When it comes to streaming services, despite their many missteps, most of the focus has been on Netflix. For good reason, too, since it dominates the market, accounting for 33 percent of the downstream traffic in North America, way more than any other streaming service or website. The next closest streaming service competitor is Amazon Prime Instant, which accounts for less than two percent of downstream traffic.
That’s a shame.
If you’re tired of being d*cked around by Netflix, but you still want to stream great television, Amazon Prime Instant not only has a lot of great television offerings, there are other benefits, too. This is going to sound like a huge sales pitch for Amazon Instant, but for the same yearly cost that you pay to Netflix, you will also get free two-day shipping on all of your Amazon purchases, and for a lot of us who order from Amazon at least twice a month, that will pay for itself without even accounting for their streaming service. For instance, I buy a lot of groceries at Amazon, where it’s not only cheaper than at the grocery store, the shipping is free, and someone will bring my toilet paper to my front door. Oh, AND I can watch old episodes of The X-Files on top of that? That’s just gravy.
Much of the reluctance of some to try out or switch to Amazon Prime Instant is the concern that there aren’t very many good television offerings. NOT TRUE. In fact, there are almost as many as on Netflix, and in many instances, there are shows you can ONLY get on Amazon Prime.
So as a public service to you, and in order to convince you to at least consider the switch (or adding it alongside Netflix simply because of the free shipping offers), here are the 15 Best Shows on Amazon Prime Instant, and it doesn’t even include some others that barely missed the cut, like Damages, Lost, Tudors, Downton Abbey, 24, Pushing Daisies, Angel, and the short-lived Jeremy Renner series, The Unusuals.
Battlestar Galatica — Battlestar Galactica is a show for fairly hard core sci-fi nerds, at least in the later seasons. The first season of the show, however, still stands as one of the best seasons of televised sci-fi of all time, beautifully mixing compelling drama, humanism, and insanely good performances. In my opinion, the show kind of fell apart in later seasons — particularly a slaggy second and third season — but it’s definitely worth marathoning through.
Life — This little discussed show is maybe the last great network procedural, which is probably why it was canceled after only two seasons. It makes no sense to me why viewers would reject a detective procedural that also contains personality and great acting, but Life — which starred Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi, and Donal Logue — never really found an audience. But it’s never too late.