What are the best drama and comedy-drama TV series on Amazon Prime Video? The 13 titles below star actors such as Sterling K. Brown, Hugh Grant, Hugh Laurie, Hugh Bonneville, Ben Whishaw, Elizabeth McGovern, Rosa Salazar, Jay Duplass, William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Lola Kirke, Gael García Bernal, Christine Baranski, Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, and Shweta Tripathi. And they come from the minds of Ava DuVernay, Russell T Davies, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Kate Purdy, Robert and Michelle King, Joey Soloway, Dan Fogelman, Paul Abbott, David Shore, Julian Fellowes, Sarah Treem, Biswa Kalyan Rath, and Shankar Nag.
You might find more drama and comedy-drama TV shows in our list of best TV series.
- The Affair (2014 – 2019)
A schoolteacher and budding novelist (Dominic West) begins an extramarital affair with a young waitress (Ruth Wilson) trying to piece together her life in this sombre drama, which delivered two strong seasons of deep and psychological observation before a slight dip brought by plot struggles in the third season. Recovered marginally for fifth and final season.
- Downton Abbey (2010 – 2015)
A post-Edwardian era period drama set in the English countryside, dealing with the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants, and how the great events of the 1910s and 1920s had an effect on their lives and the British social hierarchy. Went through a dip in quality in the middle to late years but recovered for the final season. The follow-up 2019 movie is on Apple TV and Google Play.
- The Good Fight (2017 – Present)
A spin-off sequel to the critically-acclaimed The Good Wife follows Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) after she’s forced out of the law firm where she was a partner, and has to join a high-profile law firm in Chicago. The legal/political drama has more than held its own unlike most spin-offs, and has been praised for its examination of topical social issues.
- House (2004 – 2012)
For eight long years, Hugh Laurie played the misanthropic and unconventional titular doctor who despite reliance on pain medication and a cane — it actually added to his acerbic personality — led a team at a fictional New Jersey hospital, and made great use of his out-of-the-box thinking and instincts to diagnose patients.
- Laakhon Mein Ek (2017 – Present)
Biswa Kalyan Rath’s anthology series offers a look at unfortunate souls — a teenager stuck at an engineering coaching institute, or a young doctor posted to a rural cataract camp — fighting against prejudices, the system, and more. And generally failing. Exclusive to Amazon.
- Malgudi Days (1987 – 1988)
R.K. Narayanan’s collection of short stories about different faces of life in a fictional South India town are selectively adapted for the screen, thanks to his cartoonist brother R.K. Laxman, actor-director Shankar Nag, and producer T.S. Narasimhan.
- Mozart in the Jungle (2014 – 2018)
Inspired by oboist Blair Tindall’s 2005 memoir, this four-season long comedy-drama centred on an ambitious oboist (Lola Kirke) who develops a strong bond with the new conductor (Gael García Bernal) of a fictional New York symphony orchestra, with escapades in Mexico and Italy across seasons. An Amazon original.
- Queen Sugar (2016 – Present)
Ava DuVernay and Oprah came together to create this drama based on Natalie Baszile’s 2014 novel, about the lives of the estranged Bordelon siblings who move back to Louisiana after their father’s death to run the family’s struggling sugarcane farm. A tendency to cater to tropes and archetypes, but there’s no denying its political and viewing power.
- Shameless (2011 – 2021)
Based on the long-running hit UK series also from creator Paul Abbott, the American remake — all wrapped up after eleven seasons — is set in the south side of Chicago and centres on a perpetually-drunk single father of six with the children learning to take care of themselves. Several stumbles in latter years.
- This Is Us (2016 – Present)
This heartstrings-tugging family drama jumps through time to depict the lives of three siblings (Sterling K. Brown among them) and their parents, who seem to be mysteriously linked to each other in ways beyond their shared birthday. The fifth season is not on Prime Video; use Disney+ Hotstar for that instead.
- Transparent (2014 – 2019)
A dysfunctional Los Angeles family finds their past and future unravelling following an admission from the elderly father (Jeffrey Tambor) that he identifies as a woman. Winner of several awards including the Golden Globe for best series for its poignancy and empathy. Finale was middling though. Tambor was fired after four seasons over sexual harassment allegations. An Amazon original.
- Undone (2019 – Present)
From the makers of BoJack Horseman, a more life-like animated series about a 28-year-old woman (Rosa Salazar) who discovers she has a new relationship with time after getting into a car accident, and then uses that to solve the mystery of her father’s (Bob Odenkirk) death. But her exploits put her relationships and health in serious jeopardy. An Amazon original.
- A Very English Scandal (2018)
Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw lead the three-part first season based on a true story and John Preston’s book of the same name, following the rise of British Member of Parliament Jeremy Thorpe (Grant) and the scandal that would end his life, involving the attempted murder of his ex-gay lover (Whishaw). An Amazon original.