Since the time Hotstar became Disney-Hotstar, the options to view myriad content has viewers spoilt for choice. While detective dramas remain a favourite genre across the world, now Indian viewers don’t have to switch to various streaming platforms to look for the best in the genre. Disney-Hotstar has assembled them all at one place. Disney-Hotstar’s current gem of detective dramas are stacked under the premium category and spending money on these would be worthwhile proposition. Cineblitz picks four from the genre which demand your immediate attention.
Perry Mason appears in the detective fiction series by author Erle Stanley Gardner. The story of the LA-based criminal lawyer was first broadcast in America way back in 1957 but now it has been given a reboot. Matthew Rhys in the role of Perry Mason is the subject of HBO’s latest miniseries. The miniseries has a period setting and talks about Los Angeles of 1932 when it was just recovering from the trauma of the Great Depression. Perry Mason is a private detective and is haunted by the ills of his past life – the time when he participated in the first World War.
Now divorced, he is down and out and in a state of acute penury. When he is hired to investigate a child kidnapping case, his life is about to change. Tatiana Maslany is another attraction from the series who had earlier delivered a knockout performance in the BBC series Orphan Black. Since it’s a HBO product, quality is guaranteed. Look no further.
City on a Hill
City on a Hill was aired last year on American network Showtime (once the house of Homeland). With names like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Michael Cuesta and James Mangold attached to the production, it was heartbreaking that this series was not watched by many. This also has a period setting and talks about the era around 1990 when Boston was marred by criminal activities aided by law enforcement agencies.
The gripping narrative also takes into account the racism that was prevalent in Boston at that point of time. The plot revolves around two characters – Assistant district attorney Decourcy Ward and corrupt FBI officer Jackie Rohr. Together they forge an alliance to take on a criminal family. Kevin Bacon in the role of Jackie Rohr delivers a masterclass performance. It’s a pity not many saw his tour de force effort.
Trackers is South African crime thriller that was aired on Cinemax, a subsidiary of HBO. Chances are that the series might fall short of expectation but the ample twists and the pace of the series make up for all its lacunae. The series is based on a novel by Deon Meyer.
Few of the action scenes are breath taking but one reason alone that make this detective crime series a worthwhile watch are the locales and the setting of South Africa. The country has yet not been exploited fully by filmmakers but Trackers gives them an opportunity to see that it has a lot to offer. Diamond smuggling, CIA and local organized crime are all part of this riveting plot.
When aired for the first time in January in 2014, True Detective proved to be a sensation. It made its creator Nic Pizzolatto a star and Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson superstars. Series one hogged all the limelight and clean sweeped most of the award function. Series two proved to be just the opposite of series one. Despite the presence of Colin Farrell and Vince Vaugh, it had no novelty and was panned universally but season three of the detective series once again erased all the bad memories of season two.
Fresh from his Oscar win, Mahershala Ali gave a knockout performance and ensured that the good memories of the series were there to stay among viewers. Though much has been written about this anthology series, if you haven’t seen it yet, assign few hours this weekend for this gripping tale of crime and police investigation.
(Perry Mason, City on a Hill, Trackers and True Detective are available of Disney-Hotstar)