Monday, November 4, 2013

My Favorite TV Mystery Shows

I love mysteries. I read them, I write them, and I watch TV mystery-related shows. Here are some of my favorite series. They all have a wonderful cast of three-dimensional characters and great story lines that keep my attention.

“The Mentalist,” “Castle,” and “Elementary,” whose sleuth is Sherlock Holmes. All three are “amateur” detectives who help the police solve crimes. While endearing, all three have irritating personality quirks that are overlooked because they’re so clever at detecting.

“NCIS”—action. Great interaction between members of the team.

 “Hawaii 50” – beautiful scenery, action, and loyalty to the team

“Blue Bloods” – A wonderful portrayal of a family of cops and a sister who’s an assistant DA.

“Rizzoli and Isles” --  Detective Jane and ME Maura are opposites and best friends who play off one another as they solve crimes.

“Hostages” – a taut series of a doctor and her family held hostage in their home. She is to murder the president when she operates on him. The four home invaders have guns, but each is vulnerable in a different way.

“The Blacklist” – James Spader is marvelous as a villain we love to hate. He's willing to help the FBI catch other villains as long as he can work with a young FBI agent who fears her husband is a criminal.

My current favorite:
“Vera,” a British series on PBS starring Brenda Blethyn. Based on Ann Cleeves’ characters, these mysteries have plots that twist and turn.

Stop by and tell me a few of your favorite TV mystery shows.


Kaye George said...

I haven't heard about Vera--I'll check it out. I love The Mentalist, Elementary, and The Blacklist, and occasionally watch the others you mention. Good list!

Amy Bennett said...

I don't have much time to watch TV, but my family always MAKES time to watch "NCIS"! It's one of the best ensemble casts on any show and it's great to see a team who, despite their differences, always pull together and trust each other... it makes them almost invincible!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I'm not a fan of Hawaii 50. Watch NCIS mainly as reruns. Love Castle and Blue Bloods. Blue Bloods I wait until the series is over and then rent it on Netflix. (I can not stay awake because of commercials.)

Palmaltas said...

Call me crazy but the only mystery shows I watch now are the old ones on MeTV: Perry Mason, Ironside, the original Hawaii Five-O, Cannon, Rockford Files and on and on. I used to watch the CSI shows but got tired of them. NCIS annoyed me for some reason (yes, I know it's the most popular show on TV). I loved Castle but now it comes on too late where I live.

Mary Sutton said...

I love the new BBC "Sherlock" with Benedict Cumberbatch. It's a great update and I think Holmes and Watson have a good chemistry (Watson certainly isn't a pushover).

Perhaps my favorite, though, was "Lewis," which unfortunately ended after it's 7th season. Another great chemistry between characters (Lewis and Hathaway) - and I think Hathaway (Laurence Fox) was pretty easy on the eyes. LOL

Marilyn Levinson said...

Kaye, Amy Marilyn, and Pat--
glad you stopped by. I watch most of my shows on DVR or Free on Demand. Soon I'll have a box that allows me to tape 10 shows at a time--not that I'll do that:) As it is, I'm always behind.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Marilyn,

Yes, I also enjoy the public broadcasting mysteries. They are wonderfully varied. I hope they continue the series because I've been introduced to some wonderful authors through the shows.

Patricia Gligor said...

I'd have to say that Blue Bloods is my favorite with Criminal Minds in second place. I also enjoy watching re-runs of Without A Trace, Cold Case and Monk.

bernadine fagan said...

Love Blue Bloods and NCIS. Hawaii 5-0 is okay if it's muted it when Dano is rattling on with his childish banter that we're supposed to think is cute. Not cute!
The Blacklist is good and so is Covert Affairs and Homeland. Just started watching Homeland. Since September, I've managed to see seasons 1 and 2. Excellent plotting.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Another favorite of mine that's now off the air is "Medium." Their story lines were really good.

Janet Greger said...

Looks like you and I have similar tastes and attitudes toward TV mysteries. I'd add Law and Order.
I haven't seen Vera but it has to be good with Brenda Blethyn. Thanks
JL Greger

Patg said...

Vera is very good, saw most of them. Another good one is Scot & Bailey, British detectives, working on extreme cases and if their interogation is correct, it is very skillful.
Prefer Elementary over BBC Sherlock, but watch both. Father Brown, new version, has started here on PBS but at the oddest time.
New Tricks is always good, IF you can get a new one. Always repeating.
Murdoch Mysteries are repeating as the Artful Detective on Ovation Channel, saw them all, but worth rewatching.
Dislike Mentalist and Hawaii 5 O because they are too reckless. Have you driven around Oahu? The are deadly in their macho driving.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Another mystery show I enjoy is "Pie in the Sky." And I used to love the series with the two women gardeners. I adore Felicity Kendall. Ah! Rosemary and Thyme!

Sally Carpenter said...

"Castle" and "Sherlock" are the only new shows I watch. To me, you can't beat the classics. I can rewatch "Columbo" forever. "McCloud" and "The Hardy Boys" are guilty pleasures, silly but fun. Anyone remember "Search"? Not exactly a mystery but interesting and gosh, Hugh O'Brien was so cute!

Marni said...

Inspt Lewis and Endeavour, Vera and Broadchurch head my list. We watch NCIS, Criminal Minds and Elementary. I'm waiting for Louise Penny's Still Life to air in the US. Nathaniel Hawthorne, who played Inspt Lynley, isn't who I pictured as Gamache so I'm interested!

Patg said...

Gosh, how did I forget Rosemary and Thyme? One of my all time favorites, and Pie In the Skye was good too. I adore Endeavour as much as I didn't care for Morse. Go figure.
I found Broadchurch very disappointing.
How about Copper, which is now cancelled?
And I like Whitechapel. Wonder if it is coming back.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Ah yes. Endeavour. I love them all.
I never saw Copper.

marja said...

Castle and NCIS are my favorites, but for the most part we watch pretty much the same shows. I'm becoming a little put off by The Mentalist because I'm tired of Red John.

I really like some of the shows on cable like Burn Notice (ended), Major Crimes, Covert Affairs and others. Sounds like I watch too much TV. LOL
Marja McGraw

Kaye George said...

I'm glad to see someone else say that! I've VERY tired of Red John. I'll watch, just for Simon Baker and his grin, but the Red John thing is so old.

Patg said...

OMG I forgot about Ripper Street. Just saw an ad on FB, so I guess it is coming back.
It like Copper is on BBC America.

Holli Castillo said...

I share a lot of your favorites, although I quit watching the Mentalist because the legal part was so far fetched. I also enjoy Criminal Minds, Law & Order SVU, Rookie Blue, and King. I always say I'm going to refuse to watch new shows because I watch and DVR way too much t.v., but I always cave in the end. Nothing quite as satisfying as a good crime show late at night.

Vonnie said...

Yes, definitely agree about Vera. I like the reality of some of the British series here hard footslog and endless research finally pays off. And there's always the possibility of a carelessly dropped word that leads them on a trail.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Marja & Kaye--
I, too, am tired of Red John.

I also watch Law $ Order SVU and Criminal Minds.

Connie Archer said...

So happy to find another Vera fan, Marilyn and I actually met Ann Cleeves at last year's Malice!
In addition, I'm afraid I've been spoiled by Scandinavian entries: Beck, Annika Bengtzon, Wallander (British and Swedish); Irene Huss; Anno 1790; and Van Veeteren. Soon I'll be speaking Swedish!

Rhoda Baxter said...

I haven't seen Vera, but it sounds very promising.
I love Sherlock and Castle. I used to watch a lot of Columbo, Dempsey and Makepeace (I had a bit of a crush on Dempsey), The Rockford Files, Magnum PI, Scarecrow and Mrs King...

What a great blog post. You've got me drifting off back to the 1980s.

Eileen Obser said...

I'm not a TV watcher, Marilyn, and am therefore so uninformed about current mystery shows as to be ignorant. I watched the original Hawaii 5-0, Columbo, Rockford Files and others, with much pleasure. If I were a mystery writer, I'm sure I'd be in front of the TV for ideas and entertainment. Thanks for this blog and the informative responses.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Thanks for visiting. I can't keep up with all the new mystery shows. But it's fun trying:)