70 Thrilling TV Shows to Watch Right Now

70 Thrilling TV Shows to Watch Right Now

May 17, 2024

Share:

twitter
facebook
reddit
pinterest
link

If you’re craving heart-pounding suspense, nail-biting twists, and relentless excitement, look no further. Embark on a rollercoaster of emotions and delve into the adrenaline-fueled worlds that await. Buckle up, dim the lights, and prepare for a binge-worthy journey that will leave you exhilarated and constantly guessing what comes next. These shows are an invitation to experience the thrill like never before.

11. The Knick

best

9.0

Actors

Andre Holland, Cara Seymour, Chris Sullivan, Clive Owen

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Challenging, Character-driven

Though it takes place in New York at the turn of the 20th century, The Knick is not your typical historical drama. Set to a pulsating techno score and with a whizzing pace and kinetic camerawork, director-cinematographer-editor Steven Soderbergh injects the show with a potent sense of immediacy so that it never feels like a dusty history lesson. The two-season show is set in the titular Knickerbocker Hospital and tracks the intertwining personal and professional dramas of its benefactors and staff — led by Clive Owen’s arrogant Dr. John Thackeray, who works tirelessly at the bleeding edge of medicine, fuelled by his addiction to the then-medically-permissible cocaine.

Thack’s brilliant innovations and thorny personality take up a good deal of the show, but The Knick’s complex ensemble — from André Holland as the city’s first Black doctor to Cara Seymour as an Irish nun who secretly conducts out-of-hours abortions — are equally compelling. What’s more, the show is just as committed to lifting the events of its period out of the history books and into crackling life. With an unsparing eye, it weaves its way through modern medicine’s gory past and New York’s history with racism (both institutional and otherwise), corruption, immigration, and epidemics (such as that caused by “Typhoid Mary”). If you’re looking for a quaint, comfort period drama, The Knick isn’t it — but if you want to get your adrenaline pumping with a gripping, raw ride through history, your prescription is right here.

12. RIPLEY

best

9.0

Country

Switzerland, United States of America

Actors

Andrew Scott, Dakota Fanning, Johnny Flynn

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Character-driven, Mini-series

Ripley delivers an atmosphere-driven, intimately engaging suspense story fueled by money and deceit. The exposition moves slowly, albeit with gorgeous transitions and deliberate, cinematic shots to gush over. But the rich narrative possibilities open up by the second episode, where captivating acting and tense storylines anchor the show simultaneously. Tom Ripley (Andrew Scott), Dickie Greenleaf (Johnny Flynn), and Marge Sherwood (Dakota Fanning) each contribute to an uncomfortable three-way dynamic that you can’t look away from, each a piece of an equation you inexplicably want to root for. This mini-series is a thoroughly compelling, quietly funny work of art already dressed for the awards shows.

13. The Americans

best

8.9

Country

United States of America

Actors

Costa Ronin, Holly Taylor, Keidrich Sellati, Keri Russell

Moods

A-list actors, Character-driven, Dark

It may have never reached the heights of popularity that other prestige antihero dramas of its time did, but The Americans stayed true to itself for six incredibly consistent seasons. In the vein of “real” spy shows and films, it’s much more deliberately paced, with the bulk of the drama taking place not through shootouts or technical wizardry but through the gradually fraying relationships between characters and their respective beliefs. As the Cold War stretches on for Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (played by real-life couple Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell), the former begins to feel increasingly drained by all the violence he’s committed, wishing for a mundane American life; while the latter maintains a steely dedication to her mission, which also puts her loved ones in harm’s way.

Throughout The Americans’ run, it creates a stunningly detailed tapestry of both Soviets and Americans agents giving themselves over to causes that they still don’t fully understand. But perhaps even more so than a story of loyalty to one’s nation, it becomes a story about the constant demands of marriage and of making connections in a dangerous world despite the risk of betrayal. It never announces its themes loudly, but by the end the weight of these characters’ isolation and disillusionment is unlike anything else you could experience on TV.

14. The Capture

best

8.8

Country

United Kingdom

Actors

Andy Nyman, Ben Miles, Callum Turner, Charlie Murphy

Moods

Action-packed, Binge-Worthy, Challenging

In BBC’s The Capture, a young soldier’s murder conviction is overturned thanks to submitted video evidence. But before he can enjoy his newfound freedom, a different video—this time live CCTV footage—places him at the scene of a new crime. The proof seems damning, but the deeper Detective Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) digs into the case, the more she learns about the wider conspiracy underneath it.

The Capture is everything you’d expect from a British police procedural: intelligent, lean, and sufficiently dramatic: no extra fat and unnecessary bits to be found here as action and mystery take center stage. And although TV may already be brimming with thrillers like it, what sets The Capture apart is its eerie insight into our so-called “post-truth” era. Instead of hardened criminals, our heroes go up against deepfakes, disinformation, and 24/7 surveillance. The series lets us know that the threat manipulated technology poses isn’t mere science fiction anymore—it’s evolved into an unfortunate and unbeatable reality.

15. Black Bird

best

8.8

Country

United States of America

Actors

Greg Kinnear, Paul Walter Hauser, Ray Liotta, Robert Wisdom

Moods

A-list actors, Binge-Worthy, Challenging

Based on true events, Black Bird follows James Keene (Taron Egerton), a narcotics dealer sentenced to ten years in jail. He makes a deal with the authorities to reduce his sentence, but in return, James has to befriend their deadliest convict—a child murderer played by the excellently terrifying Paul Walter Hauser—and extract a confession out of him before it’s too late.

If you’re a fan of gripping crime thrillers, anti-heroes, star-studded shows, and watching British actors do a perfect American accent, then Black Bird is right up your alley. The miniseries is also an excellent showcase of topnotch performances; Egerton and Hauser bring the house down in their excellently staged two-handers, Greg Kinnear is reliably sturdy as the determined detective, and Ray Liotta in one of his final roles is devastating as an ailing father. 

16. Poker Face

best

8.8

Country

United States of America

Actors

Natasha Lyonne, Rian Johnson

Moods

A-list actors, Binge-Worthy, Easy

From the very start, Poker Face lays out all its cards—it shows us who dies and in the hands of whom. That is how an episode always opens, but in each case, we’re in a different corner of rural America, bumping elbows with different folks. That’s because our unwitting detective, the human lie detector Charlie (Natasha Lyonne) is on the run from a crime syndicate. So with nothing but her trusty car and the clothes on her back, she races through the US while making friends and enemies along the way. 

There is a pattern to the story, but the thrill lies not in seeing when Charlie inevitably solves the case but in how she does it, which is full of heart and wry humor. Lyonne is absolutely magnetic, and her performance is only one of the show’s many hit-making elements. With a star-studded cast, beautiful Americana backdrop, and masterful editing (whose camerawork and coloring recall the show it references, Columbo), Poker Face sure is a trip to watch.

17. The Last Kingdom

best

8.6

Country

UK, United Kingdom

Actors

Adrian Bower, Adrian Schiller, Alexander Dreymon, Alexandre Willaume

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Instructive, Thrilling

This historical fantasy show is based on the best-selling novel The Saxon Stories, a story set during the Viking / Dane invasion of Britain.

Uhtred was a small boy when he was kidnapped and then raised by the Danes. When he unexpectedly gets caught up in the conflict, his half-Saxon half-Dane mix makes at the same time valuable and untrustworthy for both sides.

There has never been a better alternative to Game of Thrones. The great writing and great performances from a cast of newcomers inevitably induce the same sense of addiction.

18. Trapped

best

8.6

Actors

Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir, Ingvar Sigurdsson, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson

Moods

Suspenseful, Thrilling

The Guardian’s lead critic said of Trapped: Seductive, involving, gripping…I am already, thoroughly, trapped. I’m quoting a publication to give some grounding to my overly excited claim: Trapped (or Ófærð) is one of the best TV shows ever made. I am obsessed with it. The plot is simple: a cop tries to solve a murder before a storm arrives, but the way it gets stretched is exceptional, and can only be compared to Scandinavian classics like The Hunt, The Guilty or Headhunters. And the fact that Trapped is from Iceland (not Norway or Denmark) adds a more chilling twist to the Scandinavian thriller genre. I don’t want to say more and ruin the show for you, but this is an amazing binge.

19. Blue Eye Samurai

best

8.6

Country

France, United States of America

Actors

Brenda Song, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Darren Barnet, George Takei

Moods

Action-packed, Binge-Worthy, Challenging

Starting off the series with slicing off fingers, Blue Eye Samurai is a thrilling action series that brings back samurai sword wielding in such a gorgeous fashion. Reminiscent of the classics, the animated series is centered on its titular warrior, whose blue eyes set them apart from society. She dedicates herself to a lifelong revenge journey, with gruesome sword fights, all to kill the four white men who could have been her father. And while she takes some side quests to her journey, missions that make her question the path she took, these seemingly straightforward fights slowly uncover the woman she became, and the pain inflicted upon those who can’t help but be different. It’s an action-packed spectacle, but it’s also an unflinching examination of trauma, and possibly one of the best animated releases from Netflix this year.

20. Mare of Easttown

best

8.6

Country

United Kingdom, United States of America

Actors

Angourie Rice, Cailee Spaeny, David Denman, Evan Peters

Moods

A-list actors, Character-driven, Dark

As a mystery-driven crime drama, Mare of Easttown treads pretty familiar territory without necessarily digging too deeply into the sociopolitical context it seems to hint at throughout its seven-episode run. But as the miniseries’ focus shifts from the usual procedural elements to more personal drama among the townspeople of Easttown and certain past events they haven’t moved on from, the series gets to evolve as well. The details of who was responsible for the inciting crime are ultimately less important than the conditions in the town’s history that led to the crime in the first place, whether by consequence or by fate. Some reveals here may come off as anticlimactic to some, but the series ultimately has more on its mind that’s definitely worth paying attention to.

Comments

Add a comment

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw

© 2024 A Good Movie to Watch. Altona Studio, LLC, all rights reserved.