It’s a mystery - a murder mystery.
Like it or not, lots of people are into murder mysteries. We like the adventure that it brings, the questions that are raised, and everything else involved. And while there are plenty of murder mystery movies out there, such as Murder on the Orient Express or Knives Out (which is getting a 2022 sequel on Netflix), sometimes, we want a mystery that takes place over several episodes and not just two hours.
That’s where these fantastic “whodunnit” TV shows come into play. From hits coming from the 2022 TV schedule, such as Only Murders in the Building, to older shows that you’ll surely love just as much, these are 10 of the best “whodunnit” TV shows that you should most certainly check out.
Only Murders In The Building (2020 - Present)
If you want an amazing show that’s recent, you need to check out Only Murders in the Building. Starring Selena Gomez, Martin Short, and Steve Martin, the series tells the story of a group of true crime fans who decide to create their own murder mystery podcast when a murder occurs in their building, and also attempt to solve the case.
Truly, this has been one of my favorite shows of 2022 overall, and a fantastic whodunnit show. Not only is the chemistry between the three lead stars spectacular, but the story itself is full of twists and turns that you would never expect, and it makes you wonder what could possibly happen next. As someone who has been a fan of all of these actors for many years (especially Selena Gomez, since I grew up watching her), this is one of their best projects in years. And, a third season is already on the way for 2023 - with Paul Rudd!
Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
Next up, we have Twin Peaks, an older show from the nineties that is an amazing whodunnit series. In this show, we follow Dale Cooper, the detective on the case of the murder of Laura Palmer. But, as the mystery starts to unravel, he begins to notice that things aren’t all that they seem.
The series, while it originally only lasted for two seasons, returned for a third in 2017 after it gained a cult following. The show itself is such a staple in whodunnit television and a series where you have no idea what the heck is going to come next. And, let me talk about the cinematography, some of the shots in this series are beautiful. It’s done so well and is a series you should certainly check out if you’ve never seen it before.
True Detective (2014 - Present)
This HBO anthology series is one of the best out there. True Detective is a crime drama where, in each season, we follow a new cast and a new story as they take on a new mystery that somehow gets even crazier than the last, from serial killers to corrupt politicians to so much more.
This show is seriously so good, and the fact that each season has a completely new plot makes it even better. The stories themselves are widely different and really capture your attention right away, and the casts are always star-studded. The latest season of the show (which released in 2019), stars Mahershala Ali. Season 4 is already confirmed with several new stars.
Pretty Little Liars (2010 - 2017)
If you want to talk about a landmark in teen television dramas, this is the one. Pretty Little Liars tells the story of five best friends in a clique that falls apart when Alison, their leader, suddenly vanishes. But, a year later, they begin receiving messages from an unknown source called “A,” threatening to expose their past and secrets. Now, it’s up to them to figure out what happened to Alison and who A is.
God, this series. I remember distinctly when this show came out when I was in middle school that it was so popular, to the point where I didn’t even want to watch it. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve given the show a shot and honestly, it’s a lot of fun. I do enjoy the mystery behind it and I believe that it was worthy of the hype. It even got a new HBO Max spinoff, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, years later, so it’s worth your time.
Dexter - Season 1 (2006 - 2007)
Dexter is one of the best Showtime shows out there. Featuring the titular character, Dexter Morgan, the first season of this series follows a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, who has a habit of killing bad people to soothe his carnal desire for blood. However, when another killer begins to play games with him, he takes it upon himself to figure out who it is.
While I would mainly consider the first season of Dexter a “whodunnit” show for the purpose of this list, the rest of the series is great (minus that ending, but Dexter: New Blood made up for it). Michael C. Hall is a great leading man for the role of Dexter, and the show has plenty of moments that will shock and amaze you all at once. The mystery of the first season, though, is one of the best. And, the ending will leave you with your jaw hanging wide open.
Mare Of Easttown (2021)
Next up on this list, we have Mare of Easttown, an HBO limited series starring Kate Winslet. In this drama, we follow a detective in Pennsylvania who is struggling with her own issues and her world is rocked when a murder occurs in her small town. Now, it’s up to the detective to figure out who did this, as well as the link between the murder and a suspicious amount of missing women who have been reported.
I think what I love about the Mare of Easttown is that it’s a very condensed story. It doesn’t get too crazy or out of this world, mainly just takes place in this small town, and features some truly amazing actors. The Mare of Easttown cast is great, too, offering very compelling performances. The mystery is believable, and you won’t be able to put down the remote after you start watching it.
Veronica Mars (2004 - 2019)
Next up, we have the popular CW series (which returned later on Hulu), Veronica Mars. Starring Kristen Bell, this teen drama follows her story as the titular character who also tries to solve mysteries as a private investigator, with her father’s help. And while each season she tries to solve smaller mysteries, there’s always one major case that she’s working towards solving by the end of the season. The first focuses on her friend’s murder, the second on a group of students killed in a bus crash.
The first two seasons of Veronica Mars are truly the “whodunnit” seasons of the show and the best, but the other two seasons have interesting mysteries that people can enjoy. It’s really Kristen Bell in her lead role that makes this show so fun, because she’s just so good as Veronica Mars. Truly, one of Bell's best characters.
One Of Us Is Lying (2021 - Present)
If you’re looking for a Peacock original series, check out One Of Us Is Lying. In this teen mystery, five students go into detention one day, and only four come out. Now, we're along for the ride to see who of the four students is lying about the death of one of their classmates.
As someone who read the book, this was such a good adaptation that I actually ended up watching it twice. The One Of Us Is Lying cast is outstanding in their roles, and the mystery is played out very well over the course of the first season. There’s even a Season 2 coming out very soon, so you might as well check it out now.
The Afterparty (2022)
AppleTV+ has been coming out with some awesome shows, and The Afterparty only adds to that. This Apple TV+ original stars plenty of famous names, such as Tiffany Haddish, Dave Franco, Sam Richardson, and more, and tells the tale of a high school reunion gone wrong when someone is murdered.
The Afterparty is such a distinct murder mystery, and what I like about it is that it tells the night from different perspectives. You don’t really know who to trust at first because everyone seems to have a reason as to why they aren’t the killer, but seeing it through the eyes of everyone else is so cool, and it helps that the show is seriously funny. Season 2 is on the way, so you might as well watch it now.
Stream The Afterparty on Apple TV+.
How To Get Away With Murder (2014 - 2020)
Last but not least, we have How To Get Away With Murder. Starring Viola Davis, this series starts off when a local sorority girl is murdered. A law professor and five of her students end up getting all caught up in it, and not everyone is being so truthful about who knows what.
This show is so unbelievably good. The murder mystery is done so well and I truly am astounded at what they were able to do. The How To Get Away With Murder cast is amazing - and of course, Viola Davis is always a win. She ended up winning an Emmy award for her portrayal in the show, so you know she is just astounding.
Honorable Mention: Riverdale In Its Earlier Seasons (Seasons 1 And 2, 2016-2018)
Okay, hear me out.
Riverdale is a CW show that takes place in the town of Riverdale where strange things happen all the time, mainly following Archie Andrews and his friends. Don’t watch Seasons 3-6. They’re just bad, and the twists and turns have gotten even stranger - and some don’t even make any sense.
However, the first two seasons of the show are actually pretty good television. The murder mystery surrounding the death of Jason Blossom, and the Black Hood killings really captured attention, and I think that for anyone who is into whodunnits, this would be entertaining to watch. Give it a shot. Just don’t see the rest of the show after, ugh.
With so many amazing choices, you’ll be swimming in murder mysteries for ages. It’s time to get on your detective hat and retrieve your notepad - we got some murders to solve!
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Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!