Last Updated: August 13th
While Netflix features more and better original programming, Amazon Prime Video holds their own in that department, and they continue to beef up their offerings. As far as licensed content goes, however, Amazon Prime may hold a slight edge, thanks to owning exclusive rights to HBO’s back catalog.
If you’re trying to figure out what to watch next, a great place to start are the 30 best shows on Amazon Prime Video right now, and none of these titles are currently available on Netflix.
1. The Wire
5 seasons, 60 episodes | IMDb: 9.3/10
The Wire gave us Omar Little. It gave us Stringer Bell. And Bunk, McNulty, Kima, Bubbles, and so many other characters. The Wire examines the Baltimore drug scene from the perspective of the police and the drug dealers, and it humanizes both sides of the war on drugs. It confronts deep-seated problems in the inner city in accessible ways, and it unpacks the bureaucracy surrounding those issues in a way that makes us understand the struggles of law enforcement in their efforts to tackle the drug problem and the plight of the dealers. Spanning five seasons, The Wire is like a series of interconnected novels featuring deeply flawed, but deeply human characters. It’s a one-of-a-kind series, a show that is not only entertaining, thoughtful, and insightful, but also necessary.
2. The Sopranos
6 seasons, 86 episodes | IMDb: 9.2/10
The godfather of prestige dramas, David Chase’s series follows the life of Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), as he struggles like so many of us with the work-life balance, only his work is running a criminal organization and his life involves a complicated, suburban Italian family. Spanning six seasons, The Sopranos may be the best-written series of all time and often places first or second on lists of the greatest television series of all time. (This author would place it third, behind The Wire and Breaking Bad, though both of those shows owe a great debt to The Sopranos, which created the template for the modern anti-hero and kicked off the Golden Age of television.) Regardless of where it is placed among the greatest of all time, it is essential television viewing, a masterpiece rich with nuance, comedy, brutality, and emotion, as well as some of the best-drawn characters in any medium.