HBO / HBO MAX Crime Dramas

1 season / 7 episodes (so far)
Oscar winner Kate Winslet stars as a moody, no-nonsense detective in a small Pennsylvania town who has to solve a gruesome murder. The story is engaging enough, but nothing you’ve never seen before, but it’s the overall atmosphere of this show, and Winslet’s raw and affecting performance that keep you hooked. Bonus points for a supporting performance from Jean Smart that rivals Winslet’s.
***Emmy Winner***

3 seasons / 24 episodes (so far)
There have been three seasons so far of this dark detective show, and I really can only recommend seasons one and three, although one is still the best (so far). Each season features a new story and a new pairing of police detectives charged with solving a horrible crime. The first season, which was magically weird, creepy and addictive, put Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson together as detectives with as many personal issues as they have suspects. The dynamic between the detectives is almost as much fun as the unfolding narrative, and the chemistry between actors is what holds season one together as both McConaughey and Harrelson feed off each other to deliver career-best performances. Season two wasted Colin Farrell (who was paired with Taylor Kitch in a forgettable story) and season three is not much better, although two-time Oscar winner Merhershala Ali makes it worthwhile with a riveting performance. Season 4 is due sometime next year and will star Jodie Foster and newcomer and professional boxer Kali Reis, so I’ll be making my way back to this show, for sure.
***Emmy Winner***

1 season / 8 episodes
I apparently was the only person on the planet who didn’t know the true story of Michael Peterson, the novelist who was accused of killing his wife, Kathleen, but I still found this fictionalized re-telling of it to be fascinating and compelling. Colin Firth delivers a reliably creepy performance as Peterson and the always-great Toni Collette plays Kathleen, whose death by staircase we see several times, each one more gruesome than the next. It’s not an easy watch and it could have been shortened by a couple episodes, but any fan of true crime dramas should have this at the top of their list.

1 season / 6 episodes
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant are the reasons to watch this melodramatic story about a rich New York City therapist who is accused of murder and his wife who promises to prove his innocence. It’s a bit overdone, but you’ve never seen Grant this dramatic and it’s worth it just to see him squirm.