With each streaming service offering a variety of different television shows to watch, we are sometimes overwhelmed with choices. I've already done a list for Netflix, so I thought the logical next step would be to make a list of the top 5 shows to watch on Amazon Instant Video. Since I will not be creating a top 5 list for HBO Go, this list will include some HBO shows that can be streamed on Amazon Instant Video.
For those who have not read my Netflix article, here are the questions I considered while making this list:
Is the show's premise interesting?
A good show has to have an interesting and engaging plot.
Does the show stay good?
For a show to be binge-worthy, it must sustain it's charm for the majority of its episodes.
Does the show have dynamic characters?
Characters make or break a television show. No one wants to watch static characters interact with other static characters. For a show to be worth watching, its characters should be interesting or, when applicable, funny.
Although there are only two seasons of Catastrophe (as of this writing), the show is funny enough to make this list. Catastrophe tells the story of an American man (Rob) and a British woman (Sharon) navigating their relationship (and much more) after an unexpected pregnancy. The chemistry and banter between Rob Delaney and Sharon Hogan is what makes Catastrophe such a fantastic show. The duality of Catastrophe's tone is also fascinating; the show is as funny as any other comedy on television while at the same time heartwarming and realistic. Few shows dabble in tone the way this show does.
It is very hard to just watch one episode of Orphan Black. Episodes often end on cliffhangers, which makes binge-watching Orphan Black feel like you are watching one long sci-fi movie. The show tells the story of a woman who gets wrapped up in drama (this is putting it lightly to avoid spoilers) after witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks identical to her. Despite some mediocre performances from supporting cast members, Orphan Black is a really fun show to watch. Tatiana Maslany's performance is incredible; her ability to play multiple characters is amazing. If you're looking for a solid sci-fi show, Orphan Black is for you.
The pilot episode of Mr. Robot is one of the best episodes of television that I've ever seen. The pilot episode, aptly named, "eps1.0_hellofriend.mov" contains beautiful cinematography, excellent writing, and a great performance by Rami Malek. What's great about Mr. Robot is that the entire first season manages to captivate just as much as the pilot episode. The show follows hacker and hacktivist Elliott Alderson as he works for a cyber-security company while also hacking an assortment of people and placed. Season 1 of Mr. Robot is essentially a character study of Elliott, who is a seemingly pessimistic genius-hacker who makes his perception of the world very known to his audience via voice-over narration. The show as a whole is dark and at times gruesome. Though only one season is available for free on Amazon Instant Video, season two is available for purchase. I was so wrapped up in the first season of this show that I felt it necessary to add it to this list.
The first time I watched The Sopranos (during its original airing on HBO in 1999), I was young and didn't quite understand it. It wasn't until I was in my early twenties that I gave the show another chance and began to truly see the things that make Tony and company so interesting. The show walks such a tight rope between seriousness and dark humor that you may find yourself laughing, crying, and in awe during just one episode. For those who haven't heard of The Sopranos (at this point that list is very small), the show follows crime boss Tony Soprano as he navigates his personal and "professional" lives. As if the late James Gandolfini's performance isn't enough, the supporting cast of this show, anchored by Edie Falco, is phenomenal. If the story and the acting aren't enough to pull you in, the witty writing and beautiful direction should be. The Sopranos would be higher on this list if not for an up and down final season.
To say that The Wire is a good show is an understatement. The Wire is one of the greatest shows of all time and, outside of one hokey subplot in season five, sustains its greatness throughout all of its seasons. At first glance, The Wire looks like another cops and robbers show. However, any fan of the show will tell you that that description doesn't even begin to crack the surface. The Wire is a show about people, motives, and corruption. The show's characters are complex and its writing is top-notch. You'll find yourself enamored with subplots and characters you thought were only passing through. The Wire manages to make profound statements about people and society while also remaining entertaining. There is no better show to watch and it isn't close.