Best Shows On Amazon Prime - Featured

How many hours have you spent combing through streaming services looking for the next great show to watch? If you’re anything like me, then it’s probably more than you’re comfortable admitting. But don’t fret, we’ve scoured the depths of the seven seas of streaming to deliver you our take on what the best shows to watch right now are. Here’s our list of the best shows on Amazon Prime Video.

A Different Kind of Superhero Show

1. The Boys

The Boys  •  How Production Design is a Superpower  •  Subscribe on Youtube

The Boys stormed onto Amazon Prime Video like a bat out of hell in 2019. Few Prime originals before it made such waves upon release, both in terms of rhetoric and viewership. According to Head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke, The Boys surpassed expectations internally which led to the greenlighting of the second season before the first had even aired.

Amazon’s The Boys is based on the comics of the same name created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, and although it’s only one season in, it’s already become one of the Amazon Prime TV shows.

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Conclusion

For anyone tired of the same-old recycled superhero narrative, check out the cliche-deconstructionist The Boys.

Historical Fiction Drama Series

2. The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle Season One  •  Trailer

The Man in the High Castle was one of Amazon’s first big-budget original series. Although the show fluctuated in quality through its four seasons, it left an indelible imprint on Amazon’s approach to production.

Those who love history are sure to find something to appreciate in The Man in the High Castle; a show that explores an alternate reality in which the Axis powers won World War II.

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Conclusion

Rufus Sewell carries The Man in the High Castle through the end as the conflicted American Nazi Joe Smith.

Life Through Larry’s Eyes

3. Curb Your Enthusiasm

Curb Your Enthusiasm Season Eight  •  Trailer

For those looking for a complete Curb binge, sorry, only seasons one to eight are available on Prime Video -- the two newest seasons are still exclusive to HBO.

But with 80 episodes on Prime, there’s still plenty of social escapades and relationship hijinks to keep you highly entertained.

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Conclusion

Seinfeld creator Larry David proved that he was truly a singular talent by also creating, writing and starring in Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Cold War Spy Thriller

4. The Americans

The Americans Final Season  •  Trailer

There are those who will argue that The Americans is not only one of the best shows in recent memory, but one of the best shows of all-time. And that argument is surely well-founded -- The Americans has perhaps a better narrative arc from start to finish than any other show of its time.

Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell deliver career performances as two Soviet spies that become entangled in Cold War tensions while undercover in the U.S. But it’s Noah Emmerich, their unsuspecting FBI neighbor who steals the show with a tremendously nuanced performance.

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Conclusion

The Americans ended better than it began; a hallmark indication of a series’ growth from start to finish.

Rotoscoping Animation Done Right

5. Undone

Undone  •  Trailer

Undone is a fascinating study in varying paths of life: familial drama, the crisis of adulthood, mental illness and grief. And it’s all told through a distorted lens, one in which we never really know what’s real and what’s not.

Rosa Salazar is excellent in the leading role of Alma, a spiraling young woman who is desperately trying to come to terms with herself and the distant death of her father.

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Conclusion

For anyone with an interest in rotoscoping animation, Undone is a must-watch.

Poignant Anthology Series

6. The Romanoffs

The Romanoffs  •  Trailer

Amazon reportedly paid a fortune for the rights to The Romanoffs -- an eight-part anthology series directed entirely by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. Although the show enjoyed considerable hype before release, it didn’t quite live up to its own lofty expectations with critics.

The Romanoffs tells the story of eight separate descendants of the famed Russian Royal family, the Romanovs. 

Best Shows on Amazon Prime Video

Conclusion

When The Romanoffs is at its best, it’s on par with the very best of Mad Men, but when it’s at its worst, you might struggle to think that Weiner was even associated with the project.

Waller-Bridge’s Big Hit

7. Fleabag

Fleabag  •  Trailer

Writer/Actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge became an overnight sensation for her work on Fleabag -- a show that follows the life of a young woman’s trials and travails in London.

Fleabag won six Emmy Awards across its twelve episode run, nabbing Waller-Bridge three personal awards for: Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Comedy Series.

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Conclusion

Just like its title character, Fleabag is brash and abrasive on the exterior but quite the contrary once you get through to the inside.

Sci-Fi of Epic Proportions

8. The Expanse

The Expanse Amazon Prime  •  Trailer

After its third season, The Expanse was on the edge of doom as Syfy announced that it had no intention of producing more seasons. This led to a massive fan campaign in which a plane was flown over Amazon headquarters with a banner that pleaded “Save The Expanse.”

As it turns out, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was a huge fan of the show, and he personally tasked his original studios team to procure the rights to make more seasons. Now, the sci-fi epic The Expanse is comfortably at home with Amazon, and steadily making gains on finishing the story of Captain James Holden and his crew’s journey across Earth, Mars, the Belt, and other worlds.

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Conclusion

Anybody interested in science-fiction should check out Amazon’s The Expanse, based on the books by James S. A. Corey.

Surrealist Thriller Series

9. Homecoming

Sam Esmail on Homecoming

Julia Roberts stars in this suspense-thriller from Sam Esmail, the creator of Mr. Robot. Homecoming is about a wellness center where soldiers go to be rehabilitated back to civilian life. Roberts plays the role of Heidi Bergman, the chief social worker at the facility.

Similarly to Mr. Robot, nothing is as it seems in Homecoming. With these two shows, Esmail has established himself as one of the premiere talents working in television today.

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Conclusion

Homecoming is a surrealist vision that parallels the unspoken nightmares that stoke much of the world today.

Classic Crime Show

10. The Wire

The Wire  •  Trailer

You’d be hard pressed to find a handful of shows that have as feverous of a cult-following as The Wire does. This HBO classic follows criminal activities in Baltimore, Maryland and how they affect police and residential life.

The Wire brought writer David Simon to prominence and established a lengthy partnership between him and HBO. But now, The Wire is available to view in its entirety on Amazon Prime Video.

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Conclusion

The Wire remains one of the most important American television shows ever made.

The 21st Century Western

11. Deadwood

Deadwood  •  Trailer

The American media-scape has been dominated by Westerns since the days of Dime Novels and stories of cowboys, gunslingers, open plains, and gold panning. It’s been 160 years since Dime Novels were first printed, but it seems there’s still plenty of interest in stories of the wild-west, as proven by Deadwood.

Deadwood won eight Emmy Awards through its three seasons of airing, including one Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series award for star Ian McShane.

Best TV Shows on Amazon Prime Video

Conclusion

The story of Deadwood was concluded with the 2019 movie of the same name.

Fuller’s Take on the Cannibal

12. Hannibal

Hannibal Season One  •  Trailer

To this day, I still can’t believe that the TV show Hannibal originally aired on NBC. Bryan Fuller’s take on fiction’s most famous cannibal is bold, suggestive, and grossly grotesque. There are some moments throughout the show’s three-season run that had me shielding my eyes.

But if you’ve got the stomach for it, Hannibal is one of the most rewarding shows on television. Mads Mikkelsen commands the screen in the title role so excellently that some have argued his performance exceeds that of the great Anthony Hopkins, who won an Academy Award as Hannibal in Silence of the Lambs.

Best Shows to Watch on Amazon Prime

Conclusion

Hannibal is as visually exhilarating as it is emotionally haunting and psychologically draining.

Gangster Icons on Television

13. The Sopranos

The Sopranos  •  Opening Credits

The Sopranos introduced the world to television’s most famous gangster, Tony Soprano. Through The Sopranos’ six-season run, the series won a staggering 21 Emmy Awards, including two wins for Outstanding Drama Series.

James Gandolfini and Edie Falco both received incredible praise for their performances in the leading roles. The Sopranos also served as the jumping-off point for many young filmmakers, including Matthew Weiner who would go on to create Mad Men and The Romanoffs.

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Conclusion

The Sopranos is the premiere go-to for those looking for a gangster television series, and it’s now entirely available on Amazon Prime.

Musical Sketch-Comedy

14. Flight of the Conchords

Flight of the Conchords Season One  •  Trailer

What is Flight of the Conchords exactly? Well it’s part drama, part comedy, part parody, mostly musical. Perhaps the better question to ask is: what isn’t Flight of the Conchords?

Flight of the Conchords stars musicians Brett McKenzie and Jermaine Clement as two guys looking for stardom in America. Each episode of the show weaves musical numbers in and out while following their quest for success.

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Conclusion

All hopeful music artists should make sure to check out the epic rapping skills of the “rhymenoceros” and the “hiphopopotamus” in Flight of the Conchords.

Historical Fiction Series

15. Vikings

Vikings  •  Behind the Scenes

Who would’ve ever thought that a History channel original drama series would go on to rival the epic scale of Game of Thrones? Not me, that’s for sure. But that’s exactly what Vikings did, and in many ways, it surpassed the quality of its closest contemporary.

Vikings is a great series with a scope that’s as wide as any other show on television. Although much of the steam that carried Vikings through its first four seasons has largely dissipated, the highest highs of the show remain some of the highest highs in recent TV history. 

Best Shows to Watch on Amazon PrimE

Conclusion

Travis Fimmel delivers an unlikely and underappreciated performance as the legendary viking Ragnar Lothbrok in Vikings.

Stand-up Comedy Drama Series

16. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel  •  Behind the Scenes

This wonderfully recreated period-piece follows the comedy career of the titular Midge Maisel. Although Midge has all the keys to success in her hands, she isn’t quite happy and longs for a reality in which she’s the star.

Perhaps the best aspect of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is its colorful production design. Both the set dressing and wardrobing really immerse us as viewers within 60’s New York City.

Best Shows on Amazon Prime Video

Conclusion

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has cleaned up at awards shows in recent years for its sharp script and great principal actors.

Esmail’s Techno-Thriller

17. Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot  •  Extended Look

How could we include Sam Esmail’s mini-series Homecoming without including his most famous show Mr. Robot? The first three seasons of Mr. Robot are available on Prime Video now. The fourth and final season of the show just aired recently on USA.

Mr. Robot is the story of a group of hackers who seek to disrupt the inherently corrupt nature of wealth inequality in a dystopian society. Whew, that’s a lot. But Mr. Robot is a truly complex story and is layered with hidden details both in its visuals and its narrative.

Best Shows on Amazon Prime Video

Conclusion

Mr. Robot wasn’t just the show that established Sam Esmail, it also brought star Rami Malek to prominence.

Public Service Sitcom Series

18. Parks and Recreation

Parks and Rec  •  From Script to Screen

Parks and Recreation stars Amy Pohler as city planner Leslie Knope who works in the department of, you guessed it, parks and recreation. The series was created by sitcom veterans Greg Daniels (The Office, King of the Hill) and Michael Schur (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place).

Parks and Recreation is the perfect show to put on for some casual viewing. It doesn’t demand too much attention, nor does it ever feel inaccessible. Simply boot up Prime Video and load the series up for a good laugh or two.

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Conclusion

Although it ran for too long (125 episodes), Parks and Recreation is chock-full of fun storylines and great character relationships.

The Maestro and His Orchestra

19. Mozart in the Jungle

Mozart in the Jungle  •  Trailer

Mozart in the Jungle is a dramedy that follows the fame and exploits of a  fictional composer named Rodrigo. At the core of Mozart is a story that focuses on the immense pressure of celebrity and genius.

Mozart asks us to consider what these things mean and what benefits and detriments they have on everyday life. Oh, and it’s also got plenty of classical music, that’s been expertly reinvented for modern audiences.

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Conclusion

Mozart in the Jungle is a great show to check out if you’re looking for something that’s watchable but still has substance.

Noir With a Modern Spin

20. Bosch

Bosch  •  Behind the Scenes

Bosch is a police procedural that follows the life of titular character Harry Bosch. Not only was Bosch one of Amazon’s first original series, it’s also one of its best. Titus Welliver stars in the show and does a great job in the title role.

Bosch is Amazon’s longest-running show and is set to conclude with a seventh and final season. Through its long run, Bosch has become one of the best TV shows on Amazon Prime.

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Conclusion

If you’re looking for a binge-worthy show that makes good use of 4k and HDR, be sure to check out Bosch.

Relationship Dramedy Series

21. Catastrophe

Catastrophe Season One  •  Trailer

Catastrophe is a great comedy series that’s elevated by some sharp scripts. The series was created/written by stars Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan and follows the story of their two characters' relationship as unexpected lovers.

Although Catastrophe originally aired in the U.K. on Channel 4, it’s now available to watch in its entirety on Amazon Prime Video.

Best Shows on Amazon Prime Video to Watch Right Now

Conclusion

Catastrophe is a sharp comedy series that bites a bit deeper than one might expect.

A Forgotten Classic

22. The Prisoner

The Prisoner  •  Opening

The Prisoner is an oft-forgotten relic of television’s past. Patrick McGoohan served as co-creator and star of the series, which follows an excommunicado spy who’s imprisoned in a mysterious coastal village.

Make no mistakes about it, The Prisoner is a weird show -- one that’s full of bizarre imagery and confounding plots. But at its core, The Prisoner is utterly fascinating to try and make sense of. It also mimics elements of Soviet Montage Theory and British New Wave filmmaking tactics.

Best Shows on Amazon Prime Video

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a “hidden gem” on Prime Video, The Prisoner may just be it.

Style Over Substance Fantasy Series

23. Carnival Row

Carnival Row  •  Behind the Scenes

Carnival Row is a big-budget steampunk fantasy series from René Echevarria. It stars an all-star cast, including: Orlando Bloom, Cara Delevigne, Simon McBurney, and Jared Harris.

Although Carnival Row wasn’t as surefire of a success with critics as Amazon hoped it would be, the series has already been renewed for a second season.

Good Shows on Amazon Prime Video

Conclusion

Carnival Row borrows tropes with reckless abandon to create a visually daring series that hasn’t quite come into its own yet.

Hilarious Espionage Thriller

24. Patriot

Michael Dorman and Terry O’Quinn Discuss Patriot

To say that Patriot has flown under the radar in the television echo-sphere is an understatement. Despite having one of the most passionate followings of any TV show today, it seems that nobody is talking about the series at large.

Patriot stars Michael Dorman as an undercover spy who is tasked with stopping an impending nuclear threat. Despite the grave subject matter, Patriot is also quite funny though.

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Conclusion

Patriot suffers from some pacing issues but it still remains a great, unique take on the contrived spy formula.

Prohibition Classic Series

25. Boardwalk Empire

On the Set of Boardwalk Empire with Terence Winter

Boardwalk Empire is the definitive show about prohibition-era crime. Steve Buscemi steals the show in the leading role of politician/gangster Nucky Thompson.

Martin Scorsese famously directed the pilot of Boardwalk Empire which cost a whopping $18 million to produce -- which still remains one of the most expensive TV episodes ever made.

Best Shows to Watch on Amazon Prime

Conclusion

Boardwalk Empire is a great, fictional retelling of one of the most captivating eras in American history.

UP NEXT

Best Movies on Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video doesn’t just have great television shows, it has great movies as well. In this next article, we break down the best movies that are on Prime Video, both from Amazon Original Studios and other studios that are leased to the service. Make sure to check our list out each month! We update the list as movies come and go.

Up Next: Best Movies on Prime →
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