I have had Amazon Prime since its inception because I like free shipping, but to be honest, I never gave it that much thought. The other day, however, I downloaded the app and hopped on to see what all the fuss was about with their new pilot, Transparent, and you know what? Amazon has a fantastic instant streaming selection. It not only has many of the same series that Netflix has, it has an arguably better selection of movies. Plus, the app interface is nicer than Netflix’s interface.
Even better, while Amazon’s original series do not yet match those of Netflix, Amazon does have several series exclusive to the site (or at least, not on Netflix), and they are good. There are plenty more than ten (Workaholics among them, which I exclude below only because I haven’t seen it yet), but here are the best ten streaming series you’re missing if you only have Netflix.
10. Dead Like Me (Two seasons) — Amazon Prime seems to be the destination if you’re into Bryan Fuller series, and you really should be into Bryan Fuller series. Fuller’s first series after Star Trek Voyager, Dead Like Me, is absolutely terrific, a whimsical, colorful, funny and quirky show about grim reapers. Mandy Patinkin will knock your socks off, and the macabre sense of humor is joyous. Just no matter what you do, and no matter how sad you are that it’s over after two seasons, NEVER WATCH THE DIRECT-TO-DVD MOVIE. It’s terrible.
9. Suits (Two of three seasons) — We talk about Suits often enough on Uproxx that you should know that it’s not just another legal procedural. In fact, there’s barely any courtroom scenes. It’s a show about bluster, and negotiation, and dick-swinging. There’s some procedural framework in the first half of season one, but after that, the series lets go of its premise (a brilliant lawyer with no actual law degree fraudulently lands a job at a corporate law firm) and becomes more about the politics of the law firm. It’s not a brilliant show, but it’s witty, sharp, and hella fun to watch.
8. Pushing Daisies — The second of the Bryan Fuller series on this list, Pushing Daisies was also cancelled too soon (DAMN YOU, WRITERS STRIKE), but like Dead Like Me, it has the same whimsical fascination with death, here involving a pie maker (Lee Pace) who is capable of bringing the dead back to life with his touch, though not without consequence (one of which is that, if he touches them again, they die forever, and of course, he falls in love with a woman he can never touch). It’s sweet, quirky, and clever as hell, at least through the first season, though it does begin to lose some steam in the second.
7. Hannibal (One of one seasons) — Season two starts on Friday February 28th, so there’s no better time to than TODAY to start with the third Bryan Fuller series on this list, the dark, macabre, and brilliantly creative Hannibal, which has many of the same characters you know and appreciate from the movie/book series, but an entirely different and unique tone. The murder scenes are equally gruesome and gorgeous, the series’ long arc is engrossing, and the acting is superb. It’s a slow, morbid addictive burn, and makes you wonder what Bryan Fuller’s obsession with death is all about.
6. The Americans (One of one seasons) — Likewise, season two of The Americans kicks off on Wednesday February 26th, so you have some time to play catch up, and you should. The Americans follows Russian spies posing as a married couple living in America, and while the missions are fun, and the glimpse into early 1980s is fascinating, the real pull in this show are the relationship dramas, both between the married spies — who are often pulled between their love one another and their love of country — and and FBI agent who is pulled between his own relationship with his family and country, and the Russian mistress he’s using as an informant. Smart, engrossing, and hypnotic.
5. The Good Wife — If you like Suits, The Good Wife is essentially the rich-man’s version of that show, dealing with some of the same interoffice politics, the conflicts that arise between work and relationships, and the marriage between a law firm associate and her husband, a state district attorney caught early on in a prostitution scandal. All due respect to Hannibal, Parenthood, and Scandal, The Good Wife is the best network drama on air right now, and no show on television fills its guest roles better. Also, good lord, is it sexy.