British crime shows (split from Mare of Easttown)
If you're enjoying Mare of Easttown (influenced by British crime shows) or just looking to try something different, the UK offers a wide variety of police/crime/mystery shows. I'll mention some good/bad (personal preference) ones I've seen; hopefully others will chime in.
Babylon - amazing dialogue
The Bay - a police officer and mother tries to keep her household together while solving crime. I found the second series stronger than the first.
Broadchurch seasons 1-2 - great interplay between the two detectives investigating murders
Death in Paradise seasons 1-6, 10 - (Mostly) lighthearted series about a fish out of water UK detective sent to a Caribbean island where he solves crimes. May be problematic for some viewers (white male detective in charge of black officers).
Foyle's War - crime doesn't stop just because there's a War on.
Gangs of London - heard great things about this but haven't seen it yet. Clips on YT indicate the action is amazing.
Grace - only one episode out but strong so far
Line of Duty - internal affairs investigating police corruption. Gets more unbelievable with each new series (like a lot of British crime shows) but has strong material/scenes
Luther - serious (gory) crimes
Marcella - while completely unbelievable, Anna Friel keeps the show interesting as a policewoman with a mental disorder
Prime Suspect - tough policewoman makes her way in a male-dominated force. I found it good until the drug dealer? episode where the quality nosedived.
Sherlock - Holmes and Watson in modern times. I found the show uneven but still entertaining.
Unforgotten - two detectives investigate cold cases. I find the stories pretty meh but the two leads elevate the material
Vexed - comedy
Death in Paradise seasons 7-8 - boring detective
Life of Crime - notable mostly for Haley Atwell as the star
Prime Suspect: Tennison - attempted reboot of classic series
Wild Bill - US police chief moves to UK to becomes a chief constable. Dull except for some interesting characters
Death in Paradise season 9 - show writers badly misjudged the humor this season
Broadchurch season 3 - not just the victim was hit in the back of the head this season, the writers were as well
I’m sure any British crime drama fan worth their salt is already on to these, but I would also recommend Happy Valley, River (Stellan Skarsgård!), Strike, The Fall, DCI Banks, Safe, The Missing/Baptiste, The Five, Whitechapel, and Ripper Street.
I think I watched it on Netflix, but that was few years ago. Any free trials you can grab to watch it? Not a ton of episodes, could probably binge it in a week. In any case it's definitely worth watching!
I do also enjoy the "Hey, it's that guy/gal" as every British character actor in existence has apparently guest starred at one point in the show's 22 seasons.
While I don't think every show is great, I do appreciate that so many are set in different regions of the UK, giving the shows different feeling, character, and accents. Hinterland in Wales, Shetland up on its namesake Scottish islands, Vera in and around Newcastle; even on Death in Paradise, with all of its issues, I do kind of like that they set a show on a (fictionalized) Caribbean British territory. Also, when I discovered Gary Carr had been a main character for a few seasons, it occurred to me I have now seen him on DiP, The Deuce, and Downton Abbey, and not once have I seen him speak in his native English accent.
Luther - Not the most complex of shows, but that cast!
Shetland - I like this one quite a lot. The main guy is who I think of when I imagine the stereotypical serious British procedural detective.
Broadchurch - The first season was great. I did not watch the following series when their reviews were less than glowing.
Ripper Street - Not my favorite, but if you're into Victorian London, it might be for you. Points for introducing me to pre-Succession Matthew MacFadyen and for giving guest spots to what felt like half of Game of Thrones' early cast, including Jerome Flynn as one of the leads.
Hinterland - Only saw a couple episodes of this one. Seems pretty grim.
Midsomer Murders - Like I said, a bit of a guilty pleasure. Constantly has me question when the murderers of Midsomer County will figure out to stop murdering for a few days when DCI Barnaby shows up to investigate. You'd think the guy's reputation would get around. Roku has a streaming channel called Filmrise Mysteries and marathons the show every so often, so now I have two places to watch this one.
Vera - Not as somber as the PBS advertisements and Vera's wardrobe made me believe.
Father Brown - I've yet to watch a full episode, but Dad Weasley as a priest on a bicycle will probably pull me in at some point. Not to mention Bunty's fashion. She and Mrs. McCarthy seem to make a good team.
Collateral - Only four episodes. Hard to beat that.
I am planning to catch Sherlock, Line of Duty, and Gangs of London at some point.
I want to say it's on BritBox, but I'm not sure.