The Wire, which is available for free on Amazon Prime (all five seasons) and is excellent. We have also been watching the newly released second season of The Man in the High Castle, an Amazon Original series that is an intriguing alternate history, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick.
basic concept of this very original story is that the Allies lost WWII.
The U.S. never dropped the atomic bomb on Japan (or anywhere else), and
the Nazis won the war. In this alternate history, set in the early
1960's, the Nazis control the eastern U.S., and Japan controls the
western Pacific states. In this scenario, Japan and Germany split the
U.S. into these two power territories, with a narrow strip left in the
middle and known as the Neutral Territories. As the show begins in
season 1, we see glimpses of both of these empires.
Nazi-ruled New York City, Joe Blake, played by Luke Kleintank, leaves
with a cargo truck for neutral Colorado. He seems to be a resistance
fighter, and once he is on his way, both he and the viewer find that his
hidden cargo is a film canister. Meanwhile, in Japan-controlled San
Francisco, a young woman named Juliana Crane, played by Alexa Duvalos,
sees her sister killed in the street in front of her. Her sister leaves
behind a bus ticket to Colorado and a film canister. Confused, shocked,
and grieving, Juliana gets on the bus with her sister's ticket to find
out what she was involved in. She discovers that the film shows a
different version of the end of the war, with the Allies winning and the
Nazis defeated. She and Joe meet in Colorado, both of them afraid to
That's just the beginning of the first
episode - to describe much more of the plot would ruin the fun, since
this show is filled with roller coaster twists and turns. Each episode
shows more of what life is like both in the Nazi east and in the
Japanese west, as both Joe and Juliana try to figure out what's going on
and what these strange films mean. There are plenty of other
interesting characters, including Juliana's boyfriend Frank, played by
Rupert Evans, the Japanese Trade Minister of the Pacific United States,
played by Nobusuke Tagomi, and the Nazi commander Obergruppenführer
John Smith, played by Rufus Sewell, who actually seems like a decent,
normal guy as he enjoys his wife and children at home.
concept of an alternate history is intriguing and compelling, and the
films of a different outcome (the one we are familiar with) hint at
multiple realities. Besides the engrossing plot that constantly keeps
you guessing, the acting and writing are superb, and the sets of a
Japanese-controlled California and a Nazi-run New York are fascinating.
We are hooked on this show that combines science fiction, history, and
suspense and can't wait to see what happens in this second season.
Incidentally, my husband read the book the show is adapted from but
didn't really like it much. He likes the TV version better, as it
fleshes out the concept better.
The Man in the High Castle is an Amazon original series so is shown exclusively on Amazon Prime.
Have you seen The Man in the High Castle yet? Have you read the book?