5 Shows that Work as Companions to True Detective


We’re on in a golden age of television, and that means that there are other great shows out there besides True Detective. These series share in True Detective’s dark vision and go a long way to proving that True Detective’s time is now. Viewers are craving, darker, more full-bodied storytelling experiences. True Detective is just one stop on that ride, and it shares the route with many other fantastic shows.

This isn’t about what series may or may not be better than the other (or True Detective,) it’s about spreading the love and examining the shared influences floating around out there. There have always been alternative dark storytelling on television, but there’s never been a more consistently good lineup of television.

We’re at the point now where it’s perfectly acceptable to stay home and watch an episode of Fargo than go and see a movie. This is not meant as an exhaustive list, and remember, if you disagree remember to let us know!

5. Fargo

Credit: FX

Fargo was one of the most celebrated new series last season. Featuring a similar anthology format to True Detective, it famously didn’t go up against True Detective at the Emmy’s due True Detective being submitted as a Drama. Hopefully that’s under the bridge, because Fargo is a legitimately thrilling experience.

Fargo takes the strict darkness of True Detective and adds a distinct Cohen Brothers twist, making the proceedings just as brutal, but also perhaps easier to swallow. Fargo and True Detective have been rivals in the past, but w’ere looking to move past that when they both come back next year.

4. The Bridge

The Bridge is a detective series much like True Detective, and also features two very different people that would rather not work together. It’s a fine sister show to True Detective and features a standard storytelling format, no anthologies here. The Bridge and Fargo are both FX shows, which certainly does not go unnoticed. FX is making a name for itself when it comes to offering up compelling drama.

3. Sleep Hallow

This one may seem a little out there, but stay with us. Besides featuring another detective duo, Sleepy Hallow has very little to do with True Detective. There is a definite dark bent to Fox’s take on the Sleepy Hallow mythos, but it has much more brevity and comedic relief than the full-on drama bent of True Detective.

So then why is it on this list? It’s here because Sleepy Hallow offers up a true supernatural detective show that’s perfect for those whose interests’ were piqued by the Lovecraft essence of True Detective. Sleepy Hallow offers no teases, it’s all out there. 

2. The Leftovers

The Leftovers is another hit for HBO, even if it hasn’t yet reached the same point of cultural breakout that True Detective has. A sometimes traumatic series about those that were left behind after the rapture, The Leftovers offers complicated character studies in a post-apocalytpic world.

The setting of the first season of True Detective frequently feels post-apocalytpic, and Left Behind takes that to the literal extreme. HBO is certainly no stranger to producing dark, affecting dramas, and Left Behind and True Detective are both just the most recent on a long and prestigious list.

1. Hannibal

Hannibal is one of the darkest and most violent shows to ever be on broadcast television. In fact, it’s so brutal and artistically staged that it’s easy to forget it’s not on cable. Out of all the shows on this list, Hannibal may match True Detective’s tone the best. The fact that these two shows are on at the same time almost feels like a boon of begin born at the right time.

Hannibal is proving to be the most compelling take on the cannibal story and will be returning next year for a third season. Hannibal pre-dates True Detective’s premiere by some time, but watching both back to back this Halloween would be some powerful nightmare fuel.