I couldn't finish Breaking Bad, I just couldn't. Its not that I don't like a good Crime Drama, the sheer amount of Noir I have read says I love a good Crime-Drama. Whether its about a Heroic Gunslinging Lawman, ala Justified (I also have a thing for Westerns) but here are 3 Crime-Drama's of various flavors that I personally think are better than
3. Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders is about Gangs in Post World War 1 Birmingham, England. (for my U.K readers of this take, yes I need to specify, there is a Birmingham in Alabama that is fairly well known in the U.S)
The goal of Tommy Shelby is in some ways almost noble, to take this working class clan, shunned by the upper class of Post World War 1 England for being descended from both the Irish Catholiccs and Gypsies into the upper classes and there is no getting around it, even WINSTON CHURCHILL in series agrees, that despite him being a Gangster, Tommy Shelby is a Decorated War Hero. There is a clear element of class warfare and it shows in the way men like Tommy Shelby were fucked over, he may have been just a gangster when he went into the war, but he took a bullet for England, despite England disliking him because he was Irish Catholic and a Gypsy he took a bullet for the people who hated him. Men like King George the V, men born with a silver spoon wedged deep in their ass whose only problem they ever faced in life was to deciding whether they wanted chicken or beef for dinner, they sent working class men like Tommy Shelby to die in the tens of thousands in a war that when you get down to it, had nothing to do with them, and only with the profits of the upper class and what did Tommy Shelby get, nothing but a bullet and a shiny medal claiming the king was grateful, if men like the King or the Duke of Marlborough were actually thankful they would have given those working class men a living wage and the land their ancestors took while oppressing people like Tommy and that's really what this show is about, its not cops versus robbers but the Working Class versus the people who fucked them over in the great war. Tommy Shelby got nothing for his Service but a bullet, a useless piece of metal, and PTSD, and goddammit he is going to right that wrong no matter who he has to fuck over.
2. Son's of Anarchy
This show is literally Hamlet with Biker Gangs, the show follows Jax Teller (Hamlet) as he navigates the world of Outlaw Bikers in this Tragedy, and make no mistake this show, no matter how much awesomeness is in it (which is A LOT) is a Tragedy at the end.
Justified comes from the mind of the famous Elmore Leonard, its based off of a short story he wrote and ended up as easily one of my top five favorite shows of all time. The show is about two people in particular and set in Modern Day Kentucky, one is the Gunslinging, Cowboy Hat wearing, U.S Marshal, Raylan Givens, the other is the modern day outlaw, Boyd Crowder, what these men have in common is that when Raylan was 18 they dug coal together in the same mine. The show is this perfect blend of Western and modern day Crime-Drama and one of my all time favorite shows.