5 Thriller Series To Watch This Festive Season
Thrillers are one of the most popular genres in the world. The suspense, fear and the feeling of what’s going to happen next always keeps you at the edge of your seat. However, there are too many thriller series available on various streaming platforms and it is often challenging to find the right one. Well, we are here to help you narrow it down to the 5 best thriller series that you must watch this festive season.
Available on: Disney+Hotstar
The Americans is a slow-burn spy thriller drama series set during the Cold War. The series follows the Jennings family who pose as an American married couple but are actually Soviet KGB intelligence officers. The plot essentially follows the conflict between the FBI and KGB as both agencies try to outwit the other in terms of counterintelligence. It also focuses on Stan Beeman who works in counter-intelligence at the FBI and is a neighbour to the Jennings’.
The Americans won the Best Television Series at the Golden Globes awards and the two leads – Matthew and Keri were nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively. The Americans is one of television’s greatest series. It takes up a complicated topic and also puts the viewers in a spot of bother as they are forced to root for the ‘bad guys’. Rhys and Russell were shockingly good with great chemistry. The concept is intriguing and the series manages to create good suspense, at times putting the viewer in a moral dilemma. The Americans is a perfect show to binge-watch ranks high on our list.
Available on: Netflix
Mindhunter is a completely new approach to a cop show. The series is about the invention of psychological profiling for mass killers and the detailed research that goes into preparing such a profile. The plot revolves around two FBI agents – Holden Ford and Bill Tench who are later joined by psychologist Wendy Carr. Together, they run the Behavioural Science Unit, a department within the FBI, and interview already incarcerated serial killers to get inside the head of killers, studying their motivation in obsessive detail. The information that they collect, mainly through extensive interviewing, is then used to solve new cases.
The series is visually appealing and detailed attention has been given to character development. What makes Mindhunter fascinating is that it is not about whodunits but rather about studying the motive. The question of ‘Who’ is not as important as ‘Why’. The series also depicts some of the most notorious criminals in American history and their portrayal is perfectly splendid. The writing comes across as intelligent because of the fresh approach where the solver of the crime takes centre stage rather than the crime or the victims.
Available on: Prime Video
Homecoming is a psychological thriller series that marks Julia Roberts’ debut on TV. She plays a counsellor whose work at a facility involves rehabilitating veterans back into civilian life. From the very start, something is amiss about the facility, and as a viewer, you have a lot to look forward to after each episode. In season 2 Janelle Monae takes up the baton from Julia Roberts and the series continues to be a solid, suspenseful thriller that goes back and forth in time. The episodes are concise, resulting in the series not being a drag. A well-executed mystery, Homecoming is not overly complicated and keeps things simple with layers of suspense.
Available on: Prime Video
The plot of Mr Robot centres around Elliot Alderson, a cybersecurity engineer and hacker with a lot of issues – drugs, dissociative identity disorder, depression, anxiety disorder to name a few. The series starts off portraying Elliot as a cyber-vigilante who is later recruited by ‘fsociety’, a team of hackivists led by Mr Robot. In the first season the mission of fsociety is to clear the debt of all citizens by hacking into one of the largest corporations in the world called E Corp. In the subsequent seasons, the plot becomes more complex and we are introduced to new characters such as Darlene who is Elliot’s sister, The Dark Army (Chinese underworld villains) led by White Rose and Dominique, an FBI agent.
The show has been praised for its technical accuracy for episodes that contain hacking scenes. Rami Malek plays the role of Elliot perfectly and he is well supported by other actors. The show has a unique plot, resulting in an engaging watch – tense and fast-paced. Throughout the four seasons, the show is consistent and seldom falters. Mr Robot might mess with your head with some mind-blowing twists, but all in all, it’s worth watching because of its unpredictable nature, provocative plot and original storyline.
Available on: SonyLiv
The brilliant JK Simmons (from Whiplash) once again delivers a splendid performance in a complex sci-fi thriller show, Counterpart. The show is about a world of parallel universes created by German scientists. The two worlds (Alpha and Prime) are at war, with spies crossing to the other world killing people. In the Alpha world, Howard Silk (JK Simmons) leads a very uninteresting life, working as a low-level government staffer at a spy agency. When Silk discovers the coexistence of a parallel world, he meets with his counterpart from the other world, Howard Prime – a suave spy and a cold-blooded killer. Soon, Silk is caught in a dark and complex web of danger and double-cross.
The important bit about Counterpart is that it does not fall into the cliches of over-the-top visuals, and the story didn’t really need loads of special effects. Even though the plot is based on science fiction, the makers have done exceedingly well to keep it real. Moreover, the show invests very little time in explaining the science of the concept. The creators choose to focus more on the suspense-filled story which involves a Cold War vibe that’s both interesting and mysterious. The pace is well-balanced which makes the show not too hard to follow. Great world-building and good acting make Counterpart a compelling show.