(Updated: May 26, 2020) The inescapable internet slang ‘Netflix and chill’ made binge watching a way of life. Thanks to its unique idea of providing films and TV content online, Netflix became the comfort zone of millions across the globe. Statistics prove that people prefer seeing films more at their premises than at the cinemas. Star Wars is still surely making money in billions but home media is the thing in demand. Netflix founder realized this timely enough to provide a better medium for those craving for entertainment. The fairly economical and massively resourceful service not only incorporated popular, old content but fresh releases, with loved TV shows like Marvel’s Daredevil and Stranger Things.
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When India caught the whiff of Netflix’s popularity, Star India hoped to rival it up with Hotstar, even before Netflix entered the country in 2016. Hotstar took off with TV shows and sports matches in 2015, which segregated the audience. While the viewership was initially low, it grew as soon as its catalogue was updated with fresh content, particularly HBO’s Game of Thrones.
The third big entrant Amazon Prime’s film catalogue is significantly diverse. But its best thing is the number of TV shows in its offering. It houses some amazing old and new TV series.
Here are the 14 best TV shows on Amazon Prime currently streaming you wouldn’t want to miss:
1. The Good Doctor
Based on: Park Jae-bum | Developed by: David Shore
Being a bit of a hypochondriac, I never thought I would enjoy a medical drama but there you go. I loved this outstanding series about a young autistic-savant surgeon who is short on communication skills and EQ but whose sheer brilliance and insights help save many lives.
Freddie Highmore (of the Bates Motel fame) as Dr. Shaun Murphy is vulnerable, unpredictable and uncommunicative in the conventional sense but he rises above these limitations and works many a miracle in a San Jose hospital’s surgical unit.
I loved the series because it both humanises and deifies the medical community and lays bare their competencies and chinks, making them relatable and endearing. The pace is engaging and there’s a lot of human drama with compelling side stories.
The series has a top-notch cast that performs admirably. Nicholas Gonzalez, Antonia Thomas, Christina Chang, Hill Harper and Paige Spara as bubbly Lea, essay their roles to perfection.
A pity that Prime is not streaming Season 3 in India which is a huge letdown for viewers in this part of the world.
Highly recommended if you have the stomach for medical stuff. (By Sanjay Trehan)
2. The Boys
Created By: Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
The show brings you face to face with a gritty reality – never meet your heroes. You may hold certain expectations from them that they might not be able to stand up to. The uniqueness of The Boys lies in the fact that despite being a superhero show, it is not about superheroes. It just uses supes as a device to tell the story of a normal, average individual. The human nature of inherent selfishness and lust for power combines with an infinite capacity for destruction in this heart-wrenching and soul-churning version of reality. It subverts all authorities and conventions and gives us the raw and ugly truth about ourselves in the purest form it can.
It is simply and most definitely one of the best, if not the best superhero show I’ve seen or ever will see. The Boys is a reality check, a mirror of reality that is laid bare for us to decipher. It is a triumph of the metaphor and the metaphysical art form. It is an unending gala that does not stop at the last shot or scene but continues on as we live through our lives for the rest of eternity as long as the vile creature called humanity exists.
3. The Wire
Created by: David Simon
The Wire was the Game of Thrones of its generation. No other show managed to capture the various faults of the entire system – political, judicial, educational – in such brutal fashion. There was a fine line between good guys and bad guys. The show made us realize how far the infrastructure had collapsed, and whether it would be possible to repair it. Each character, gangster or cop, from Jimmy McNulty to Stringer Bell had smartly written, complex storylines that resonated so well with the general narrative. The first couple of seasons weren’t given much recognition, but by the time the show ended, critics and audiences alike viewed The Wire as one of the greatest TV shows ever made.
Created By: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
I have yet to come across a character like Fleabag, in life or in fiction. So, when I started watching Phoebe Waller-Bridge in this eponymous series, I didn’t know how to react to her or deal with her shenanigans. She is a maverick, unpredictable to the core, vulnerable but irritating, prone to guffaws at the drop of a hat, drops things as she picks them up, obsessed with having sex and more sex, almost broke, and broken.
At first, it’s difficult to empathise with her (she’s so clumsy, maybe she deserves what she’s getting, you think) but slowly you step into her sad, lonely spaces and begin to see her for what she really is. A well-meaning, good-hearted person who uses sex to get over her isolation, she puts up a brave, smiling front to fight the daily challenges that life throws at her.
Her transgressions are more of a defence mechanism.
It’s a tough world out there and except for her sister, for whom she even feigns a miscarriage, she is really on her own. She seeks an impossible love and I hope she finds it, even if it’s with a fox-fearing priest.
Phoebe is such an awesome talent. Her script for Fleabag is sharp, edgy and she plays the part with elan and a winsome attitude. Behind those vulnerabilities, beyond those deep chasms, lies a girl looking for love and approval. Outstanding television as life!
5. The Sopranos
Created by: David Chase
A crime drama with strong undertones on themes like family, mental illness, gender roles and so on, The Sopranos was truly one of a kind. Instead of adhering to the traditional, dramatized life of a mafioso we usually see in movies, The Sopranos gave us a look at the everyday life of an ordinary mobster living in the suburbs with his family. James Gandolfini stars as Tony Soprano, an Italian-American gangster who struggles to balance life as a family man whilst running a criminal organisation. Regarded as the greatest piece of American pop culture in the last few decades, The Sopranos is definitely one to add to your list.
6. Downtown Abbey
Created by: Julian Fellowes
This British period drama focuses on the politics and personal lives of an aristocratic British family in the early 1900s. The show brushes past certain historical events such as World War 1 and the sinking of the Titanic, but it is essentially a soap opera of the highest quality. With intelligent storylines surrounding the characters, the show provides a solid emotional backbone for its narrative. The Crawleys aren’t done yet, however, with a movie coming out later this year.
7. The Americans
Created By: Joseph Weisberg
The year is 1981. It is the height of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan has been elected President of the United States. Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) are living their normal lives as a family with this newfound sense of security. But in truth, they are actually KGB spies.
A show which focuses on familial values in addition to the political intrigue, The Americans is probably the most underrated show on this list. With the show that aired its season finale recently, now is a perfect time to binge the entire show on Amazon Prime.
8. The Man in the High Castle
Created by: Frank Spotnitz
Based on Phillip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, The Man in the High Castle is an alternate version of the US history depicting how different things would have been if Nazi Germany and Japan had won the Second World War.
A stirring show, high on imagination, The Man in the High Castle offers thought-provoking entertainment. It runs eloquently throughout the season without ever derailing from its central plot. The production is top notch with characters that are multi-dimensional and vastly memorable. The detailing is commendable too as it provides a closer, meaningful look at the events of World War II.
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