Addictive Prime Video Crime Series Has Fans Dubbing It 'One of the Best Ever'

Addictive Prime Video Crime Series Has Fans Dubbing It 'One of the Best Ever'
Image credit: TNT, Screen Australia

A forgotten crime drama that is sure to delight.


  • Among numerous movies and series on Prime, there are some that, despite their quality, have been neglected.
  • One of them is a gritty family drama that aired from 2016 to 2022.
  • Viewers are still enjoying the series due to its quality script and acting.

Prime Video kicked off 2024 with a bang, with the acclaimed second season of Reacher and the excellent satirical reimagining of Mr. & Mrs. Smith with Donald Glover and Maya Erskine. Animation fans were thrilled with Hazbin Hotel and new episodes of Invincible, and among feature films, Road House, the recently released remake of the 1989 Patrick Swayze original, this time starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Conor McGregor, is the #1 most-watched movie on the service. In addition, there are a number of highly anticipated new projects coming out in the coming months (and even days), including the live-action adaptation of Fallout, the second season of Outer Range, and, of course, the fourth season of The Boys.

But with so many new projects, there are a lot of other great shows that unfortunately don't get talked about as much as they deserve. For example, there was a great crime drama that debuted on TNT in the late '10s and was recently rediscovered by Prime users. So if you're stuck in an agonizing wait for new releases on Prime Video, we recommend getting to know and maybe even binge-watching this series, considered by many to be one of the best in the genre.

A Series Based on an Acclaimed Movie

It's rare to find American remakes that actually work, and even rarer to find successful remakes that completely change the format of the medium. Such is the case with TNT's Animal Kingdom, which ran for six seasons from 2016 to 2022.

It's based on the 2010 Australian film of the same name, directed by David Michôd, which was inspired by real-life events in Melbourne involving a crime family. The movie was incredibly well received by critics and audiences, and was even nominated for an Oscar.

Addictive Prime Video Crime Series Has Fans Dubbing It 'One of the Best Ever' - image 1

However, an American version developed by Jonathan Lisco moved the action from the Australian state of Victoria to the United States. The plot revolves around a 17-year-old young man named Joshua 'J' Cody, who moves to Oceanside, California to join his estranged family members after his mother dies of an overdose. But the Codys are no ordinary folks; they control all of Oceanside and profit from criminal activity.

In addition to Joshua, the focus is on his grandmother, the family matriarch Janine 'Smurf' Cody. She is an incredibly powerful woman who orchestrates all the criminal enterprises and has an unhealthy affection for her family members. The story also places no small emphasis on her past and how she became the head of a criminal empire through flashbacks to 1966, 1977, 1984, 1992, and 1999.

Joshua was played by Peaky Blinders star Finn Cole, who portrayed the major antagonist Michael Gray in the British show. But the real star of Animal Kingdom is Smurf, portrayed by none other than the legendary Ellen Barkin.

An Intense Family Drama That Captivated Audiences

Even though the plot of the series may have been less impressive than the original Australian movie, both critics and viewers received the American reiteration quite warmly. As such, the score of the first season on Rotten Tomatoes was 76% from critics and an impressive 91% from the audience.

Even among the most recent reviews, a high level of excitement can be noted, as many viewers said that this is one of the most underrated series in television history. And this is indeed true, as Animal Kingdom is a gritty and candid story about a twisted family that you want to root for. It's a show full of intrigue, thrills and thoughtful introspection.

All six seasons of Animal Kingdom are available for streaming on Prime Video.