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The best Amazon Prime shows you can stream right now
Amazon Prime Video is now a mature streaming platform with some of the best online content, including a healthy library of originals. But what about shows? Below, we look at the best Amazon Prime shows on the service in the US, including a mixture of older shows and Amazon originals. Remember that Amazon Prime Video uses geo-restrictions, so not all these shows are available in every market.
If you don’t have access to Amazon Prime in your region, consider scrolling through our curated list of the best new TV shows to stream across all services.
Best Amazon Prime shows
The Night Manager
One of the best shows on Amazon, The Night Manager is a limited British television series based on a John le Carre book by the same name. The show stars Tom Hiddleston as the night manager of a luxury hotel in Cairo, Egypt. It just so happens that Hiddleston’s character is also a former British soldier. When he unwillingly comes into possession of a confidential list of weapons and warfare chemicals, he reports it to the International Enforcement Agency in London. He is then recruited by an intelligence agent (Olivia Colman) to infiltrate an arms dealer’s (Hugh Laurie) inner circle. However, a mole in the British intelligence community makes things all the more complicated.
The Night Manager has won several accolades, including two Emmy awards and several Golden Globe awards. The show has just six one-hour-long episodes, so it’s a quick watch. It’s addictive and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The Man in the High Castle
Based on the classic novel by the late Philip K. Dick, this Amazon Prime original show takes place in the 1960s, but in an alternate timeline where Nazi Germany and Japan won World War II and now occupy the coasts of either side of the US. This “what if” series tells the tale of several characters on an alternate reality Earth who discovers a series of movies that show the US win World War II.
This series expands from Dick’s original novel and shows the characters not only realizing that they are on an alternate Earth but also that traveling to the timeline where the US and its allies won World War II might be possible. The Man in the High Castle is one of the best Amazon Prime shows and perhaps the best original Amazon Prime TV drama series.
Originally shown on the SyFy cable channel, this excellent sci-fi epic is now available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Based on The Expanse novels by “James S. A. Corey” (a pen name for two writers, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), the show takes place hundreds of years later, 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 has a huge cast and an epic feel and may have some of the best visual effects 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 approved production of that season. You can check out all six seasons now.
The Americans may be the best TV show that most of you may have never watched. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, a normal married couple who live in the Washington D.C. area in the early 1980s with their two kids. It sounds like a standard family drama, right? Wrong! Elizabeth and Philip Jennings are two deep-undercover KGB spies actively trying to gain intel for the Soviet Union.
This show has many twists and turns, especially as Philip enjoys his time in the US while Elizabeth sticks with her KGB training and ideology. Oh, and their two kids have no idea that their mom and dad are spies. All six seasons of The Americans are available to stream now, and it is a no-brainer for our best Amazon Prime shows list.
Based on the acclaimed fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett, Good Omens 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 become friends and 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 series, and it shows. Good Omens feels like a great adaptation and an extension of the original novel. It’s also flat-out funny. Look for many interesting cameos and voices in this show as well. The show’s second season was recently released.
Homecoming is an Amazon Prime Video original starring Julia Roberts in the lead. The show is produced and directed by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail. It’s a fast-paced thriller. The plot revolves around a sketchy transitional support facility for US soldiers. Roberts plays Heidi Bergman, a social worker hired by the facility to help battle-torn soldiers transition smoothly into civilian life. But something sinister is going on at the Homecoming center. After four years of working there, Bergman has no memory of what she did until a defense auditor inquires about her past.
Homecoming now has two seasons available on Amazon Prime Video. Homecoming is one show you should not miss if you have an Amazon Prime subscription.
We have seen tons of movies and TV shows about the British class system, but none have been as entertaining as this show. Originally shown on ITV in the UK and on PBS in the US, Downton Abbey is centered on a fictional estate in the British countryside and all of the people who live and work there in the early part of the 20th century. Real-world events of the time affect both the Crawley family and their domestic servants.
The show highlights the many changes in the class system in Britain during that period, as the aristocracy start to lose their once massive influence on society. The show has some great writing and terrific performances by the cast, who make you care about what happens to them through the years. All six seasons are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
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 who 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) who 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 want to see a more realistic and brutal look at superheroes, this show is a must on Amazon Prime Video.
If you like the live-action show, you can watch an animated series in the same universe, The Boys: Diabolical.
Jack Reacher, the fictional former US Army police officer, has come off the printed page and onto the small screen with this recent Amazon Prime Video original series. Based on the first novel by Lee Child, Killing Floor, the series shows Reacher getting arrested in a small Georgia town for a crime he didn’t commit. We soon learn that it’s a big mistake to pin a crime on Reacher as he goes after the people trying to frame him. This is a great action series with some excellent fight scenes and humor.
Modern Love is a collection of short love stories — a romantic anthology — based on a weekly column published in The New York Times. The series presents eight half-hour episodes, each exploring a different facet of love. Every episode has different cast members, some of which include Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Andy Garcia, Dev Patel, and Julia Garner, amongst other celebrity names. It’s one of those shows that will make you exuberant in one episode and depressed in the next. However, its romantic appeal and the short length of the episodes make it a highly binge-worthy title. You can watch two seasons of the show on Amazon Prime Video now.
Here’s another Amazon Prime Video 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.
Waller-Bridge adapted her one-woman play for this series, which 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.
This show not only has a cool premise, but it also has a visual style unlike any TV show made before or since. The show centers on Elliot, a computer programmer and secret hacker. He gets recruited by a mysterious group that wants to use Elliot’s skills to bring down what they claim are evil corporations.
The idea of a computer hacker anti-hero is good, and Rami Malek is perfect as Elliot, a smart man with serious mental health issues. Those issues bleed into the camera work for the series, which sometimes places the camera at odd angles to give us a glimpse of how Elliot sees the world. All four seasons are included with Amazon Prime Video.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
This Amazon Prime Video TV show centers on a woman in New York City in the late 1950s who becomes 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. The show also won or was nominated for many other major awards over the past couple of years.
Even though it’s labeled as a comedy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel also has a lot of drama, as you might expect from its creator Amy Sherman-Palladino who also created Gilmore Girls. It’s also a great look at the late 1950s when women began to make themselves known in the workforce for more than just being teachers or secretaries.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
Amazon Prime Video made a huge 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 the eight-episode first season sees Ryan as a young CIA analyst. He thinks he will only 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.
Season two delivered eight more episodes, and Amazon renewed for a third season, expected to be out in 2022, so you have some time to catch up. A fourth season is due as well. The show is action-packed and will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s a must-watch and one of the best Amazon Prime shows.
If you like Jack Ryan, consider binging the best action movies on Amazon Prime, too.
The Tick is not your run-of-the-mill superhero. He’s extremely gullible and supremely annoying to work with. He wears a ridiculous blue suit and befriends people easily. One of them is a mild-mannered young man named Arthur, who eventually becomes his sidekick. The series follows the adventures of The Tick and Arthur as they fight off a series of bad guys to ultimately take on an apparently long-dead supervillain called “The Terror.”
The Tick is based on an American comic book by the same name and is a funny show for when you want to binge-watch something aimlessly. Two seasons of the show are available, each with 10-12 half-hour episodes. Once again, this is a quick watch but witty and entertaining. It is one of the best Amazon Prime shows.
A pathbreaking show for its time, Transparent is a comedy-drama series from 2014 that represents the trans community on TV like never before. The series’ story revolves around an LA-based family and their lives after they discover that the patriarch of the family (Jeffrey Tambor) is a transgender woman.
The show won multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards in its five-season-long run. The final season concluded in 2019, so this would be the best time to watch all of it. It’s also one of the most highly-rated shows in television history, known for its daring and open-minded ideas.
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, this series has twists and turns that you likely won’t see coming, even if you are familiar with the original comics. It also has a great voice cast, led by Steven YuenJ.K. Simmons as his dad Omni-Man. This series 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. It’s already one of the best Amazon Prime shows.
The Wheel of Time
The fantasy book series from the late author Robert Jordan has been adapted into this new series on Amazon Prime Video. A mysterious female wizard in this fantasy kingdom has come to a small town. She’s looking for a young person who may be able to turn the tide against a growing evil force. Fans of Game of Thrones should enjoy this series, which has already been renewed for a second season.
The best Amazon Prime shows: Honorable mentions
- The Underground Railroad: A fictional series where the 19th-century network in the US designed to free slaves in the South is an actual railroad system.
- House: This medical drama is unlike any other, with a protagonist who is both brilliant and a total jerk, and that’s what makes it fun.
- Scrubs: This 2000s sitcom didn’t get as much attention as other comedy shows, but it is still one of the funniest series ever made.
- Bosch: This Amazon Prime original series is a great gritty crime drama centering on LA detective Harry Bosch.
- Farscape: One of the best sci-fi shows of all time, this series tells the tale of a US astronaut who is flug into deep space and encounters a rag-tag group of aliens.