Content Warning: This article contains references to sexual harassment and murder
Among HBO Max’s series of recent releases is Deputy Tokyo, a crime drama based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Jake Adelstein. In it, viewers are taken on a tense race as an American investigative reporter seeks employment at one of Japan’s major newspapers and begins to investigate the Yakuza.
While the premise of Deputy Tokyo is unique, there are a few other great shows that focus on journalism. Some keep events in the newsroom while others follow daring journalists as they go out to acquire the most unique stories. Nevertheless, they are all good enough that even those unfamiliar with the industry can enjoy them.
Sharp Objects (2018)
Stream on Hulu
The psychological thriller is based on Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name. It follows crime reporter Camille Preaker, who returns to her hometown to solve the murders of two young girls.
The majority of TV leads tend to be beyond reproach, with only external factors separating them from their goals. However, Camille’s story is more touching as she has to deal with her own personal struggles while trying to get justice for others. Through it, sensitive themes such as alcohol abuse and mental health are brought to light. There’s hardly a moment to smile about either and the cinematography emphasizes the somber mood by keeping scenes cloudy rather than sunny. The events also stay true to the novel, making it one of the best television adaptations of the book.
The Morning Show (2019 – Present)
Stream on Apple+
The events revolve around the popular breakfast TV show on the UBA network which has become something of a ranking juggernaut. Viewers are also drawn into various behind-the-scenes feuds.
A major reason The morning show became one of Apple+’s top shows thanks to its star-studded cast. With Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon bringing the main characters to life, no performance ever feels weak. The character arcs are amazing, but the drama does it even better by providing social commentary on issues like sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.
The Hour (2011 – 2012)
Stream to Amazon Prime Video
Time does well in addressing real events while still managing to include some of the excesses that come with fictional storytelling. Pretty much all of the ingredients that make for a palatable sight are thrown into the pot as well. These range from workplace romances to witty dialogues to government conspiracies.
Inventing Anna (2022)
Stream on Netflix
A journalist investigates the case of Instagram heiress Anna Delvey, who managed to scam money from many New York elites. The series is based on Jessica Pressler’s article on New York titled “How Anna Delvey Fooled New York’s Partygoers”.
Scam stories are always guaranteed to intrigue and that’s the case with Invent Anna. The show hooks fans by making them realize that rich people can be a little gullible too. The lead actor also makes the drama a worthy watch. A few shows thrive on one person’s performance and that’s undeniably the case here too. Julia Garner, known for playing one of the best ozark characters, Ruth Langmore, brings the same charm.
The Press Room (2012 – 2014)
Stream on Hulu
Atlantis Cable News Channel star anchor Will McAvoy is struggling to work with new colleagues after almost everyone on his previous team has left. Still, he is doing his best to adapt to the new circumstances.
The press room sets itself apart from other dramas by taking as much time as possible to analyze every little detail. As a result, many episodes are longer than 70 minutes. And since he has The west wing showrunner Andy Sorkin at the helm, a viewer never feels the need to question the direction the series is taking.
Good Girls Revolt (2016)
Stream to Amazon Prime Video
Patti and her fellow female journalists at News of the week face many consequences after demanding equal treatment in the workplace. The series is set in the late 1960s.
The period drama is a perfect reminder of how serious gender discrimination was before the rise of second-wave feminism. Watching male reporters get all the credit for stories sought after by female reporters triggers a mixture of sadness and rage among fans. It’s definitely a compelling watch.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974 – 1975)
Stream on Hulu
After his wife is murdered, news service reporter Carl Kolchak spends his days digging into other murders, believing them to be connected to his wife’s. Along the way, he is helped by a photographer and an editor.
The series shines by moving away from realistic events and delving into the supernatural. Monster myths involving vampires, werewolves, zombies, succubi, and witches are unapologetically addressed. The series is often cited as the major influence for X-Fileswhich was even more successful.
Murphy Brown (1988-2018)
Stream on Vudu
After a brief stay in a treatment center, Murphy Brown becomes a famous journalist, leading the FOR YOUR INFORMATION series of news magazines. She also develops a love-hate relationship with her co-workers.
Calls for a revival are usually a confirmation of a show’s brilliance. Having originally ended in 1998, the sitcom was revived again in 2018 to critical acclaim. Additionally, the show is excellent at connecting real-life news with fictional procedurals. A perfect example would be the Season 5 premiere, where the show makes it look like Vice President Dan Quayle was specifically targeting Murphy when he gives a speech criticizing single parenthood.
Stream on Peacock
The series focuses on Wallace Benton, the star fiction journalist New York Register newspaper which appears frequently on Law and order. The Pulitzer winner prefers to use journalism students to solve crimes.
Enthusiastic fans will quickly notice similarities to How to get away with murder, where the main character also relies on law students to solve various puzzles of life. Still, there are a lot of things that set the two shows apart, including the fact that Deadline borrows mainly from real events.
Tokyo Vice (2022)
Stream on HBO Max
Jake Adelstein applies for a job at Tokyo’s most popular newspaper and after getting it he tries to expose the Yakuza. It also attempts to change the fundamental way the newspaper presents its news by including exclusive information that even the police do not have.
In addition to telling a captivating story, Deputy Tokyo is fun to watch, with the cinematography bringing out the neon-noir elements perfectly. In a way, it also works as a gangster show since the Yakuza is a big part of most storylines. The courage of the protagonist is also commendable.
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