Best Mystery Series on Amazon Prime: The mystery genre loves ambivalence, dichotomy and opacity. It captivates the audience with the question of what is actually going on here, who or what is behind all the creepy events and whether one can really separate reality and fantasy, true and false so strictly from one another.
Best Mystery Series on Amazon Prime
Mystery is extremely multifaceted and often borrows from other genres such as horror, fantasy, drama or sci-fi. Everything is possible in the mystery realm. And that is exactly what makes such stories so appealing. Because they offer escapism at the very highest level.
10. X-Files – The FBI’s Scary Cases (1993-2002, 2016-2018):
The great mother of all mystery series about the coolest FBI agents of all time Fox Mulder and Dana Scully made conspiracy theories socially acceptable and played a major role in the fact that we really don’t believe anything anymore that politics and government rub under our noses want. That might be a bit problematic from today’s perspective, but it made the 1990s that much more exciting.
Everyone believed in aliens and supernatural phenomena thanks to The X-Files: The FBI’s Creepy Cases, the show was a cult and all of us – except those who had to face the creepy freaks Mulder and Scully had to fight week after week. feared – followed the dark tour de force of the two agents, who were also the prototype of the “Will-they-won’t-they-couples”.
At some point the series did not find its way out of its painstakingly built labyrinth of lies, secrets, conspiracies and cliffhangers, but as long as we saw the skeptical Scully (brilliantly: Gillian Anderson) and the devout Mulder (great: David Duchovny) on their journey to the were allowed to accompany paranormal world, we didn’t mind.
9. American Gods (since 2017):
A war is brewing between old and new gods: the old gods, whose mythological roots can be found all over the world, fear becoming meaningless and losing their power. With good reason: because their disciples are dying out or being seduced by money, technology and fame – the new gods. Right in the middle: Shadow Moon, who has just been released from prison and actually just wants to go back to his girlfriend. But that too has its secrets.
“American Gods” is based on the cult novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman and is Amazon Prime’s most successful original production to date. The crazy story is bursting with social criticism and is implemented so hypervisually and peppered with weird-bizarre figures that as a viewer you often feel like you are on a drug trip. Breaking taboos and transgressing boundaries – also in matters of violence – here series inventor Bryan Fuller elevates to a crazy art form with refreshing courage to lose control.
8. Twin Peaks (1990-1991, 2017):
“Life doesn’t make any dramatic sense”, it seemed to us that Twin Peaks, perhaps the most famous murder hunt in television history, wanted to say episode by episode. At first glance, in the remote village somewhere in the north-west, nothing seems to be rationally explainable: The FBI agent philosophizes over and over cherry cake and has visions in his dreams, a father turns gray overnight, dwarfs dance, and a wooden hut in the middle in the forest – well, that’s a very special thing anyway. And then, of course, right in the middle: who only murdered the student Laura Palmer?
Amid all this weird madness, series creators Mark Frost and David Fincher explore the nature of good and evil, Fincher-style. “Twin Peaks” is a confused-bizarre dream full of eccentric characters, confused story plots and lots of red herrings. Reality and imagination unite in the cult series of the 90s to a genre-spanning, expressionistic and darkly weird madness, but unconventionally seductive with the soul of a poet.
7. Supernatural (2005-2020):
The Winchester brothers Dean and Sam have dedicated themselves to the hunt for everything that hell spits out when it’s in a bad mood: ghosts, vampires, demons, witches, shapeshifters and much, much more. Because “Supernatural” is not like other teen mystery series, you also have to fight against what God puts in your way when he’s in a bad mood (or when he’s just bored): Archangels, for example, or God’s Sister. It’s pretty bloody and terrifying, but also soulful and above all self-reflective.
The greatest strength of the series: telling apocalyptic stories with all the seriousness and drama they deserve, but being aware every minute of how absurd it all is. Which is why “Supernatural” – a series that follows the exact same rhythm season after season – is always best when it gets meta: for example, when the heroes attend a “Supernatural” fan convention or … no, we won’t reveal more here, it’s best to take a look for yourself!
6. Haven (2010-2015):
In “Lost” you scratch your head because of a really mysterious island, in “Haven” the focus is on a small town, which is just as mysterious and puzzling: FBI agent Audrey Parker comes to the sleepy one because of an escaped prisoner Town of Haven in the US state of Maine. She soon discovers that next to nothing is right here: Haven is apparently a refuge for people with supernatural abilities. With nothing else to do, Parker decides to stay in Haven and solve all the mysterious incidents that haunt the city.
The Canadian production, which combines mystery with horror and crime-of-the-week cases, is based on a novel by Stephen King and has a total of five seasons. “Haven” does not reinvent the genre wheel, but entertains with varied twists and charmingly eccentric characters. So if “Twin Peaks” is a bit too crazy for you, you should pay a visit to Haven.
5. Under the dome (2013-2015):
And another Stephen King work that made it into a TV series – and again it’s about a small town (as is so often the case in mystery series): Nothing exciting ever happens in Chester’s Mill. Until one day a gigantic storm comes up and an opaque, gigantic dome lies over the small town. If you think of romantic snow globes with lovely music, you don’t know the horror master King: Being cut off from the outside world brings the darkest sides of the city dwellers to the surface – and soon it will be: eat or be eaten! And of course the secret of the dome still has to be solved: Who or what is behind it?
The idyll as a breeding ground for barbarism: “Under the dome” promises many creepy and entertaining hours in King-style (in the pilot episode, for example, a cow is split in half out of nowhere) and is just as socio-psychological analysis human behavior in exceptional situations such as an urgent call for environmental protection.
But: “Under the dome” is a classic story-driven series, in other words: the characters here are primarily there to advance the plot as quickly as possible. Of course, there is still interpersonal drama, but you shouldn’t expect overly nuanced characters here. But if the big picture is more important to you anyway, “Under the dome” is warmly recommended. Just like “Breaking Bad” fans: Dean “Hank Schrader” Norris is part of the main cast.
4. Fringe – Borderline Cases by the FBI (2008-2013):
“Fringe – Grenzfalls des FBI” follows in the footsteps of “The X-Files – The uncanny cases of the FBI”. Here and there it’s about a secret plot by shadow men, here and there it’s about events that are almost unbelievable, but still possible, and both here and over there the focus is on the connection between science and the supernatural. But “Fringe” goes one step further – or one step away from the paranormal: Instead, the series delves deep into the world of (human) physics and deals with time travel, teleportation, astral projection, bionics and, above all, parallel universes, which play a major role play in the series.
It never gets as confused here as in “The X-Files”, but “Fringe” is a bit more playful because it is nerdy and, like the model, offers a good mix of monster-of-the-week and mythology episodes. The scripts are cleverly and intelligently written, the actors are more than convincing and the twists compelling enough to stick with it for the entire five seasons. By the way, one of the series creators is JJAbrams.
3. Lore (2017-2018):
This mystery anthology series (produced by Amazon Prime) with a strong penchant for horror is based on the award-winning podcast of the same name by Aaron Mahnke (who also takes on the role of the narrator in the first season). For example, it’s about the story of a boy who is given a doll that apparently leads its very own, uncanny life. Or a family whose house is inhabited by a ghost from the hereafter.
“Lore” combines excerpts from documentary films, short stories, animation and film scenes to bring terrifying but true stories to life. The series celebrates the origins of the horror genre and explores the true background of legendary horror myths of pop culture such as vampires, werewolves, body eaters, séances and, of course, possessed dolls. In short: an both instructive and extraordinary hybrid series, carefully researched, with qualitative ups and downs, but always unsettling, terrifying and surprising. Not for the faint of heart!
2. Undone (2019):
After being in a near-fatal car accident, Alma (Rosa Salazar) discovers that she can suddenly travel through space and time. With her newly acquired skills, she tries to find out the truth about her father’s death. Not only does this quest challenge Alma’s relationships, but her sanity also suffers enormously. Alma’s little sister (Angelique Cabral) encourages the young woman again and again to enjoy her life and let go.
Shifted realities and flexible space and time structures: that’s what this mystery animation dramedy by Amazon Prime for adults is about, visually breathtakingly implemented in rotoscopic style. The creative mind behind the series is “BoJack Horseman” inventor Raphael Bob-Waskberg.
“Undone” is far less cheeky and archaic, but much more psychedelic, sensitive and philosophical: It is a surreal, intoxicating drug trip that plays all color palettes, delves deep into the human psyche and asks unpleasant questions. An extraordinary feast for all the senses!
1. 11.22.63 – The attack (2016):
Stephen King once more: This mini-series with the cumbersome title “11.22.63” is based on King’s novel “The Attack” and is about the high school teacher Jake Eppin (James Franco), who returns to 1958 via time travel to prevent the (and unfortunately legendary) assassination attempt on US President John F. Kennedy five years later. However, the mission turns out to be more complicated than expected – not only because Jake literally falls madly in love at the wrong time, the past also seems completely resistant to all of his manipulation attempts. The common thread of the eight episodes is of course: Will Jake be able to change the history of America (and the world?)?
While the dystopian series “The Man in the High Castle” hits us with a disturbing counterfactual alternative world right from the start, “11.22.63 – The attack” takes a step back and shows us a man who does everything possible to undo the past. So we are right there when the story – maybe – changes. The series feels a bit like a parody of determinism when Jake’s intervention in history just doesn’t want to bear fruit. The tribute to the 1960s is as loving as it is critical, issues such as time travel and conspiracy theories are skillfully interwoven. The end is surprising.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise: JJ Abrams is the producer. The man seems to like time travel.