose first season dealt with the disappearance of a young boy.
The second season then chronicles a new missing person case with the same detective, Julien Baptiste, investigating. Although the show was acclaimed for both seasons, it never attracted a larger audience.
6 The Singing Detective (1986)
While many fans tune into these types of shows to see the mystery solved, some shows have found other fun elements to balance out the mystery story. The singing detective was a short-lived 1980s series that added a musical twist to the genre.
The miniseries stars Michael Gambon as a mysterious writer bedridden with a serious skin condition. While in a feverish state, his reality begins to merge with his imagination of the “singing detective” persona he created for his novel.
5 Life on Mars (2006-2007)
The BBC broadcast Life on Mars is another series that took a very conceptual approach to the weekly mystery story. The show follows a modern-day police detective who is involved in a car accident and wakes up in 1973.
The time travel element actually isn’t even the most fun aspect of the show, as it’s mostly about the fun and often hilarious characters that make up this cop team on the show. Together they investigate cases in the 1970s and with 1970s tactics.
4 Mr. Mercedes (2017-2019)
There have been a number of adaptations of Stephen King’s work, but Mr Mercedes is surely one of the most underrated. The show stars Brendan Gleeson as a retired detective who is brought back to work in order to catch a ruthless serial killer.
The show is a chilling, grounded thriller that’s heightened by Gleeson’s terrific performance as the obsessed detective. Although it ran for three seasons, few people talk about how good the mystery show was from start to finish.
3 Monk (2002-2009)
Although most of these shows take a pretty serious approach to solving mysteries, Monk showed that this could be done effectively while maintaining a sense of humor. Tony Shalhoub stars as the titular private detective who works alongside the police to solve murders while dealing with his OCD.
The show ran for nine seasons and won multiple Emmy awards, but has since been largely forgotten. However, it’s still a fun and charming take on the genre with an excellent main character. It would make for a fitting revival series after all these years.
2 Moonlighting (1985-1989)
Before Bruce Willis became a movie star, he made a name for himself on the small screen with the inventive and entertaining acting Illegal work. Willis starred as a smart detective who runs a private detective agency with a former model, played by Cybil Shepard.
As fun as the mysteries each week are, the chemistry between the two leads and their will-they-won’t-they dynamic was just as exciting. It was a sharp, smart, and hilarious ride that ended way too soon.
1 Burrows (2010)
When you look at the great shows of the 21st century that were canceled too soon, burrows is often on the list. The show follows a disgraced police detective who joins forces with a former criminal to take small private detective jobs.
Although not the most inventive premise, the fun and clever writing made burrows a lot of pleasure. The characters were likeable, the cases were interesting, and it looked like things were going to get better before it was canceled after one season.
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