Amazon Prime Video isn’t just a place for renting that new movie that isn’t streaming anywhere yet; the platform also has a very powerful development arm that’s been creating some of the most interesting original series out there. You just might not have heard of them. For every famous Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power type of title, there’s seemingly another dozen amazing shows with standout casts just begging to be binged. Below are some of the best Prime Video has to offer, including sci-fi tales, mysteries, thrillers, procedurals, comedies, and some shows that are kind of a mix of all of the above.
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While this show is only two seasons long, each one feels like it can stand alone as its own limited series. Fleabag is a woman who has been unraveling since the death of her mother, followed by the loss of her best friend. Created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the show (based on her stage play of the same name) is hilarious, devastating, and also, a love story. There is a lot of fourth wall-breaking as Fleabag lets the audience into her life, but in the second season, we learn there’s a deeper meaning to that.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
This series is based on the extensive writing of J.R.R. Tolkien, and set in the Second Age of Middle-earth—thousands of years before the events in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. This is the prequel for folks who want to know all about the rings, how they were forged, and how elves and men united together to fight the rising evil in Middle-earth.
The new show co-created by Abbi Jacobson takes the original movie about the All American Women’s Baseball League and expands its universe hugely. It also openly discusses what’s only hinted at in the original: that there was a considerable number of queer women in the league and a lot of them dated each other. The love story between Jacobson and co-star D’Arcy Carden brings the already meaningful story to another level.
It seems like so many TV shows and films have attempted making a realistic or gritty take on the world of superheroes. Yet The Boys does it well, and continues to outdo itself. With its seemingly endless (but creative) violent deaths, this show is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, a very damning take on how capitalism and the media work together to create figureheads they can so easily lose control of. Jensen Ackles has a significant role in the last season, for the Supernatural fans out there.
In this half-hour comedy, Rodrigo (Gael Garcia Bernal) is the new maestro at the New York Symphony and he’s there to stir the pot. The show is about love, ambition, artistry, and Rodrigo’s connection to a young oboist named Hailey (Lola Kirke) who has her own big dreams.
The popular New York Times column of the same name offers so many stories of love found in all sorts of ways, making it the perfect basis for a TV show. And because there are so many stories, there’s a million opportunities for actors, so the cast is incredible: Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel, Anna Paquin, Minnie Driver, Kit Harington, John Slattery, and Andrew Scott, the Fleabag Hot Priest himself.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Mrs. Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) goes through quite a transformation in just the very first season of her show following her husband’s sudden abandonment. From housewife to stand up comedian, Midge really manages to do everything at 100 percent. Her stand-up might not be for everyone, but the incredible set design and costuming is absolute eye candy.
Three roommates named Jack, Harrison, and Violet are all in their twenties, a classic formula for any coming-of-age ensemble show. The difference is these three leads are on the autism spectrum and navigating all the usual drama of those uneasy years from a different, eye-opening perspective.
A combination of Lost and Yellowjackets, The Wilds follows a group of girls who have crashed on a remote island. Only this story is more of a mystery than a tragedy: It turns out the girls are being observed by a few creepy psychiatrists for reasons that remains unfortunately murky at the end of the show’s two seasons. But maybe if enough people watch it, we’ll get a reboot!
Royal Abbott (Josh Brolin) lives and works in Wyoming as a rancher whose hometown has been thrust into mystery after his daughter-in-law disappears. Royal is trying to hang onto his land, his family, and his sanity.
This sci-fi thriller is set two hundred years in the future, as a grizzled detective and ship captain try to figure out what happened to a young woman who has gone missing. The case brings them across the universe, and the mystery at hand turns out to be a much harder to unravel.
For fans of Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, The Wheel of Time will scratch that same itch. The universe of the show starts with a deity called the Creator who creates the titular Wheel of Time. It spins the Pattern of the Ages and people make the threads, even when it hurts to go through the machine of life. As with many grand premises, the show is all about the fight between good and evil.
This police procedural show based on the books of Michael Connelly follows Harry Bosch, a Los Angeles detective. The show is more stylistically satisfying than your typical cop show by the numbers, and it will have you wanting to visit L.A. and avoid it in equal measure.
Comedian Rob Delaney stars with Sharon Horgan in this show about two people in their forties who have a torrid affair, only to discover they’ve very unexpectedly created a baby together. They ultimately decide to keep their kid and embark on a life together. Both stars are hilarious, and watching a couple in this scenario who aren’t in their twenties is a rarity in Hollywood.
Another exciting sic-fi story, Night Sky follows Irene and Franklin York, an older couple in Farnsworth, Illinois, who have been traveling through time and space via a secret chamber in their backyard that takes them to a mysterious deserted planet. That older couple is played by Sissy Spacek and J.K. Simmons, so their antics are definitely worth watching.
The live-action version of the original cartoon is about a superhero wearing a blue tick suit who does everything a superhero does, like saving the city and fighting crime. And he does it all with a hysterical level of sincerity that will keep you giggling even when you’re really invested in his detective skills.
In the fictional town of Mercer, Ohio, the residents are connected through regular neighborhood politics and by the Mercer Center for Experimental Physics. The underground facility is called the Loop, and the researchers there are up to some stuff that isn’t entirely on the up-and-up. The strange experiments there begin to affect the lives of the regular citizens in inexplicable ways.
Alma is a young woman who has lost her father, and whose bad luck continues when she gets into a serious car accident. One of the strange side effects of her injuries is a new relationship to time and space, which she uses to get to the bottom of her father’s death.
Created by Bryan Cranston, Sneaky Pete follows an experienced con man who assumes the identity of his prison cellmate, Pete, to avoid his comeuppance at the hands of a violent mobster. He eventually reunites with his family, but they’re almost as dangerous as his enemies.
Based on the book and film of the same name, the show follows Becky Sharp (Olivia Cooke), a beautiful, charming, and ambitious young woman. Sharp is determined to be the toast of London, and she has some success—but it comes at a heavy price to her most important relationships. This historical drama feels all too modern in its approach to interpersonal dynamics and fame.
The predominantly Jewish country club Red Oaks is hiring, and 20-year-old David Myers starts on as an assistant tennis pro. David is figuring himself out, as most men his age are. He ends up agreeing to be a member’s doubles partner for a match outside the club, and it turns his budding life upside down.
This show is semi-autobiographical and based on some of comedian Tig Notaro’s most famous stand up sets. Tig has been battling cancer when her mother suddenly dies and she returns to her hometown to figure out who she is after such a major loss.
Starring Chloe Grace Moretz, The Peripheral follows a talented young woman who basically kicks so much butt in video games, she ends up becoming a secret agent—but one who at first naively assumes she’s playing the world’s best VR game. It isn’t long before the dangers of this seemingly fictional world follow her home.
John Tavner is an intelligence agent and he has a very messy life. Luckily, that makes for good entertainment for anyone who enjoys espionage stories and a complicated protagonist. Enjoy the chaos of his life along with a lot of chase scenes.
Starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen as the demon Crowley and the angel Aziraphale, respectively, Good Omens is about two supernatural beings who have become a bit too comfortable on Earth. They end up working together as the appearance of the Antichrist and destruction of Armageddon looms.
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