Here's the thing about the Golden Age of television. How do you have time to do anything else? There are so many downright excellent series out there, and even more that are just great, you could stream, stream, stream all day long and still have more good television to burn through. With that in mind, I hope you weren't planning on doing anything productive with the rest of your day, because we've put together a list of the best TV on Amazon prime.
For more streaming recommendations, check out the Best TV Shows on Netflix Right Now and Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now.
Editor's Note: This post was last updated on October 1.
- Recent additions include Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, LulaRich, Shudder's Creepshow (Season 1).
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
Creators: Richard Ayoade and Matthew Holness
Cast: Matthew Holness, Matt Berry, Richard Ayoade, and Alice Lowe
No longer relegated to bootleg youtube and social media clips, the Channel 4 cult horror-comedy Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is finally available to stream in the U.S.! Amazon Prime Video added all six episodes of the beloved 2004 series over the summer, and now that I've finally had a chance to catch up, I can gleefully confirm what I've long heard: this is one deliriously inventive and laugh-out-loud funny hidden treasure. The leading ensemble is an absolute knockout of talent, including What We Do in the Shadows series star and impossibly funny human Matt Berry, Prevenge star and filmmaker Alice Lowe, The IT Crowd favorite and The Double director Richard Ayoade (who also co-created the series), and The Possum filmmaker Matthew Holness (the other co-creator and director of the series). From psychic phenomenon to exploding patients to a gun-toting doctor, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is endlessly unpredictable and a wildly funny sendup of nostalgic horror and soap operas alike. - Haleigh Foutch
Directors: Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason
This hyper-bingeable miniseries documentary investigates the rise and fall of LulaRoe, the trendy aggressively-patterned leggings brand that took over social media during the 2010s, and the fine line between Multi-level Marketing (MLM) and pyramid schemes. In four episodes, LulaRich chronicles how founders Mark and DeAnne Stidham built an empire by tapping into one of America’s most undervalued and unappreciated forces: the ambition and aptitude of housewives and stay-at-home moms. From the same directing behind Hulu’s Fyre Fraud doc, LulaRich is both a gripping look at excess, exploitation, and the staggering financial impact of social media - including some genuinely jaw-dropping reveals along the way, and an insightful glimpse at how false dreams framed as empowerment snared in so many families. - Haleigh Foutch
Creepshow (Season 1)
Cast: Adrienne Barbeau, Tobin Bell, Giancarlo Esposito, Jeffrey Combs, Tricia Helfer, David Arquette
For the horror fans out there, you can get a sample of Shudder’s Creepshow series during the month of September - just in time to get you in the mood for spooky season. Inspired by the beloved 1982 film of the same name (written and directed by genre heavyweights Stephen King and George A. Romero, respectively), the series hails from effects legend-turned-director Greg Nicotero and deliver new chilling and cheeky scary stories with each episode that honor, not only the original film, but the spirit of the campy, creepy E.C. comics that film was riffing on. Not too scary, not too silly, Creepshow is a love letter to pulpy horror, executed with tremendous technical skill, and one hell of an ensemble cast. - Haleigh Foutch
The Pursuit of Love
Written and directed by: Emily Mortimer
Cast: Lily James, Andrew Scott, Emily Beecham, Dominic West, Dolly Wells, John Heffernan, Beattie Edmondson, Assaad Bouab, Shazad Latif, Freddie Fox, Emily Mortimer
Based on the book by famed British writer Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love takes a decidedly modern point-of-view on the decades it chronicles, as seen through the eyes of Linda (Lily James) and Fanny (Emily Beecham), two cousins and life-long friends growing up, falling in love, and facing the challenges of being a woman in the early 20th century. Emily Mortimer makes her directorial debut on the series (and also wrote it), and delivers a charming and fresh take on the subject matter and period details — with a side order of some very sexy sex scenes, created with some help from the same intimacy coordinator who worked on Normal People (and if you saw Normal People, you know what a big deal that is). The cast is stacked and at only three hours makes for an easy binge, one you're unlikely to forget. - Liz Shannon Miller
Created by: Lauren Oliver
Cast: Olivia Welch, Mike Faist, Jessica Sula, Ray Nicholson, Camron Jones, Enrique Murciano
Between Panic and The Wilds, Amazon has built up a nice little niche for itself when it comes to purveying angsty and horny teen mystery dramas — extremely addictive and watchable ones, at that. The newest series, starring a cast of relative newcomers along with known players like Bonnie Bedelia and Moira Kelly, focuses in on a small economically disadvantaged Texas town where for graduating seniors, the only hope of a better life is by winning an underground game known as Panic. The game is designed to push each teen to their limits, and has a lethal past which makes it a subject of interest for local law enforcement, but for aspiring writer Heather (Olivia Welch), it's her only option for escape. Thanks to the equally compelling characters and mysteries surrounding the game, not to mention the actual gameplay itself, Panic makes for a very enjoyable summer binge, with plenty of potential for a Season 2. - Liz Shannon Miller
The Underground Railroad
Cast:Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon, Joel Edgerton,William Jackson Harper, Lily Rabe
There's going to be at least one scene or one shot in Barry Jenkins' series adaptation of The Underground Railroad that will stick with you for the rest of your life. The series is ostensibly the tale of a young woman named Cora (Thuso Mbedu) as she makes her escape from a plantation in slavery-era Georgia towards the ever-elusive promise of freedom, but really it's about how the wounds caused by the American institution of slavery stay with us today. And to tell this story, Jenkins and cinematographer James Laxton create both beautiful tableaus and moments of true horror, finding the humanity of their characters while also providing a stark reminder of just how inhumane this world can be. It's not a series bursting with hope, but Mbedu's powerful performance, alongside an impressive ensemble including Joel Edgerton, William Jackson Harper, Lily Rabe, and more makes this one which deserves everyone's attention, in America and beyond.-Liz Shannon Miller
Creator: Sarah Streicher
Cast: Sophia Ali, Shannon Berry, Jenna Clause, Reign Edwards, Mia Healey, Helena Howard, Erana James, Sarah Pidgeon, David Sullivan, Troy Winbush, Rachel Griffiths
"Being a teenage girl in normal-ass America — that was the real living hell" is the thesis statement for a show that's easy to describe as "teen girl Lost," but builds upon its premise to create a truly addictive blend of mystery, drama, comedy, and fear. There are plenty of familiar flavors in this stew crafted by creator Sarah Streicher and executive producer Amy B. Harris, but also some spicy surprises — and the combination really works.
Things ostensibly begin when eight girls, brought together by a promised "Dawn of Eve" female empowerment retreat in Hawaii, meet disaster when their private plane flight goes awry. The survivors wake up just offshore from a deserted island, where they'll struggle to survive the elements with a limited number of resources, while also grappling with their respective pasts as well as the mysteries surrounding them. By the end of Season 1, many of those mysteries have been replaced by new ones, making us all the more grateful that it's been renewed for a Season 2. - Liz Shannon Miller
Creator: Dan Harmon
Cast: Joel McHale, Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Chevy Chase, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong, John Oliver
One of the best comedy shows of the 21st century, Dan Harmon’s Community is an inventive, emotional act of meta sitcom storytelling that defies any easy categorizing and qualification. The basic set-up follows the odd-ensemble students of Greendale, an increasingly ridiculous community college, where the study group bonds and embarks on increasingly ridiculous misadventures. But it’s so much funnier, weirder, and more heartfelt than you’d expect, the genre-bending meta-narratives that made Harmon’s animated sci-fi Rick and Morty such a celebrated success on full display.
It’s one of the most touching shows out there about finding your people, delivers some of the highest laugh-a-minute payoff in comedy TV, and it embraces the full range of its talented team to skip from genre-to-genre without flinching. Community had the Russo Brothers before the MCU, Community did Meow-Meow beans before Black Mirror did ‘Downfall’, and it highlighted Donald Glover’s polymath gifts long before Childish Gambino became a household name. Fortunately, Netflix now has all six seasons so it’s the perfect time to catch up (or re-watch for the umpteenth time). But if six seasons is too big of a commitment and you don’t know where to start, head over to Greg’s fantastic rundown of the best Community episodes. – Haleigh Foutch
Creator: David Shore
Cast:Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard, Jennifer Morrison, Jesse Spencer, Peter Jacobson, Kal Penn, Olivia Wilde, Amber Tamblyn, Odette Annable, Charlyne Yi
Look, it's not lupus. Unless it is. You never know. But Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) does. The long-running medical drama convinced millions of Americans for years that a) Laurie was American and b) that that weird symptom they might have could be the beginning of a intricate medical mystery. While the show's episodic structure gives it the comforting feel of a classic procedural, what makes House an enduring property is Laurie's stunning performance as the titular disabled grumpypants, as well as his relationships with his co-workers, especially dean of medicine Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) and Dr. Watson-esque best friend Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) — yes, there are Sherlock Holmes parallels to be made here. But did Sherlock Holmes ever rap with special guest star Lin-Manuel Miranda? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would never dare. - Liz Shannon Miller
Creator: Matt Nix
Cast:Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless, Coby Bell
Like all of USA Network's famous "blue sky" dramas, Burn Notice is a low-key delight, perfect for a lazy afternoon binge. Set in Miami (which does mean a lot of random shots of girls in bikinis), the series tracks career spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) after he gets fired from the spying life. The chemistry between Donovan and co-stars Gabrielle Anwar (as Fiona, his off-again/on-again ex-girlfriend), Bruce Campbell (as his best friend Sam), and Sharon Gless (as Michael's chain-smoking mother) is electric, and every episode contains important helpful tips about the spy life, as narrated by Michael. What could be better than a twisty spy drama that will also teach you what household items make for the homemade explosives?- Liz Shannon Miller
Created by: Greg Daniels
Cast: Robbie Amell, Andy Allo, Allegra Edwards, Zainab Johnson, and Kevin Bigley
Imagine a sci-fi version of The Good Place, and you have Upload. But what makes this Amazon original series special is its creator Greg Daniels, who you might also know as the guy who created and ran the American version of The Office and co-created Parks and Recreation. Daniels' penchant for blending comedy with romance is alive and well in Upload, which takes place in a near-future in which humans have the ability to have their consciousness uploaded into a digital afterlife—provided they can afford it. When a programmer (Robbie Amell) dies and uploads, he has trouble adjusting to his swanky new afterlife while also dealing with his shallow (and still living) girlfriend and romantic feelings for his customer service representative. Oh, and he may or may not be trying to figure out if he was murdered. Comedy, romance, and a mystery, Upload has it all, and since the show has been renewed for a second season, you can rest assured the finale cliffhanger will be resolved. - Adam Chitwood
Created by: Justin Marks
Cast: J.K. Simmons, Olivia Williams, Harry Lloyd, Nazanin Boniadi, Betty Gabriel, and James Cromwell
If you’re in the mood for a hard sci-fi spy series with the dramatic maturity of something like The Americans, you simply must watch Counterpart. The Starz show takes place in Berlin and follows a man named Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons, delivering a phenomenal performance), a lowly cog in the bureaucracy of a secretive Berlin-based UN spy agency. But he discovers in the show’s first episode that his workplace harbors a secret: 30 years ago, a rip opened up in Berlin revealing a parallel dimension. At first, both dimensions were exactly the same, but shortly after the rip, small differences turned into significant alterations, and now both sides view one another with extreme caution. The only mode of travel between the two dimensions is underneath Howard’s building, and the existence of this second dimension is the world’s best-kept secret.
Howard’s life is turned upside down when his “counterpart” arrives in his dimension, and he’s almost nothing like him—self-assured, aggressive, and hardened. The show is more in the vein of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy than something like Bourne, and while it was cancelled after two seasons, the Season 2 finale puts a perfect button on the show’s biggest mysteries so while there’s certainly desire to see more, Counterpart stands as a compelling, wildly engrossing, and satisfying little two-season miniseries. – Adam Chitwood
Created By: Mark Fergus& Hawk Ostby
Cast: Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Cas Anvar, Wes Chatham, ShohrehAghdashloo, Dominique Tipper
At its new home on Amazon Prime Video, the former Syfy series The Expanse continues its impressive run as one of the most challenging, rewarding, and complex sci-fi shows on the air, now with more resources and creative freedom than ever.Adapted from James S.A. Corey’s award-winning, ongoing series of sci-fi novels, The Expanse is set 200 years in the future in a colonized solar system where the citizens of Earth, Mars and the asteroid belt wage constant conflict over territories, freedoms, and the future of mankind, while nefarious government secrets and conspiracies threaten the galaxy in the background.
It's dense and rich material, attuned to the real-world realities of politicking and pandering while building an immersive and intricately nuanced science fiction world. And the latest batch of episodes doesn't just bringThe Expanse to its new streaming home, it brings the characters to a new world, where the series gets to craft its colonialist examination with more real-time fallout than ever. And it all remains utterly fascinating; a complex autopsy of political systems and the manipulation of warring beliefs that never skimps on meaty character drama or good, old-fashioned space spectacle. -- Haleigh Foutch
Dead Like Me
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Creator: Bryan Fuller
Cast: Ellen Muth, Mandy Patinkin, Laura Harris, Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy, Cynthia Stevenson,
Bryan Fuller's production company is called Living Dead Guy, and the inspiration for that might be, in part, the first show he ever created. Originally running on Showtime, Dead Like Me stars Ellen Muth as George, who has a really bad day that ends with her getting killed by a falling toilet seat. However, death is not the end for her — instead, she joins Rube (Mandy Patinkin) and his team of reapers, who help souls transition to the afterlife. For fans of Fuller's other shows, including Hannibal and American Gods, the first season is a must-see, especially thanks to the tender father-daughter bond that develops between George and Rube. Dead Like Me, like so many shows about mortality, is really about the beauty of life.- Liz Shannon Miller
Created By: Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Cast: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Anthony Starr, Elisabeth Shue, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligot, Tomer Capon, Chace Crawford, Jesse T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Simon Pegg, Karen Fukuhara, Jennifer Esposito
There's no shortage of superhero content in 2019, but you won't find anything more insightful, incisive and downright entertaining as The Boys, the latestGarth Ennisadaptation from Preacher duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, with the polished TV hand of co-creator Eric Kripke. A scathing takedown of corporate greed, celebrity worship, political perversion, and all the horrible ways thought cultural ills can co-mingle, The Boys never lets its politics get ahead of its payoff, drenching the "realistic" take on superheroes in exploitation levels of sex and violence, ensuring that you'll be gasping and guffawing, even as the deeper implications nibble at your comfort. For my money, you won't find a more complex or chilling villain on TV this year than Anthony Starr's gleaming portrayal of Homelander, and he's well-matched in the best use of Elisabeth Shue's talents in years. Urban is delightfully unhinged, Capon is the secret weapon of the series, and it's all delivered in the most binge-worthy style, as entertaining as it is enlightening through and through. --Haleigh Foutch
Created By:Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Cast: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sian Clifford, Olivia Colman, Bill Patterson, Brett Gelman
Fleabag is one of the best pieces of art of the 21st century. That's just the simple truth. You maybe have heard the buzz or saw the Emmys wins, but you're truly not prepared for just how great this series is. It's short too! Each of the two seasons is comprised of six half-hour episodes that follow a woman known only as Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) as she seeks some kind of happiness. It's a raw, honest portrayal of identity and femininity and loneliness, digging into the self-loathing and insecurity that so many of us mask with strained charisma or comedy. Each season is its own complete thing, and while Season 1 is phenomenal, Season 2 is one of the best and most emotionally affecting love stories I've ever seen in my entire life. —Adam Chitwood
RuPaul's Drag Race
Creator/Cast: RuPaul Charles
Binge-watching seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race at home isn't quite the same experience as watching it live every week at your local gay bar, but on the plus side you don't have to wait to find out which queens ultimately win the crown. Hosted by the iconic RuPaul Charles, both in and out of drag, Drag Race has been at times controversial in the gay community. But the competition reality series ultimately seeks to honor the Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent of its contestants, while also preaching, as Ru says at the end of every episode, "if you can't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?"- Liz Shannon Miller
Created by: Travis Beacham and René Echevarria
Cast: Orlando Bloom, Cara Delevingne, Tazmin Merchant, Simon McBurney, David Gyasi, Indira Varma, Jared Harris, Karla Crome, Andrew Gower
Be it the cast, the plot, or the world it has rendered, Carnival Row is taking some big leaps — and they pay off beautifully. Carnival Row is a wholly original fantasy series where magical folk you've only read about cohabitate (albeit rather uneasily) with humans in the rich and gloomily rendered steampunk world of The Burgue. Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne lead the series as star-crossed lovers Rycroft "Philo" Philostrate and Vignette Stonemess. He's a soldier-turned-inspector in The Burgue and she's a fae (read: fairy) seeking refuge after being driven out of her homeland, Tirnanoc. As Philo and Vignette's paths cross after seven years apart, they find themselves drawn into uncovering the truth about a series of murders targeting the magical creatures who have immigrated to The Burgue.
Carnival Row has plenty on its mind when it comes to its allegorical approach to contemporary issues around race and immigration which make this series all the more interesting to watch — even when it gets a little shaky on that front. It's a bold series that is confident in its vision, which deserves a big tip of the cap as far as I'm concerned. It also doesn't hurt that Bloom and Delevingne have decent chemistry while performances turned in from supporting cast members Jared Harris, Indira Varma, Tamzin Merchant, Karla Crome, and David Gyasi really bring the story Carnival Row is telling in this inviting series to life. --Allie Gemmill
The Night Manager
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander, Elizabeth Debicki
The Night Manager was a John le Carré novel turned into a miniseries by way of a Vogue spread, or so it seemed thanks to Susanne Bier’s direction. A dashingly handsome cast, obscenely beautiful locations, and one blazingly unforgettable demonstration of sound and fury in the desert that reminded us — in case we forgot — that Richard Ropert (Laurie) is the most dangerous arms dealer in the world. But it was easy to forget at times, after experiencing the seduction of wealth and power through the experience of spy Jonathan Pine (Hiddleston), whose motivations were a little thin, but who never lost sight of his mission. The Night Manager was a tightly crafted and breathtakingly produced miniseries with a well-earned and triumphant finale that made ultimately for a very satisfying adventure. And did I mention how gorgeous it was? -- Allison Keene
Creators: Tina Fey and Robert Carlock
Cast: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jack McBrayer, Jane Krakowski
If weird-happy humor is your style, you can’t go wrong with 30 Rock. Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s seven-season sitcom chronicles the ridiculous happenings behind the scenes of a Saturday Night Live-style comedy show, with Fey playing the head writer and Alec Baldwin filling the role of the uber-conservative network executive. The series moves forward with an air of positivity, even as Liz Lemon’s life continues to spiral downward. It’s a show about finding family in the strangest places, and rolling with the punches when life can’t seem to give you a break. – Adam Chitwood
Just in time to catch up before 'The Matrix Resurrections.' comes out
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