Amazon Prime is the goldmine of all sorts of TV series. From the best in BBC to all the impeccable collection of HBO, be it the shows that wooed the audience or the ones that took their time and gained a cult following, Amazon Prime has them all. While this is a really awesome thing, all such good shows in one place, it is also quite irritating sometimes. Because how do you pick what to watch next? You can just scroll away forever and you still won’t be able to decide. Not to worry. We have narrowed down the list of top TV series on Amazon Prime that you could start with. Pick any show from this list, you will not be disappointed:
20. Rome (2005-2007)
This show follows the story of Rome from the perspective of two soldiers in the Roman army. The most prominent storyline featured in it is that of Julius Caesar, taking in account his rise from being a soldier to a dictator and the events leading up to his assassination. The story of Mark Antony and Cleopatra and that of Octavius Caesar is also shown in this. Though creative licence is taken in a lot of places, the show still, heavily relies on the true events that happened in and around 49 BC. History maniacs should definitely watch this one.
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19. Hannibal (2013-2015)
The character of Hannibal Lecter, the serial killer who likes his kills gourmet style, was introduced to us in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ with the legendary Anthony Hopkins as Lecter. Bryan Fuller decided to do his take on the story with Mads Mikkelsen, another impeccable actor, playing the titular role. The result was a series that was not only horrifying as the crimes of the killer but also visually appealing and much more advanced in its idea. It follows the story of Will Graham, a criminal profiler for the FBI who struggles with the effects that the cases have on his psyche. When he meets Hannibal Lecter, he feels like he has finally found someone who can understand him. But, that’s because Hannibal’s true nature is concealed from him.
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18. Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Jane Austen is one of those writers who displayed how ahead of their time they were by writing the stories that aimed to revolutionize the society. She is known for writing complex characters and delivering stories, often of love, that has further inspired writers to write in a similar way. One of the most celebrated novels of hers is ‘Pride and Prejudice’, and this BBC adaptation of the novel is the one that amassed the most acclaim, as compared to the other adaptations. There are a lot of reasons to watch this series. It is true to its material, it has great actors fitting into their roles like a glove and an infectious energy that will make you feel good. But, most importantly, it has Colin Firth as William Darcy. Watch the series, you’ll know why it’s such a big deal!
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17. Oz (1997-2003)
A prison is a difficult place and so are the people who live there. This show is centred on the life of the inmates and the officials in the Oswald State Correctional Facility, which earns a nickname Oz. While the terms are named after the places mentioned in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, the correctional facility is nothing like Emerald City. It is the place where the inmates are indulged in a power struggle over various things in the prison that they can control, while the unit manager tries to keep them in line.
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16. Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014)
The show that shot Charlie Hunnam to stardom, ‘Sons of Anarchy’ is one of the most popular shows of FX. It is centred on the life of Jackson Teller who runs a motorcycle club, founded by his father, along with his stepfather. As Jackson rises from the position of vice president to president, he begins to question his purpose and that of his club. Indulged in illegal activities, he and his club members often run into rival gangs and trouble is stirred. Jackson has to decide how he wants to move forward.
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15. Six Feet Under (2001-2005)
When the patriarch of the family dies, the responsibility of the funeral home falls on his sons, Nate and David. As the brothers struggle to come to terms with their newfound position and handle the death of their father, they have to witness other secrets come to light. In every episode, they come across one or other form of death and from their experiences they learn how to resolve the issues in their personal lives. The show was critically acclaimed for its writing and acting and for presenting a singular take on the idea of death.
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14. Doctor Who (2005- present)
With twelves years in running, and that too, of the revival (the original had another glorious run), ‘Doctor Who’ is one of the longest running shows. And its continuous renewals are completely justified by the popularity that it has amassed over the years. It shows the adventures of a man with regenerative abilities travelling through time in a blue British police box. The show flows back and forth in time as the Doctor stops in a particular era, reasons attributed to a lot of different things. While he indulges in the problems of Earth and its people, he is also chased by the enemies that try to square scores with him. The Doctor has been portrayed by actors like Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith. Jodie Whittaker became the first woman to be cast as the Doctor.
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13. Twin Peaks (1990-91, 2017)
There has been a lot of television series that experimented with the material at hand and tried to serve something new to the audience. At the time, they were seemingly rejected which led to their cancellation. But, over time, people understood the true meaning behind the show and soon there was a new fandom and a section of cult followers. ‘Twin Peaks’ is one of those shows. It is set in the fictional town of Twin Peaks where a teenage girl is murdered. With the intensity and suspicion surrounding her case, the FBI gets involved and Special Agent Dale Cooper is sent to the town to look into the matter. Soon, it is revealed that the murderer has carried out such acts before and that this case has much more complicated sides that it shows in the beginning.
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12. Parks and Recreation (2009-2015)
Bureaucracy even though, gives power to some people, to others it just appears as restrictions and red tapes in their work. When a woman’s boyfriend falls into a construction pit and breaks his legs, a demand for filling that pit reaches to Leslie Knope who works at the Parks and Recreation department. She decides to turn that pit into a park, but her efforts meet a lot of resistance, much more than she had expected. With the help of a city planner whom Leslie likes and her own staff of two eccentric people, Leslie tries to find ways to make things work. This show was a bit slack in its initial seasons, but in the later ones, as its comedy got a better edge, it turned out to be widely acclaimed.
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11. Vikings (2013- present)
‘Game of Thrones’ introduced the audience to the powerplay, the brutality, the cunning and the ferocity of the kings and the queens and the people in their courts. People who loved all that planning and plotting will certainly enjoy watching ‘Vikings’. What makes it even better is that it is closer to reality than ‘Game of Thrones’. This show is based on the famous Vikings, the tribes that worshipped Odin and Thor. It centres around the life of Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking warrior who rose from rags to riches, from a farmer to a ruler. With the mesmerising beauty of its locations, the ever-increasing thickness of its plot, the strength of its varied characters and the music that resonates with its tone, ‘Vikings’ is one of the must-watch shows.
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10. The Night Manager (2016)
Based on John le Carr’s spy thriller of the same name, this show follows the story of Jonathan Pine, an ex-Special Forces man who works as the night manager in a lavish hotel. His life becomes difficult when he decides to help the British Intelligence against an influential man who illegally deals in arms. Tom Hiddleston played the role of Jonathan Pine with immense perfection, bringing out the struggle of a man caught up in a world he wants to run away from and the deception that he must use to survive in enemy territory. Hugh Laurie played the main antagonist supported by the cast of actors like Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander and Elizabeth Debicki.
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9. The Office (2001-2003)
Before Steve Carell bagged the role of the infamous Michael Scott in one of the most popular series in America and the world, Britain was losing its wits over ‘The Office’. The amazingly talented Ricky Gervais created this show, along with Stephen Merchant, about the employees in a paper company and their eccentric, and mostly insufferable, boss- David Brent. The show takes the mundane things of the everyday office life and creates an intelligent comedy that doesn’t shy away from making jokes and comments on the things that are sensitive to a workplace but are often ignored. With only two seasons, this show was short but condensed, giving no time to itself to fall slack, unlike its successors. I am not comparing because, obviously, the two shows turned out to be in very different veins, but there is something about the originals. Just saying!
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8. Orphan Black (2013-2017)
The thing with intelligent shows is that it takes time for the audience to grasp their idea and understand what the show is about. ‘Orphan Black’ was one of those shows. It had a clever plot, a well-researched scientific back up for its theories and strong characters. But above all, it had Tatiana Maslany, who played most of the roles in the show! I really hope they paid her well. It starts with Sarah Manning who watches a woman jump in front of a train. What shakes Sarah to the core is that the woman who just died in front of her eyes had the face resembling hers. And Sarah didn’t have a twin. Turns out, there is a whole bunch of people who look like her because she, and others, are clones.
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7. Mr Robot (2015- present)
One of the best shows of this time, ‘Mr. Robot’ tells the story of a genius programmer named Elliot Alderson. He is recruited by a group of hackers to bring down one of the biggest corporations in the world down to the dust. Initially hesitant, Elliot is convinced by the leader of the group who calls himself Mr Robot to play a key role in their plan. However, things go out of hand, especially when Elliot struggles with issues like anxiety and depression. This show needs you to have a lot of brains, a whole lot. Not because it uses complex computer-related terms, but because of its clever plot and incredible storytelling. Nothing is what it seems in this show and whatever you think you know about it, you will have to throw it out of the window after every episode.
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6. Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014)
This show tells the story of a man operating in the Prohibition Era in the States, rising up the ladder of power through his connections with the government and the criminal world. Steve Buscemi played the role of Nucky Thompson, a treasurer at the Atlantic City whose affiliations with the mob world make him a person of interest to the government. The show features mostly on bootlegging and the illegal activities that were in full swing in the Prohibition Era. The show enjoyed the run of five seasons and received critical acclaim for its great writing, storytelling and acting. One of the best shows produced by HBO, ‘Boardwalk Empire’ will take you on an entirely different journey.
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5. The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (2017- present)
This Amazon Original series tells the story of Miriam “Midge” Maisel. Living in the 1950s in New York, Midge has a perfect life. Her husband is a businessman who is trying to light up his career as a comedian. However, he doesn’t turn out too successful at it. Disappointed with himself after one of the shows that didn’t turn out so good, he confesses of an affair to his wife. Before Midge could react, he leaves her. She goes to the café where her husband used to work, gets drunk and rants out her life problems on stage. But, she doesn’t do it in a pathetic way. This act makes her realise that she has a penchant for comedy and with this newfound talent of hers, she decides to carve her own new path.
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4. The Twilight Zone (1959-64)
Before there was ‘Black Mirror’, the show that goes into the future to make us reflect on the present times, there was ‘The Twilight Zone’. This show featured standalone episodes and in each and every one of them, the audience would come across a bizarre story. The show used all the elements in the bag, ranging from psychological thriller to morality questioning sections. Most of its episode relied on the science fiction, much like ‘Black Mirror’, but just like any good story, it held unexpected twists and turns for the end. The original series gained a lot of popularity and the show has already been revived two times, the third one is in the works. Before it premieres next year, you could familiarise yourself with all that it entails.
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3. The Wire (2002-2008)
HBO is undoubtedly one of the best places where the best shows are made. A handful of its shows feature on this list and for all the good reasons. ‘The Wire’ was HBO’s presentation and it had everything that any hit show from this network has. A stellar cast, a tight-knit plot, imperative themes and a dark tone is what defines ‘The Wire’. Its themes and plot changed from season to season, but the central idea of the show remained the same. It starts in Baltimore, where the police department and the drug overlords in the city struggle with each other to gain an upper hand on the powerplay. With actors like Dominic West, Michael K. Williams and Idris Elba, this show was applauded for the realistic portrayal of the contemporary society.
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2. The Sopranos (1999-2007)
One of the best shows ever, ‘The Sopranos’ is the show that received critical acclaim as much as it received the love of the audience. It showed the story of Tony Soprano who begins to take therapy sessions after he suffers a panic attack. In these sessions, the story of his life, his struggles and the things that influenced him are discussed. His relationship with his family forms an important plot device for the show. There isn’t much one can say about this show, only that you need to see it, to know it.
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1. Band of Brothers (2001)
The World Wars were one of the most horrific things to happen to this world and some truly despicable things were done by some monstrous people. And while we can’t change that, what we can do is learn from all the good things, no matter how small, that came out of it. ‘Band of Brothers’ is the story of Easy Company, a battalion in the Parachute Infantry Regiment. Based on the remarkable true stories of survival, persistence, and above all, brotherhood, it is a moving portrayal of the things that people see in the war and how it changes them. Apart from the extraordinary tales of the men who served in the War, this show is also known for employing the cast of then-lesser-known actors who have risen to significant stardom now. Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Tom Hardy are a couple of those names.
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