The new series Under the Banner of Heaven, starring Andrew Garfield and streaming on Hulu, will focus on a detective’s efforts to discover who was responsible for the murder of a mother and her child. Complicating matters, however, is the fact that those responsible were adherents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It promises to be a gritty and powerful psychological drama.
Fortunately for fans of the series, there are a number of other recent shows that manage to convey a similar aesthetic and capture similar emotions. What should viewers of Under the Banner of Heaven check out next?
Kate Winslet is one of the most respected actresses in Hollywood, and she has been in a wide array of great roles. However, it seems that the titular Mare, a world-weary detective in Pennsylvania who sets out to solve a number of disappearances and deaths of young women, might be one of her best.
With its gritty aesthetic, its rich psychology, and its powerful performances, it is sure to appeal to those who enjoyed these similar aspects of Under the Banner of Heaven.
Hidden secrets is one of the motivating plots of Under the Banner of Heaven. That is also one of the most compelling aspects of Sharp Objects, one of Hulu’s best series.
Focusing on Amy Adams’ Camille Preaker as she returns to her hometown to investigate the murder of several girls, once there, however, she has to confront not only her own inner demons, but also revelations about the nature of her family which will threaten her very sanity (and possibly even her life).
This is something of a golden age of series based on true stories, of which Under the Banner of Heaven is an excellent example. However, Hulu has also produced a number of other similar series, including Dopesick.
In part, it is about the role the Sackler family played in the devastating opioid crisis. Just as importantly, however, it is about the devastating impact it has on the lives of real people, as well as the efforts of those in law enforcement to hold the family accountable for their complicity.
Olivia Colman and David Thewlis are fantastic performers, both of whom have appeared in a number of great roles. This series, which is sure to appeal to those who enjoy the true-crime aspect of Under the Banner of Heaven, focuses on a married couple charged and convicted of murdering her parents and burying them in the backyard.
It is an achingly funny, and at times poignant, portrait of two people who genuinely loved one another and were willing to go to almost any lengths to protect themselves from the law.
Nicole Kidman is another tremendously respected actress who has made the transition to prestigious television dramas, including The Undoing, in which she plays a wife who has to confront the unpleasant reality that her husband might have killed another woman.
Just as Under the Banner of Heaven dives deep into the psychology of its characters, so The Undoing combines rich psychological realism with a thriller aesthetic. It’s the type of series designed to keep the viewer on the edge of their seats as they wait to see what happens next.
The Flight Attendant has repeatedly shown that it is one of the best shows streaming on HBO Max. Though it might not be quite as dark and gritty as Under the Banner of Heaven, it is still the sort of series that keeps the viewer guessing as to what’s going to happen.
Just as importantly, beneath its slick surface and production values, it actually manages to be surprisingly psychologically rich, particularly in its depiction of main character Cassie’s struggles with her alcoholism.
Gillian Anderson has been in many great roles, but The Fall is one of her best. In the series, she plays a British detective trying to catch a serial killer.
Like Under the Banner of Heaven, it has a healthy dose of gritty psychological realism, and a significant part of its appeal stems from watching the fraught dynamism between Anderson’s Stella Gibson and Jamie Dornan’s Paul Spector. Both actors bring their best to their roles, and it’s a series designed to make the viewer feel unsettled.
Part of the appeal of a series like Under the Banner of Heaven stems from its reliance on a true story. That is also true of Joe vs. Carole, which is a dramatized telling of the feud between Joe Exotic (known as the Tiger King) and Carole Baskin.
Though it treads some of the same territory as Netflix’s famous documentary Tiger King, both John Cameron Mitchell and Kate McKinnon manage to bring new richness and depth to two people who have almost become caricatures.
Renee Zellweger is another actress who has made the transition to television, in this case playing the real-life character of Pam Hupp in the Peacock series The Thing About Pam.
This tale, while a bit strange, is still sure to appeal to those who enjoyed the true crime aspect of Under the Banner of Heaven. Zellweger perfectly captures the essence of a woman driven by money and greed and capable of murdering her best friend and stealing the money meant for her daughters.
As it has proven with shows like Under the Banner of Heaven, Hulu excels at creating shows that make viewers think, drawing them into the sinister world of the human psyche. That is definitely the case with Little Fires Everywhere, which focuses on the clash between two mothers from very different backgrounds, played by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.
As the series unspools, it dives deeper into not only their fraught relationship but also the lies they’ve told themselves, and others, as they’ve sought to create their own lives.
NEXT: 10 Best TV Anime On Hulu, Ranked By MyAnimeList