These Are the Best Shows to Stream on Amazon Right Now
Come for the Fleabag hype. Stay for The Wire rewatch.
Say you’re between orders of laundry detergent, shampoo, or maybe even that instant pot you’ve always wanted. And you felt a sudden hankering to stream of one of the greatest television series of all time (The Wire or The Sopranos, maybe?), then boy, do we have the streaming service for you. Amazon Prime might just have the best small-screen offerings out there, even with Disney+ ramping up its offerings. You have Luther, OG Star Trek, the entire 30 for 30 library. All that? Doesn’t even include Amazon’s original shows, which count Modern Love, Forever, and The Boys among its ranks. But you might have already heard of those ones. Check out our full list to discover some of Amazon’s sleeper originals for the dark days of winter.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
No more Jim Halpert. John Krasinski plays a CIA analyst who is suddenly thrown into a dangerous game of government cat and mouse. Say goodbye to that boring desk job at the paper company.
A con man on the run escapes getting caught by assuming the identity of his old prison cellmate, Pete. He reunites with his estranged family, and it soon becomes clear why they were estranged to begin with.
If you aren’t a Sopranos fan you at least know the name Tony Soprano. This beloved series features the late James Gandolfini and Edie Falco as they try to be a normal New Jersey-based, Italian-American family while being pulled in by the drama of and demands of the mob life.
Sex and the City
Carrie Bradshaw lives in an impossibly expensive Manhattan apartment and has a fabulous life while making the salary of a writer in the city. But never mind that. With Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte there is a lot more to analyze—both in matters of sex and… the city.
This is probably the one everyone’s told you to watch. Keri Russell and Mathew Rhys star as the Jennings, a seemingly normal American couple who are, in reality, Russian spies sent to D.C. In the height of the 1980s cold war, the Jennings go about their business without anyone—even their children—being aware of their real identities. While we’re talking Emmys, this how has had 18 nominations.
Man in the High Castle
This series, based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, depicts what would have happened if Allied Powers had lost WWII and Japan and Germany had won. This means America is under Japanese and German rule—which might make for crazier headlines than we have right now.
It’s a little surprising that Undone slipped under the radar, considering that it was created by Bojack Horseman’s masterminds, Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg. Undone is undoubtedly more serious, but just as worth watching—following a woman who uses her newfound time-warping abilities to figure out who killed her father.
If you haven’t started making your way through Small Axe—which tells stories in London’s West Indian community from the 1960s to mid-1980s—queue up the first film. Small Axe is an anthology series consisting of five movies, directed by none other than Steve McQueen. (And starring John Boyega and Letitia Wright, to boot.)
30 for 30
Want to know a shortcut to go from doesn’t-know-the-rules-of-baseball to Bob Costas? Start making your way through ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series, which features about every important sports moment in its library at this point. (Pro tip: start with “Be Water,” Bao Nguyen’s brilliant ode to Bruce Lee.)
Need a big-budget-looking, high-stakes-and-conspiracies-type sci-fi series to take you away from this planet? The Expanse is your show. It follows an intergalactic conspiracy that is one of the better (and most believable!) post-Mars colonization realities we’ve seen on TV.
Though there have been many remakes and spin-offs, nothing beats the original Star Trek series. Set in the 23rd century, the sci-fi show follows the crew of starship USS Enterprise as they travel the universe on a mission of exploring unknown worlds.
This Amazon original dropped at the end of October to promising reviews. The comedy-horror series is about a team of amateur ghost hunters who investigate reports of paranormal activity, chronicling their adventures on a YouTube channel. As they encounter more and more supernatural experiences, they begin to uncover a possible conspiracy that could threaten the entire human race.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Before Twilight and True Blood, Buffy made vampires cool again. By day, Buffy is a teenager trying to blend into her new high school. By night, she’s a Slayer, one in a long line of young women chosen by fate to destroy vampires, demons and other forces of darkness. All seven seasons of the supernatural drama, based on the 1992 film of the same name, are available for your bingeing needs.
Adapted from a 2013 British television series by the same name, Utopia centers on a tightly-knit group of uber-knowledgeable superfans, who are shocked to learn that their favorite comic isn’t just real, but it holds the secrets to the public health conspiracy of the century. With literary superstar Gillian Flynn at the helm as showrunner and writer, you can’t go wrong.
In this punchy adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s seminal novel, orphaned social striver Becky Sharp cannily climbs her way to the heights of English society against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars. Though the series softens some of Becky’s memorably sharp edges, her greed, scheming, and ambition are as entertaining as ever.
From Greg Daniels, the mastermind behind The Office, comes a science fiction comedy about a future where people can upload their consciousnesses into a pricey digital afterlife. When hard partier Nathan arrives in the afterlife, he soon falls for his customer service support agent, who inspires startling truths about the life he led on earth.
Modern Love successfully (and sweetly) adapts the beloved The New York Times column of the same name, which tells real-life stories of love and relationships. And when you’re done? Find out where all of the show’s IRL romantics are now.
All or Nothing
All or Nothing is one of the most underrated series in the sports-doc game. Even if you’re not a soccer (or football, depending on which side of the sea you’re on), Amazon’s profiles of legendary clubs like Manchester City and Tottenham are a must-watch.
Al Pacino leads a group of Nazi hunters who are tracking down and killing the escaped Nazi generals who have infiltrated the highest reaches of American society in the late 1970s. It’s Tarantino-esque with its blood and style, but lurking beneath this comic-style series is a horrifying vein of truth.
A twisted, bitterly real-world take on the super hero genre, The Boys introduces a world where the people in capes are soulless corporate shills with nefarious capitalistic intentions. It’s a show that twists our understanding of good and evil and examines the true motives of the heroes in which we place our faith.
Everybody Hates Chris
Chris Rock’s coming-of-age sitcom about his childhood in 1980s Brooklyn is massively underrated, despite winning critical acclaim during its run. The show delivers major laughs while thoughtfully tackling issues of race and class. Oh, and Tichina Arnold’s Rochelle deserves a prominent spot in the TV mom hall of fame, right alongside Peg Bundy and Lois from Malcolm in the Middle.
RuPaul’s Drag Race
RuPaul’s Drag Race is hands-down one of the best reality shows in history. Maybe that sounds like faint praise, but the show tosses the very best of Project Runway, American Idol, and America’s Next Top Model into a blender alongside a whole lot of insanely talented drag queens who duke it out to see who’s got the very best charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent.
Friday Night Lights
This high school football drama has it all: Sporting rivalries, family dramas, teenage romance. But most importantly, it featured the healthiest, most loving marriage in TV history in Kyle Chandler and Tami Taylor’s Eric and Tami Taylor. Watch the whole thing, and let the mantra, “What Would Tami Taylor Do?” guide you all the days of your life.
A Very English Scandal
Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw starred in the critically-acclaimed Paddington 2, but this stylish true-crime miniseries is no kids movie. Here, the actors are reunited in a series that tells the story of the Thorpe affair, the 1970s murder-for-hire sex scandal that brought down one of the UK’s leading politicians.
Come for the truly incredible throwback ’90s fashions, stay for the the friendship between roomies Khadijah, Synclaire, Max, and Regina, who were an amazingly fun and stylish aspirational girlfriend quartet long before Sex and the City got on the scene.
Tales from the Loop
Tales from the Loop is as trippy as can be. Based on the work of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, the series takes place in the fictional town of Mercer, Ohio. The town houses an underground facility where researchers work to make a scientific breakthrough, and the series tells the story of the town through the interconnected stories of its residents.
Not too far off from the vain of Upload, Forever is the quirky afterlife comedy that stars Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen as lovers separated by the unfortunate truth of premature death. The perfect afterlife isn’t so easy, though. If anything, the series is a must-watch for the incredible one off episode starring Jason Mitchell and Hong Chau.
Hey. Hey you. You like dogs? Good. And at some point, have you watched an episode of The Amazing Race and not hated it? Cool. Then you might just enjoy The Pack: A globe-trotting reality competition series where dogs and their owners compete in pup-friendly challenges.
You’ll forever be chasing that Game of Thrones high. And we’re sorry to tell you: You may never get there again. But a show like Vikings, with its blood, swords, and land disputes, will get you at least halfway there.
Idris Elba plays detective John Luther, a brilliant, impulsive, and troubled DCI who hunts down murderers for a living. The intensity of the job usually keeps him from maintaining a healthy, balanced life, meaning that throughout the show, his personal and professional lives become more intertwined.
While you might be a little late to the game, this series didn’t become so popular without good reason. The six seasons, all included with Prime, follow the aristocratic Crawley family and their hierarchy of servants in the English countryside shortly after the turn of the 20th century. The plot spans twelve years, following major events like the sinking of the Titanic, the first World War, and the Spanish influenza pandemic.
The Amazon original miniseries from executive producer Jordan Peele dives back into the year of 1993. Lorena Bobbitt made national headlines after slicing off her husband’s penis, but the story runs much deeper than one severed member. The four episode series sits down with the woman herself and tells her side of the story.
It’s time to finally figure out what went down in that room with the red curtains and black-and-white tiled floor. David Lynch’s surrealist small-town mystery series is arguably one of the largest cult classics on television to date. And, with rumors buzzing about a secret fourth season in the works, there’s no better time to jump on the bandwagon.
Starring Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a computer programmer by day and hacker by night, this USA series takes a modern spin on the masked vigilante superhero. Recruited by ‘hacktivist’ team “fsociety,” Alderson embarks on a double-life of taking down corporate America that is not unlike the real-life quests of groups like Anonymous. If you’ve ever wished Batman wore a Guy Fawkes mask, this cyber thriller is for you.
Based on Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show, Fleabag first came into Amazon territory in 2017. Told from the perspective of a London cafe owner (it’s guinea pig themed), this show goes through all the horny, gleeful, angry, confused emotions of a woman toiling through life after loss. 2019 Oscar winner Olivia Colman plays Fleabag’s stepmother and is a big source of those previously mentioned feelings of anger.
Billy Bob Thorton plays a washed-up lawyer who lands himself in the middle of what becomes a trial that puts life and death on the line.
Glenn Close and Rose Byrne star in a different kind of legal thriller. Patty Hewes (Close) and her protege (Byrne) take on the courtroom, where they are both reviled and feared by their opponents.
Six Feet Under
The Fisher family own a funeral home run by Nate Fisher (Parenthood’s Peter Krause), who was bequeathed the business after his father died. Naturally, working in death also means Nate starts to have conversations with the dead. Each episode also starts with a death, so if you like morbid-yet-comedic plotlines, this one’s for you.
Law and Order: SVU
Though season 22 of this crime drama premieres in November, you can stream the first 21 seasons and decide for yourself if the series is better pre or post-Stabler. The show follows Manhattan’s Special Victims Unit as they investigate sex crimes and crimes involving children, which often take an emotional toll on the detectives, not to mention the viewers.
Dr. Gregory House is dependent on pain medication and has no bedside manner to speak of, but he is a medical genius and the leader of a team of diagnosticians at a teaching hospital in New Jersey.
Julia Roberts stars as Heidi, who used to work at a facility called Homecoming, which helped veterans transition back to normal life. But there’s more to her past at that job than she remembers. Once the Department of Defense gets involved, Heidi finds herself over her head.
Just to throw in a dose of reality, this show follows the lives of the Harrison family and their eccentric—is there another kind?—pawn shop in Las Vegas.
Despite over a decade having passed since its final episode, there’s a good chance you could get through all five seasons of The Wire long before people will stop recommending it to you. Offering a fresh perspective on the crime drama genre, the series explores the city of Baltimore by tackling a different institution with each season.
Adapted from BBC’s In the Thick of It, this razor-sharp satirical series stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, a former senator and now Vice President of the United States. With joke-jammed dialogue reminiscent of Arrested Development and 30 Rock, Veep makes the inner-workings of D.C. politics look absurdly realistic.
Neil Gaiman fans definitely know about this one. The writer’s 1990 novel has now been turned into a six-episode series about the battles of Good and Evil, starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Amy Sherman Palladino’s post-Gilmore Girls and Bunheads creation tells the story of a Joan Rivers-esque comedian in the late 1950s. Played by Rachel Brosnahan and perfectly foiled by Alex Borstein’s rough manager personality, Midge Maisel has a lot of ground to break. And she’s not afraid to do it with a dirty mouth.