It’s sad, really, that when you think of the best streaming shows to recommend to someone, you will almost always think of a Netflix show, like Stranger Things or Mindhunter.
This, however, is beginning to change, as other streaming sites are starting to find their footing when it comes to original content. Amazon Prime has a sure fire hit with The Boys, Apple TV+ keeps knocking it out the park with shows like Defending Jacob and The Morning Show, and Disney+ started taking its glorious baby steps to greatness with The Mandalorian.
A show that never seems to ever get mentioned, however, is one of the earliest examples of original content from a streaming service. That show is The Man in the High Castle: a big budget Ridley Scott alt-history sci-fi show that really deserves to be in the same ranks as all these other famous franchises.
But it just never reached these heights, despite the fact that when the series came out, it was almost universally well-regarded by critics. So, if you haven’t already, here’s five reasons why you should check out this underrated gem.
5. Rufus Sewell As Obergrubbenfuhrer John Smith
Obergruppenfuhrer John Smith is one of television’s best villains, if not best characters, hands down.
John Smith starts off the show as your typical Nazi officer in a sci-fi show; evil and uncompromising in the party’s values. Basically, think Hans Landa from Inglorious Basterds.
However, as the show goes on, more layers to Smith start to reveal themselves, and he becomes even more interesting as slowly his motivations become clear.
John Smith will do anything - and I mean ANYTHING - for his family. No details here of what he does, as that would obviously spoil the surprise. But the show would be amazing if it focused on Smith alone, just cunningly making his way up the tyrannical government's hierarchy simply to make sure that his family is safe.
The Smith family are just as three dimensional as the bread winner of the family. With Mrs. Smith climbing her way through the social life of an average American house wife (with a Nazi twist), and John’s son trying to best impress his father in the Hitler Youth.
Of course, John Smith's compelling nature wouldn't be possible if there wasn't a superb actor portraying him. Rufus Sewell is fantastic, and he really doesn't get the appreciation he deserves in general, as his acting was the highlight of films like Dark City and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.
He brings in all his charisma to make John Smith not just a run of the mill villain, but able to also serve as a dark but caring and cunning anti-hero at the same time - which is a very difficult thing to achieve for sure.