Fleabag, Mr. Robot, Homecoming, Swarm
This post is updated regularly to reflect the latest shows to leave and enter Amazon Prime. *New additions are indicated by an asterisk.
Amazon’s streaming service Prime Video has had a rocky run over its existence, sometimes failing to find an identifiable brand but also undeniably producing some breakout original hits. They rotate their catalog series more than most streaming services, and they have a few original shows that deserved a bigger audience than they found, so this regularly updated list should come in handy if you have Amazon Prime and are looking for something to watch on Jeff Bezos’s baby. Enjoy.
Length: 1 season, 7 episodes
Creator: Sarah Lambert
One of the best mini-series of 2023 stars Alycia Debnam-Carey and Sigourney Weaver in this adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name by Holly Ringland. Debnam-Carey plays the title character, a young woman who suffered severe trauma at a young age that led her to live with her grandmother (Weaver) at flower farm that operates as a woman’s shelter. Tender, incredibly well-shot, and moving, this is rich, detailed drama that avoids melodrama in favor of complex characters.
Length: 7 seasons, 68 episodes
Creator: Eric Overmyer
There are a few shows that could be called “Dad TV” in the Prime line-up, but this one is the best of the original Prime offerings that appeal to the patriarchs. We had to make room for the always-reliable Bosch, an old-fashioned detective drama with a charismatic lead performance from Titus Welliver, who transcends the stale anti-hero set-up to do something that feels grounded and subtle. The original is over, but the series continues in Bosch: Legacy too.
Length: 1 season, 10 episodes
Creators: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
The hit novel of the same name by Taylor Jenkins Reid became one of Prime’s biggest hits in early 2023, earning raves and loyal fans. Sam Claflin and Riley Keough star in a drama that’s loosely based on the true story of Fleetwood Mac, complete with a tumultuous relationship at the center of an influential band in the ‘70s. It’s a sharp, character-driven drama that gets at the tough intersection of art and relationships.
Length: 1 season, 6 episodes
Creator: Alice Birch
Rachel Weisz gives two stunning performances in one show in this update to the David Cronenberg film of the same name (which was loosely based on a 1977 novel called Twins). Flipping the genders of the twin gynecologists allows this Dead Ringers to unpack new ideas about bodily autonomy, motherhood, and sisterly rivalry. Directed by the great Sean Durkin, this is riveting, gruesome television that is easily among the top tier of original programming that Amazon Prime has ever produced.
Length: 1 season, 6 episodes
Creator: Hugo Blick
Set in the late 19th century, this revisionist Western should appeal to anyone who likes their history a bit left-of-center. With a tone that recalls Quentin Tarantino, The English tells the tale of a grieving mother (Emily Blunt) and a member of the Pawnee Nation (Chaske Spencer) who are forced into an allyship to survive a brutal journey. It’s vicious, riveting television.
Length: 3 seasons, 17 episodes
Creator: Allan Cubitt
Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan star in this Irish crime drama as a detective and serial killer, respectively. That’s really all you need to know because the brilliance of this series is in how carefully and cleverly it unfolds. As of now, it’s only 17 episodes, so you can watch it all relatively quickly, and then keep hoping that creator Allan Cubitt fulfills his promise to return to this story eventually.
Length: 5 seasons, 76 episodes
Creators: Peter Berg, Jason Katims
“Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose.” TV hasn’t really been the same without Coach Taylor, the leading man of the NBC hit that aired for years. There’s a remarkable array of quality highs and lows in that five-year run, but when this story of smalltown life and sports-centric communities was at its best, it was very, very good. Progressive in the way it handled the lives of young people without talking down to them, it feels like a reappreciation of Friday Night Lights as one of network TV’s best modern shows is right around the corner.
Length: 2 seasons, 17 episodes
Creators: Eli Horowitz, Micah Bloomberg
The Janelle Monae-led second season was a bit of a stumble but the first remains a masterpiece. Julia Roberts and Stephan James headline one of the most daring original shows on Prime, this thriller/drama about memory, conspiracy and connection. Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot) directs this adaptation of the hit podcast about a social worker played brilliantly by Roberts. She’s the head of a project designed to help soldiers reacclimate to civilian life, but there’s something suspicious going on. Bobby Cannavale and Shea Whigham give wonderful supporting performances as well.
Length: 8 seasons, 177 episodes
Creator: David Shore
No offense to the ensemble of this FOX hit, which was pretty solid, but House is one of those network shows that lived and died on the strength of its charismatic leading man. In this case, it was Hugh Laurie, as Dr. House, the smartest man in any room and someone not afraid to wield his intelligence like a weapon. At a time when it felt like there were no new stories to tell in the medical drama subgenre, House proved that theory wrong.
Length: 4 seasons, 45 episodes
Creator: Sam Esmail
For a year there, USA’s Mr. Robot was one of the most popular shows on TV. That first season of Sam Esmail’s mind-fuck of a show is still something special, anchored by great performances from Rami Malek and Christian Slater, and propelled by a buzz-worthy twist. The other seasons didn’t quite live up to the first, but Esmail and company are played with some interesting ideas, and there’s no denying that this show doesn’t look like anything else on TV.
Length: 12 seasons, 261 episodes
Creators: Stephen Bochco, David Milch
Does anyone else miss the days when network TV produced dramas as reliably well-written and performed as Stephen Bochco’s hit? Sure, the 12 seasons of this ABC cop drama fluctuated wildly in terms of quality, but when NYPD Blue was good, it was among the best shows on television. And it rarely gets the credit it deserves for reshaping the form in terms of what was allowed for adult audiences. TV wouldn’t be the same today without it.
Creator: Nick Santora
Sometimes you just want a good action show and Reacher gets the job done. Based on the series of books by Lee Child about a tough guy who ends up fighting crime even when he doesn’t really want to, this surprising smash hit for Prime features an underrated leading man turn from Alan Ritchson. He knows how to play old-fashioned action star like the ones that people fell in love with in the ‘80s and ‘90s. It’s high-quality escapism that has already been renewed for a second season. It feels like the kind of thing that could play on Prime for years.
Length: 1 season, 7 episodes
Creators: Janine Nabers, Donald Glover
Swarm sparked some controversy in 2023 after its premiere, but it would be nice if more shows provoked such impassioned conversation. Whatever one wants to say about the plotting on this show, everyone agrees that Dominique Fishback is brilliant as a young woman whose obsession with her favorite pop star crosses over into violence. A blunt Beyoncé parallel, this is a dark vision of fandom gone very wrong.
Length: 2 seasons, 16 episodes
Creators: Kate Purdy, Raphael Bob-Waksberg
The daring Rosa Salazar stars in this animated series that uses rotoscoping to tell its story, giving it a daring look like Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly or Waking Life. Salazar plays Alma, a woman who has a loose relationship with time after a car accident. Unlike anything else on TV, this is the kind of show that one wishes streaming services would produce more often — genuinely risky.
Length: 2 seasons, 18 episodes
Creator: Sarah Streicher
A sort-of “YA Lost” and an interesting predecessor to the superior Yellowjackets, this show chronicles a group of teenage girls whose plane crash lands on an island in the middle of the ocean. As they struggle to survive, they discover that they didn’t land there by accident. Rachel Griffiths of Six Feet Under plays a nefarious puppet master, but it’s the young cast that makes it work. The second season kind of blew up the strengths of the first, leading to the show’s cancellation, but the premiere season is still worth a look.
Length: 4 seasons, 24 episodes
Creators: Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan
Created by and starring Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, this British hit is one of the few relationship comedies that feels genuine. Horgan and Delaney are charming and believable as a couple who end up parents after they have a fling while he is on a business trip. A nominee for BAFTA, Peabody, and Emmy Awards, Catastrophe is one of the most acclaimed comedies of the ‘10s.
Length: 2 seasons, 12 episodes
Creator: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Arguably the best original series yet produced by Amazon, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s comedy went from good to great in its masterful second season, one of the best things you can watch on any service or any network. PWB plays the title character, a modern woman looking for stability in a tumultuous life, but that makes Fleabag sound like just another generic comedy when it’s anything but. Just see for yourself.
Creators: Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky
Sometimes it just takes a great idea. Two of the key voices behind The Office had one when they created this amazing smash hit that started life on the almost-unknown Freevee (which used to be IMDB TV before being integrated into Prime). Ronald Gladden is the only non-actor in this hoax show that sends the average guy to serve on an unforgettable jury. Ronald’s general kindness and agreeability are key to the show’s success, as is James Marsden’s willingness to poke fun at himself enough to earn his first Emmy nomination.
Length: 5 seasons, 43 episodes
Creator: Amy Sherman-Palladino
Amazon’s Emmy winner for Best Original Comedy Series will come to an end in 2023 after a very beloved 5-season run. Rachel Brosnahan gives a delightful, charming performance as the title character, an unexpectedly great stand-up comedian, but it’s the ensemble that really elevates this show, including Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub, and Marin Hinkle – all Emmy worthy in their own rights.
Length: 5 seasons, 97 episodes
Creator: Paul Simms
Way ahead of its time, this NBC sitcom predated the smart shows of the ‘00s and ‘10s that aired on the network. It features some of the smartest comedy writing of the era, but the real strength is the ensemble, including great turns from Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Maura Tierney, and Phil Hartman, who died tragically during the show’s production.
Length: 3 seasons, 30 episodes
Creators: David Shore, Bryan Cranston
Giovanni Ribisi headlines this three-season Amazon original as a man who decides to take the identity of his cellmate after being released from prison. He kind of learns the hard way that he picked the wrong guy to pretend to be. The supporting cast includes phenomenal actors like Peter Gerety, Jane Adams, Margo Martindale, and Bryan Cranston, who co-created this edgy dark comedy/thriller.
Length: 1 season, 3 episodes
Creator: Russell T. Davies
Prime Video doesn’t have as many stand-out mini-series as some of the other streaming giants, but they have one of the best in this dark comedy about one of London’s most notorious political scandals. The BBC One co-production details the saga of Jeremy Thorpe, unforgettably played by Hugh Grant, and how he tried to have his lover murdered. Ben Whishaw matches Grant in the acting department, and the direction by Stephen Frears and writing by Russell T. Davies are both award worthy,
Length: 11 seasons, 123 episodes
Creators: Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy
American Horror Story is so popular and so long-lasting that it’s basically a brand of its own. Sure, it’s not as culturally vibrant as it once was, but fans of this anthology series are loyal to the twisted visions of Ryan Murphy and his team of regular collaborators. My personal favorites are the original (rebranded as Murder House), the demented Asylum, and the underrated Cult.
Length: 3 seasons, 24 episodes
Creator: Eric Kripke
One of Prime’s biggest hits is this satire of superhero culture based on the graphic novel by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. The series stars Karl Urban as Billy Butcher, someone intent on bringing down the collection of the most famous superheroes in the world known as The Seven. The dark comedy asks the question: What if superheroes were sociopaths? The first season is a bit rocky, but ultimately satisfying, and the show only gets more interesting in subsequent seasons.
Length: 6 seasons, 62 episodes
Creators: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby
You know how when a show is canceled, and its fans rally with online petitions and angry tweets to save it? Every once in a long while, it actually works! When SyFy canceled this adaptation of James S. A. Corey’s books after three seasons, Amazon picked it up, and three more seasons ran from 2019 to 2022. Catch up with a smart sci-fi show that owes a great deal to Battlestar Galactica, Blade Runner, and some of the best of the Star Trek universe.
Length: 1 season, 6 episodes
Creator: Neil Gaiman
It took almost three decades for Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s beloved fantasy novel to be adapted to the big or small screen, after several aborted attempts to do so, but it may have been worth the wait just to have Michael Sheen and David Tennant in the shoes of the angelic Aziraphale and the demonic Crowley. They’re the main reason to watch this spotty, six-episode adaptation that ambitiously tackles the source material with clever gusto. (Note: This was a mini-series for a long time, but they’ve announced a second season is in production.)
Length: 1 season, 8 episodes
Creator: Robert Kirkman
The writer of The Walking Dead brought another of his properties to television in this daring tale of superheroes gone awry. Yes, Prime already has a show like that in The Boys, but Invincible is arguably even more risk-taking as it tells the tale of a young man whose father happens to be this world’s version of Superman, and he makes Homelander look downright cheery. With voice work from Steven Yeun and J.K. Simmons, among many other talents, this is one of the best animated shows on TV.
Length: 1 season, 8 episodes
Creators: J.D. Payne, Patrick McKay
Amazon notoriously spent an absolute fortune on this multi-season series that takes place in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. How much? Around $1 billion for five seasons. Only one season has aired, but the jury is still out as to whether or not it was worth the price-tag. The freshman year was promising but also clearly table-setting for better to stuff to come. Time will tell if that promise comes through.
Length: 4 seasons, 40 episodes
Creator: Frank Spotnitz
Now that this loose adaptation of the Philip K. Dick short story has completed its four-season run, you can sort of watch it like a 40-hour movie. So many shows hook you without any promise of a resolution, but Man in the High Castle does legitimately wrap up a lot of its loose ends while ending ambiguously enough to make Dick fans happy. And Rufus Sewell gives arguably the most underrated performance on TV of the 2010s.
Length: 1 season, 8 episodes
Creator: Brian Watkins
Josh Brolin and Imogen Poots star in this daring sci-fi/Western hybrid about an average Wyoming rancher who stumbles onto something extraordinary. He finds a mysterious black void on his property, and, well, things get weirder from there. A risk-taking, odd piece of television, a second season is currently in production.