Though it’s now pursuing a mass-appeal policy that includes a big-budgeted prequel addition to Lord of the Rings among others, Amazon didn’t have that focus or investment in earlier years when Netflix built up its original offerings. That said, it does have a few gems you’ll come across below. Instead, since its launch in India, Prime Video has made some big acquisitions to bolster its television offerings in the country, including some iconic series of decades past and others that are making a mark in today’s time.
To prepare this list, we used aggregate ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb to draw up a shortlist, and then picked our top 40. Unlike with Netflix, Amazon doesn’t have enough great titles to warrant a top-50 list. Here are the best TV shows on Amazon Prime Video in India, sorted alphabetically. This list will be updated once every month if there are any worthy additions or if some movies are removed from the service, so bookmark this page and keep checking in.
Stephen King’s book of the same name, about a recently divorced teacher (James Franco) who gets a chance to go back in time and prevent the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy – the title refers to the month, date, and the year – but gets attached to the new life, got an eight-part miniseries adaptation.
30 Rock (2006 – 2013)
Tina Fey turns her experiences as head writer of Saturday Night Live into a manic behind-the-scenes look at a fictional sketch comedy show where she’s also head writer and must deal with an arrogant boss (Alec Baldwin), crazy stars and co-workers. Had a slight dip in quality in seasons 4-5 but recovered to a strong finish.
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 – Present)
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.
American Gods (2017 – Present)
Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novel about an ex-con (Ricky Whittle) who gets pulled into a large-scale conflict brewing between the Old Gods and the New Gods made for a visually-striking first season that had narrative impact, thanks to Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Logan) at the helm.
Battlestar Galactica (2004 – 2009)
In what remains one of the most revered sci-fi series of all-time, a surviving band of humans aboard a military ship search for a fabled colony – Earth – while being pursued by a sentient android race of their own creation, that has the ability to take human form.
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.
Dexter’s Laboratory (1996 – 2003)
Cartoon Network’s highly popular animated series from Genndy Tartakovsky follows a boy-genius who works in a secret lab in the house’s basement, has to constantly battle his elder sister Dee Dee from messing around, and shares a bitter rivalry with neighbour genius Mandark.
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.
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.
Friday Night Lights (2006 – 2011)
The 1990 best-selling book and the 2004 film of the same name are the basis for this drama centred on the players and coach (Kyle Chandler) of a high school American football team in a fictional Texas town, which was great in its depictions of everyday issues and tackled some strong themes during its five-season 76-episode run.
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 Girlfriend Experience (2016 – Present)
Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film of the same name gets turned into an anthology concept, focusing on the relationships between female escorts with varied backgrounds and their distinguished clients, who are looking for a lot more than just sex. The second season was not as successful as the first.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Magicians (2015 – Present)
Though burdened by a slow and derivative start, this adaptation of Lev Grossman’s fantasy novel found its groove in the second season, following a group of students training to be magicians who must confront the dangers posed by magic to humanity at large.
The Man in the High Castle (2015 – Present)
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.
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.
Mr. Robot (2015 – Present)
Creator, writer and director Sam Esmail taps into modern-day cybersecurity fears and its entanglement with global affairs, told through the distorted viewpoint of an unstable vigilante hacker (Rami Malek) who gets involved in an increasingly complex game to erase consumer debt by wiping out the data of a large multinational corporation.
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.
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.
Preacher (2016 – Present)
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.
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.
The Terror (2018 – Present)
The crew of two Royal Navy polar explorer ships trying to find the Northwest Passage in 1848 are stuck and isolated after their ships are frozen in ice. Facing starvation, cannibalism and a demonic polar bear, they’re also stalked by an elusive supernatural menace to make matters worse.
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.
Top Gear (2002 – Present)
A 21st-century refresh of the 1977 original grew over time into the world’s most widely watched factual programme, as the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May turned their love of cars into dozens of hours of well-made TV. They exited in 2015 after multiple controversies, with Matt LeBlanc emerging as the new face, a short stint that ends next year.
Transparent (2014 – Present)
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, the show will conclude with an upcoming fifth season without Tambor, who was fired for sexual harassment allegations.
The West Wing (1999 – 2006)
Aaron Sorkin perfected his trademark walk-and-talk in this award-winning political drama that’s regarded as one of the most influential works of TV, centring on the lives of staffers who worked in the White House. The show never recovered in quality after Sorkin departed at the end of the fourth season.
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.