The 25 best TV shows on Amazon Prime

When Amazon Prime's video service launched its own streaming platform, there was but one question on everyone's lips: could an online retailer really survive stiff competition from the likes of Netflix? As it turns out, yes. The selection on Prime is in many areas even more extensive than its big name rival. As well as oodles of exclusive content with Amazon Originals (Transparent, Mozart In The Jungle) its huge database features a lot of HBO titles, something that no other streaming service offers for free. And then there's all the other shows that don't slot nicely into those two categories. In short, there's absolutely loads of series to get hooked on. But don't worry, we've whittled it down to the top 25 shows for you. 

25. The Man In The High Castle 

Region: UK, US 

Seasons available:

The show:  Imagining what the world might be like had allied forces lost the war is a terrifying idea that took root in the brain of Philip K. Dick. That led him to pen the 1962 novel which this Amazon Original series is based on. Under Nazi rule the sprawling North American continent has been divided into three territories, and it's inside those borders that this gripping story of a small Resistance group unravels. 

Why it's worth watching: As an alternate history - not a distorted reality - the show grabs you, and makes for such compulsive viewing because it bears so many recognisable things from the real world. As well as a few choice slips into genre territory.

24. Halt and Catch Fire 

Region: UK 

Seasons available:

The show:  The show revolves around Cardiff Electric, a fictional software company that receives a much needed boost with the advent of a new trio - played by Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy and Mackenzie Crook - who aim to outwit their competitors by reverse engineering a PC. 

Why it's worth watching: This quirky series begins in the Silicon Prairie of Texas in the 1980s, stealing inspiration from the real-life tales of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to explore what happened behind-the-scenes during the '80s personal computer boom. 

23. Vikings 

Region: UK, US 

Seasons available: 4

The show: A rough-n-tumble period piece that's not a million miles away from Game of Thrones, Vikings serves up a similar amount of blood-drenched violence - but none of the rampant nookie. Travis Fimmel leads the series as noted Norse figure Ragnar Lothbrok, a lowly farmer who becomes a respected warrior. That's after years of sailing the seas of Europe, along with his wives and chums, in search of vulnerable countries to ransack.  

Why it's worth watching: It's less concerned with the intricate political ties of the aforementioned series, yet does err heavily on the side of fantasy. These are not the vikings you've read about at school. 

22. Mozart in the Jungle 

Region: UK, US 

Seasons available: 1-2 

The show: Now's the perfect time to catch up with this Amazon Original as it's recently been extended for a third season. Set behind-the-scenes of a New York orchestra, Gael Garcia Bernal tackles the part of Rodrigo, a free-spirited conductor who arrives to shake things up with his unconventional approach to classical music.  

Why it's worth watching: Rodrigo's rock n roll lifestyle - and his experiences mentoring his protege (played by Lola Kirke) - give the show a light and playful tone to a style of music normally shown via a serious lens. 

21. Bosch 

Region: UK, US 

Seasons available: 1-2 

The show: Based on a trio of Michael Connelly novels that follow the exploits of former Special Forces officer turned Hollywood homicide detective, Harry Bosch. There's something foreboding about Titus Welliver - partly why he made such a convincing smoke monster on Lost - but he seems to have shaken free of it for the first season of this dark procedural show. He's still a grumpy copper.  

Why it's worth watching: While there's certain changes in the page-to-screen transition that some Connelly die-hards might pick apart, it does share one major similarity to its source material. It's easily digestible, and therefore, a lot of fun to binge. 

20. Justified 

Region: US 

Seasons available: 6

The show: Timothy Olyphant plays Raylan Givens, a U.S. Marshal forced to return to his backwater Kentucky hometown after his quickdraw antics attract the attention of his superiors. things get worse when he gets embroiled with the dealings of the Crowder family. In particular his old pal, Boyd (Walton Goggins).  

Why it's worth watching: If old-school westerns and their outlaw-knows-best type of morality are your thing, then Justified is a must-see. Givens has a particularly special brand of justice: doing whatever he decides at any given moment. Saddle up, and leave your judgement at the door. 

Region: US 

Seasons available:

The show: Starring an award-winning Ian McShane as the foul-mouthed Al Swearengen, the old west gets the R-rated revamp you never knew it needed. David Milch's canceled-too-soon series takes place in Deadwood, South Dakota at a time when every man took matters into his own hands.  

Why it's worth watching: This richly-textured drama might bungle the historical accuracy of its 1870s pilfering, but more than makes up for it with attention to detail. Characters this well-drawn don't come around that often. 

18. Six Feet Under 

Region: US

Seasons available: 5

The show: One of HBO's finest achievements attempts to make sense of death by chronicling the lives of a family who own and run a Pasadena funeral parlor. Just because The Fishers are forced to contemplate mortality on a daily basis, doesn't mean they're any better at coping with it. They struggle to derive meaning from death and choose to instead celebrate the joy of life.  

Why it's worth watching: Eldest son Nate (Peter Krause)'s acerbic wit is an intoxicating blend of self-affirming mantras. He'll make you laugh and break your heart. 

17. American Horror Story 

Region: US

Seasons available:

The show: Dark and torrid are two adjectives that could describe any season of FX's anthology series. And it's rather bleak too. Still, that's the allure of Ryan Murphy, who has a way of hooking you into the corroded corners of humanity by crafting tales of unbelievable madness. Each season begins anew, with a fresh story, location, and characters; although many of the same actors return. 

Why it's worth watching: It's simply unlike any other series that claims to be "horror" - this won't just give you sleepless nights, it will make your days pretty jarring too. 


Gem is GR+'s west coast entertainment news reporter. She’s a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator.
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