If you are suffering from a Sacred Games hangover and want to watch similar shows, we are here to assist you. Here are five shows that you should watch:
I put this at the top of the list because in this BBC series too a police officer has an arch enemy, who continues to affect his life and investigations like a plague. Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) is a woman who can match wits with detective Luther (an always brilliant Idris Elba) and uses them well to stalk him and interfere in his private affairs. Luther is never boring (though writing is not up to a mark a few times). The series streams on Netflix.
Sacred Games is being called the next Narcos. The reason is not just because Narcos was not a wholly American production (it was a joint Colombian-American series). It also has a criminal-kingpin (Pablo Escobar!) and likeable police officers tasked to take him down. Narcos is a gripping series. It streams on Netflix.
Often called the greatest television series ever, The Wire was created by David Simon, who used his previous journalistic experience to give the HBO show a deadly accuracy in its portrayal of the drug and law enforcement scene in Baltimore’s streets. The show did not have a soundtrack in a conventional way (the only sound was ambient), was shot in 4:3 aspect ratio, and the actors in it hardly seemed like actors – just normal, real-life people buying and selling drugs. It was often so realistic that it seemed like one was watching a documentary. The Wire streams on Hotstar.
Any gangster TV series list is incomplete without The Sopranos, the show that made people take TV seriously. It is because of this David Chase drama that we now have a “too-much-good-stuff-to-watch” problem. Starring the fabulous late actor James Gandolfini, who played Tony Soprano (easily one of the greatest characters in all of television), The Sopranos was artistic in every sense of the word, and not just in the narrow ‘arthouse’ sense. Even now, after almost two decades after its first episode aired, the show remains one of the best.
This FX series has everything in its favour – colourful characters, dark humour, varied settings (every season takes place in different places and times) and good writing. Cops face solo gangsters or gangsters with families and your sympathies are dragged all over the place. You think things like – why did this charismatic rascal have to be an inherently bad person? There is a character played by David Thewlis in the third reason who is the repelling-yet-compelling sort – a perfect representation of Fargo as a whole, I think. Fargo streams on Netflix.