With the new profiles feature introduced in March, Amazon Prime Video is suddenly a much better streaming service for friends and families. More so in India, where a Prime membership runs at just Rs. 999 per year. Unlike Netflix, Amazon also doesn't make you pay extra for HD or 4K. Yes, we admit Prime Video's series catalogue is no match for Netflix — it's less than a third of its total — but there's still a lot of good TV to be found here. It doesn't help that Amazon doesn't do a great job of surfacing hidden gems, but hey, that's where we come in. Below, you'll find a bunch of big names (The Big Bang Theory), Amazon originals (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), and stuff you've likely never heard of (Spaced).
To pick the best TV shows on Amazon Prime Video, we started with Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, and IMDb ratings to draw up a shortlist. The last of them was preferred for non-English programming given the shortfalls of reviews aggregators in that department. Additionally, we used our own editorial judgement to add or remove a few. This list will be updated once every few months if there are any worthy additions or if some TV shows are removed from the service, so bookmark this page and keep checking in. Here are the best series currently available on Amazon Prime Video in India, sorted alphabetically.
4 Blocks (2017 – Present)
Set in the Berlin borough of Neukölln, this German-language crime drama follows the leader of a Lebanese drug cartel who wants to leave behind the violent way of life for a peaceful existence with his wife and their daughter, but is reluctantly pulled in after a police operation threatens everything. Set for a third and final season in 2019.
The Adventures of Tintin (1991 – 1992)
A co-production between three countries — Belgium, Canada, and France — this animated adaptation of cartoonist Georges Prosper Remi's most famous work ran for 39 half-hour episodes across three seasons, delivering nearly two dozen adventures that were praised for their faithfulness, sometimes lifting comic panels to the screen exactly as they appeared.
The Affair (2014 – 2019)
A schoolteacher and budding novelist (Dominic West) begins an extramarital affair with a young waitress (Ruth Wilson) trying to piece together her life in this sombre drama, which delivered two strong seasons of deep and psychological observation before a slight dip brought by plot struggles in the third season.
The Big Bang Theory (2007 – 2019)
Loved and hated in equal measure, this long-running sitcom is about the lives of two physicists, their aspiring actress neighbour, and their fellow geek friends: an aerospace engineer, and an astrophysicist. It added two women — a neuroscientist and a microbiologist — as it went on. Seasons two through six were the good years.
Bosch (2014 – Present)
Adapted from the novels he wrote, creator and author Michael Connelly gives us Los Angeles Police detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch (Titus Welliver), a Gulf War and Afghanistan veteran who solves inscrutable cases — the murder of a boy decades ago to a notable civil rights attorney — while dealing with personal struggles. Slow first season, but it soon refined itself.
The Boys (2019 – Present)
Far from perfect, this gory superhero-obsessed-culture antidote, based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's comic series, follows a bunch of nobodies (Karl Urban among them) trying to take down a corrupt group of superheroes who have chosen capitalism over charity. In short, the superheroes are the supervillains.
Casual (2015 – 2018)
A newly-divorced woman and successful therapist — and her teenage daughter — moves back in with her younger brother and dating site co-founder in this sweet li'l comedy-drama. The two coach each other through the trials and tribulations of the dating world, while collectively raising the girl.
Coupling (2000 – 2004)
Steven Moffat's early 2000s sitcom about six friends — three men and three women — discussing dating, sexual adventures, and all kinds of mishaps went beyond gender stereotypes and kept the laughs coming thanks to eccentric characteristics and plots.
Deutschland 86 (2018)
This sequel to the hit original — Deutschland 83, which is unfortunately not on Amazon — is set in the titular year either side of the Iron Curtain, as it explores life in both West and East Germany through the viewpoint of an undercover spy, who navigates love, family, and secrets. Renewed for a third season, titled Deutschland 89.
Doctor Who (2005 – Present)
David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, and — the first-ever woman Doctor — Jodie Whittaker offer their take on the time-travelling, galaxy-hopping alien in the modern-day revival of the iconic British sci-fi show. Seasons 1 – 11 are available. Seasons two, three, four, and five are generally considered the best of the lot, with the last of them usually highlighted.
Born without any body parts because of his power-hungry father, a young man — blind, deaf, and more — made up of prosthetics sets out to reclaim what is his from 12 demons in this anime. Along the way, he befriends the titular orphan boy.
Downton Abbey (2010 – 2015)
A post-Edwardian era period drama set in the English countryside, dealing with the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants, and how the great events of the 1910s and 1920s had an effect on their lives and the British social hierarchy. Went through a dip in quality in the middle to late years but recovered for the final season. The follow-up 2019 movie is on iTunes.
The Expanse (2015 – Present)
Hundreds of years in the future, a mankind that has colonised the Solar System is at the brink of a war and it's up to a crew of different origins — Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt — to expose the greatest conspiracy of all.
Fleabag (2016 – Present)
Phoebe-Waller Bridge created and starred in this comedy-drama out of her one-woman play, about a young, sexually-liberated, dry-witted irritable woman who navigates modern life in London while coming to terms with a recent tragedy.
Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen star in and executive produced this comedy-drama about a married couple who've lived the same life — the same conversations, the same meals, and the same lake-house holiday — for 12 years. But after the wife proposes to shake things up, the two find themselves in a whole new world.
Fringe (2008 – 2013)
This sci-fi series counts J.J. Abrams as a co-creator, and follows an FBI agent (Anna Torv) who is forced to work with an institutionalised scientist considered this generation's Einstein and his estranged son to make sense of unexplained phenomena, which ties into parallel universes and alternate timelines.
The Good Fight (2017 – Present)
A spin-off sequel to the critically-acclaimed The Good Wife follows Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) after she's forced out of the law firm where she was a partner, and has to join a high-profile law firm in Chicago. The legal/political drama has more than held its own unlike most spin-offs, and has been praised for its examination of topical social issues.
Good Omens (2019)
Michael Sheen and David Tennant star as an angel and demon with an unlikely century-spanning friendship in this Neil Gaiman-led adaptation that is guilty of sticking too close to the book he co-wrote (amongst a few other faults). Having grown content with life on Earth, the two try to prevent an approaching Armageddon.
The Good Wife (2009 – 2016)
After a humiliating sex and corruption scandal puts her husband behind bars, his wife — a former state's attorney — must return to work to provide for her family, while battling the unwanted spotlight. Known for its unique legal cases, terrific performances, and delivering consistently on all fronts throughout its long seven-season cable run.
The Grand Tour (2016 – Present)
The former Top Gear trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May continued to do what they did at BBC — review supercars, tour the world, but mostly make fun of each other — for three seasons, before switching to specials-only with the fourth season.
The Handmaid's Tale (2017 – Present)
Elisabeth Moss stars in the lead of this prescient and unflinching adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian classic novel, set in a world where a totalitarian military dictatorship has overthrown the US government and subjugates women in the name of declining fertility rates. Two great seasons followed by a dip in the third.
Homecoming (2018 – Present)
In her first series regular role, Julia Roberts plays a caseworker who helps US veterans transition back to civilian life, and a waitress back in her hometown who has trouble remembering her earlier life across two time periods. As an auditor digs into her past, she realises she was being misled. A psychological thriller directed by Mr. Robot's Sam Esmail.
House (2004 – 2012)
For eight long years, Hugh Laurie played the misanthropic and unconventional titular doctor who despite reliance on pain medication and a cane — it actually added to his acerbic personality — led a team at a fictional New Jersey hospital, and made great use of his out-of-the-box thinking and instincts to diagnose patients.
Laakhon Mein Ek (2017 – Present)
Biswa Kalyan Rath's anthology series offers a look at unfortunate souls — a teenager stuck at an engineering coaching institute, or a young doctor posted to a rural cataract camp — fighting against prejudices, the system, and more. And generally failing.
Lodge 49 (2018 – 2019)
Overlooked by most, which led to its cancellation after two seasons, this wonderfully weird comedy-drama follows a disarmingly optimistic former surfer who somehow arrives at a rundown fraternal lodge after the death of his father and collapse of the family business, hoping to find his way back to the life he had.
The Looming Tower (2018)
Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name is adapted into a ten-part miniseries, exploring how the clash and rivalry between the FBI and CIA in the early 2000s may have inadvertently led to America's biggest tragedy, 9/11. Powerfully written and bolstered by great acting, including Jeff Daniels, with a directing tone set by Alex Gibney.
Luther (2010 – Present)
Idris Elba stars as a dedicated and brilliant British detective who tries to keep a grip on his personal life while dealing with the psychological fallouts of the crimes he's tasked to solve.
Mad Men (2007 – 2015)
Set in 1960s New York, a slow-burn drama that offers a peek inside a fictional ad agency, focusing on one of its extremely talented executives (Jon Hamm) who's bored by his simple personal life. It offered brilliantly crafted characters and a subversive, intelligent look at the American workplace, while never dropping in quality across seven seasons.
Made in Heaven (2019 – Present)
From the minds of Gully Boy duo Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti, a drama about the excesses, hypocrisies, and darkness hiding in the corners of big, fat Indian weddings, told through the eyes of two wedding planners trying to balance their personal and professional lives. Has many faults, not as good as others on this list, but it's the best of what Amazon has produced in India.
Malgudi Days (1987 – 1988)
R.K. Narayanan's collection of short stories about different faces of life in a fictional South India town are selectively adapted for the screen, thanks to his cartoonist brother R.K. Laxman, actor-director Shankar Nag, and producer T.S. Narasimhan.
The Man in the High Castle (2015 – 2019)
Philip K. Dick's popular alternate history novel of the same name, in which the Axis powers won World War II and divided the US to be ruled by Germany and Japan, opened in engrossing fashion and expanded itself in powerful ways in its second year, but was ultimately let down by its unwieldy plot.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017 – Present)
Arguably Amazon's best original to date, the seemingly perfect life of a Jewish housewife (Rachel Brosnahan) in late 1950s New York City crumbles after her husband confesses he's having an affair, which leads her to an unexpected discovery: she has a knack for stand-up comedy.
The Mindy Project (2012 – 2017)
Fresh off her success with The Office, Mindy Kaling created and starred in her own show, a rom-com about an OB/GYN (Kaling) trying to balance her professional and personal life. After three appreciated seasons with a few faults, it moved to streaming where it further refined itself and ended with the 117th episode and six seasons.
The Missing (2014 – 2016)
This two-season anthology mystery thriller is about missing children — a 5-year-old boy in France, and a girl who turns up 11 years later in Germany — and how it impacts their families as they go through the crisis. Always makes use of dual timelines moving in parallel to build suspense. Tchéky Karyo's lead detective is the only common element.
Mozart in the Jungle (2014 – 2018)
Inspired by oboist Blair Tindall's 2005 memoir, this four-season long comedy-drama centred on an ambitious oboist (Lola Kirke) who develops a strong bond with the new conductor (Gael García Bernal) of a fictional New York symphony orchestra, with escapades in Mexico and Italy across seasons.
Mr. Bean (1990 – 1995)
Rowan Atkinson's famous character, whom he described as a child in a grown man's body, has appeared everywhere from the London Olympics opening ceremony to an interview on Japanese television, always saying little. He got his start with this iconic series that produced a paltry 14 episodes over five years but gave us enough laughs to last a lifetime.
The Night Manager (2016)
Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman lead the way with strong performances in this six-episode miniseries adaptation of the 1993 John le Carré novel, about a former British soldier and luxury hotel manager (Hiddleston) who becomes an undercover operative to infiltrate the inner circle of an international arms dealer (Laurie).
The Office (2005 – 2013)
This American remake of Ricky Gervais' BBC sitcom mockumentary lasted far longer — 201 episodes over nine seasons — as it followed the quite-often inappropriate and awkwardly-hilarious lives of the employees of a suburban Pennsylvania paper company. Suffered in later seasons but returned to form in the final season after the return of creator Greg Daniels.
One Mississippi (2016 – 2017)
In this moving two-season comedy, a woman (Tig Notaro) returns home after the sudden death of her mother and struggles to adjust to life as she battles her own health issues, and her dysfunctional family, and discovers more about her mother's past. Notaro is also a co-creator.
Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)
Amy Poehler starred as an always-optimistic public official in an Indiana town's parks department for seven seasons, surrounded by an ensemble cast as eccentric as the next one. Co-created by Daniels (The Office) and Michael Schur, the show made adjustments after a poorly-received debut season and never looked back, as it blossomed into one of the best sitcoms of this century.
Penny Dreadful (2014 – 2016)
An explorer, a gunslinger, a scientist, an immigrant, and a mysterious and powerful woman (Eva Green) team up to fight supernatural threats that draw upon 19th-century Gothic fiction — think Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll — in Victorian London. Praised for Green's character and her performance.
Person of Interest (2011 – 2016)
Before Westworld, Jonathan Nolan explored AI as a supercomputer that gains sentience, which helps its reclusive billionaire programmer and a presumed-dead ex-CIA agent save lives by giving them the identities of those involved in impending crimes. A procedural that grew into an engrossing serial narrative and mediation on the ethics of controlling an artificial intelligence.
Planet Earth II (2016)
Yes, it's a documentary, but it's also the pinnacle of BBC's ability to craft storylines out of the lives of animals that share the planet with us, and the dangers we present to them. And to top off its glorious images that span islands, mountains, jungles, deserts, grasslands, and cities, David Attenborough's voice guides us through it all.
Preacher (2016 – 2019)
After a supernatural event imbues him with a gift, a preacher teams up with his trigger-happy ex-girlfriend and a hard-drinking Irish vampire in search of answers and God. Based on the comic series of the same name, the show has gore and offensive fun aplenty, but can lack in narrative focus. Ran out of steam in the final season.
Psych (2006 – 2014)
After conning the cops into believing he has psychic abilities, a hyper-observant man with eidetic memory becomes a freelance consultant for the local police department, launching a fake psychic agency with his childhood best friend. Improved after a not-so-good first year and has led to TV movies since its eight-season run ended.
Queen Sugar (2016 – Present)
Ava DuVernay and Oprah came together to create this drama based on Natalie Baszile's 2014 novel, about the lives of the estranged Bordelon siblings who move back to Louisiana after their father's death to run the family's struggling sugarcane farm.
Seinfeld (1989 – 1998)
A ratings and critical success during its run, this sitcom about a stand-up comedian (Jerry Seinfeld) and his neurotic New York friends (Julia Louis-Dreyfus among them) butting heads over trivial questions continues to be a hallmark in television history, albeit a few episodes and characters haven't aged well at all. Co-created by Seinfeld and Larry David.
Shameless (2011 – Present)
Based on the long-running hit UK series also from creator Paul Abbott, the American remake — now in its ninth season itself — is set in the south side of Chicago and centres on a perpetually-drunk single father of six with the children learning to take care of themselves. Several stumbles in recent seasons.
Shaun the Sheep (2007 – Present)
Before it spawned a feature film that earned Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA nominations and where the titular clever, confident and mischievous sheep talked, this stop-motion animated kids series was known for its bite-sized episodes, with Shaun leading the gang on adventures and running rings around the sheepdog. Four seasons are available.
Sneaky Pete (2015 – 2019)
Bryan Cranston co-created this crime drama in which a con man (Giovanni Ribisi) assumes the identity of his cellmate to avoid a dangerous gangster whom he once robbed. But living with the faux-family — which has no reason to suspect who he is, because he was long lost — presents challenges of its own.
Spaced (1999 – 2001)
Before they gave us the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg directed and co-created, respectively, this sitcom about the misadventures of two twenty-something London strangers (Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, fellow co-creator) who pose as a married couple to get a flat in the English capital.
Star Trek: Picard (2019 – Present)
Patrick Stewart returns as Jean-Luc Picard in this follow-up to the long-running Star Trek: The Next Generation — available on Netflix — nearly a decade and a half after he retired, after a young woman with possible connections to his past seeks his help. It might be too slow for some and it doesn't try hard enough to take on new fans.
Supernatural (2005 – Present)
Over two and a half decades after they lost their mother to a demonic supernatural force, two brothers — brought up by their father as soldiers with knowledge of the paranormal — roam across the back-alleys of the USA and hunt down every evil they encounter. Eric Kripke ran the show for five seasons, and the dark fantasy series is set to conclude with its upcoming fifteenth.
The Terror (2018 – Present)
This supernatural horror anthology takes real-life events — British Royal Navy Captain Sir John Franklin's lost expedition to the Arctic in mid-19th century, and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II — and spins terrifying tales, featuring ghosts, cannibalism, demonic polar bears, and Japanese folklore.
This Is Us (2016 – Present)
This heartstrings-tugging family drama jumps through time to depict the lives of three siblings (Sterling K. Brown among them) and their parents, who seem to be mysteriously linked to each other in ways beyond their shared birthday.
Transparent (2014 – 2019)
A dysfunctional Los Angeles family finds their past and future unravelling following an admission from the elderly father (Jeffrey Tambor) that he identifies as a woman. Winner of several awards including the Golden Globe for best series for its poignancy and empathy. Finale was middling though. Tambor was fired over sexual harassment allegations.
Undone (2019 – Present)
From the makers of BoJack Horseman, a more life-like animated series about a 28-year-old woman (Rosa Salazar) who discovers she has a new relationship with time after getting into a car accident, and then uses that to solve the mystery of her father's (Bob Odenkirk) death. But her exploits put her relationships and health in serious jeopardy.
A Very English Scandal (2018)
Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw lead this three-part miniseries based on a true story and John Preston's book of the same name, following the rise of British Member of Parliament Jeremy Thorpe (Grant) and the scandal that would end his life, involving the attempted murder of his ex-gay lover (Whishaw).
Vinland Saga (2019)
Set largely in Danish-controlled 11th-century England, this anime follows Throfinn, a young man brought up by Vikings who murdered his family and perpetually wishes vengeance. They are soon caught in a battle of succession between two Danish princes, while Throfinn dreams of a peaceful land that his father talked about. Adapted by Hiroshi Seko (Ajin, Attack on Titan).
Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (1984)
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro director Kundan Shah and satirist Sharad Joshi came together to deliver this sitcom that deftly poked fun at the Indian middle class, focusing on a poker-faced husband, his vivacious office-going wife, and her unmarried brother. It benefited from the chemistry of its three leads (Shafi Inamdar, Swaroop Sampat, and Rakesh Bedi) and the sheer versatility of Satish Shah.
Yes Minister (1980 – 1984)
Together with its 1986-88 sequel — Yes, Prime Minister — the two short-lived British series are reigning kings of the political satire, following a newly-appointed department minister struggling to carry out reforms and later, his unexpected elevation to the highest office in the land.
Can Netflix force Bollywood to reinvent itself? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS. You can also download the episode or just hit the play button below.