Top 10 Shows Like AMC’s Dark Winds

AMC’s latest thriller dark winds has opened to favorable reviews since its premiere earlier this month. Based on the Leaphorn & Chee series by fiction writer Tony Hillerman, dark winds follows a typical murder investigation with a hint of Western pulp, but what makes it unique is its setting of a Native American reservation in the 70s.

Zahn McClarnon stars in his first series as Navajo Police Chief Joe Leaphorn, and the show explores the relationship between reservation residents and outside forces that have caused irreparable damage, from the US government to schools of assimilation. . Many mystery thrillers may start out as a simple thriller, but ultimately what emerges is a complex tale that becomes much more with themes of race, corruption, and community relations becoming the focus instead. So which shows share these characteristics with AMC’s latest hit?


Fargo (Season 2)

Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons in Fargo season 2

FX Fargo perhaps more of a Coen Brothers homage than a murder mystery, nonetheless, it’s still one of the most gripping TV series to come out in the last decade. Anthology, the second season tells its own story, this time set in the 1970s Midwest. What unfolds is a story ripe for any crime drama fan.

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The star of this particular season was Zahn McClarnon’s performance as Anton Chigurh’s replacement, Hanzee Dent. Hanzee’s aloof and calm demeanor contrasted well with his emotional turmoil for whatever was thrown at him, making McClarnon’s performance all the more impressive and terrifying.

real detective

Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff in character during an investigation in True Detective

With a new season of real detective will be released soon with Jodie Foster in the lead, it will be interesting to see what story of mystery and corruption takes hold. Previous seasons have dealt with varying levels of corruption. Whether religious or governmental institutions involving the blue collar communities from which they operate, real detective had a good share of intriguing stories to share for each season.

Season 3, starring Mahershala Ali, is set in the Ozarks of Arkansas and its themes are more suited to dark windsbut this first season’s exploration of supernatural elements grounded in reality may have more in common than anyone realizes.

Under the banner of heaven

Andrew Garfield at UTBOH

Andrew Garfield’s latest TV drama on FX may seem like a real detective imitation, but it is based on true events that surrounded the murder of a Mormon mother and her child, along with the FLDS church, they were among the prime suspects.

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Released the same year as dark winds, Under the banner of heaven could be considered a complementary piece due to the regional space shared by the two settings. Gil Birmingham also stars as a Native American officer tasked with assisting his “green” superior (Garfield) with procedural matters and better understanding the overall landscape of their investigation.


Walt and Cady face to face at Longmire

Another featured entry from Zahn McClarnon, Longmire was an A&E program that was the typical western run by a modern sheriff. It’s an entertaining show that serves its purpose for all pulp and western fans. It was even the highest critical hit the network had to offer before Netflix finally picked it up.

Zahn McClarnon plays the tribal chief of the Cheyenne nation, so seeing McClarnon’s perspective on another police chief is reason enough to see him. But Longmire focuses more on external forces that inhabit the same area as the reserve.


Michelle Fletcher as in Godless

The Netflix original miniseries, Impious is a unique take on the shooter archetype that seeks to atone. Jack O’Connell’s Roy Goode is on the run from the ruthless Frank Griffin, played by Jeff Daniels.

Although not following the same pattern as most murder mysteries, Impious still delivers a straight and narrow western series for any fan to enjoy, from its beautiful unfettered scenery to the incredible action set pieces. The Wild West is always an attractive setting for any show, and a concept that accommodates the mindset of manifest destiny that drove most American governments in the 19th century is welcome.

green border

Two characters in a jungle in Green Frontier.

More commonly called “green border“outside the United States, green border is a Colombian television series that also depicts the relationship between indigenous communities and the governments that emerged from the “independence” to come in the lands colonized by European powers.

As dark winds, green border explores the same themes almost beat for beat, but they also add border conflicts that predate the colonization of these areas. Either way, what unfolds is a fascinating mystery to any viewer, despite language barriers.

The fisherman

Cora Tannetti recalls her memories at the Beverwyck club

Another TV show based on the pulp series, The fisherman is an anthology that follows one new mystery per season. Bill Pullman’s Detective Harry Ambrose is the only link between each season, like Agatha Christie’s Detective Poirot. But the first season starring Jessica Biel seems to be the most critically acclaimed.

Much like Poirot, Ambrose is the one to solve this case in the end. But the show manages to at least competently portray it so that it makes sense while grounded in modern society.

The Chestnut Man

Danica Curcic as Naia Thulin in The Chestnut Man

Scandinavian and Danish crime shows seemed to be ahead of the curve, even compared to a popular thriller like real detectivebut The Chestnut Man is yet another example that Northwestern European forces are still able to produce engaging competent mysteries.

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A thirty-year-old case that was originally thought to be cold upon arrival turns out to be more complex than initially thought. Caught up in a web of city corruption, two detectives are forced to spare no effort when recent murders are revealed to be linked to the murder of a politician’s daughter.

The Valhalla Murders

Sharing Nordic origins as The Chestnut Man, The Valhalla Murders the comparisons end there as he begins to tell tales of abuse among religious leaders at a state- and church-sponsored school for those deemed “troubled.”

Like those on reserves sent to assimilation schools in North America, The Valhalla Murders is a story where the powers that be look the other way, because it is in their interest to keep those who do not respect the rules of obedience. The real strength is also that the events that occur in TVM are actually based on reality.


Whereas Bosch may appear as a stark contrast to the nature and themes that dark winds proposed so far, they still share a protagonist who is perhaps too close to the case than they would like to admit.

Unadorned and stoic yet always driven by emotion, Detective Bosch is an intriguing figure to follow as he traverses the landscape defined by corrupt government administrations. Although they are not as racially aware as dark winds has been, Bosch at least made the effort that the original writer of the series wouldn’t have made.

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