Top 9 Best TV Shows on Amazon Prime Right Now
|The Americans. Photo: Amazon|
Created by: Joseph Weisberg
Stars: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Holly Taylor
Original Network: FX, 2013-2018
Over the course its six-season run, The Americans completed a remarkable evolution, beginning and ending as a blisteringly suspenseful spy drama. Of course, by the time Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields’ masterwork reaches its devastating conclusion, with deep-cover KGB agents Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (the magnificent Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell) surveying what they’ve lost, and gained, in the process, The Americans is about so much more than safe houses and dead drops. It is at once a parable of family, faith, and nation; a pitch-dark examination of the Cold War’s moral calculus; a coming-of-age tale (twice over); a wrenching depiction of friendships formed and betrayed; and an indelible portrait of an American marriage. FX’s pet project was worth every ounce of patience it demanded: We may well remember it as the last great drama of the Golden Age of Television. —Matt Brennan
Created by: Tina Fey
Stars: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit, Judah Friedlander
Original Network: NBC
One of the best network comedies of all time has moved over to Amazon Prime so you can relive the glory days of Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy, and the rest of the gang at 30 Rockefeller Center. Some of the humor is a bit dated now, but most of it still works, and it’s hard to find a better comedy ensemble in recent memory.
The Night Manager
Created by: Stephen Garrett
Stars: Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Debicki, Olivia Coleman, Alistair Petrie
Original Network: AMC
John le Carre stories are usually morose or opaque, as spies are seen either trapped in dark and cold worlds or dealing with the monotony that makes up most of their days (witness Gary Oldman’s slow, emotionless swim to fill the days of his “retirement” in the 2011 film adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). But not The Night Manager. In this visually stunning and exceptionally compelling miniseries, we have bona fide movie star Tom Hiddleston looking dashing in linen suits—or sometimes nothing at all—as he goes undercover in the world of yachts and fresh lobster salads to take down Hugh Laurie’s Dickie Roper, the worst man in the world—the type of person who learns of a sarin gas attack and thinks “business opportunity.”
But all the glitz and double-crossing isn’t all that sells this product. Attention must also be given to the supporting cast. Tom Hollander’s Lance “Corky” Corkoran could have been your typical nefarious character who’s onto our hero, but instead he’s an addict in desperate need of Roper’s attention, which is all the more delicious. The fact that Olivia Coleman was very pregnant while shooting made the obsession that her character, agent Angela Burr, had with taking down Roper much more real and dangerous. Most impressive of all might be breakout star Elizabeth Debicki, who played the beautiful, if dead-eyed, Jed Marshall who knows she made a deal with the devil and doesn’t quite know how to get out of that web. —Whitney Friedlander
Created by: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Stars: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sian Clifford, Jenny Rainsford, Bill Paterson, Olivia Coleman, Brett Gelman, Hugh Skinner
Original Network: Amazon
The best original series yet produced by Amazon Prime, 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.
Mozart In the Jungle
Created by: Paul Weitz, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman
Stars: Gael Garcia Bernal, Lola Kirke, Bernadette Peters, Malcolm McDowell
Original Network: Amazon, 2014-2018
Based on the salacious memoir by noted oboist Blair Tindall about the down-and-dirty world of the New York classical music scene, Mozart in the Jungle plays like a rock-and-roll tell-all where the players are equipped with violins and woodwinds instead of guitars and drums. Acting as Tindall’s stand-in is Hailey Rutledge (Lola Kirke) an ambitious, if reserved oboist who finds herself thrust into the high-stakes, cutthroat world of a major New York symphony orchestra in the months before its season-opening performance. Kirke’s charming and grounded protagonist provides a nice anchor when paired with the show’s more wonderfully outlandish characters, which includes turns from Saffron Burrows, Bernadette Peters, and Malcolm McDowell.
The series’ true star, however, is Gael Garcia Bernal as the ensemble’s eccentric and flamboyant new conductor who struggles to reconcile his experimental tendencies with the symphony’s more rigid, conservative structure. Even as it gathers up more emotional depth and complexity throughout its short run, Mozart in the Jungle is the kind of fun and vibrant experience that one would have no trouble bingeing in a day or two. —Mark Rozeman
Created by: Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan
Stars: Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan
Original Network: Amazon
If you’re into your sitcoms, then Catastrophe could be a good one for you. This British television sitcom was broadcast on January 19, 2015, on Channel 4, and was written by Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney. It’s about a couple that decides to get together after a one night stand leads to an unexpected pregnancy. Overall, the series received a great response from critics and went on to be nominated for several industry awards, including a Peabody Award and a Primetime Emmy Award. It currently has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon Prime, based on almost 35,000 customer reviews.
Created by: Eli Horowitz, Micah Bloomberg
Stars: Julia Roberts, Bobby Cannavale, Stephan James, Shea Whigham
Original Network: Amazon Prime
Julia Roberts and Stephan James headline one of the most daring original shows on Amazon 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. Janelle Monae, Hong Chau, and Chris Cooper star in season two.
Created by: Neil Gaiman
Stars: Michael Sheen, David Tennant
Original Network: Amazon Prime
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.
Created by: Bryan Fuller
Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Hugh Dancy
Original Network: NBC
Hannibal is an American physiological horror-thriller television series that’s based on elements and characters from Thomas Harris’s novels, Red Dragon, Hannibal, and Hannibal Rising. The series follows the relationship between FBI special investigator, Will Graham, and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The first series was a great success, receiving critical acclaim and a Saturn Award for Best Network Television Series. Amazon Prime Video awarded season one 4.5 stars out of five, based on 10,196 reviews. The rest of the seasons on Amazon Prime have also received excellent reviews.
|Amazon Prime has a growing catalogue of original series, including shows that have already won Emmys, and it has the most robust catalogue of HBO hits of any streaming service. You’ll find a healthy sampling of both in this regularly updated feature, along with some network-TV classics you may have forgotten or missed the first time around. Happy streaming.|
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