An Amazon Prime subscription comes with quite a few perks, including access to thousands of movies and TV shows available for streaming on Prime Video. That includes several Amazon Prime originals that are only available on the service.
Read more: What’s new on Amazon Prime Video
While the overall selection of original series on Amazon Prime Video isn’t as extensive as you will find on Netflix, Amazon seems to be going for quality of programming rather than quantity. Indeed, the service already has a critical and Emmy award-winning series in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Amazon continues to develop and produce upcoming original shows, so it will only go up from here.
Here’s a look at the best original TV series currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. You can sign up for the service at the link below, which offers a 30-day free trial for new users:
Best Amazon Prime originals:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Amazon Prime originals regularly as new ones are announced.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
This series could genuinely be one of the best for the Amazon Prime Video service. It centers on a woman in New York City in the late 1950s who decides to become a stand-up comedian after her husband leaves her. The show won an Emmy Award in 2018 for Best Comedy Series and its star, Rachel Brosnahan, also won that year for Best Actress in a Comedy series. It has also won or has been nominated for many other significant awards over the past couple of years.
Even though it’s labeled as a comedy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has a lot of drama as well, as you might expect from its creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, who also created Gilmore Girls. It’s also a great look back in time to the late 1950s, where women were beginning to make themselves known in the workforce. You can stream the show’s first three seasons now, and a fourth season is in the works.
The Man in the High Castle
Based on the classic novel by the late Philip K. Dick, this Amazon Prime original series takes place in the 1960s, but in an alternate timeline where Nazi Germany and Japan won World War II and split control over the US coasts. This “what if” series tells the tale of several characters in this alternate Earth, who discover a series of movies that show the allies winning World War II.
This series expands from Dick’s original novel and shows the characters realizing that they are on an alternate Earth and that it might be possible to travel to the timeline where the US and its allies won World War II. All four seasons are available to stream now. The Man in the High Castle is one of the best Amazon Prime originals.
Yes, we are stretching our definition of “original Amazon Prime Video series” with this selection of The Expanse. Originally shown on the SyFy cable channel, the first three seasons of this excellent sci-fi epic are now available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Based on The Expanse novels by “James S. A. Corey” (actually a pen name for two writers, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), the show takes place hundreds of years in the future, where humanity has colonized the entire solar system. However, there are now factions in various locations in the system: Earth, Mars, and the “Belters” who live in the outer system.
The show not only has a huge cast and an epic feel, but it may have some of the best visual effects ever made for a space-based sci-fi series. The good news is that Amazon head Jeff Bezos, an admitted big sci-fi fan himself, loved The Expanse so much that when SyFy decided not to renew the show for a fourth season, Bezos got Amazon Prime Video to pick up the rights and approve production of the fourth season. All five seasons are available to stream now, and a sixth and final season is due in 2022.
Based on novels from author Michael Connelly, this hardboiled police show stars Titus Welliver as Los Angeles Police detective Harry Bosch. Each season is based on at least one, and sometimes more, of the original Bosch books. If you love crime novels, this series is right up your alley. The show can get a little slow at times, mainly because it’s like reading a good book rather than an action-packed TV show. You can watch all seven seasons now, and an upcoming spin-off series featuring Welliver as Bosch will debut in 2022 on Amazon’s free IMBd TV service.
The Grand Tour
If you love car shows, then you likely already know and love The Grand Tour. Created and hosted by the original hosts of BBC’s long-running Top Gear series, this series shows Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May test driving lots of cool modern cars. It also has the three hosts traveling all over the world in all sorts of vehicles. Even if you are not a car nut, The Grand Tour has plenty to check out in these adventure segments.
Four seasons of The Grand Tour are available now on Amazon Prime Video. In the fourth season, the show ditched many of its Top Gear-like features like having a studio audience and track time segments and concentrates on what it does best: road trips and adventures across the globe.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
Amazon Prime Video made a massive splash in 2018 with the launch of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. This original series stars John Krasinski as Jack Ryan, who has been portrayed in several movies by other actors based on the techno-thriller novels by the late Tom Clancy. The first episode of this eight-episode first season sees Ryan as a young CIA analyst. He thinks he’s only going to be working at a desk, but his work has him leave his office and go out in the field to try and stop an Islamic terrorist.
There are two seasons of this Amazon Prime Video original available to stream right now. But the show has been renewed for a third season, so you can rest assured that Jack Ryan will be back to fight more threats against the US and the world shortly.
Some TV shows on streaming platforms are designed to be “one-and-done” with their stories completed in just one season. That’s the case for Good Omens. Based on the acclaimed fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett, the series centers on two supernatural beings on Earth. One is the angel Aziraphale, played by Michael Sheen, and the other is the demon Crowley, played by David Tennent. Despite being on opposite sides, the two beings not only grow to become friends but also love being on Earth. That’s a problem, however, as the series deals with these two friends trying to prevent the end of the world.
Gaiman served as the showrunner for this six-episode limited series, and it shows. Good Omens feels like both a great adaptation and an extension of the original novel. It’s also flat-out funny. Look for a lot of interesting cameos and voices in this show as well. You can watch the first season now, and a surprise second season is now in the works.
If you get Julia Roberts to star in a TV series, you know it must be something special. Based on the acclaimed scripted podcast, Homecoming features Roberts as Heidi Bergman, a character who, as the series begins, is employed as a caseworker for a mysterious group, the Homecoming Transitional Support Center. They are supposed to help military veterans move back into the civilian world. However, the show shifts to four years later, and Bergman is now working as a waitress, with little memory of her previous job.
The mystery of what happened to Bergman and the Homecoming Transitional Support Center is all about is the center of this first season of episodes. The second season is also already available.
What if you were completely cut off from the outside world, almost since birth? That’s what Hanna has to deal with in this series. She is a young girl who has been raised in the deep forests somewhere in Europe by who she believes is her father but is a rogue CIA agent. However, Hanna finally has to deal with the rest of the world as their private home is discovered. She then goes on the run to avoid the CIA.
Based on the 2011 movie of the same name, Hanna is a series with some great action sequences and some tender coming-of-age scenes from its leading actor Esma Creed-Miles. You can watch two seasons of the show now.
Here’s another Amazon Prime original series designed to have a beginning, middle, and end. Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes and stars as “Fleabag,” a young woman trying to find love and companionship in London. She frequently talks directly to the camera in a fourth-wall-breaking tactic that, for once, is not annoying but helps to make her funnier and more relatable at the same time. In fact, it’s so amusing that the Emmys awarded the show in 2019 as Best Comedy Series, and Waller-Bridge also won for Best Comedy Series Writing and Female Acting.
Waller-Bridge adapted her one-woman play for this series, and it sometimes shows in some of the episodes of this two-season series. However, the show’s scope is expansive enough that it doesn’t feel like a stage play. You can catch both seasons of Fleabag on Amazon Prime Video right now.
One of Amazon Prime Video’s best TV series is also an original. The Boys tries to answer the question, “What if superheroes existed in the real world?” In this series, superheroes would be used as products and marketing tools for a massive company. Also, most superheroes themselves in this series are pretty nasty folks. They feel they can do whatever they want and get away with it. The Boys centers on one particular superhero group, The Seven, and the efforts of a rouge group of (mostly) ordinary humans (The Boys). The Boys know the truth and want to bring these powerful beings down. It’s a highly adult TV show (definitely don’t let kids watch it), but if you’re going to see a more realistic and brutal look at superheroes, this show is a must on Amazon Prime Video.
You can watch the first two seasons now. A third season has already been ordered, and a spin-off show, which will feature a superhero college and its students, is in the works.
If you love legal dramas, you should check out Goliath. This Amazon prime original stars Billy Bob Thornton as a lawyer who was once a part of a huge and rich law firm. However, he left after a murder suspect that he freed in court went on to kill a family. Now, Thornton’s character is recruited to fight for a client in a wrongful death case. The first season pitted him against his old partner, played by William Hurt. You can catch all three seasons now on the streaming network, and the fourth and final season is due in late September. It’s one of the best of the best Amazon Prime originals, especially if you love Thornton’s acting.
Here’s an Amazon Prime original series that’s very different. Undone is an adult animated series that uses a technique called rotoscoping. It traces the movements of live actors and turns them into animated characters. The result is a show that has a unique look compared to other animated series. The show itself stars Rosa Salazar as a woman who survives a car crash. She then sees a vision of her late father, played by Bob Odenkirk. He wants her to find how he died several years ago. The thing is, she has a chance to do just that by having her mind travel through time. It’s a trippy show to watch, but it’s also one that’s worth talking about. A second season is in the works. This is one of the best of the best Amazon Prime originals.
Carnival Row is yet another Amazon Prime original that deviates from the norm. It mixes a 19th century period setting with a murder mystery and fantasy elements. This mashup of genres works, thanks in part to some impressive-looking visual effects and production design. Orlando Bloom ditches his Lord of the Rings elf role for a more human-looking inspector trying to stop a serial killer in his city. The thing is, the city is home to both humans and faeries. This show also has some interesting viewpoints on immigration, which we are currently dealing with in our non-fantasy world.
This series has already received high praise from critics, but it is also somewhat controversial. Set in 1977, the series depicts a secret group that tries to locate and hunt down Nazis hiding in the US. While Hunters says it is “inspired by true events,” it is largely fictional. That has caused some Holocaust groups like the Auschwitz Memorial to state their concerns about it. However, taken just as an entertaining drama, it’s excellent. You also get to see Al Pacino in his first significant TV series role. This series has already been renewed for a second season.
Tales from the Loop
Do you want some deep science fiction with your streaming TV? Check out Tales from the Loop, which is based loosely on the narrative art book with the same title by Simon Stålenhag. The eight-episode series focuses on the Loop, a mysterious machine that’s meant to unlock the universe’s secrets. The show is an anthology series, as the people who live above the Loop learn to deal with its mysteries. This is one of the best of the best Amazon Prime originals.
This new Amazon Prime Video original series is an American adaptation of a show originally broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK. It centers on a group of young people who believe a storyline in a comic book predicted events in the real world. The group thinks they can prevent a future pandemic with info from the comic. Of course, other forces want the comic as well. The US adaptation was written by novelist Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl). It stars John Cusack and Rainn Wilson. All eight episodes are now available to stream.
Yes, it’s another adult superhero show, centering on a teenager who learns his father is the most powerful being on Earth and that he has powers as well. However, Invincible is different in a few ways. One is that it’s an animated series, which means that the visuals, especially the superhero fights, can take the action up to 11 or even 12. Another difference is that it’s based on the acclaimed Image comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, best known for his work on The Walking Dead.
Finally, there are some twists and turns in this series that you likely won’t see coming, even if you are familiar with the original comics. It also has a great voice cast, lead by Steven YuenJ.K. Simmons as his dad Omni-Man. This is one of the best of the best Amazon Prime originals. It has already been renewed for a second and third season, so you can look forward to checking out more of this show for a while to come.
The best Amazon Prime originals: Honorable mentions
There are many other great original series on Amazon Prime Video to watch that didn’t quite make our “best of” list:
- The Tick — This superhero comedy, based on the indie comic book, was hilarious. You can watch its two seasons on Amazon Prime Video now.
- Forever — Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen star in this one-season series about a married couple who has something interesting happen to them.
- Phillip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams — This one-season sci-fi anthology series echoes The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror, using short stories written by the author of The Man in the High Castle.
- Lore — This two-season anthology series, based on the podcast of the same name, deals with horror tales and legends from around the world.
- The Underground Railroad – A limited series set in an alternate 19th century American South, where slaves escape via the Underground Railroad that, in this timeline, is an existing rail system.