The Unsolved Mysteries reboot came out this week, and with all the buzz, it’s a perfect time to talk about some of my current favorite true crime shows. I don’t have very many, because I don’t watch very many. I find true crime shows to be very dark and they tend to alter my mood a lot. Looking at crime scenes and hearing details about awful crimes people have committed can be a real downer. But somehow I still enjoy watching them and ironically they’re one of my favorite ways to relax.
There are lots of true crime documentaries and shows out there, but in this list I’m speaking more about documentary-style anthologies. Which means they cover different cases that really happened, rather than one single case (like Tiger King) or fictional stories.
So, here’s my list of current favorites that I watch regularly.
1. Unsolved Mysteries
Unsolved Mysteries was one of my favorite true crime shows as a kid (I also liked Rescue 911 and America’s Most Wanted. It was one of the creepiest shows I had ever seen, and was one of the things that led me to loving the horror genre. But the very best part was getting an update on the cases with new information. I even enjoyed the Dennis Farina version, which many hardcore fans dislike (I like it a bit more actually). I still love re-watching old episodes.
I had heard rumors of a reboot for a while but when it became official that the show was coming back, I was so excited. The king of true crime shows was returning! After seeing the preview and then watching it this week, I’m a bit disappointed. The reboot is missing the soul of the original show, which was what it unique: a narrator with a cool voice, bad reenactments, tacky graphics and visuals, and just an overall distinct style that still stands apart from any other true crime show. In this new version, each episode is more like a single documentary focusing on one case, and there’s only 6 episodes total at the moment. There’s no narrator, no reenactments, and they updated the look of it so much that the show itself looks very visually similar to any other modern true crime show currently airing on TV. It feels like they’re just trying to tell creepy stories, which wasn’t the point, rather than get as many cases solved as they can like the original show, where they would easily put 3-5 cases in each episode.
All that aside, and even though it didn’t feel like the show I remember, I still found it dark and creepy and most of the episodes were interesting to watch. And I know the point of the show is to solve cases, not to entertain me. So I hope it helps to solve some of those cases and I hope we get to see more episodes soon.
2. The First 48
The First 48 is my current favorite true crime show! I typically watch some of it just about every day when it comes on TV. It was the first show I watched where they took you to real crime scenes and inside real murder investigations. Needless to say, it’s very creepy, dark, and sad to watch. And I can’t get enough of it. It’s also very scary to see Dallas on there, which is near where I live.
Just like Unsolved Mysteries and Snapped, this show has an awesome narrator that has been around for years and he MAKES the show. I could not watch the original show (there are a couple of spin-off shows) without him.
I don’t really watch this show as much anymore (unless it’s an older episode) but it’s still one of my top favorites. I quit, for the simple reason that they changed the narrator a couple of years ago. Yes, that made a big difference to me. Just like Unsolved Mysteries and First 48, this show is nothing without a distinct narrator with a cool voice to walk you through the story.
Although this show is overdramatized a LOT, I love the concept of showcasing stories of women who kill and commit crimes, since murderers are often thought to be men.
You can stream Snapped on Oxygen.
4. American Greed
This is the only show my list that isn’t about murder. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s all about criminals who committed fraud and ran scams, often to cheat unsuspecting victims out of large amounts of money. Some of the more famous cases and people they’ve covered include Fyre Festival, Mike Sorrentino (Jersey Shore), and the 2019 college admissions scandal. Like th others, this show has a fantastic narrator, Stacy Keach, who ties it all together. As you can tell, that’s definitely a quality that draws me into a good true crime anthology!
You can stream American Greed on CNBC.
5. Cold Case Files
I don’t watch Cold Case Files as much either because honestly it’s often a bit too creepy and dark for me, believe it or not. It often focuses on cases involving serial killers and predators, and it gives a ton of details, which is so chilling. But when I’m looking for true crime to watch and I happen to see this on, I’ll usually watch. Just like with Unsolved Mysteries and First 48, there’s a certain satisfaction you get from seeing that the criminal was caught or put behind bars.
- America’s Most Wanted
- Rescue 911
- True Life Crime
Do you have a favorite true crime show?