“Murder” seems to be a common theme on Netflix’s top 10 charts these days, with Dahmer becoming one of the service’s most popular series, and The Watcher in the top spot currently. We also have Unsolved Mysteries, The Midnight Club and The Sinner rounding out the top 5.
I will go ahead and recommend the only show here which is not a Netflix original, The Sinner, which just released its fourth season on Netflix.
The Sinner was originally on USA Network, and it was supposed to be unique, even landing a few Emmy and Golden Globe nominations in the “Limited Series” category. But as tends to happen with many limited series, due to the success it has had, it has become a seasonal show. Four seasons in total, and no more are coming. The series has run its course, so now you can watch it from start to finish.
The common thread running through all seasons is Bill Pullman as beleaguered detective Harry Ambrose, who continues to encounter increasingly bizarre crimes and becomes too intimately involved with them. The series produced four pretty stellar seasons, earning 90%, 97%, 85%, and 88% respectively from seasons 1 through 4 on Rotten Tomatoes. Seasons 1 and 3 were probably my favorites, I haven’t finished both yet for some reason, but I heard it was good. And I really liked season 4, which just arrived on Netflix.
I get a lot of vibes from The Sinner’s True Detective Season 1, which is about the highest praise you can give in the crime genre. The cases are deeply odd, and the show has an artistry that eludes most other series, especially the ones I’m comparing it to here like The Watcher and Dahmer. Dahmer may have been a good show in the end from a production and performance standpoint, but The Sinner isn’t based on real murders or real killers, so there’s no moral qualms about invest in it.
You do not have have watch all seasons in order. I didn’t feel like I missed that many season 2 jumps. Although season 4 at least makes specific references to season 3. The first season is perhaps the most memorable due to the involvement of Jessica Biel, who remained the show’s producer the entire time even though she didn’t appear after season 1. Matt Bomer also gives a particularly disturbing performance in season 3. And Pullman himself is still awesome.
Netflix’s various most popular lists are almost exclusively Netflix Originals half the time now, as the owners of most other series have moved their content to their respective platforms at this point. But The Sinner is a rare case of an old deal still going strong, bringing up a show you might have totally missed, because let’s be honest, who’s watching USA Network in 2022?
So yeah, give The Sinner a chance. Lots of great mysteries and content to tide you over for quite a while.
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