Netflix Cop Queue

Chloe Schmergel, Contributing Reporter

For those of us who shamelessly embrace the ‘if bleeds it leads’ lifestyle, there’s nothing quite like winding down to a law enforcement-based drama at the end of a long day. The following series are available on Netflix and feature all of the police show essentials: precinct set, regular murders and sweet, sweet justice.  

Law and Order: SVU

Rejoice! You don’t have to be watching cable at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on a weekday anymore to catch this classic. Law and Order: SVU, the superior younger sister series to Criminal Intent, follows members of NYPD’s Special Victims Unit, an elite squad, through their investigations of “especially heinous,” sexually based offenses. SVU likes to mix it up, featuring a rape, murder, kidnapping, child abuse and other despicable crimes of the like in each episode. Netflix currently offers seasons 13-16, which sadly do not include Christopher Meloni, better known as Elliot Stabler: the loose cannon cop with a Queens accent and a heart of gold. Nevertheless, Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson, and Ice-T, portraying Detective Odafin Tutuola, or “Fin,” keep the ’90s dream alive. The 13th through the 16th year are more discernibly based on current events and offer an interesting perspective on contemporary media hot-button topics. While the acting might not always be of the highest caliber and the near 100 percent case closure rate of the squad is perhaps not the most realistic depiction of the American police force, when you need a hero in your life, SVU is a solid choice (there’s a reason why it’s been around for almost two decades).

Dexter

Dexter, quite literally, kills it for the first four seasons. With its unparalleled character development, complex, intricate plot and subplot lines, and subtle hilarity, this series is quite deserving of its five-star rating on Netflix. Dexter follows the trials and tribulations of Dexter Morgan, a psychopath with an unquenchable thirst for blood, through his vigilantism and ironic career as a blood spatter analyst. Each season, for the most part, features a fascinating super villain whom Dexter must ultimately take down. As previously mentioned, the first four seasons are undoubtedly Dexter’s best performance while the following four have received mixed reviews. Not getting through the whole series, however is no easy feat after developing such attachments to Dexter, Deb, Batista, Masuka, etc. Be warned, there is a fair bit of blood shed and this show spends a bit more time dwelling on actual criminal acts than the aforementioned SVU, but if you’re looking for a smart, suspenseful series, strengthening your stomach is worth it.     

The Following

If you can’t get enough of incompetent law enforcement and Kevin Bacon, than boy do we have a show for you. The Following follows (pun intended) retired FBI agent Ryan Hardy, Kevin Bacon, in his seemingly fruitless attempts to capture the escaped serial killer, Joe Carroll. Alas, Carroll has amassed a cult of devoted, attractive followers from his years as an English professor and exchanges with visitors while in prison. The show features romance, betrayal and a steamy threesome (love triangle?). Don’t get too excited, though. The series’ attempts to attribute an Edgar Allen Poe trademark to Carroll’s crimes are poorly executed and inconsistent at best. Additionally, law enforcement, with the exception of agent Hardy, displays a cartoon-like ineptitude at doing their jobs. Only two seasons of the show are available on Netflix, but even a second season will seem excessive if you can make it through the first. If you think that the FBI is a joke and enjoy a bit of gore along with your terrible acting, then certainly look into The Following.