Movie Reviews

10 Best Drama TV Shows Of 2024

Summary

  • 2024’s best dramas challenge the standard streaming model, bringing new twists and inventive approaches to TV shows.
  • Shows like Baby Reindeer and True Detective have sparked conversations with their unorthodox styles and storytelling.
  • With intense competition in the streaming era, standout dramas like Shōgun and Masters of the Air deliver outstanding content.



2024’s best dramas have begun to question the limitations of the standard streaming model which has become accepted in the entertainment industry, suggesting that the future of TV dramas could be bright. Audiences may be tiring of the same old drama shows, but 2024 has brought some new inventive twists to the genre. Shows like Baby Reindeer and True Detective have sparked conversations with their unorthodox approaches. This is reminiscent of the heyday of network TV dramas, when shows created a collective cultural moment.

There has been plenty of variation in 2024’s best TV dramas, from historical dramas like Shōgun and Masters of the Air to crime shows like Ripley and Tokyo Vice. The streaming era has created more shows than ever before, and this intense competition has produced some outstanding dramas. It takes a lot to leave a mark with so many competing shows coming out, but the best dramas of 2024 prove that good storytelling will always cut through.


Related

10 Best Sci-Fi TV Shows Of 2024

Sci-fi television has never been stronger, & the best shows of 2024 have made this even clearer with their amazing characters & innovative stories.


10 Under The Bridge

Under the Bridge is a true-crime drama that bends the rules

Under the Bridge (2024)

Cast
Riley Keough , Izzy G , Chloe Guidry , Ezra Faroque Khan , Archie Panjabi , Vritika Gupta , Javon Walton , Aiyana Goodfellow , Lily Gladstone , Anoop Desai

Release Date
April 17, 2024

Seasons
1

Streaming Service(s)
Hulu


Under the Bridge is a strange blend of fact and fiction. Although it unravels the true story of the murder of Reena Virk, it fictionalizes and imagines a lot of its narrative, making it a unique entry into the true-crime genre. Under the Bridge revolves around two intense performances from Lily Gladstone and Riley Keough, but the rest of the cast are just as important in creating the forbidding atmosphere of the small town where Reena disappears.

Under the Bridge
does a valiant job of cutting through the noise and presenting a portrait of human cruelty.

Under the Bridge follows many of the familiar beats of a crime drama, but the context of the real-life case hangs heavily over the show. Reena Virk’s case has been dissected multiple times by true-crime enthusiasts all over the world. Under the Bridge does a valiant job of cutting through the noise and presenting a portrait of human cruelty that stays sensitive to its real-life victim throughout.


9 One Day

Two superbly cast leads make this unusual romance work

One Day

Cast
Leo Woodall , Ambika Mod , Amber Grappy , Tim McInnerny , Jonny Weldon

Release Date
February 8, 2024

Seasons
1


One Day follows two people as their lives intertwine over the course of 20 years. It’s uncommon for a Netflix limited series to have 14 episodes, but the adaptation of David Nicholls’ romance novel needed enough room to explore Em and Dex’s relationship in detail. It’s the details that make One Day superior to most other romance shows, as the chemistry between Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall creates a realistic and absorbing story.

One Day
uses its unconventional structure to explore the wide chasm between people’s dreams and the reality they come to accept. In love and life, Em and Dex are repeatedly forced to compromise and make do.

One Day uses its unconventional structure to explore the wide chasm between people’s dreams and the reality they come to accept. In love and life, Em and Dex are repeatedly forced to compromise and make do, but this makes their journey even more beautiful and complete. Since each episode takes place in a different year, the characters change rapidly, along with their clothing and their surroundings, but their deepest hopes and fears remain the same. One Day is a timeless and universal story.


8 The Tattooist Of Auschwitz

A harrowing story of hope and survival

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Cast
Jonah Hauer-King , Melanie Lynskey , Anna Próchniak , Harvey Keitel , Jonas Nay

Release Date
May 2, 2024

Seasons
1


Based on Heather Morris’ best-selling novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz explores the incredible true story of two Jewish prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp who find solace in each other’s company despite their horrific circumstances. The transition from book to screen isn’t without a few issues, but The Tattooist of Auschwitz is undeniably affecting, and its attention to detail presents a frighteningly realistic depiction of the concentration camp.

Although it is deeply upsetting at times, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a story about the resilience of the human spirit and the power of solidarity in adversity. The two greatest tools in the show’s repertoire are the outstanding cast and the original score from Hans Zimmer and Kara Talve. These elements allow the show to stand out from similar Holocaust dramas.


7 Ripley

Ripley eschews the typical formula of streaming-era TV, and it’s much better for it

Ripley

Cast
Andrew Scott , Johnny Flynn , Dakota Fanning , Maurizio Lombardi , Pasquale Esposito

Release Date
April 4, 2024

Seasons
1

Ripley isn’t the first adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, but it’s confident enough to chart its own course rather than trying to imitate everything that came before it. The black-and-white photography is Ripley‘s most immediate bold choice, and this creates a dramatic chiaroscuro effect which highlights Tom’s obsession with the works of Caravaggio as he tries to forge a new life for himself in Italy.


Ripley
isn’t for everybody, but people who click with its unusual visual flair and its methodical pace will be richly rewarded with an intoxicating story of obsession and deceit.

Ripley isn’t for everybody, but people who click with its unusual visual flair and its methodical pace will be richly rewarded with an intoxicating story of obsession and deceit. Andrew Scott plays Ripley as a reptilian sociopath seeking his next mark, which contrasts other versions of the character as more affable and two-faced. By the end of the series, the focus shifts toward the investigations of Inspector Ravini, and Ripley morphs into a compelling film noir detective story.


6 Baby Reindeer

Richard Gadd’s autobiographical drama has cut through in the age of streaming

Baby Reindeer (2024)

Cast
Richard Gadd , Jessica Gunning , Danny Kirrane , Nava Mau

Release Date
April 11, 2024

Seasons
1

Richard Gadd is a British comedian, but his autobiographical drama Baby Reindeer doesn’t deliver many laughs. Baby Reindeer is based on Gadd’s own experiences as a victim of stalking, and there are entire episodes which pass by without so much as a chuckle. As well as telling the unfamiliar story of a woman stalking a man, Baby Reindeer takes an unflinching look at sexual assault in the entertainment industry and the subsequent shame felt by survivors.


It’s a powerful, important show for anyone who can stomach its often upsetting content, and it has caused a considerable stir in a way that very few shows in the streaming era ever manage to do.

Richard Gadd lays his soul bare by telling the true story behind Baby Reindeer in excruciating detail. It can be extremely uncomfortable to watch at times, but Baby Reindeer raises a lot of important concerns about victim support and public attitudes to stalking. It’s a powerful, important show for anyone who can stomach its often upsetting content, and it has caused a considerable stir in a way that very few shows in the streaming era ever manage to do.


5 Tokyo Vice

Just as dynamic in its second season, Tokyo Vice deserves a bigger audience

Tokyo Vice

Cast
Ansel Elgort , Rachel Keller

Release Date
April 17, 2022

Seasons
2

Tokyo Vice was surprisingly canceled after its second season, despite positive reviews for the HBO drama. The series follows an American reporter who teams up with a hardened detective in Tokyo to uncover the deadly secrets of the yakuza. Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe strike up a compelling dynamic as the ambitious but naive foreigner and the local cop who knows the ins-and-outs of organized crime in Japan.

With the first season’s cliffhanger resolved within a couple of episodes,
Tokyo Vice
gives itself ample time to poke at the hidden corners of the city, and there are plenty of monsters to be found.


Heat and Collateral director Michael Mann is an executive producer on Tokyo Vice, and the drama features many of his motifs, such as an obsessive male protagonist and a murky urban jungle. The second season expands the scope of the show, with two more episodes than the first season and many more bursts of kinetic action. With the first season’s cliffhanger resolved within a couple of episodes, Tokyo Vice gives itself ample time to poke at the hidden corners of the city, and there are plenty of monsters to be found.

4 3 Body Problem

Netflix’s big sci-fi gamble proved to be a worthy adaptation of Liu Cixin’s novels


3 Body Problem

Cast
Saamer Usmani with Shailene Woodley , Jess Hong , Jovan Adepo , Benedict Wong , John Bradley , Eiza González , Liam Cunningham , Sea Shimooka , Tsai Chin

Release Date
March 21, 2024

Seasons
1

Based on the award-winning novels by Chinese writer Liu Cixin, 3 Body Problem is an ambitious sci-fi epic with enough intelligence to back up its breathtaking visuals. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss received a lot of criticism for the way they finally ended their HBO drama, but 3 Body Problem has been met with largely positive reviews, and it has the potential to get even better in future seasons.

With plenty more philosophical substance than the average Netflix drama,
3 Body Problem
looks set for a bright future.


One thing that 3 Body Problem has in common with Game of Thrones is its large ensemble cast, but the show does an admirable job of juggling its characters and giving them all enough to do. Benedict Wong and Eiza González are two outstanding performers who seem to be able to slow everything down when the focus eventually turns toward them. With plenty more philosophical substance than the average Netflix drama, 3 Body Problem looks set for a bright future.

3 True Detective

True Detective’s fourth season marked a return to form with a complex mystery


True Detective

Cast
Matthew McConaughey , Woody Harrelson , Colin Farrell , Rachel McAdams , Taylor Kitsch , Mahershala Ali , Carmen Ejogo , Michelle Monaghan , Michael Potts , Ray Fisher , Jodie Foster

Release Date
January 12, 2014

Seasons
4

Each new season of True Detective is inevitably compared to the bombshell of a first season starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. Season 4, titled Night Country, may not quite reach these heights, but it still provides a fascinating mystery in its six episodes. Jodie Foster stars as Liz Danvers, a detective working in the seemingly interminable night of Alaska when a team of scientists at a nearby research center mysteriously disappear.

Night Country
may not quite reach the heights of
True Detective
season 1, but it still provides a fascinating mystery in its six episodes.


Night Country threatens to spill over into the supernatural at times, but it just about keeps both feet on the ground. There are still some unanswered questions after True Detective: Night Country, but this is intentional. The various unknowns reflect the murky reality that Danvers is forced to accept. Although she would like everything wrapped up with a neat little bow, Night Country isn’t so straightforward, and this allows the finale to linger in the mind.

2 Masters Of The Air

Austin Butler and Callum Turner bring a human touch to an expansive World War II epic


Masters of the Air

Cast
Austin Butler , Callum Turner , Barry Keoghan , Nikolai Kinski , Stephen Campbell Moore , Sawyer Spielberg , Isabel May , Anthony Boyle

Release Date
January 26, 2024

Seasons
1

Where To Watch
Apple TV+

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ first TV collaboration was the seminal HBO war drama Band of Brothers. They followed this with The Pacific in 2010, and Masters of the Air is their third exploration into the Second World War. Before its release, Masters of the Air drew attention for its immense $250 million budget, but any fears were swiftly discarded soon after it arrived on Apple TV+.

Masters of the Air
flaunts its budget with some spectacular scenes of aerial combat, but the show is anchored by the friendship of its two main characters.


Masters of the Air flaunts its budget with some spectacular scenes of aerial combat, but the show is anchored by the friendship of its two main characters, played by Austin Butler and Callum Turner in fine form. Buck and Bucky lean on each other to get through the war, whether they are dodging German artillery or plotting their way out of a POW camp. The show was always going to draw comparisons to Spielberg and Hanks’ previous work, but there are times when Masters of the Air surpasses Band of Brothers.

1 Shōgun

The historical drama is brimming with political intrigue


Shogun

Cast
Cosmo Jarvis , Hiroyuki Sanada , Anna Sawai , Tadanobu Asano , Yûki Kedôin , Takehiro Hira , Tommy Bastow

Release Date
February 27, 2024

Seasons
1

Streaming Service(s)
Hulu

Many reviews have heralded Shōgun as the show which could finally fill the void left by Game of Thrones. Although there are no dragons or White Walkers, the historical drama has just as much political intrigue, as different factions vie for supremacy during a contentious time in the history of Japan. Shōgun may act as a history lesson for the uninitiated, but it manages to do so without ever slowing down too much.

Shōgun
may act as a history lesson for the uninitiated, but it manages to do so without ever slowing down too much.


Originally billed as a limited series, Shōgun is returning for two more seasons. This news has been met with cautious optimism among fans. Although Shōgun left most fans wanting more, there is some concern that its immaculate first season will be hard to top. In its current state, it can be viewed as a superb miniseries, and one that achieves more in its 10 episodes than other shows manage in 10 seasons.

Back to top button