Band of Brothers (2001)
Easily one of the best miniseries ever produced, Band of Brothers is a historical dramatization of the journeys taken by the soldiers of “Easy” Company during World War II. It starts with their training, then follows them through various missions over the course of the war, with particular focus on the impact that war has on them.
Perhaps the most moving aspect of Band of Brothers is how it interweaves present-day interviews of the actual soldiers of “Easy” Company throughout the series. This documentary-esque approach is what elevates this miniseries above conventional television. Even if you aren’t a military or history buff, you need to watch it.
The Wire (2002)
The Wire isn’t just a television show; it’s an experience that transcends mere drama and entertainment. All five seasons are intricately interwoven to tell a grand story that’s greater than the sum of its parts. The Wire is one of only a few shows where it feels like real life is playing out before you. It’s impossible not to get swept up in it.
On the surface, The Wire is about cops and robbers. But as the seasons progress, you’ll realize that this is really a show about Baltimore, and more than that, a show about societal institutions and how they fail individual people. The Wire will change your outlook on life, or at least make you rethink a lot of what you’ve always held as true.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel follows a Jewish housewife in 1950s New York whose perfect life comes crashing down around her, causing her to find refuge and creative expression in stand-up comedy. The show is hilarious, witty, respectful of its characters, with top-quality acting and production, and extremely binge-worthy.
Imagine the kind of television show Shakespeare would write if he was alive today, and imagine if that television show took place in the 1870s during the height of the American Wild West. That’s Deadwood in a nutshell.
Deadwood centers on a frontier camp and its growth into a full-fledged town. It’s about life in a lawless territory and what it really takes for civilization to prosper. This show has a massive ensemble cast with fully realized characters inspired by actual, historical people. It’s insanely well-acted and not just one of the best shows on Amazon Prime, but one of the greatest dramas of all time.