There’s a lot of mindlessness on tv these days, but if you look for them, there are also some rather brilliant, intelligent tv dramas out there. These are 8 of my favorites that can be found on Amazon Prime (so you can watch when you want to!)
I’ve never watched so much tv as I have during COVID, and it’s been a hard habit to break! I especially love shows full of twists and turns that keep you guessing at what will happen next. Who’s good? Who’s bad? What secrets will change everything?
I like intelligent tv dramas the best – the kind where the characters are fully-developed, the plots are creative, and the whole show feels fresh and original.
Some of the Most Intelligent TV Dramas Can Be Found on Amazon Prime
Like Netflix and Hulu, Amazon Prime Video offers both original series and streaming of network shows. I must admit that I’ve basically given up watching the major networks and only watch shows I can stream at this point.
If you don’t already have Amazon Prime – did you know you can get a FREE trial to the video service? Check it out here:
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Here are 8 Intelligent TV Dramas You Can Watch on Amazon Prime Right Now
1. The Wilds
A group of teen girls from different backgrounds must fight for survival after a plane crash strands them on a deserted island.
The castaways both clash and bond as they learn more about each other, the secrets they keep, and the traumas they’ve all endured.
There’s a huge twist as we learn that they didn’t end up on this island by accident!
Even though this show focuses on teenagers, the characters are well-developed and the show has a mature perspective – it’s not “teeny-bopper-ish” at all.
Season One was excellent – season two is in production and looks to have some major surprises in store for us.
2. The A.B.C. Murders
It’s 1933. Hercule Poirot, older and greyer, receives letters threatening murder. The sender signs themselves only as “A.B.C.”
When he takes the letters to the police looking for help, Hercule finds all his old friends have moved on.
But soon there is a murder and the once-great detective must take matters into his own hands. Starring the always great John Malkovich.
There is just one season of this gem.
Check it Out: The A.B.C. Murders
3. Jack Ryan
CIA analyst Jack Ryan stumbles upon a suspicious series of bank transfers.
His search for answers pulls him from the safety of his desk job and catapults him into a deadly game of cat and mouse throughout Europe and the Middle East.
A rising terrorist figurehead is preparing for a massive attack against the US and its allies. Non-stop action and (hello!) John Krasinski stars as super-sexy tough guy Jack Ryan.
There are two seasons so far.
Harry Bosch, a long-time LAPD homicide detective, stands trial for the fatal shooting of a serial murder suspect. A cold case involving the remains of a missing boy forces Bosch to confront his past.
As a daring recruit catches his eye and departmental politics heat up, Bosch will pursue justice at all costs.
Based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling novels. This is the show I didn’t think I’d like, but I was hooked right away and stayed intrigued through all seven seasons.
Now I’m looking forward to a spin-off!
After being declared dead in absentia, an FBI agent must reclaim her family, identity, and innocence when she finds herself the prime suspect in a string of murders.
Where has Emily Byrne been for the last six years?
Trust me when I say that you will be challenged to keep up with all the plot twists in season one. Plus, (as my dad would say), Emily Byrne is one tough cookie!
Three seasons, and season one is the best.
6. The Americans
An FX original series, The Americans is a period drama about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President.
Admittedly, I came late to the party on this show. But I sure enjoyed it, when I finally gave it a try. Great acting, and of course, it’s always so much fun to go back to the 80’s!
Six seasons will keep you glued to the tube. I wish there had been more.
Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons) is a lowly cog in the bureaucratic machinery of a Berlin-based United Nations spy agency.
When Howard discovers that his organization safeguards the secret of crossing into a parallel dimension, he is thrust into a shadow world of intrigue, danger, and double cross…
The only man he can trust is his near-identical counterpart from this parallel world. Yes, this is the show that J.K. Simmons steps it up from those insurance commercials and plays BOTH of the main characters. Such an intriguing concept and the show pulled it off really well.
This show lasted for two good seasons.
8. The Man in the High Castle
It’s 1962, and America has lost WWII; the east is the Greater Nazi Reich, and the west is the Japanese Pacific States. Amidst this oppression, there is new hope – films that seem to show a different world.
When her sister gives her a film and is then murdered, a woman comes to believe the films hold the key to freedom.
Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States. Sympathetic characters on all sides move through this world in different ways…or are they all interconnected?
Four intriguing seasons with lots of plot twists along the way.
Check it Out: The Man in the High Castle
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Final Thoughts on 8 Intelligent TV Dramas You Can Watch on Amazon Prime
How many of these shows have you watched? What did you think?
I love shows that keep the viewer at the edge of their seat, and keeping up with twists and turns and unexpected detours is a little thrill for me!
If you are looking for some intelligence on tv, give one or more of these dramas a try. And do sign up for the Amazon Prime Video trial so you can stream them for free!
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