Amazon Prime Video’s catalog has grown quite a bit since the service started providing Prime members free, downloadable movies and TV shows years ago. What was originally a small collection has developed into a powerful enough media arsenal to threaten Netflix and Hulu — especially if you own Fire TV.
If you’re hunting for a new TV series to binge but you’re not sure what’s right for you, just check our selection of the best Amazon Prime TV shows available on the site.
If you let most comedies run long enough, they will finally imitate self-parody. In his later years, Entourage became one of those series. Late year Entourage episodes follow the same general theme: impossibly inconsequential Hollywood dilemma shows up, high-powered director Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) or boss “E” (Kevin Connolly) and movie star Vince (Adrian Grenier) hits a theme to rejoice.
However, the same formula in earlier seasons is amazing. Entourage for most of its running time with the rarest of breeds: a series that stayed amusing and entertaining amid little to no substantive confrontation.
Playwright Phoebe Waller-Bridge ‘s excellent half-hour series Fleabag is a real, frank, and sometimes atrocious portrayal of a young single woman’s life in London that somehow manages to escape all the conventions and pitfalls of the genre. Waller-Bridge looks at the title character, narrating her existence and giving a decent smile to the camera, using it to make us trustees and partners in crime, as well as to admonish our prejudices, or to affirm how ridiculous a circumstance is. And while the sweet and relatable Fleabag loves to point out the flaws of others, it’s not really easy on itself, either.
Struggling through contemporary dating (where there’s a lot of laughter to be found), she’s still troubled, gradually in the first season of six seasons, by the sudden and shocking loss of her closest friend. It’s a dark river flowing through the season that, like in real life, floods at unpredictable moments.
3. 30 Rock
This surreal comedy, produced by and starring Tina Fey, was inspired by her experiences as the editor-in-chief of Saturday Night Live, and ran for seven seasons, received an unprecedented 103 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and received 16 times over the course of her career.
The series follows the showrunner of a sketch comedy series who has been forced to juggle the conflicting desires of her brash network boss, narcissistic stars, and emotional writers as she struggles to keep her show on the air and succeeds. Along with Fey, the outstanding cast of the series featured Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, and Judah Friedlander, among other familiar faces.
Veep is currently the funniest TV show. Belly laughs are abundant during the show’s five seasons and continue, as Julia Louis-Dreyfus puts in a spectacularly profane performance as a far-too-maligned vice president who has been forced to face the banality of day-to-day jobs as the second in command.
Showrunner Armando Iannucci’s (In the Loop) political commentary is brilliantly incisive, and the show’s team is a murderer’s line of comic talent, nailing profanity-laden liners and tirades with ease and accuracy. Minute for minute, Veep is giving you the most laughter of any TV show right now, so do yourself a favor and catch up on this gem.
5. Curb Your Enthusiasm
Larry David is a master of comedy. It’s clear too much. Who else could have created Seinfeld but a guy with superior comic skill? Yet he’s still a surprisingly consistent comedy performer. Curb Your passion is the ideal platform for the talents of David. He poses as himself: the most needlessly unhappy guy in the world.
The Larry David in Curb Your Excitement has a job in a profession that he enjoys, more money than he knows what to do with, and a stunning, patient girlfriend. Today, he sees life itself as more of an affliction than a blessing. It’s a beautiful, grim, tragic comedy that never stalls after eight seasons.
6. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The fans of Gilmore Girls will recognize the familiar pattern and manic pace of the production of Sherman-Palladino, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will not disappoint. The pilot is a high-energy retro romp that centers on the housewife of Upper West Side and her willing comedian partner. It’s clear from the beginning that Mrs. Maisel, a.k.a. Midge (Brosnahan), is the beauty and brain behind her husband’s comic dreams, even carrying brisket down to the club to persuade the organizer to give him a decent spot when taking notes on his best ideas (which, it turned out, he stole). But after giving everything to her husband and his dream (with success when it comes to just about everything), the lout tries to unceremoniously abandon her and her two (rarely seen) daughters, which sends the sardonic Midge down and down into an unlikely career as a real comedian in the 1960s.
In 2033, individuals who are near death may be “uploaded” to virtual reality after their decision. These VRs are operated by six tech companies, creating a new kind of business rivalry for human death. As Los Angeles party boy Nathan’s (Robbie Amell) self-driving vehicle crashes, his girlfriend uploads him to the glamorous digital Lakeview afterlife. There, he encounters Nora, a customer service agent for Lakeview, who sails Nathan to his version of Paradise. The series follows their bond as Nathan becomes accustomed to life away from his loved ones, while Nora balances her relationship with the fictional Nathan with her real-life financial and personal challenges.
8. Good Omens
This six-part series, co-produced by BBC Studios and Amazon Studios, adapts a fantasy novel of the same name by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The series follows an angel and a devil played by Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex) and David Tennant (Doctor Who), respectively, whose pleasant existence on Earth is endangered by the eventual Apocalypse. The two must combine together to avert the Ascension of the Antichrist and the Conflict between Heaven and Hell.
The outstanding cast of the series is packed with Jon Hamm, Michael McKean, Miranda Richardson, Adria Arjona, Nick Offerman, Jack Whitehall, among other familiar faces. Like the novel that influenced it, the series is filled with surreal, irreverent comedy that philtres human history and biblical myths through its clever prism.
Forever is the initial Amazon sitcom starring SNL beloveds Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph. At the time of its debut, Amazon and show creator Alan Yang were suspiciously cagey about the specifics of the storyline. What they will say is that Armisen and Rudolph play a disappointed married couple longing for more, and a fateful ski trip might change all that.
Suffice it to add, Forever provides far more than the initial concept, adding a magical aspect the justifies its one-word title. Forever joins a growing roster of comedies that both aim to make us laugh and acknowledge some of the harder topics.
10. The Tick
People who watched Fox in the early 2000s may have faint memories of a short-lived superhero comedy named The Tick (based on a comic of the same name), in which a blue-colored superhero played by unmistakable Patrick Warburton battled with supervillains and uncomfortable circumstances. Amazon’s The Tick is a fresh interpretation of the franchise, with no Warburton in sight (he was almost as disappointed as we were), but it retains the surreal, joyful sense of humor of the comic.