Line of Duty 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021 / A densely written police procedural that revels in the intricacy of its plot


Though it may be self-serious nearly to the point of parody, Line of Duty is that rare hard-boiled police show that actually works because of its commitment to being cold and clinical. As each season focuses on a new case of corruption within the police, it chooses not to focus on character but on packing as much meticulous detail as possible into its investigations. The result is a slower paced drama that may take some getting used to, but it’s one whose every additional clue or revelation makes the nature of this modern police work feel that much more draining to the soul—a great change of tone from the heroic police shows we tend to see on TV.

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