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The 50 best shows on Amazon Prime right now

Last update: September 12, 2020.

Amazon Prime Video’s library has expanded quite a bit since the service began offering free, streaming movies and TV shows to Prime members years ago. What was initially a limited library has grown into a media vault formidable enough to challenge Netflix and Hulu — particularly if you own a Fire TV Cube.

If you’re looking for a new TV series to binge but aren’t certain what’s right for you, just browse through our list of the best Amazon Prime TV shows available on the service. After all, there’s much more to Amazon Prime than free shipping.

Additional streaming guides

Bosch

Titus Welliver plays Los Angeles homicide detective Harry Bosch in this Amazon Studios original series based on Michael Connelly’s series of novels. The first season of the critically acclaimed series has Bosch standing trial for the killing of a serial murder suspect while simultaneously confronting his past when a cold case involving a missing boy suddenly heats up again. After six well-received seasons, Bosch was renewed for a seventh and final season in February 2020.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Titus Welliver, Annie Wersching, Amy Price-Francis
Creators: Eric Overmyer, Daniel Pyne, Michael Connelly, Henrik Bastin, Pieter Jan Brugge, John Mankiewicz

Watch on Amazon Prime

Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw in A Very English Scandal

A Very English Scandal

This limited series tells the story of Jeremy Thorpe, a member of Parliament who was tried and later acquitted of conspiring to murder his ex-lover, Norman Scott. The series spans a decade, beginning in the 1960s with Thorpe as the youngest leader of the Liberal Party in 100 years. But he’s hiding an affair with a man, which is still illegal at the time. When his paramour, Scott, threatens to reveal the affair, Thorpe decides upon a plan that ultimately exposes the scandal and forces the dark secrets of the British establishment into the open.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw

Watch on Amazon Prime

30 Rock

This satirical sitcom created by and starring Tina Fey was inspired by her experiences as head writer for Saturday Night Live, and ran for seven seasons, earning an astounding 103 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and winning 16 times over the course of its run. The series follows the showrunner of a sketch comedy series who’s forced to juggle the competing interests of her brash network boss, narcissistic actors, and sensitive writers as she attempts to keep her show on the air and successful. Along with Fey, the series’ impressive cast included Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, and Judah Friedlander, among other familiar faces.

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin
Creators: Tina Fey

Watch on Amazon Prime

Victoria

This British series chronicles the reign of Queen Victoria, who took the throne at age 18 ruled during a period of immense change throughout the United Kingdom and rapid expansion of the British Empire. Doctor Who actress Jenna Coleman portrays Victoria, with the first season covering her accession to the throne and early relationships with her advisor Lord Melbourne (Rufus Sewell) and the man who would become her husband, Prince Albert (Tom Hughes). Three seasons of the series have been broadcast so far.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Victoria Ruffo, Arturo Peniche, Mauricio Ochmann

Watch on Amazon Prime

Alias

The show that really put now super-creator J.J. Abrams on the map, as well as its star Jennifer Garner, Alias is a sexy, high-octane thriller that aired on ABC for five seasons — all of which are available on Amazon Prime. The story follows superspy Sydney Bristow in her adventures and battles against shadowy intelligence agencies, along with her own wacky family. Famous for over-the-top characters, hilarious disguises, and jaw-dropping twists, Alias is alternatively good-humored fun and provocatively dark.

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Genre: Action & Adventure
Stars: Jennifer Garner, Victor Garber, Mia Maestro
Creators: J.J. Abrams

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The Terror

This horror anthology series is executive produced by Ridley Scott and David Zucker, and you can see the influences in the sprawling, creeping suspense throughout the series. The first season follows a British Arctic voyage in the Victorian age. Doomed by pride and hubris, the ship runs aground in the middle of the ice pack after misguidedly attempting to power through the ice floes in the middle of winter. Stuck in the ice, the ship’s leadership and crew become the targets of a mysterious, evil force that begins to pick them off one by one.

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Genre: Drama, Horror & Suspense
Stars: Tobias Menzies, Jared Harris, Ciarán Hinds
Creators: Alexander Woo, David Kajganich, Max Borenstein, Soo Hugh

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Psych

James Roday plays a crime consultant for the Santa Barbara Police Department in this popular comedy series that has Roday’s character pretending to be psychic as he uses his heightened observational skills and eidetic memory to help the agency solve difficult cases. Dulé Hill plays the brilliant best friend of Roday’s character, who becomes his reluctant business partner after the pair find themselves repeatedly caught up in local cases. The series unfolded over eight seasons, and also spawned a pair of TV movies.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: James Rodriguez, Dulé Hill, Corbin Bernsen
Creators: Steve Franks

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Monk

An eight-time Emmy Award winner, Monk casts Tony Shalhoub as private detective Adrian Monk, who assists the homicide department of the San Francisco Police Department with various cases. His powerful deductive skills are matched only by his myriad phobias, which — along with his obsessive-compulsive disorder — complicate his work with police investigators. The series concluded its eight-season run in 2009 with a finale that wrapped up one of the show’s longest-running mysteries.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Tony Shalhoub, Traylor Howard, Ted Levine
Creators: David Hoberman

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House

Over the course of eight seasons, actor Hugh Laurie turned the irascible Dr. Gregory House into one of pop culture’s most iconic physicians in this medical drama that ranked among the most popular shows in the world during its run. The series followed Dr. House as he used his unique insights to diagnosis puzzling illnesses while simultaneously battling his own addictions. Laurie’s unconventional medical genius was the show’s titular star, but his supporting cast played a big role in making House one of the highest-rated series in the US between 2004 and 2012.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Robert Sean Leonard
Creators: David Shore

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Catastrpohe, an Amazon Prime Original

Catastrophe

One of Amazon’s most popular Original Series, Catastrophe follows two unlikely parents after a weekend tryst turns into a lifelong commitment. Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney write and star in this series as an Irish woman and a Boston ad exec who have a torrid affair in London, only to accidentally get pregnant. Despite the catastrophe, they decide to try to make it work. Delaney and Horgan are both outstanding as well-meaning, deeply temperamental people who are desperately trying to make the best of this new life they didn’t really choose.

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan

Watch on Amazon Prime

Upload best shows on amazon prime video

Upload

In 2033, people who are near death can be “uploaded” into virtual reality afterlives of their choosing. These VR afterlives are run by six tech firms, setting up a new kind of corporate competition over human death. When Los Angeles party boy Nathan’s (Robbie Amell) self-driving car crashes, his girlfriend uploads him into the luxurious Lakeview digital afterlife. There, he meets Nora, a customer service representative for Lakeview, who onboards Nathan to his version of heaven. The series follows their friendship as Nathan grows accustomed to life away from his loved ones while Nora balances her connection with the virtual Nathan with her real-life financial and personal struggles.

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Robbie Amell, Andy Allo, Chris Williams
Creators: Greg Daniels

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tales from the loop

Tales from the Loop

Inspired by the futuristic paintings and designs of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, this Amazon original series centers on a small rural town where people live above “The Loop,” a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe. Duncan Joiner and Rebecca Hall star in this drama that aims to make the science fiction appear more real-life than ever.

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Stars: Duncan Joiner, Rebecca Williams
Creators: Nathaniel Halpern

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Dead Like Me

Although it only lasted two seasons and a made-for-TV movie, this dark comedy series developed a loyal following early on and is widely regarded as an under-appreciated gem of its time. The series follows a colorful group of “reapers” — individuals who died and are now tasked with helping souls move on to the afterlife — as they attempt to go about their work while also dealing with lingering issues from their mortal lives.

The series hails from the mind of prolific Pushing DaisiesHannibal, and Wonderfalls creator Bryan Fuller, with a cast led by Ellen Muth, Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy, and Mandy Patinkin. Muth’s character serves as the protagonist and narrator of the show, a slacker killed by a falling toilet seat who finds that her latest job is one that she just can’t ignore. The series was canceled by Showtime in 2004 due to behind-the-scenes squabbles, but the story’s loose ends were finally tied up in a 2009 movie.

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Ellen Muth, Mandy Patinkin, Callum Blue
Creators: John Masius, Bryan Fuller

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Good Omens

A co-production of BBC Studios and Amazon Studios, this six-part series adapts the fantasy novel of the same name by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The series follows an angel and a demon played by Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) and David Tennant (Doctor Who), respectively, whose comfortable lives on Earth are threatened by the impending Apocalypse. The pair must team up to prevent the ascension of the Antichrist and a war between heaven and hell.

The series’ impressive cast is filled out by Jon Hamm, Michael McKean, Miranda Richardson, Adria Arjona, Nick Offerman, Jack Whitehall, and other familiar faces. Like the book that inspired it, the series is packed with quirky, irreverent humor that filters both human history and biblical mythology through its clever lens.

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Michael Sheen, David Tennant
Creators: Neil Gaiman

Comrade Detective

In the 1980s, with the Cold War getting warmer, American pop culture produced a bounty of movies expressing the anxieties and patriotism of the era: Films like Red Dawn, or 1985’s lesser-known Invasion U.S.A. (starring Chuck Norris). Comrade Detective lifts the aesthetics of ‘80s action cinema and filters them through a (sardonic) communist lens, following a pair of Romanian detectives investigating a plot by Western imperialists to subvert the communist order.

The show — which is framed as an actual show from Romania, dubbed over in English with voices from actors like Channing Tatum and Joseph-Gordon Levitt — begins with detective Gregor Anghel (a hard-nosed cop who plays by his own rules but gets results) and his partner busting drug dealers, only for a sniper to shoot Anghel’s partner. Out for vengeance, Anghel and his new partner, Iosif Baciu, hunt the killer, and stumble on a conspiracy of international proportions. Comrade Detective is a strange show even by the inventive standards of modern television, a parody wrapped in a layer of faux-authenticity, but its odd charms are worth watching.

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Creators: Brian Gatewood

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

If you want to watch a star being born, stop what you’re doing and immerse yourself in Rachel Brosnahan’s work as Miriam “Midge” Maisel on the 1950s-set comedy Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Midge is a housewife who pursues a career in standup comedy after her husband, Joe Maisel (Michael Zegen), unexpectedly leaves her.

After a drunken, impromptu, and mile-a-minute standup set that ends with Midge being arrested, hard-nosed venue employee Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein) takes Midge under her wing in hopes of molding a diamond in the rough. The show has won numerous awards and is on track for a fourth season.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Michael Zegen
Creators: Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino

The Tick

People who watched Fox in the early 2000s may have vague memories of a short-lived superhero sitcom called The Tick (based on the comic of the same name), in which a blue-costumed superhero played by the unmistakable Patrick Warburton dealt with supervillains and awkward situations. Amazon’s The Tick is a fresh adaptation of the franchise, with no Warburton in sight (he was just as disappointed as we were), but it maintains the comic’s absurd, cheerful sense of humor.

The show follows a superhero called The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz) and his companion, Arthur (Griffin Newman), who fight crime and investigate a conspiracy involving an infamous supervillain called The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley). The Tick is an upbeat palate-cleanser after years of more dour superhero tales, even if it only lasted two seasons before cancellation.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Peter Serafinowicz, Griffin Newman, Jackie Earle Haley
Creators: Ben Edlund

Fleabag

At times introspective and moody, at others absurd and raunchy, Fleabag defies easy categorization. In its funnier moments — such as the intro, which is an elegant, extended soliloquy ending in a sudden smack of a sex joke — it is one of the sharpest comedies around (season 2 won the 2019 Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series), but underneath it all runs a current of sadness. The show follows a lady known only as “Fleabag” (Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who took home Emmys herself for acting and writing), a neurotic woman juggling a failing business and disastrous personal life.

The term fleabag immediately conjures images of filth, and the protagonist’s problems run deeper than her name. Selfish, wanton, and a compulsive liar, she fits in with the various antiheroes that have become popular on television. Uniquely, Fleabag does not keep its damaged lead at a distance; she frequently speaks directly to the viewer in frantic monologues, offering insight into her unquiet mind.

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ben Aldridge, Sian Clifford
Creators: Phoebe Waller-Bridge

One Mississippi

The death of a loved one does not seem like the most auspicious start to a comedy series, but One Mississippi is anything but conventional. Starring comedian Tig Notaro as a fictionalized version of herself, the show draws on several tragedies in her real life. Still reeling from breast cancer, fictional Tig returns to her hometown in Mississippi to witness her mother being taken off life support and decides to stay and reconnect with her stepfather and brother. Despite the depressing first chapter, One Mississippi is not an unrelenting drama. The show balances grief and joy in equal measure, examining the long, up-and-down process of trauma and recovery.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Tig Notaro, Noah Harpster, John Rothman
Creators: Tig Notaro, Diablo Cody

Transparent

A trailblazing, original series straight from Amazon, Transparent follows Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor), a transgender woman who comes out to her family. Not content to merely present a novel premise, the show explores the relationships and neuroses of Maura and her children. A show that never wavers in its attempt to mine the depths of the human condition, it’s a bold offering from Amazon. Transparent is also the first show from a streaming service to win a Golden Globe for Best Series, which likely bodes well for the future of Amazon’s original content.

Harassment allegations levied against Tambor put a damper on the show legacy, and the actor didn’t return for Transparent‘s final season, but it’s a special show anyway. It’s worth watching for its musical series finale alone.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Jeffrey Tambor, Melora Hardin, Judith Light
Creators: Jill Solloway

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Downton Abbey

Set in the English countryside shortly after the turn of the 20th century, Downton Abbey follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their hierarchy of servants. A fascinating look at the English aristocracy at the dawn of the modern age, Downton Abbey deftly balances historical drama with the steamy character-driven conflicts that exist within the family and the staff.

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Julian Fellows

Red Oaks

Red Oaks doesn’t offer much in the way of length. However, while you could easily binge the entire three seasons over a single weekend, the casual pacing makes it more suitable for quick installments. Set during the 1980s, the show is centered on a young tennis player (Craig Roberts) who opts for a job at the exclusive Red Oaks Country Club during the summer between his sophomore and junior year of college. What ensues is a warm and heartfelt nod to the sex comedies that were a staple of that decade. Boasting dry humor and a solid ensemble that includes Ennis Esmer as the hilarious tennis pro, Nash, Red Oaks rises above the raucousness to create characters you really care about.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Craig Roberts, Jennifer Grey, Paul Reiser
Creators: David Gordon Green, Gregory Jacobs, Joe Gangemi

Jack Ryan

Tom Clancy’s “Ryanverse” franchise makes the leap from film to television with this spy thriller that premiered in 2018 and casts John Krasinski as the titular CIA analyst who finds himself investigating one far-reaching international threat after another. Lost co-creator Carlton Cuse serves as co-creator and executive producer on the Amazon Original series along with Krasinski and Michael Bay (among others), and the show has offered up two well-received seasons so far, with a third on the way.

Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Genre: Action & Adventure
Stars: John Krasinski, Abbie Cornish, Wendell Pierce
Creators: Graham Roland, Carlton Cuse

Homecoming

Julia Roberts in an Amazon Original? Believe it. Nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Drama Series, Homecoming is a slow burn of mysterious government programs, complicated red tape, and characters you never feel you can fully trust. In season one, this sci-fi/drama introduces us to Homecoming, a facility that helps soldiers transition to civilian life. Led by Heidi (Roberts), their mission seems a noble one, and soldiers appear to be genuinely benefiting from the program. However, the show follows a split timeline, and when, years after the facility has closed, Heidi begins fielding questions from the Department of Defense, it becomes clear there was a lot more going on at higher pay grades than she ever realized. Season two, just released, features a new cast of characters (some return though not Roberts) and storylines centered around Janelle Monae’s character, who wakes up in the middle of nowhere, confused about her identity, with the same sinister organization featured in season one clearly up to no good.

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Stars: Julia Roberts, Bobby Cannavalle, Shea Whigham
Creators: Micah Bloomberg, Eli Horowitz, Sam Esmail

Suits

When college dropout Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) interviews for a law associate position, he instantly impresses the team and is offered the job — even though he never technically graduated. The lengths he and those who know the truth go to keep this a secret from not only clients but also many people in the firm is at the heart of the first season. But each episode looks at different cases, mostly involving wealthy clients and the lines the corporate lawyers are willing to cross in order to win. It features your typical legal drama themes of corporate greed and inflated egos, and storylines can sometimes get repetitive once you’re a few seasons in. But the fabulous cast that also includes Gabriel Macht, Rick Hoffman, Sarah Rafferty, Gina Torres, and now British royal Meghan Markle, make it a worthwhile watch. The series aired for nine seasons, ending in 2019 (Adams and Markle did not appear in the final season), all of which are streaming now.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Gina Torres
Creators: Aaron Korsh

Watch on Amazon Prime

Sneaky Pete

Amazon’s original series Sneaky Pete crafts a nail-biting drama out of an intricate case of identity theft. Marius Josipovic (Giovanni Ribisi) is a con man recently released from prison who assumes the identity of his former cellmate, Pete Murphy, who spent years regaling him with childhood stories of his tight-knit family (who he hadn’t seen since he was a child) and their bail bonds business. The show shines thanks to its ensemble of critically acclaimed actors including The Americans’ Margo Martindale, but the core of its brilliance lies in the clever writing. Watch all three seasons, which complete the series as it was canceled in 2019.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Giovanni Ribisi, Marin Ireland, Margo Martindale
Creators: Bryan Cranston, David Shore

Hannibal

In this surreal psychological thriller based on characters from the best-selling Thomas Harris novels, FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) struggles to catch serial killers while teetering on the edge of a mental breakdown. Unbeknownst to him, his therapist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), is himself a serial killer with dark designs for Will. As their friendship deepens, Will finds himself at the center of a symphony of violence.

Showrunner Bryan Fuller (the man behind Pushing Daisies and the first season of American Gods, as well as the creator of Star Trek: Discovery) breathes new life into the franchise with arthouse cinematography and a chillingly charismatic performance by Mikkelson. It was one of the goriest shows on network TV when it first aired on NBC, but the direction and set design transform the violence into some of the most exquisite images you’ll see on the small screen.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne
Creators: Bryan Fuller

The Americans

It’s 1981, President Ronald Reagan has just been elected, and like most Americans, Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) are enjoying the country’s rising prosperity as the Cold War heats up. Unlike most Americans, however, the Jennings are actually KGB spies.

From that singular premise emerges one of the most exciting thrillers on the air today. The political intrigue is exciting, but what makes The Americans stand out is its focus on the Jennings’ marriage. In examining the tensions of married life, the show demonstrates that personal issues like spousal conflict can be every bit as exciting as geopolitical maneuvers.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Holly Taylor
Creators: Joseph Weisberg

Undone on Amazon Prime

Undone

From the creators of BoJack HorsemanUndone is an Amazon Original Series that tells a young woman’s complex journey to solve the mystery of her father’s death and uncover the keys to her past. A genre-bending animated series, Undone sees Alma Winograd-Diaz (Rosa Salazar) come apart at the seams after a near-fatal accident induces visions of her late father, Jacob. The persistent visions begin to tap into a mysterious ability that allows her to pass through space and time, with the ultimate goal of stopping his untimely death.

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Genre: Drama, Animation
Stars: Rosa Salazar, Angelique Cabral, Bob Odenkirk
Creators: Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Kate Purdy

Mr. Robot

As information technology creeps into every aspect of life, one can’t help but look at the people controlling that technology (corporations, government agencies) with a wary eye. The modern world, at times, seems like the prelude to a cyberpunk dystopia, at least the way Mr. Robot portrays it. The show follows Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a paranoid security engineer who, in addition to his day job working for a massive corporation, engages in acts of vigilante hacking.

When Elliot is courted by a mysterious activist-hacker known as “Mr. Robot,” he has a chance to use his skills for more than acts of petty justice. Mr. Robot has a grand plan to topple society, and Alderson could play a key role. Mr. Robot is a cyber-thriller with a keen grasp of the technology it represents, but don’t mistake technical accuracy for realism — the show dives headfirst down a rabbit hole of paranoia and espionage, with a plot that constantly challenges the viewer’s perceptions.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Stars: Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin
Creators: Sam Esmail

Poldark

After three years fighting in the American Revolution, Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) returns to his home in Cornwall, England, only to find his estate in shambles and his lover, Elizabeth (Heida Reed), married to his cousin. As Ross attempts to rebuild his family’s tin mines, he rescues a young woman named Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) and gives her a job as a maid. Making things more complicated for Ross is his rival, George Warleggan, an ambitious industrialist.

Based on a series of 20th-century novels, this adaptation of Poldark moves at a brisk pace befitting a modern show, deftly juggling romance, action, and political maneuvering.

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Aiden Turner, Heida Reed, Eleanor Tomlinson
Creators: Debbie Horsfield

Hanna

Esme Creed-Miles stars as the title character, a young teenager who was raised in isolation in a remote forest in Poland with a man named Erik (Joel Kinnaman), who escaped the CIA with her. She was part of a program called UTRAX where children were given enhanced DNA to become super soldiers. But when Erik fell in love with Hanna’s mother, he fled with her to protect the young girl. Based on the 2011 film of the same name, and called a “gritty reimagining” of it, season two follows Hanna along her journey now that she knows who and what she is. She also discovers that UTRAX never actually shut down after her escape and that there might be other “sisters” out there like her.

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Genre: Action & Adventure
Stars: Esme Creed-Miles, Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman
Creators: David Farr

Watch on Amazon Prime

The Boys

Of all the superhero movies and TV shows out there, none of them are quite like The Boys, a dark, depraved deconstruction of super-powered heroes and villains. Based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book series of the same name, The Boys follows a group of vigilantes who take it upon themselves to police the super-powered heroes who abuse their abilities and take advantage of the trust the public has placed in them.

As grim and shockingly violent as it is clever, the series is set in a world in which superpowers, corporate greed, and media consolidation have bled together to create a particularly frightening form of corruption. The audience sees it all through the eyes of Hughie, an average guy whose chance encounter with a superhero changes his life forever.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedy
Stars: Jack Quaid, Elisabeth Shue, Jessie T. Usher
Creators: Garth Ennis

Farscape

This cult-favorite series that premiered in 1999 follows a modern-day astronaut whose accidental journey through a wormhole finds him joining the colorful crew of a living spaceship in an unknown region far from Earth. On the run from a powerful military force known as the Peacekeepers, he and the crew attempt to find sanctuary — and a way home — in a strange galaxy. The award-winning series is notable for being a production of The Jim Henson Company and including multiple featured characters created by the company’s Creature Shop. The show’s four-season run was followed by a three-hour miniseries that concluded the story, and also inspired a long list of spinoff stories in novels, comic books, and other formats.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Stars: Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams

You could call this Amazon Prime’s Black Mirror, and you wouldn’t be wrong. The Show is an anthology sci-fi series based on stories from the late science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick, whose work inspired Blade Runner and Amazon series The Man in the High CastleElectric Dreams‘ first season explores injectable consciousness, mind readers, humans beings replaced by robots, and a genocidal presidential candidate, to name a few.

The production value is impressive, with Hidden Figures and Moonlight actress Janelle Monae playing an artificially intelligent robot in a metallic suit that looks convincingly realistic. Like Black Mirror, Amazon’s sci-fi series employs some major stars, including Terrence Howard, Bryan Cranston, Steve Buscemi, and Anna Paquin. Those looking for a gripping dose of dark sci-fi will definitely find it here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Stars: Geraldine Chaplin, Steve Buscemi, Richard Madden

The Expanse

Imagine a future in which humans have colonized every part of the solar system. The Expanse turns that hypothetical future into a powerhouse sci-fi drama. The series is set 200 years from now, and centers on a conspiracy that threatens to wipe out the human race. Don’t let the CGI effects and space setting fool you, The Expanse is a riveting drama that tackles the nuances of human conflict in a way that rivals shows like Game of Thrones and Westworld.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Stars: Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo

The Man in the High Castle

World War II seems to be the most common source for the “What if?” scenario in fiction. The Man in the High Castle, based on Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name, starts with the premise that not only did the Axis powers win the war, but they also occupied the United States afterward, with Imperial Japan governing the West Coast and the Nazis controlling the territory east of the Rockies.

The show follows a few different characters living in different regions as they try to endure the occupation and simultaneously investigate a mysterious film reel that depicts an alternate universe where the Allies actually won the war. Dick was a true visionary author, and The Man in the High Castle captures the otherworldly, authoritarian nature of the world he imagined. Rich with intrigue and superb direction, The Man in the High Castle is an exciting thriller. The series wrapped up its impressive run with November 2019’s season 4.

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Stars: Alex Davalos, Luke Kleintank, Geoffery Blake
Creators: Frank Spotnitz

Orphan Black

In this critically acclaimed Canadian series, a young woman named Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) has a chance encounter with a woman who looks just like her. This sets Sarah down a path to discovering that she is one of several clones who have been created as part of an ongoing experiment. Soon, she is at odds with the corporation that created her, and a mysterious organization that wants to get rid of her. It’s a fast-paced thriller that takes the time to explore themes of self-identity and bioethics. And Maslany does a beautifully captivating job of playing several clones, each of whom has very a distinct personality, mannerisms, and style. Her performance alone, which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award in 2016, is worth watching, with the fascinating story surrounding it as icing on the cake.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Stars: Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris, Dylan Bruce
Creators: Graeme Manson, John Fawcett

Vikings

For those who enjoy the political maneuvering and messy military battles of Game of Thrones but want something a bit more grounded, Vikings is sure to please. A down-to-earth historical fantasy saga, Vikings chronicles the rise of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) from farmer to legendary warrior. Ragnar sails around Northern Europe searching for plunder, accompanied by his warrior wife, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), and other allies.

It’s a grim series, drawing on the legends surrounding Viking raids in the Middle Ages. Although not the most historically accurate show, Vikings does maintain a grittier aesthetic than some of its fantasy contemporaries; there’s a lot of blood and a lot of mud.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Genre: History
Stars: Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Alexander Ludwig
Creators: Michael Hirst

American Horror Story

The horror anthology that is Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, though novel, continues to surpass expectations with every passing season. Each essentially functions as a self-contained miniseries, focusing on a repertory cast of characters and a storyline that features its own beginning, middle, and end.

Each season — whether it revolves around a coven of witches, an insane asylum, or a haunted house in the middle of Los Angeles — features lavish set pieces and campy aesthetics, both of which add to sterling performances from the likes of Lady Gaga and the award-winning Jessica Lange. Many of the seasons even take a jab at current social issues, and they often leave a weird and wonderful impression. Well, that, and an awful taste in your mouth.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Genre: Horror
Stars: Sarah Paulson, Jennifer Lange, Kathy Bates
Creators: Ryan Murphy

Star Trek: The Original Series

A groundbreaking science fiction series from writer Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek follows the crew of the Enterprise as they travel the universe on a mission of peace and exploration. Starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy in the roles that launched them into stardom, the series is a cornerstone of television history. Each episode explores timeless philosophical and social ideas.

Star Trek was also famous for incorporating an ethnically diverse cast in the politically tumultuous ’60s, making it a show that was far ahead of its time. Roddenberry envisioned a future where humanity would bring its very best traits and ideals out into the universe, and the show shares his boundless idealism. The primitive special effects can make Star Trek seem a bit cheesy to the modern eye, but even its most inept action scenes have a certain bizarre charm to them.

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Celia Lovsky
Creators: Gene Rodenberry

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

Fred Rogers created 31 seasons of what is possibly the best children’s show of all time. The show consists of Roger’s half-hour “visit” with his audiences, in which he speaks directly to his viewers. Once he enters his home and changes into his famous zip-up cardigan and blue sneakers, he creates a safe and special place through his genuineness and naturalness. Children learn about various topics, including those that deal with death, jealousy, divorce, and anger.

The show also incorporates visits from Mr. Rogers’ friends, such as delivery man Mr. McFeely, and always features a “Picture Picture” segment designed to teach children how various items are made. At the end of the show, the trolley from the opening credits takes viewers to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, where beloved puppets often have interactions that reflect the theme of the show.

Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Genre: Children’s
Stars: Fred Rogers
Creators: Fred Rogers

Shaun the Sheep

From Aardman Studios — the creators of Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, and Creature Comforts — comes the children’s series Shaun the Sheep. Shaun is a sheep who doesn’t follow the herd. In fact, he often brazenly leads them into all sorts of madcap shenanigans around Mossy Bottom Farm. The show also features the iconic studio’s stop-motion animation and remains free of dialogue, which is actually a welcome reprieve for parents who simply can’t get on board with the high-pitched voices and exuberant makeup of many modern children’s shows.

Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Genre: Animation
Stars: John Sparkes, Justin Fletcher, Richard Webber
Creators: Nick Park

Tumble Leaf

Tumble Leaf, Amazon’s heralded foray into the realm of children’s programming, is a stunning example of what a children’s show should be. The recent stop-motion title is based on the short film Miro and aimed at preschool-aged children, though it remains charming enough to entertain adults who want to further engage with their children.

Each episode follows Fig the Fox (Christopher Downs) and his science-centric escapades around the whimsical world of Tumble Leaf, a woodland locale laced with a melange of quirky creatures with whom Fig is friends. Together, the humanoid creatures discover how reflections, shadows, and other facets of our natural world work, examining the value of friendship and kindness as they do so. The scenery is as vibrant and colorful as are the characters, rendering it both eye candy and a conversation starter.

Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Genre: Children’s
Stars: Christopher Downs, Zac McDowell, Alex Trugman
Creators: Drew Hodges

Sesame Street

The inspiration behind several mohovies, a toy that created a buying frenzy, and its own magazine, Sesame Street is a veritable institution. The show, which has spanned 45 seasons and won more awards than its young viewers could count, takes place on an urban street where humans and Jim Henson’s Muppets interact. The show also includes short animation and live-action films, pictures, and songs. It was the first children’s show to use educational goals and a curriculum to shape its content, and as such, it has taught millions of viewers around the globe about the importance of relationships, ethics, and emotions. Plus, you know, the ABCs.

Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Genre: Kids & Family
Stars: Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster

Xploration DIY Sci

Science teacher Steve Spangler hosts this Emmy-nominated series that uses fascinating experiments you can try at home to explore scientific concepts such as the powerful potential of fluids and gases, as well as the secrets behind some magic tricks and seemingly complicated energy systems. Each episode tackles a different theme using everyday items to conduct the experiments, making it a truly family-friendly experience that breaks down complex concepts into simple (but occasionally messy) lessons.

Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Genre: Educational
Stars: Steve Spangler

The Grand Tour

For years, the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond drove cool cars and clowned around with each other on the BBC’s Top Gear. Despite their departure from that series, however, the good times keep rolling on The Grand Tour, which reunites the three snarky hosts for a show that is very similar in format to Top Gear. Episodes often feature studio segments and test drives on the show’s test track, the “Eboladrome.”

As with Top Gear, the best episodes are the ones where the hosts venture to foreign lands, testing unique vehicles on unfamiliar terrain. For car enthusiasts or Top Gear fans not satisfied by that show’s new hosts, The Grand Tour is a welcome return to form.

Rotten Tomatoes: 69%
Genre: Special Interest
Stars: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May

Mozart in the Jungle, on Amazon Prime

Mozart in the Jungle

One of Amazon’s first original series was created by Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Alex Timbers, and stars Gael García Bernal, Malcolm McDowell, and Bernadette Peters as luminaries in the modern classical music scene. Not a bad get for the platform’s first show. Bernal stars as Rodrigo, the brash new conductor of the New York Symphony Orchestra, whose style clashes with the more straight-laced symphony benefactors behind the scenes. However, his talent is undeniable, and as he strikes up a friendship with an up-and-coming oboist (Lola Kirke), it becomes clear that the two of them can bring out the best in each other.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Genre: Comedy
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Lola Kirke, Malcolm McDowell, Bernadette Peters

Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife

The Good Wife

After a public sex and political corruption scandal lands her husband in prison, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) must rise past the humiliation and betrayal to take care of her family. Picking back up her career as a defense attorney, she sheds the persona of “good wife” to take charge of her destiny. When her husband gets out of prison and becomes governor of Illinois, Alicia is forced to once again balance her career and family responsibilities with her new position as the state’s first lady. Margulies won two Emmys for her performance on this long-running show.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Christine Baranski
Creators: Robert King, Michelle King

Watch on Amazon Prime

Animal Kingdom

Based on the 2010 Australian movie of the same name by David Michod, this 2016 series debuted on TNT in 2016 and continues to air, with its fifth season being released last summer. Follow the story of “J,” a teenage boy who moves in with his extended family after his mother dies. But they aren’t baking cookies and taking trips to the beach — they just so happen to be running a criminal enterprise. Finn Cole stars as Joshua “J” Cody and Ellen Barkin as Janine “Smurf” Cody, his grandmother, and the family matriarch whom he eventually tries to challenge for leadership.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Genre: Drama
Stars: Finn Cole, Shawn Hatosy, Ellen Barkin
Creators: Jonathan Lisco

Watch on Amazon Prime

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