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5 Shows like Making a Murderer: True Crime

Charlotte Lucas itcher‘Making a Murderer’: we haven’t stopped talking about it since it first aired in December 2015. Potentially the most successful Netflix Original series around, the world is divided as to whether they believe the real life accused is guilty or innocent. If you’re into TV shows like ‘Making a Murderer’ – shows with the power to turn you into an armchair detective – watch ‘American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson’ and ‘Fargo’. ~ Charlotte Lucas

A Controversial Documentary

A documentary that took ten years to make, ‘Making a Murderer’ tells the story of a terrible crime as well as a potentially innocent and wrongly accused individual. Viewers are divided on whether Steven Avery actually did the crime, but even more importantly, the documentary has brought up important questions about the American legal system.

If you like your television to be gripping and full of suspense, read on for my recommendations.


Shows Similar to ‘Making a Murderer’…

‘American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson’ (Scott & Larry Productions, 2016-Present)

This show has transported the famous OJ Simpson trial from 1995 all the way into 2016. People who followed the case are transfixed on the series for the nostalgia and those of us who were too young to remember are devouring the juicy details for the first time.

Ryan Murphy (of ‘American Horror Story’ and ‘Scream Queens’) has made yet another successful show with ‘American Crime Story’. For those who love crime and courtroom shows, ‘The People v. O. J. Simpson’ kills two birds with one stone.

Similarity Match: 90%
‘American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson’ and ‘Making a Murderer’ show fascinating court cases but the latter has the edge on addictiveness.

‘Fargo’ (26 Keys Productions, 2014-Present)

Based on the film of the same name by the Coen Brothers, ‘Fargo’ is unmissable TV. In particular, Billy Bob Thornton is great as villain Malvo in season one – he will give you nightmares.

It’s not for the faint-hearted as the detectives follow Malvo’s trail of destruction: bloody massacres, blackmail and revenge killings are rife and keep the excitement going.

If season one was a success, season two has been hailed by many as the best thing on television right now. Bringing in the big names with stars Kirsten Dunst and Brad Garrett, it’s not one to miss.

Don’t take my word for it – read this article for more on Fargo’s brilliance.

Similarity Match: 80%
Both ‘Fargo’ and ‘Making a Murderer’ portray crime in scary, isolated American towns. Both are genius, but time will tell whether the latter will stand the test of time as ‘Fargo’ has.

‘True Detective’ (Anonymous Content, 2014-Present)

This show stays firmly with the detectives – as the title may suggest – keeping the focus on the pursuit of criminals. The show is full of drama, showing how personal relationships unravel alongside the more suspenseful action.

A word of warning: it is bloody and gruesome, with horrific scenes that will linger in your mind. Detectives Rust and Marty will definitely make you reconsider the profession; there is little glamour to be found here.

As is often the way, the show’s second season wasn’t as well received as the first. Read this to find out why.

Similarity Match: 75%
‘True Detective’ aims to fictionalise crime like those we see in ‘Making a Murderer’. Both shows will keep you in suspense, but the former is too obviously fictional to keep you gripped all the way through.

‘Broadchurch’ (Kudos Film and Television, 2013-Present)

‘Broadchurch’ is an example of British TV done right. Set on the coast, it follows the case of a child who is murdered, thus tearing the whole town apart. All the locals want to work out who did this – but of course, it was one of them.

This is one of those crime shows in which every episode features someone different in the hot seat as the prime suspect. Even if you think you know, you could be wrong. The show not only reveals who killed the child, but it sheds light on all the residents of Broadchurch and carries the message that everyone has skeletons in their closet.

For more on this fantastic show, read our article here.

Similarity Match: 70%
Though ‘Broadchurch’ is every bit as chilling and brilliant as ‘Making a Murderer’, it lacks the potential creepiness of American isolation.


If You Like ‘Making a Murderer’, You Will Like…

The next suggestion is alike to the previous as it portrays crime, but it is perhaps the most similar to ‘Making a Murderer’ for one reason: it is based on true events.

This makes the details even more harrowing, as you have to watch while knowing it all really happened. Read on for my final TV series like ‘Making a Murderer’.

‘The Staircase’ (Maha Productions, 2004)

This documentary series tells the story of a husband accused of murdering his wife. He had initially claimed that she died by falling down the stairs. But what really happened?

There were lots of sensational aspects to this story: sex, lies, and betrayals, with secrets hiding around every corner.

With lots of twists and turns along with some serious courtroom action, this was surely ‘Making a Murderer’ in the making. The fact that the documentary was released just a year before the events of ‘Making a Murderer’ makes this even more poignant.

Both ‘The Staircase’ and ‘Making a Murderer’ are based on real events and are, therefore, incredibly thought-provoking. However, the former attracted little attention in comparison.


Did He or Didn’t He?

It goes without saying that if you still haven’t watched ‘Making a Murderer’, you need to watch it. Right now. Especially if you’re into crime shows and documentaries, you will absolutely love it. Afterwards, you can join in on the discussion that has divided opinion: did he or didn’t he?

Did you like my list of series similar to ‘Making a Murderer’?

Have you watched the show?

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