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Modern Mystery and Suspense Television: 5 TV Shows Since 2000 That Shaped the Genre

By    |   Wednesday, 02 Mar 2016 04:16 PM

Nothing is more satisfying than unraveling a good mystery. Detectives solving crime has been a staple of television since its earliest days.

Modern mystery and suspense TV shows have found new ways to raise the stakes and redefine the genre along the way. Solving a crime no longer falls to the police or private detectives alone.

Modern mystery and suspense shows have opened that arena up to characters ranging from a famous anthropologist to a fake psychic.

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Here are five modern mystery and suspense shows that helped shape the genre:

1. “24” (2001-2010)

“24” was the perfect TV show for a post-9/11 America. Keifer Sutherland starred as counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer, who raced against time to prevent a crisis each season, which took place within a 24-hour period, every episode representing a real-time hour of that day.

2. “Criminal Minds” (2005-present)

This show followed a crack FBI unit that catches serial killers and other dangerous criminals through using evidence to assemble an accurate profile of the unidentified suspect. “Criminal Minds” offered a much more dark and graphic exploration of crimes and criminals than classic mystery and suspense shows.

The weekly antagonists were often brutal and sadistic, heightening the tension for the team to catch them before they can murder again. This stark realism was an element that other shows have since incorporated into storylines.

3.”Bones” (2005-present)

Part medical mystery, part police procedural, the show teamed the forensic anthropology department at the Jefferson Institute with the FBI to solve particularly grizzly and inexplicable murders.

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Featuring Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, “Bones” was perhaps most notable for having one of the most diverse casts in modern TV. The show was also not afraid to tackle controversial social issues in the course of its crime-solving.

4. “Psych” (2006-14)

Solving mysteries can also be played for laughs, as “Psych” proved during its eight-season run. The show centered on fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer who solved cases with his best friend Burton Guster.

Shawn used heightened powers of observation, disguised as physic readings, to assist law enforcement on complex cases. “Psych” deftly combined humor and '80s pop culture references with suspense to create a fun spin on the traditional private detective TV show.

5. “Veronica Mars” (2004-2007)
A victim of network mergers, “Veronica Mars” lasted only three seasons, but it says something of the show’s enduring appeal that the producers were able several years later to crowdfund a big-screen adaptation in less than a day.

Kristin Bell starred as the titular teenage sleuth, a modern, noirish Nancy Drew who investigates the dark secrets of her affluent, seaside community of Neptune, California. The title character was a smart and confident young woman unafraid to find the truth regardless of the impact of the outcome on her social status.

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Nothing is more satisfying than unraveling a good mystery. Detectives solving crime has been a staple of television since its earliest days. Modern mystery and suspense TV shows have found new ways to raise the stakes and redefine the genre along the way.
modern, mystery, suspense, TV, defined, genre
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2016-16-02
Wednesday, 02 Mar 2016 04:16 PM
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