Unveiling the Most Captivating Mystery TV Shows on Netflix and Hulu
Are you ready to embark on a thrilling journey into the enigmatic world of the best mystery TV shows? From the gripping tales of "The Watcher" to the mind-bending twists of "The Sinner," and the alluring puzzles of "Only Murders in the Building" and "Cruel Summer," these addictive series are here to keep you on the edge of your seat, begging for more. Prepare to enter a realm filled with suspense, intrigue, and unexpected turns as we dive deep into these captivating stories that will leave you guessing until the very end. Get ready to unravel the secrets and immerse yourself in the captivating allure of these binge-worthy mysteries.
The Watcher — Netflix
Image via Netflix
Created by: Ryan Murphy & Ian Brennan | Episodes: 7 (2022 – present)
Cast: Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Coolidge, Richard Kind, Mia Farrow
In the midst of the growing popularity of true crime stories, The Watcher can easily be considered one of the best adaptations of real-life crimes available for streaming. This Netflix original series is based on a 2018 article by Reeves Wiedeman in The Cut, which explores actual incidents that occurred in 2014. The show is brought to life by the talented team of Ryan Murphy, known for creating American Horror Story, and Ian Brennan, known for creating Scream Queens. The Watcher follows a married couple who move into their dream home in a fictionalized version of Westfield, New Jersey. However, they quickly find themselves facing hostility from their neighbors and being targeted by creepy letters from an unknown person referred to as "The Watcher."
Originally intended to be a limited series, this true crime drama was renewed for a second season in November 2022. Despite receiving mixed reviews, The Watcher is worth watching for its suspenseful and captivating narrative that keeps audiences hooked until the end. The series features an ensemble cast including talented actors such as Jennifer Coolidge, Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Noma Dumezweni, and Mia Farrow.
The Sinner — Netflix
Created by: Derek Simonds | Episodes: 32 (2017 – 2021)
Cast: Bill Pullman, Jessica Biel, Jessica Hecht, Carrie Coon, Matt Bomer
Another thrilling series produced by Jessica Biel, The Sinner is created and co-produced by Derek Simonds and based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Petra Hammesfahr. This crime procedural anthology series stars Bill Pullman as Detective Harry Ambrose, who investigates a series of crimes committed by individuals who may seem unlikely culprits based on the evidence. Ambrose excels at analyzing their behavior to unravel the motives behind their crimes. He often takes unconventional approaches to solving cases while also navigating his own personal struggles, even if it means putting himself in danger. Each season delves into a new incident where an unexpected person is charged with a crime, and Ambrose returns to solve the cases in his unique way.
The Sinner marks Pullman's return to television since 1600 Penn (2012 – 2013). Biel also stars as the protagonist in the first season. The series has been widely acclaimed by fans and received positive reviews, with the first season attracting the highest viewership and the second season earning the highest approval ratings.
Only Murders in the Building — Hulu
Image via Hulu
Created by: Steve Martin & John Hoffman | Episodes: 22 (2021-present)
Cast: Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez
Solving crimes can be incredibly entertaining and captivating, especially when you have a group of friends who enjoy playing amateur detectives. Created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman, Only Murders in the Building is a quirky and charming mystery series that follows three neighbors-turned-friends living in New York's prestigious Arconia residence. Together, they investigate mysterious deaths that occur within the building. Each season presents a new victim and a fresh set of suspects, with the trio employing their resourcefulness and creativity to uncover the truth and revolutionize the way murder mysteries are perceived. Since its premiere in August 2021, Only Murders in the Building has achieved remarkable success, breaking records and earning recognition, including two Primetime Emmy Awards. The series features a talented ensemble cast led by Martin Short, Steve Martin, and Selena Gomez as the three self-proclaimed sleuths of The Arconia. Each season introduces new characters and cast members, adding to the intrigue.
The highly anticipated third season of the series is set to premiere on August 8, 2023, promising a bigger and more spectacular production than ever before. This Hulu original remains one of the best mystery shows available for streaming, captivating audiences with its casting, performances, music, cinematography, and its ability to combine love, life, and friendship in a wholesome narrative.
Cruel Summer — Hulu
Image via Freeform
Created by: Bert V. Royal | Episodes: 20 (2021 – present)
Cast: Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Brooklyn Sudano
Another anthology series centered around murder mysteries, Cruel Summer combines elements from Pretty Little Liars and 13 Reasons Why, offering even greater depth in terms of characters and their narratives. Produced by Jessica Biel and Bert V. Royal, Cruel Summer tells two different stories set in different time periods. The first season, set in the mid-90s, revolves around two contrasting teenagers: Kate Wallis, popular and affluent, and Jeanette Turner, introspective and nerdy. When Kate goes missing and Jeanette unexpectedly takes her place on the social hierarchy, chaos ensues, resulting in shattered families, friendships, and lives.
The second season of Cruel Summer, set between 1999 and 2000, follows a trio of teenagers, one of whom is killed. As the investigation unfolds, it exposes dark secrets about the victim and their friends, leading the police on a hunt for the truth in a town where everyone has something to hide. Since its premiere on Freeform in April 2021, the series has garnered critical acclaim and a massive viewership. It has been honored with the Best Cable Series, Drama award at the Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards.
From nail-biting suspense to mind-boggling twists, these are just a few of the best mystery TV shows that are sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. From the sinister world of "The Watcher" and the guilt-ridden secrets of "The Sinner" to the captivating camaraderie in "Only Murders in the Building" and the chilling enigma of "Cruel Summer," these shows deliver a thrilling escape from reality. Whether you're a fan of psychological thrillers or complex whodunits, these gripping series on Netflix and Hulu provide endless entertainment for mystery enthusiasts. So grab your popcorn, dim the lights, and prepare to embark on a thrilling journey into the unknown.
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