The top 10 shows on Amazon Prime
Look, as great as Netflix is, there are plenty of other streaming services that need to be watched.
Now with Amazon Prime (and that means Amazon Video) available in the UAE, a whole network of shows have been unleashed to keep the binge-watchers of Dubai satisfied. Happy days.
If you’re not quite sure what to get started with, or have missed a few shows you didn’t even know were on it, have a gander through our top ten Amazon Prime shows (in no particular order).
It seems a little tiresome to heap more praise on a show that it is pretty much universally loved but the thing is (looks to camera, with a wry smile), they’re right. Phoebe Waller-Bridge's adaptation of her own one-woman stage show manages to be stunningly crass, utterly hilarious and tear-inducing all at the same time. Yes, Waller-Bridges is perfect as Fleabag but the rest of the cast are just as good, characters rounded with surgical precision.
Sam Esmail created something special in Mr Robot. Its tale of hackers looking to overturn the might of corporate America has never been so pertinent. It doesn’t help, either, that he cast Oscar-winner Rami Malek in the role of Elliot, an anti-social hacker with his fair share of tics. The supporting cast are great, too. BD Wong and Christian Slater are brilliant in their roles. And, despite Malek’s heady rise to superstardom, this is a series that will get a proper ending in Season 4.
On the face of it, Vikings seems a little one dimensional: a whole show based on the conquering and brutal world of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok. But this is definitely not Game of Thrones on a budget. The character development over the first three seasons is beautifully handled, and Vikings tells what is a simple story really well.
Amazon announced it has cancelled The Tick, and that can only be because Amazon doesn’t know how to have fun. It is a superhero parody with heart, and a brilliant cast. Peter Serafinowicz is superb as the titular Tick, the superhero without superpowers, playing it without any knowing wink that he is in on the joke. And that’s the brilliance of the show, which really stepped up in the second season. Unfortunately, Season 2 will now be its last, unless it can find another home - which fans are trying to make happen with the #SaveTheTick hashtag.
This sci-fi reboot takes itself very seriously, and for good reason. It takes the campy Battlestar Galactica show of the ‘70s and reboots it as event TV, with some heady undertones. There may be one series too many, but Battlestar Galactica is brilliant TV that shines a light on the complexities of human behaviour and war, all the while being based in space.
The Americans is stunning TV. It would be in everyone’s top ten list, if they had only seen it. Set around the Cold War, the show follows a seemingly normal apple pie-loving American couple who turn out to be Russian spies. Both Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are sublime as the spy duo, while the show slowly ratchets up the tension season after season.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
The Jack Ryan series of movies, those starring Harrison Ford at least, were a lot of fun. While a prequel movie with Chris Pine stumbled, this alternate TV take is well worth a watch. John Krasinski is effortless as Ryan, a CIA analyst forced into the field. As is The Wire’s Wendell Pierce as Jack Greer, Ryan’s mentor - a role that once belonged to James Earl Jones. Big shoes to fill, then, but he manages it. It’s a little Mission: Impossible-lite in places but well worth a watch, especially in 4K.
Bosch is a brilliant, easy watch, and is now in its fifth season. It stars Titus Welliver as the titular Harry Bosch, whose acting raises this show above your average police procedural. As does the writing. Overseen by Eric Overmyer, whose credits include The Wire, Treme and Boardwalk Empire, this is a top-quality show.
The beauty of Amazon Prime - and Netflix - is that these platforms breathe life into previously dead shows, like The Expanse. It's a show about what happens when humans colonise the solar system (spoiler: it ain’t great). Syfy cancelled it after three seasons but Amazon gave The Expanse a new home. Why? Well, for one thing CEO Jeff Bezos is a big fan. We’re glad he did - this is stunning sci-fi and universe-building at its best.
Too Old To Die Young
Known more for his ultraviolent movies, such as Drive, his foray into television is superb as it is brutal. Although Refn prefers to think of Too Old To Die Young as an extended movie, it's been broken down into 12 manageable 'episodes', following a cop played by Miles Teller who goes on something of a revenge spree, ridding the world of some very unsavoury characters. This is uncompromising, unflinching entertainment - and all the better for it.