For a while now, major TV networks have increased the visibility of their shows by making select episodes available on YouTube.
Free television episodes on YouTube are typically a series pilot or season premiere, but sometimes they can be stand-alone episodes or lower-profile projects posted online to build some buzz. Although many of these free entertainment offerings tend to disappear from YouTube after a while, there are still plenty of quality episodes from major networks and streaming platforms to binge on without spending a dime.
Here are some of Digital Trends’ favorite freebies you can find on YouTube.
‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ — ‘Pilot’
This award-winning series debuted as a 2017 entry in Amazon Studios’ spring pilot season and was rewarded with a two-season order on Amazon Prime Video and a pile of major award nominations shortly thereafter. The series follows a housewife in 1958, who, after learning of her husband’s affair, drunkenly takes the stage at a comedy club and discovers that she actually has a knack for it. Lead actress Rachel Brosnahan has earned multiple awards for her portrayal of Miriam “Midge” Maisel in the show.
‘Bosch’ — ‘Episode 1’
This police drama casts Titus Welliver as Los Angeles Police detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch, a military veteran who now serves as a homicide investigator in the LAPD. His troubled past often informs his current investigations in the series, which is based on author Michael Connelly’s novels featuring the titular detective. The popular series was renewed for its fifth season in 2018, making it one of Amazon’s longer-running series.
‘Insecure’ — ‘Insecure AF’
HBO’s Insecure centers on show creator Issa Rae and the constellation of friends, lovers, and coworkers that orbit her. Inspired by Rae’s New York Times best-selling novel The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, this HBO comedy mines absurdity from the most normal occurrences, like a simple girl’s night out.
‘The Man in the High Castle’ — ‘The New World’
Throw out everything you learned in your high school history class, because in The Man in the High Castle, the Axis won World War II and New York City is under Nazi control. Loosely based on Phillip K. Dick’s novel of the same name, the series premiere is one of the most popular episodes of any Amazon Original series.
‘Sneaky Pete’ — ‘Pilot’
In the series premiere of the Amazon original Sneaky Pete, Marius Josipovic (Giovanni Ribisi) uses the childhood story of his jail cellmate to con his way out of being murdered. The episode will entertain you with its lightning-fast mixture of wit and suspense. It may also teach you a few tricks for getting what you want from people.
‘Transparent’ — ‘Pilot’
Few episodes shift the TV paradigm like the series premiere of Amazon’s Transparent. One of the first shows with a transgender protagonist, Transparent explores how Morton Pfefferman, played by Arrested Development‘s Jeffrey Tambor, adjusts to transitioning into Maura Pfefferman.
‘Vice on HBO’ — ‘State of Surveillance’
There may not be a better person to explain how much our everyday technology is used to spy on us than the man who exposed the United States’ immense surveillance efforts, Edward Snowden. In this episode of Vice on HBO, Snowden walks Vice CEO Shane Smith through numerous ways that simple devices such as your cell phone can be used to record your every movement.