Just when you thought it was safe to get off your couch and head out into the sunshine, we’ve wrangled up a new crop of streamable Amazon shows for you. This time, we’re talking about the Amazon originals. While Netflix may get all the glory for its original programming, Amazon has a lot to offer as well, and the Golden Globes to prove it. So put away the sunscreen and enjoy the soft glow of your computer screen for a bit with these
If you haven’t met Maura Pfefferman yet, it’s time. Jill Soloway’s brilliant, Golden Globe-winning series Transparent is not to be missed. Jeffrey Tambor stars as the aforementioned Maura (formerly Mort), a 70-year-old divorcee dad who comes out as transgender, and begins living life as a woman. Maura’s adult children (Jay Duplass, Gaby Hoffmann, and Amy Landecker) grapple with the change, but also come with their own drama. Yes, there’s family dysfunction and secrets to boot.
There’s a second season coming sometime in 2015, so catch up while you still can.
Before there was Silicon Valley, there was Betas. The half-hour comedy — Amazon’s second original series — only survived a season on Instant but is still worth a watch. In Betas, four nerdy dudes develop a social networking ‘hookup’ app, and are desperately seeking an investor for the new startup in California’s famous tech region.
The dialogue is laden with humorous pop culture references, and while the show may focus a little too heavily on overused comedy gross-out jokes, the gang will still makes you laugh.
Come for John Goodman, stay for the Bill Murray cameos. Alpha House centers on four politicians, cohabiting together in Washington D.C. To note: the series is inspired by some real life U.S. congressman that shack up together in a row house.
A bit lighter than TV’s other political fare (cc: House of Cards), Alpha House has a “bromantic” feel as the Republican senators navigate Capitol Hill. The series, from Garry Trudeau (yes, the comic strip guy), has it’s characters, including Goodman’s Senator Biggs, navigating re-election, family issues and even, in season two, a presidential bid.
There will never be too many procedural police dramas. So attention, Law and Order: SVU addicts, give Mariska Hargitay a break and try out Bosch.
Bosch is based on three of Michael Connelly’s detective novels about LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch. The series, which was just renewed for a second season, opens with Bosch, played by Titus Welliver (you know him as Lost‘s The Man in Black), standing trial for the fatal shooting of a serial murder suspect. Meanwhile, the detective is hunting down a rampage killer haunting Los Angeles, a chase that turns personal and drums up forgotten parts of Bosch’s past.
Mozart in the Jungle
Sex, drugs, and the NYC classical music scene. Based on a 2005 memoir from professional oboist Blair Tindall, Mozart in the Jungle stars Gael Garcîa Bernal, Malcom McDowell, and Broadway goddess Bernadette Peters. The series reveals the seedy background and behind-the-scenes politics of the symphony, which is, apparently, a thing.
The half-hour show was renewed for a second season, and will stick with its original high-profile writers – Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Alex Timbers. Bravo, maestros.
On the Way
If none of these shows strike your fancy, Amazon Studios already has five new series slated to premiere in 2015 and 2016,.
The shows include: The Man in the High Castle, based on an alternative history wherein the Allies lost World War II; Mad Dogs, an hourlong dramedy; The New Yorker Presents, a dock-series in partnership with The New Yorker, and two children’s shows.
It was also announced in January that Woody Allen has signed on to direct a half-hour series, yet to be titled. Little to nothing is known about the show, but it’s already received a full-series order. Stay tuned.