The best mystery TV shows

A lot of people watch TV to relax, but some of us love it when a show challenges our brains. Mystery programs are great for that. They provide compelling drama with storylines that are hard to figure out and impossible to stop thinking about. While we usually fail to work out the mysteries, sometimes we’re spot on, and it’s an amazing feeling. If this is the kind of thing you like when watching TV, you’ll probably want to invest in these shows.

The best mystery TV shows

Twin Peaks

You can’t beat a classic. Almost three decades ago now, the world was stumped when mystery horror series “Twin Peaks” aired. Millions were captivated by the storyline that asked viewers ‘who killed Laura Palmer?’ and few were able to work it out on their own. While the show doesn’t make it to the end of the second season before giving away the answer, it provides one of the strangest build-ups to a reveal ever seen on TV. Fans were still scratching their heads after they knew the culprit, because the series had thrown a ton of other mysteries at them along the way.


HWTGAWM (or “How To Get Away With Murder”) has been around for several years now, and it’s never ceased being enticing TV. It starts off with the death of a college student, but the mystery surrounding her death is nothing compared to what unfolds throughout the show. The series unique flashback scenes at the start and end of many episodes constantly lead you to believe one thing until it’s revealed you got it all wrong. It makes it hard to piece the truth together until the very end of each season, although it’s still fun to try and work it out yourself.


Sherlock Holmes is one of the greatest literary detectives ever created, so one of his shows had to appear on here somewhere. CBS’ procedural drama is a different take on the classic character, what with its modern-day American setting and Dr. Watson being a woman. The series follows the standard drama storyline structure with many cases solved by the end of each episode, but there’s always an overarching mystery that is never solved until the finale. What’s great about Elementary is that each episode has its own little mystery regarding the cases that Holmes and Watson solve. It gets your brain working and pointing your finger all over the place until the truth finally comes out.

The best mystery TV shows

Pretty Little Liars

For all the faults that came with the show’s big reveals, teen drama Pretty Little Liars did a lot of good during its seven-year run. During the earlier seasons, it perfected the art of throwing out red herrings and leaving viewers speechless. At one point or another, every character seemed to be in the frame as ‘A,’ however that was rarely the case. Few shows have prompted the level of fan devotion that “Pretty Little Liars” did, with many viewers devising theories along the way about who was behind the girls’ torture. Maybe the team behind the show should have read a few of them.

American Horror Story

We’re never truly quite sure what’s going on in anthology horror series American Horror Story, but that’s part of the fun. The show follows a new storyline every season, each one filled with mysteries that are sometimes hard to work out where they’re going. Who can you trust? Who’s good and who’s bad? We find ourselves asking these questions constantly when we watch the show, and half the time we don’t know the answers. If you’re a horror/slasher fan, this is a series for you. You’d never believe it was created by the same guys who made musical drama “Glee.”

Anyone else in the mood to binge on these shows now? It’s been a while since we’ve had a good mystery to solve and our brains are ready for a test. Is yours?