Once thought of as just a perk, Amazon Prime Video now offers more movies and tv shows than ever before. Most people sign-up for free shipping, but if Amazon continues to produce original shows of the caliber of Jack Ryan and The Boys, even Netflix should be concerned about losing some subscribers. Prime is cheaper, and if you pay for one or more of the add-on channels now available (most of which come with a 30-day trial), the amount of movies, tv shows, and documentaries at your fingertips is truly endless.
Amazon has become a significant player in the original content game over the past few years, and with shows like Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel receiving awards and critical acclaim, Amazon Studios has proven they can compete with the best. Here is our list of original series that make subscribing to Prime Video more than just a perk.
For a full list of movies and tv shows arriving on the streaming service in April 2020, click here.
8. The Boys
Even to a fan of the genre, the number of superhero movies and tv shows being made over the past decade has been a little exhausting, but we’ve never seen anything quite as dark and twisted as The Boys. Based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book of the same name, Amazon’s new series follows a group of vigilantes as they fight back against super-powered heroes who abuse their abilities, rather than using them for good. The series might be too violent and disturbing for some fans, but if you’re a fan of the genre, The Boys is absolutely a must-watch.
The Boys premiered in July 2019, and the second season will arrive on Prime Video sometime later this year. The dark comedy series was developed by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke and stars Karl Urban, Jack Quaid Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott, Chace Crawford, Karen Fukuhara, Tomer Kapon, and Elisabeth Shue.
7. Jack Ryan
Based on novelist Tom Clancy’s most iconic character, Amazon’s Jack Ryan series follows the career of an up-and-coming financial analyst and CIA operative Jack Ryan, played by John Krasinski. The series was created by Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland and co-stars Wendell Pierce, Abbie Cornish, Cynthia Preston, John Hoogenakker, and Noomi Rapace. The political thriller is entertaining, features terrific action sequences, and does the source material proud.
Jack Ryan premiered as an original series on Prime in 2018, and before the release of season two, Amazon ordered a third season, which will arrive on Prime on November 1, 2020. If you enjoy espionage and are looking for something new, we’d highly recommend watching this tremendous Amazon original series.
Other than having the greatest title in television history, Goliath is also a superb legal drama. Created by David E. Kelley and Jonathan Shapiro, Goliath follows a down-and-out lawyer named Billy McBride (Billy Bob Thornton), who agrees to take a case that could help him get revenge on the firm he helped establish. In search of redemption, McBride embarks on a journey that leads the disgraced lawyer down to all sorts of strange and dangerous events.
Goliath also stars Nina Arianda, Tania Raymonde, Diana Hopper, Julia Brister, and William Hurt. The third season wrapped up in October 2019, and shortly after, Amazon renewed the series for a fourth and final season, allowing showrunners (and Billy Bob) to tie up loose ends and finish things in style.
5. Carnival Row
Released in 2019, Amazon’s neo-noir fantasy series Carnival Row takes place in a magical Victorian world where humans have forbidden mythological creatures to live, love, or even fly with freedom. Created by Rene Echevarria and Travis Beacham, Carnival Row follows the dangerous love affair between detective Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom) and a fairy Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevingne). The pair soon find themselves entangled in an investigation involving a string of murders and an unimaginable monster.
Despite mixed reviews, Amazon renewed the Carnival Row for a second season in July 2019 but has yet to announced the release date. The fantasy series also stars Simon McBurney, Tamzin Merchant, David Gyasi, Andrew Gower, Karla Crome, Arty Froushan, Indira Varma, and Jared Harris.
4. Sneaky Pete
Created by David Shore and Bryan Cranston, Sneaky Pete is an underrated crime drama starring Giovanni Ribisi. The series tells the story of Marius Jospovic, a con man who adopts the identity of his former cell-mate to avoid being captured by a vicious gangster. Now posing as Pete Murphy, Jospovic reconnects and moves in with his Pete’s estranged family, only to be pulled back into a life of crime.
Sneaky Pete premiered in 2017 and ran for three seasons before being canceled in 2019. Despite the positive reviews and being considered one of the site’s best original programs, Amazon axed the show to make way for newer content. Sneaky Pete has an average Tomatometer of 86% and an average audience score of 91%.
Drawing inspiration from Michael Connelly novels City of Bones and Echo Park, Bosch is Amazon’s longest-running original series. The police procedural stars Titus Welliver as Los Angeles Police detective Harry Bosch, a former Army Special Forces operative and veteran now working in the Hollywood homicide division. The gritty and suspenseful drama made it’s debut in early 2014 and co-stars Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Lance Reddick, Sarah Clarke, and Madison Lintz.
Earlier this year, Amazon Studios announced Bosch would be coming to an end following the seventh season. Production has yet to begin, and as a result of all the recent delays, we don’t expect to see the final season anytime soon.
2. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Set during the late 1950s and early 1960s, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel tells the groundbreaking story of Miriam’ Midge’ Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), a housewife turned stand-up comedian attempting to establish herself in the world of comedy during an era when females weren’t exactly welcome. Created by the Gilmore Girls’ Amy Sherman-Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel also stars Alex Borstein, Michael Zegen, Marin Hinkle, Tony Shalhoub, Kevin Pollak, Caroline Aaron, and Jane Lynch.
The Golden Globe-winning series premiered in 2017 and features engaging and empowering characters, lots of laughs, and standout performances from Brosnahan and Borstein. Following the release of season three in late 2019, Amazon renewed the period drama for a fourth season; unfortunately, we have no idea when it will arrive.
1. The Man in the High Castle
Loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s 1962 novel of the same name, The Man in the High Castle premiered in early 2015 and is one of Amazon Studios’ first and beloved original shows. Set during an alternative, dystopian world where Germany won World War II, The Man in the High Castle follows the terrifying journey of Juliana Crain, a young woman who discovers a mysterious film that may or may not hold the key to toppling the totalitarian regimes.
Exec-produced by Ridley Scott and Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), the dystopian thriller ran for four remarkable seasons before coming to an end in November 2019. The Man in the High Castle is a well-executed and thought-provoking series that features enough twists and turns to keep you glued to your seat.