Last Updated: October 20th
While Netflix features more and better original programming, Amazon Prime holds their own in that department, and they continue to beef up their offerings. Unfortunately, between HBO Max and Peacock, Prime Video lost many of its impressive show offerings like HBO content and Parks and Rec. But on the plus side, you’ve probably already got a Prime account, so why not check out its impressive catalog.
If you’re trying to figure out what to watch next, a great place to start are the 35 best shows on Amazon Prime Video right now.
1. The Americans
6 seasons, 75 episodes | IMDb: 8.4/10
The Americans follows Russian spies (Keri Russell and Mathew Rhys) posing as a married couple living in America, and while the missions are enjoyable, and the glimpse into the 1980s is fascinating, the real pull in this show is the relationship drama, both between the married spies — who are often pulled between their love for one another and their love of country — an FBI agent (Noah Emmerich) — who is pulled between his own relationship with his family and country — and the children of the Russian spies, pulled between their family and their love of America. Well-crafted, engrossing, and hypnotic, The Americans is one of best TV shows of all time.
2. 30 Rock
7 seasons, 138 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
Few shows have as many jokes per minute as 30 Rock. The brainchild of Tina Fey, 30 Rock shows the daily madness of an SNL-like variety show, which Fey’s Liz Lemon at the helm. As she tries (sometimes failing) to wrangle her writers and her actors (Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowski), Lemon also attempts the ever-elusive dream of “having it all.” Her quest will feel very, very familiar to viewers, particularly women, as they try and balance work, life, love, and even a small bit of success. With Alec Baldwin turning in his best performance to date (come at me, Glengarry Glen Ross fans) as Jack Donaghy, Lemon’s boss, mentor, and eventual friend, 30 Rock has the perfect blend of weirdness, sharp writing, and genuine laughs that will make it a favorite for years to come.
2 seasons, 12 episodes | IMDb: 8.5/10
A co-production of Amazon and England’s BBC Three, London-set Fleabag stars the magnificent Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who also created the show) as “a young woman attempting to navigate modern life in London.” That description hardly does the series justice. It’s a hysterical, dirty, sexually devious and surprisingly thoughtful meditation on grief and loneliness that goes by so quickly (there are only six half-hour episodes in each season) that viewers will wish they savored it more before it ends. It’s truly one of the most distinctive, original comedies of the last several years — think Tig Notaro crossed with Broad City — and its Hot Priest-starring second season has paved the way for Waller-Bridge becoming one of the leading creative voices of her generation.
4. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
3 seasons, 26 episodes | IMDb: 8.7/10
By now, we should just know to expect great things from showrunner Amy-Sherman Palladino. The woman who gave us Gilmore Girls and Bunheads also brought a fast-paced, wit-infused drama about a 1950s housewife with a hidden talent for stand-up to Amazon, and the awards season voters ate it up. The show follows Rachel Brosnahan as she plays Midge Maisel, a Jewish housewife disillusioned with her marriage to a cheating, joke-stealing scumbag and ready to break out on her own in the comedy world.
5. Mr. Robot
3 seasons, 32 episodes | IMDb: 8.6/10
USA Network’s Mr. Robot follows Elliot, a hacker with an acute social anxiety disorder who suffers from delusions and paranoia. During the day, he works as a computer programmer for a company that protects other companies from cyber threats. Elliot has other designs in mind, too, namely taking down one of the biggest corporations in America, E Corp, unsettling America’s financial system, and taking power away from the rich and giving it back to the people. Heavily influenced by American Psycho, Fight Club, the films of Stanley Kubrick, and Taxi Driver, among others, Sam Esmail’s Mr. Robot is an unnerving mindf*ck full of conspiracy theories and misdirections. Nothing is ever as it seems in Mr. Robot, and much of the fun is in trying — and mostly failing — to stay ahead of the twists.
6. Downton Abbey
6 seasons, 52 episodes | IMDb: 8.7/10
From 2010-2015, you couldn’t have a conversation about favorite TV shows without someone in your friend group mentioning Downton Abbey. The British series about the inner workings of an aristocratic English family and their manner full of servants became the biggest thing to invade America from across the pond since The Beatles. Watching the crusty Crawley family navigate historic events like the sinking of the Titanic and the First World War while their servants dealt in gossip, intrigue, and scandal below stairs was as entertaining and juicy as any good British drama should be.
7. The Office U.K.
2 seasons, 14 episodes | IMDb: 8.5/10
The U.K. version was the original cringe comedy, starring Ricky Gervais as clueless boss David Brent, whose desperate attempts at connecting with his underlings are a painful exercise in futility. Martin Freeman is also a stand-out, playing a role that John Krasinski inhabited in the American remake, but it’s the British sarcasm that really elevates this series and makes it worthy of a watch.
8. Orphan Black
5 seasons, 50 episodes | IMDb: 8.3/10
Tatiana Maslany plays several clones variations of the same woman in the sweeping conspiracy thriller Orphan Black, and she breathes so much life and so many distinct personalities into each clone that viewers often forget that one woman is playing all the characters (and it’s impossible not to pick a favorite). The supporting cast is mostly great, as well, and for a Canadian series, the production values are excellent. Unfortunately, Orphan Black suffers from a great first season that the rest of the series can’t quite live up to. It gets so bogged down in its own confusing mythology that it begins to run out of steam, although it picks up its momentum again in the fourth season before reaching its fifth season finish line.
9. The Boys
2 seasons, 11 episodes | IMDb: 8.7/10
Karl Urban headlines this wild, gory, vulgar ride through superhero-dom from Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and showrunner Eric Kripke. Based on a Garth Ennis comic series, the show takes a darker look at those supernaturally gifted heroes we all love to fawn over. Urban’s gruff vigilante pairs up with a nobody (Jack Quaid), who has his life ruined by a group of corrupt supes. The humor is raunchy and sharp, the action is bananas, and the cast is an eclectic mix of talent who all find time to shine on on-screen. And now that season two is here, everyone gets the chance to ramp up the crazy and get in touch with their inner Spice Girl.
6 seasons, 60 episodes | IMDb: 8.4/10
Titus Welliver stars in this police procedural from Amazon about a renegade detective charged with solving some hauntingly grisly murders. Harry Bosch is a former military man with a healthy respect for the rules and an unquenchable thirst for the truth. Each season, he’s presented with a case that threatens his carefully molded view of the world, often leading him to uncover conspiracies, corrupt cops, and even his own mother’s murderer. The subject matter might be dark, but Welliver is clearly having fun playing the brash, give-no-f*cks badass, which is why you should give this crime series a watch.
4 seasons, 16 episodes | IMDb: 8.5/10
Maybe the bleakest, grittiest cop show you’ll ever see, Luther is so intense that it may at times rattle your brain stem. It’s got the best elements of other of its ilk as it follows a genius detective who struggles to separate his personal and professional lives. But it is also pummeling great drama, and Idris Elba is a tour de force (Ruth Wilson is fantastic, too).
1 season, 8 episodes | IMDb: 6.3/10
John Cusack and Rainn Wilson star in this bonkers sci-fi thriller based on a UK show of the same name. Cusack plays a nefarious tech guy who’s meatless invention to solve world hunger might have brought about the next plague. Wilson is the scientist fighting for a vaccine, but all this come secondary to a group of comic book nerds played by Desmin Borges, Ashleigh LaThorp, Dan Byrd, and Sasha Lane who believe the key to stopping this impending apocalypse might be hidden in a graphic novel about an evil rabbit.
8 seasons, 177 episodes | IMDb: 8.8/10
Binge watchers love their medical dramas, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a show about the ill that’s as fun as House. Hugh Laurie plays the episodic’s anti-hero, an opioid-addicted, dry-humored, uncaring genius and doctor with a knack for solving unsolvable cases. He’s joined by a rotating team of famous faces (Olivia Wilde, Jesse Spencer, and Jennifer Morrison all starred on the show at some point) but they usually just end up getting in the way of his natural prowess with mysterious illnesses.
8 seasons, 120 episodes | IMDb: 8.4/10
For the eight seasons that Psych was on the air, it entertained a kind of cult following. Fans tuned in religiously to watch this buddy-cop drama about an eccentric police detective who claimed “psychic” abilities and his reluctant, by-the-book partner. Stars James Roday and Dule Hill have incredible chemistry on the show which pushes the worn-out, fun-cop-boring-cop trope past its usual limits.
1 season, 8 episodes | IMDb: 8.3/10
BoJack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and writer Kate Purdy reunite for this adult-animated series starring Rosa Salazar and Bob Odenkirk. The show follows the journey of Alma, a young woman involved in a car accident who slowly begins to lose her mind. She’s forced to question her perception of reality when her father (Odenkirk) reappears years after his death, pushing her to discover how he died and why she seems to have a newfound ability to travel through time. It’s a bit of a mindf*ck, in the best possible way, with Purdy and Waksberg employing rotoscoping, a realistic animation technique never before used on TV, to take viewers on a surreal trek through space and time, along with dark humor and musings on grief, trauma, and mental health.
16. Star Trek: The Original Series
3 seasons, 80 episodes | IMDb: 8.3/10
Frankly, any of the Star Trek shows make a good binge watch. Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and, hell, even Star Trek: Enterprise are all available to stream on Prime, and they all have their merits (except for Enterprise), but the William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy-starring original series is where it all began. To admit to watching one or all of the other programs cited above, but not Star Trek: The Original Series would be a crime against yourself and the rest of sci-fi fandom. This is where Gene Roddenberry’s vision first got its start on broadcast television, after all.
17. The Expanse
4 seasons, 48 episodes | IMDb: 8.5/10
This sci-fi space epic based off a series of beloved books found new life on Amazon for its fourth season after being canceled by Syfy in 2018, good news for fans who wanted more adventures for the show’s rag-tag band of anti-heroes. Set in the future when humanity has colonized the Solar System, The Expanse follows a trio of leads: United Nations Security Council member Chrisjen Avasarala, police detective Josephus Miller, and ship’s officer James Holden as they unravel a conspiracy that could break the uneasy peace. It’s full of action and thriller-like twists, but it’s the memorable, well-rounded character work that makes this a must-see.
6 seasons, 80 episodes | IMDb: 8.6/10
Loosely based on the exploits of the 9th century Viking ruler and king, Ragnar Lodbrok, Vikings doesn’t match the level of complexity in Game of Thrones — the universe is smaller, there are fewer characters, and the plotting isn’t as dense — but it’s a solid, if not sometimes spectacular drama that gets progressively better over the course of the series. There’s crunching violence, lots of axe play, and frequent battles as Ragnar extends his rule over parts of Europe. Compared to Game of Thrones, it’s less about mind games and schemes, and more about brute force — and Ragnor’s victories are seldom in doubt. Nevertheless, it’s entertaining to watch the unrelenting violence unfold and revel in the demise of Ragnor’s rivals. While Travis Fimmel is excellent in the lead role and Gustaf Skarsgård’s Floki provides the often necessary comic relief, it’s Katheryn Winnick — as Lagertha — who is the show’s biggest draw.
19. American Horror Story
8 seasons, 106 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology on FX is an unpredictable tour-de-force that, when it sticks its landing, is one of the best shows on TV. The series chronicles truly terrifying, mind-warping plots across multiple seasons, connecting some, ignoring others. What grounds these outrageous storylines involving haunted hotels, murder houses, insane asylums, cults, and covens is the cast, most notably Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, and Evan Peters. Murphy relies on their visceral portrayals of individuals unhinged to sell this whacky, nightmare-inducing rollercoaster and sell they do.
3 seasons, 25 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
Doctor Who companion Jenna Coleman trades in time-travel for managing a monarchy in this BBC drama that recounts the reign of Queen Victoria. Victoria’s early years were plagued with problems — she was only 18 when she took the throne and had many challengers — but the show pairs the more political machinations with the swoon-worthy tale of Victoria’s courtship with Prince Albert, who would later become her husband. If you like The Crown, you’ll like this.
4 seasons, 24 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
The British sitcom is essentially You’re the Worst if the couple at the center of it were 10 years older. Like the FX series, it’s another anti-romcom romcom, although this one involves pregnancy, children, and culture clash (he’s an American wanker, she’s an acerbic, potty-mouthed Irish school teacher). However, the constant bickering and sexual disagreements between Rob (Rob Delaney) and Sharon (Sharon Horgan) are what makes Catastrophe so exhilarating. A more apt name for the series would be Amazon’s other series, Transparent, because the relationship between Sharon and Rob — warts and all — is the most open and honest in television, and maybe the funniest. The only downside to Catastrophe is that its four seasons are each only six half-hour episodes long, which is not enough time to spend with these characters.
2 seasons, 20 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
J.K. Simmons stars in this sci-fi thriller which blends a whole bunch of genres as it tells the story of a clueless U.N. employee, who discovers his agency is hiding a world-altering secret. Simmons plays said employee, Howard Silk, who uncovers a parallel universe that’s engaged in a covert war with our own, and he meets his A.U. self, a top spy intent on destroying him. It’s trippy stuff, apparently too trippy to last more than two seasons.
5 seasons, 41 episodes | IMDb: 7.8/10
Amazon may not stack up favorably against Netflix in the original series department, but Transparent is as good or better than most of Netflix’s original series. It sees Jeffrey Tambor decide, late in life, to transition into a woman, and we see how that decision affects her family in the most hilarious and poignant ways imaginable. It’s a light series with heavy themes, and despite the behind-the-scenes issues, Transparent managed to wrap up its run with a fun musical finale.
3 seasons, 39 episodes | IMDb: 8.6/10
Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal is a perfect series to binge-watch, as the ability to watch the episodes back-to-back evens out some of the slow pacing. Hannibal is dark, macabre, and brilliantly creative, and while it has many of the same characters viewers know and appreciate from the movie/book series, it also has an entirely different and unique tone (some would even say better). The murder scenes are equally gruesome and gorgeous, the series’ long arc is as disturbing as it is engrossing, and the acting from Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelson, and Laurence Fishburne is superb. It’s a slow, morbidly addictive burn, and viewers must stick around for Michael Pitt’s Mason Verger in season two, if only for one of the most beautifully unsettling sequences ever seen on network television.
3 seasons, 24 episodes | IMDb: 8.3/10
Goliath is an old-school legal thriller from an old-school television writer, David E. Kelley (The Practice, Boston Legal), who is still the reigning king of legal dramas. It’s a meat-and-potatoes show driven by an entertaining storyline and compelling, flawed characters led by Billy McBride, a character played Billy Bob Thornton, who won a Golden Globe for the role. McBride is an alcoholic has-been lawyer who, in typical Grisham fashion, has a case against a big tech firm fall into his lap. On the other side of the case is McBride’s former firm, his ex-wife (Maria Bello) and his old legal partner turned nemesis (William Hurt). There’s nothing new or novel about Goliath except for the fact that it doesn’t try to be new and novel: It’s an old-fashioned, well-made, well-acted and gripping television show with bad guys, morally questionable good guys and a strong supporting cast that also includes Olivia Thirlby, Kevin Weisman (Alias), Dwight Yoakum, and Harold Perrineau.
9 seasons, 131 episodes | IMDb: 8.6/10
A legal drama that almost never steps inside a courtroom, Suits stars Gabriel Macht and Patrick Adams as a brash, big-league attorney and his whiz-kid protégé, who is practicing illegally without a law degree. Suits, which has a tenuous understanding of the law, deals week-to-week mostly with settling disputes with cocky threats and yellow manilla folders. It’s rounded out by a fun, USA Network-perfect cast (Sarah Rafferty, Gina Torres, Meghan Markle, and Rick Hoffman) and later seasons of the series are more serialized in nature, dealing primarily with interoffice politics and relationship drama. Nothing about Suits is altering the television landscape (in fact, every episode is the same), and the show is certainly not any threat to television’s heavier dramas. However, over the course of the series, it’s become a rock-solid show, one that was willing to break out of the typical USA Network procedural format years before Mr. Robot came along.
27. The Fall
3 seasons, 17 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
A short, intense series, The Fall tracks Superintendent Sarah Gibson (Gillian Anderson) as she hunts serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan). The elevator pitch of the series sounds a bit like Silence of the Lambs, but Gibson is no Clarice, and The Fall‘s focus on the nitty-gritty of building a case against someone accused of a horrendous series of crimes is contrasted with the slow, worrying turn of the screw as Paul befriends the woman who may be his next victim. The series falls apart a bit after awhile, but that first season is well worth the watch.
28. Jack Ryan
2 seasons, 16 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
John Krasinski’s return to television marks a dramatic departure from his The Office days. He plays famed CIA analyst Jack Ryan in this series that explores the character’s beginnings as an up-and-coming agent whose confidence in his abilities often lead to him clashing with higher-ups like his boss, James Greer (a fantastic Wendell Pierce). In its first season, Ryan infiltrates a terrorist cell with nefarious plans after uncovering how the criminal communicate with each other, but when he’s thrust into the field, things get dangerous.
1 season, 10 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
Greg Daniels — the genius behind shows like The Office and Parks and Rec — serves up a darker bit of comedy with this sci-fi series about death. Well, it’s about what happens after. Robbie Amell plays a man who dies and chooses to have his consciousness upload into a digital afterlife, a serene “living facility” called Lake View. But things aren’t as idyllic has he’d hoped, and his existence becomes more complicated when he ends up falling for his living customer service rep.
30. The Night Manager
1 season, 7 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston star in this limited series from AMC. Laurie is the big bad, a criminal and arms dealer with a ruthless way of doing business. Hiddleston is the night manager of a Cairo hotel, recruited to spy on the guy and infiltrate his inner circle. He’s clearly way out of his depth and most of the edge-of-your-seat action comes from watching Hiddleston lie, cheat, and steal his way through a bogus cover and a convoluted plan hatched by higher-ups happy to sacrifice him for the greater good.
31. Tales From The Loop
1 season, 8 episodes | IMDb: 7.5/10
This mind-bending sci-fi offering from Amazon Prime Video was created by Nathaniel Halpert — one of the minds behind FX’s Legion and Netflix’s The Killing. So yeah, it’s weird. It’s also dramatically rich in ways few sci-fi series are these days. The basic premise revolves around a group of people who live in a small town built on top of “The Loop,” a machine built to unlock the mysteries of the universe. When they start experiencing strange phenomena, they’re forced to dig into the real reason the machine was created and what their role in the grander scheme of things might really be.
7 seasons, 86 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, and Anders Holm star in this office comedy about three buddies who work 9 to 5’s at a telemarketing agency and live together on their downtime. The bros clash with their boss and coworkers while getting into all kinds of shenanigans at home, mostly because they try to extend their hard-partying days into adulthood.
33. Mozart in the Jungle
4 seasons, 40 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
Created by Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Paul Weitz, Mozart in the Jungle stars Gael García Bernal as an orchestra conductor and Lola Kirke as an oboist/protégé. The cast is rounded out with beloved actors like Malcolm McDowell and Bernadette Peters, and familiar faces like Safron Burrows. Mozart is sweet and low-key. Viewers who like Canada’s exceptional Slings and Arrows will like Mozart in the Jungle because it’s essentially Slings and Arrows with classical music instead of Shakespeare. It is frothy and fun, and an absolute pleasure to watch, even if it is not exactly essential television.
34. The Man in the High Castle
4 seasons, 40 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
Loosely based on Phillip K. Dick’s 1962 novel of the same name (it also bears some resemblance to Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America), The Man in the High Castle is set in an alternative, dystopian world where Germany won World War II. Basically, the East Coast is occupied by the Germans, and the West Coast is occupied by the Japanese, and there’s a no-man’s land in between. Exec-produced by Ridley Scott and Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), the series sees various characters working to form a resistance against their occupation by collecting “forbidden newsreels” that show the alternate history in which the Allies won the war in an effort to reveal a larger truth about how the world should be. A dark exploration of what it means to be American, The Man in the High Castle is a well-acted, tense, and often violent dystopian thriller with plenty of twists and turns to keep viewers guessing.
5 seasons, 105 episodes | IMDb: 7.6/10
This early aughts spy drama from JJ Abrams is responsible for putting Jennifer Garner on the map. In it, she plays Sydney Bristow, a gifted secret agent who discovers she’s been unknowingly working for the enemy. She then becomes a double agent for the CIA, working alongside her dad of all people, and along the way, she uncovers disturbing truths about her family, her past, and the people she’s chosen to trust.
Recent Changes Through October 2020:
Removed: Parks & Rec
Added: American Horror Story