The best crime dramas typically come in one of two different categories: they’re either serialized, with a ton of care and craftsmanship gone into the storytelling, or they’re procedural, in which each episode sees the main cast go up against a new villain. Both are great in their own ways, but serialized shows tend to be wrapped up much more satisfyingly, with the procedural dramas generally coming to an end without any sense of finality.
Whether it’s because they were canceled due to not making the projected numbers, because the original ending fell short, or because they ended on a cliffhanger, there are so many shows that should be revived. Still, there are others that had endings so perfect that a revival series could ruin their legacies.
Should Be Revived: Prison Break
The show had issues, as every character with a terrible history, whether it was a corrupt prison warden or a pedophile, was totally redeemed in the end. But despite its shortcomings, Prison Break was one of the most entertaining and well-crafted shows of the 2000s. It might have been revived once, but many fans felt that it didn’t do the series justice and that the plot was rather thin.
It might be a little farfetched for one of the characters to find themselves in prison again only to be broken out, but the show is already rather unbelievable as it is. Though Wentworth Miller won’t return to Prison Break, there are ways to work around it.
Got The Perfect Ending: Love/Hate
Love/Hate might not be the most well-known crime drama of all time, but it should be. Almost like Ireland’s answer to Breaking Bad, the show sees Nidge take over a crime empire and become the most sadistic criminal in Dublin.
The family dynamics, the crime, the character development, and even the way the show ends, all have clear parallels to Breaking Bad, but it stands on its own at the same time and features an ending unlike any other.
Should Be Revived: Lie To Me
It’s easy to revive a television show that never had much of a season-to-season arc, as Lie To Me was more procedural with a villain of the week type formula. The show follows Dr. Cal Lightman, who is based on a real-life psychologist that focuses on micro-expressions.
The character is basically a human lie detector and acts as a third party to police and anybody else who will hire him to find out the truth. The show had a unique approach to procedural crime dramas and put a fresh spin on shows like CSI and Law and Order, and it ended way too early.
Got The Perfect Ending: Twin Peaks
What Twin Peaks achieved is completely unprecedented, as it had the perfect ending in 1991, and when it was revived 26 years later, it got an even better ending, if that’s even possible.
The two endings are completely different but equally fascinating, as the finale in 1991 saw Dale Cooper being consumed by Bob and turning evil, where the 2017 finale saw Dale getting the happy ending fans always wanted. Though it’d be great to see all of the wild recurring characters return one more time, it just isn’t necessary and it could risk ruining how perfect the David Lynch series is.
Should Be Revived: Bored To Death
With many fans feeling that it is one of the most underrated shows on HBO ever to air, Bored To Death was as much a comedy as it was a drama, as it saw Jonathan Ames (also the creator of the show itself) becoming an unlicensed private detective after struggling with his novel. It had an all-star cast and why it wasn’t a success is a mystery to many, as each episode followed Ames trying to solve a new mystery.
The creator of the show expressed an interest in turning the show into a movie and a series of books, but it’s looking less and less likely as time goes on.
Got The Perfect Ending: The Sopranos
Out of every TV show in history, no series has ended in such a polarizing way like The Sopranos, as people are still sour about the ending. The final episode of the crime drama ended ambiguously, as it left viewers speculating over whether or not Tony was murdered in the restaurant after it cut to black. But to many, this was a perfect ending, and many felt that not everything had to be wrapped in a perfect bow.
However, The Many Saints of Newark is being released in the upcoming months, which is a prequel to the series, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most anticipated movies of the year.
Should Be Revived: Daredevil
Before Marvel acquired the rights back to the characters, and well before the new Marvel Cinematic Universe shows on Disney+, Netflix developed a much darker TV universe of Marvel heroes. The Punisher, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones were all fantastic shows that many felt were canceled way too early, but none were as hard-hitting as Daredevil’s cancellation.
Not only did the show feature the best fighting choreography out of any TV show and superhero movie, but it was gripping too. The show perfectly combined full-throttle action with procedural courtroom-like drama, and it left fans with a cliffhanger.
Got The Perfect Ending: The Shield
Being one of the most brutal TV shows not developed by HBO, the FX crime drama The Shield follows a group of extremely corrupt cops who kill their own and get paid off by murderous gangsters. Led by vicious cop Vic Mackey, everyone involved ends up getting picked off or going down, except for Vic himself.
Though his colleagues find out about Vic’s actions, none of them can prove it, and it ends with him not going to prison but working a desk job, which is a punishment far worse than prison in Vic’s eyes.
Should Be Revived: Sherlock
Though there are flaws in Sherlock that fans chose to ignore, the series is easily one of the greatest crime dramas of all time. Being a modern-day take on the iconic private detective, the movie-length episodes are so edge-of-the-seat thrilling.
Though the show hasn’t technically been outright canceled, Sherlock has been on hiatus for a significant amount of time, and as more time passes, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that it’ll ever come back. As the lead actors are both now movie stars, it’s extremely difficult to work around both of their schedules, and considering how there’s a bit of bad blood between the two of them, it probably won’t ever happen.
Got The Perfect Ending: Breaking Bad
No other show has ever been as neatly wrapped up as Breaking Bad, as the ending to Heisenberg’s story is almost the polar opposite to The Sopranos. Though it put the Malcolm in the Middle theory to bed, which is something every fan secretly wanted to be true, Walter White collapsed to his floor while stroking his precious meth lab in a Gollum-like fashion.
Not only that, but Jesse got the end every fan was satisfied with too, even if it was extended in the polarizing El Camino. And though Breaking Bad should never be revived, it was followed up with the prequel Better Call Saul, which is shaping to have just as much of a satisfying ending.