While they may not be anywhere close to Netflix, Amazon Prime is very close to Hulu when it comes to original series and might be better when it comes to the number of quality shows on the streaming service. They have produced everything from quirky superhero comedies like The Tick to amazing fantasy masterpieces like Good Omens.
However, to see how great Amazon Prime is when it comes to original series, take a look at their dramas. While big things are coming in the future, including new series based on Lord of the Rings, the shows they have already produced prove that they are ready for the big time. Here is a look at 10 of the best original drama shows on Amazon Prime you can binge right now.
Bringing Hanna to Amazon Prime as an original series was risky. It was based on a movie of the same name by the great auteur filmmaker Joe Wright and starred the spectacular Saoirse Ronan in the lead role and Cate Blanchett in a great antagonistic role.
The TV series cast a relative unknown in Esme Creed-Miles as the title character and re-paired The Killing stars Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos as her father and antagonistic CIA killer that wants them both dead. The Amazon series was not as good as the film it was based on, but it was a gritty reimagining that worked well on its own.
Patriot had one big thing going for it. The Amazon Prime original drama series starred Kurtwood Smith in a lead role, and he makes everything better. For people who only see him as a funny man thanks to That '70s Show, reexamine his career and see roles in RoboCop as proof that he can do nasty.
Patriot tells the story of an intelligence officer named John Tavner (Michael Dorman) who assumes a cover identity at a piping firm while suffering from depression and PTSD. Kurtwood Smith joins other great actors such as Terry O'Quinn (Lost) and Gil Bellows (Ally McBeal) in one of the most offbeat dramas on Amazon Prime.
8 THE ROMANOFFS
The Romanoffs is an original drama series on Amazon Prime that works as an anthology. There is a huge all-star cast on the show, but they change out each episode with everyone from Diane Lane (Man of Steel) and Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) to Corey Stoll (Ant-Man) and Paul Reiser (Aliens) appearing in the series.
The Romanoffs takes place all over the globe. Each episode tells the story of people who believe that they are the descendants of the House of Romanoff, the Russian royal family. Matthew Weiner of Mad Men fame produced the series.
Homecoming had two big things going for it from the start. First, it starred the most successful female movie star of the '80s in Julia Roberts in a rare television appearance. Second, Sam Esmail of Mr. Robot fame created the series, so that guaranteed that it was going to be unusual and mind-bending at the very least.
Roberts portrayed Heidi Bergman, a caseworker employed at a government facility that helps soldiers transition into civilian life. However, this is Sam Esmail, so there is a lot more to the organization than that. The first season deals with what was really happening and what Bergman was really doing with these returning soldiers.
6 TOM CLANCY'S JACK RYAN
Jack Ryan is one of the fictional characters that has seen life many times over with many different people taking on the role. Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford (twice), Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine all took turns playing the CIA analyst in the movies. On Amazon Prime, John Krasinski became the fifth man to take on the role.
On the series, titled after the lead character created by Tom Clancy, Ryan is working a desk job as a young analyst when he is ordered into the field to find a terrorist by tracking bank transfers, putting the desk jockey in mortal danger as he tries to save the world.
Lore is a horror anthology series that has a lot of material from which to pull its stories. Based on the popular podcast, there are over 100 episodes of stories about the dark side of human nature. The Amazon Prime horror series took six stories for its first season and then six more for the second season.
The series itself is a polarizing one, with horror fans loving it and more mainstream critics not completely sold. Some big names appeared in the series, including Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Colm Feore (House of Cards) and Adam Goldberg (Dazed and Confused). Each episode mixes documentary footage with cinematic scenes to tell its stories of lore.
Goliath lasted two seasons, and a masterful performance by lead actor Billy Bob Thornton carried the series. He also wasn't the only great actor in the cast, as he was joined by William Hurt, Maria Bello, and Lou Diamond Phillips. Thornton is Billy McBride, a lawyer who quit when a man he got off of a murder charge killed an entire family.
Goliath is a story of redemption with Billy trying to atone for what he perceived as the failures of his past, while also battling a losing battle with alcoholism. Thornton won a Golden Globe for his performance in the drama series on Amazon Prime.
3 SNEAKY PETE
Giovanni Ribisi has always been a cult-favorite actor, but his roles usually only appear in indie films or as a small role in a bigger blockbuster such as Gone in 60 Seconds. With that in mind, Ribisi proved to everyone how great he is with his performance as an ex-convict who takes on the role of his prison cellmate when he gets out to escape his past life in Sneaky Pete.
Crazily, his former cellmate's family and friends all believe he really is Pete Murphy, and he starts to integrate himself into their lives as he goes into hiding from the gangster he robbed before his prison sentence. This threat puts everyone he meets lives in danger, as he starts to care about these people as well.
One of the most successful original dramas on Amazon Prime is Bosch, based on the hugely successful Harry Bosch novels by Michael Connelly. The first season, which stars Titus Welliver as Bosch, takes inspiration from three of Connelly's books, including the bestselling Echo Park.
Amazon Prime has produced five seasons of Bosch, with a sixth on the way, making it one of the longest-running drama series on the streaming service. Each season is 10 episodes and leads the detective through different cases and received almost universal praise for its noir atmosphere.
1 THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE
Much like Hulu exploded in originals thanks to its production of The Handmaid's Tale, Amazon Prime likewise had its own breakthrough series that carried it to great heights in The Man in the High Castle. Based on the novel by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, Total Recall), this is an Elseworlds story.
What if the Nazis won World War II? That is the premise with the United States broken up and shared by Germany and Japan after they won the war. However, things move a little into the science-fiction realm when it turns out there might be alternate realities within the show. The upcoming fourth season will be the last.