The best TV shows on Prime Video

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Hoping to lure lucrative eyeballs away from the competition with exclusive content, streaming services are throwing squillions of dollars at in-house productions. Amazon’s Prime Video is no slouch in this department.

Here’s our pick of the best Prime Video TV shows currently streaming in Australia.

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The Pursuit of Love

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
1Romantic comedy/drama2021Stream it

Based on the 1945 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love stars Lily James as Linda Radlett and Emily Beecham as Fanny Logan, two cousins and best friends on the brink of adulthood, obsessed with finding the ideal husband and impatiently waiting for their lives to begin. When they finally come of age, their friendship is put to the test when Fanny settles into a comfortable life of domesticity and motherhood while Linda shuns tradition and follows her heart.

At just three episodes long, you can easily binge this miniseries in a weekend – and you should, if not for the killer soundtrack alone.

Invincible

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
1Animated/superhero2021Stream it

One of the newest Amazon Prime originals, Invincible is quickly becoming a hit with critics and audiences alike. The brainchild of The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman (and based on his comic book series of the same name), Invincible introduces us to teenager Mark Grayson. On the surface, he looks like any other 17-year-old. Oh, except his dad is the most powerful superhero on the planet. As he begins to develop his own powers, Mark (voiced by The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun) quickly discovers the harsh realities of being a superhero.

If the story alone isn’t grabbing you, just wait till you hear the voice cast. Yeun is joined by several Walking Dead veterans (including Lauren Cohan and Lennie James), along with the always great J. K. Simmons and Sandra Oh, plus Zachary Quinto, Seth Rogen, Mark Hamill, Jon Hamm and even Reginald VelJohnson. Now that’s what we call star-studded.

Tell Me Your Secrets

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
1Thriller2021Stream it

Produced by the team behind Big Little Lies and The Undoing, Amazon’s hottest new series certainly lives up to the standards set by its predecessors, both in terms of production quality and absolutely wild storylines.

Starring Lily Rabe, Tell Me Your Secrets follows three characters, each with their own set of skeletons in the closet: Emma (Rabe) is the former girlfriend of a serial killer, placed into witness protection in Louisiana. Mary (played by Amy Brenneman) is a grieving mother desperately searching for her missing daughter, believed to have been kidnapped by Emma’s ex. Finally, we have John (Hamish Linklater), a former serial rapist obsessed with redeeming himself. As each one reaches their breaking point, the line between victim and assailant become increasingly blurry.

The Wilds

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
1Drama2020Stream it

Part Lord of the Flies, part LostThe Wilds is one of the best new series to come out of the trash fire that was 2020. It follows a group of teenage girls – all from vastly different backgrounds – who find themselves stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes on route to a young women’s empowerment retreat in Hawaii. However, what the ladies don’t know is that the crash was completely orchestrated, and they’ve been unwittingly pulled into a social experiment.

The Wilds has received rave reviews and has already been renewed for a second season, so watch this space.

Truth Seekers

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
1Comedy/Horror2020Stream it

When Simon Pegg and Nick Frost get together, you know it’s going to be magic. The latest project starring the Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead duo is Truth Seekers, a comedy-horror series that follows Gus (Frost), broadband installer by day, ghost-hunting YouTuber by night. However, when he and his two unlikely sidekicks start noticing a spike in paranormal activity, they soon uncover a terrifying conspiracy that threatens to end humanity. You know, normal stuff.

The Pack

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
1Reality2020Stream it

As someone who believes dogs are the most precious beings on the earth and must be protected at all costs, I may be a little biased with this pick. But if you’re looking for something that’s both easy to watch and straight-up adorable, The Pack is pretty hard to beat.

Hosted by US skiing champ Lindsey Vonn (and her pooch Lucy), The Pack pits 12 doggo-human duos against one another in a series of challenges all over the world, from Mexico City to Paris. Basically, it’s The Amazing Race but with dogs, which means it’s 10,000 times better than The Amazing Race.

Little Fires Everywhere

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
1Drama2020Stream it

Based on Celeste Ng’s New York Times bestseller of the same name, Little Fires Everywhere stars Reese Witherspoon as a picture-perfect mother of a picture-perfect teenage daughter, both of whom find their lives changed forever when an enigmatic artist (Kerry Washington) and her daughter move in to their neighbourhood.

Set in the Cleveland, Ohio suburb of Shaker Heights in the 1990s, this character-driven drama is one of those shows that’s so addicting, you’ll probably binge it in a single weekend just to find out what happens next.

Upload

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
1Sci-fi/comedy2020Stream it

From the writer of some of our favourite episodes of The SimpsonsParks and Recreation, and The Office comes Greg Daniels’ new futuristic comedy, Upload.

In 2033, humans have the ability to ‘upload’ their consciousness into the virtual afterlife of their choosing. When computer programmer Nathan dies at the age of 27, he’s uploaded to the ultra-expensive utopian Lake View resort, but quickly realises ‘heaven’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Still under the thumb of his still-alive girlfriend, Nathan is torn as he starts becoming close to his living customer service rep, Nora.

Homecoming

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
2Drama2018Stream it

Prime Video’s Homecoming was adapted from a radio-drama type podcast. We follow Julia Roberts as Heidi Bergman, a social worker assigned to work at the mysterious Homecoming Transitional Support Center. Homecoming is split into two timelines. The present timeline follows Heidi’s efforts at Homecoming, assisting soldiers transition back into civilian life. But in the future, we meet a Heidi who has seemingly repressed all memory of working at Homecoming. Slowly over the first season, we learn more about the events that took place at the Support Center, what happened to the soldiers prior to returning, and what the Homecoming center’s true intentions were all along.

It’s a thrilling puzzle to piece together that’s made all the more watchable thanks to its magnetic main cast: Julia Roberts, Bobby Cannavale, Stephan James, Shea Wigham and Sissy Spacek.

Season 2 of Homecoming released in 2020, with an all-new mystery starring Janelle Monáe .

The Expanse

The best sci-fi on Prime Video

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
5Science-fiction2015Stream it

Based on the hit novels by James S.A. Corey, The Expanse is, not to mince words, the best science fiction on television. When humanity began colonising space it didn’t leave its bad habits behind. The fragile peacekeeping the Solar System’s three largest powers – Earth, Mars, and “The Belt” – from all-out war is at risk of collapsing with the discovery of a mysterious entity, possibly alien of origin.

Framed as a noir tale that follows a detective searching for a runaway child, this smaller mystery serves as our way into the larger conflict. Essential viewing for space opera buffs.

The Boys

The best action series on Prime Video

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
2Drama/Sci-fi2019Stream it

Why would superheroes, gods among mere mortals, care about the lives of average, everyday citizens? The Boys posits that they wouldn’t.

Set in a world where superpowers are common but dying uncles imparting wisdom like “with great power comes great responsibility” are all too rare, fame, sex, and money motivates the caped crusaders of this world.

It’s gruesome and nihilistic, but it’s also an interesting critique of the exploding superhero genre and the billion-dollar industries driving it.

Framed as a noir tale that follows a detective searching for a runaway child, this smaller mystery serves as our way into the larger conflict. Essential viewing for space opera buffs.

Fleabag

The best drama series on Prime Video

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
2Drama2016Stream it

Following the self-destructive exploits of a troubled but (extremely) liberated London woman coping with recent trauma, Fleabag is one of the funniest shows on television. Based on an Edinburgh Fringe Festival performance by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is hilarious in the title role, it’s a fast-paced, bleakly comedic examination of modern life, grief, sex, and just generally not being at your best.

In the first episode alone Fleabag accidentally flashes a bank employee she’s trying to secure a loan from, steals a sculpture from her wicked step-mum, and gets dumped by a boyfriend after she’s caught masturbating to newsreel footage of Barack Obama. It’s a wild ride.

The Grand Tour

The best reality series on Prime Video

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
4Reality2017Stream it

After a public spat with former network the BBC, the rights to Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond’s four-wheeled shenanigans were promptly snapped up by Amazon.

The Grand Tour is the result.

It’s essentially Top Gear just without the legal right to call itself that (I would have called it Not Gear). Either way, petrol heads will guzzle it up. Expect fast cars, beautiful scenery from all across the globe, and an abundance of natural chemistry between the long-time co-hosts.

The Man in the High Castle

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
4Drama2016Stream it

It’s 1962. The Allies lost the Second World War. The USA has been divided between the Axis Powers; Japan rules the west from San Francisco, the Nazis the east from New York City, with a neutral zone buffer running through the middle of the former nation. Resistance is brutally quashed and xenophobia and racism are enshrined as official policy.

Based (loosely, we might add) on the classic novel by Phillip K Dick, proceedings get interesting when mysterious footage emerges of what appears to be an alternative reality – one in which the Allies were victorious in WWII. Tense, well characterised, and beautifully shot.

American Gods

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
3Fantasy2017Stream it

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods won both the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards upon the novel’s release. Blending magical realism, fantasy, and mythology, the Starz adaptation is a faithful retelling of some extremely weird source material.

Beginning on the day of his release from jail, it follows ex-con Shadow Moon and his gradual entanglement in a supernatural power struggle between the Old Gods and the upstart New Gods.

Though the second and third seasons don’t reach the same heights as the first, it’s uniformly gorgeous, with some of the most creative imagery on TV, and Ian McShane is magnetic as the meddling Mr. Wednesday.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The best comedy on Prime Video

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
3Comedy2017Stream it

While the premise might not sound riveting – a 1950s New York housewife tries her hand at stand up comedy after her husband leaves for his young, dumb secretary – the writing and performances are never less than.

Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards) is a revelation as Miriam “Midge” Maisel, the quick-witted, sassy, strong, mesmerising woman at the show’s heart – someone who never lets a 1950s America steeped in patriarchal tradition extinguish her spark.

Good Omens

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
1Fantasy-comedy2019Stream it

Good Omens, the second Neil Gaiman adaptation on this list, manages to turn one of the least funny topics imaginable, Armageddon, into a farcical, witty black comedy.

Against the orders of their respective bosses, the demon Crowley (David Tennant) and angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) have become rather attached to life on Earth – so much so they set about sabotaging the apocalypse, delaying the inevitable by, among other things, trying to raise the Antichrist to be a decent fellow.

The banter between the two leads is worth the price of admission alone, and a great supporting cast including John Hamm, Frances McDormand, and Daniel Mays seals the deal.

Bosch

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
6Crime-drama2015Stream it

Few shows on streaming services make it past a second or third season. The sixth season of Bosch is currently in production, which should tell you all you need to know about how popular this police procedural has been for Amazon.

Based on Michael Connolly’s pulpy novels, it’s a slow burn carried by its noire tinges and Titus Welliver’s portrayal of Harry Bosch, an LAPD detective that doesn’t always play by the rules. It sounds clichéd, and in many ways it is, but by god, it gets results, chief!

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

SeasonsGenreFirst AiredWatch on Prime
2Drama-thriller2018Stream it

At the risk of it sounding like literally everything on Prime Video is adapted from a novel…. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is, well, you know. Over the years, Jack Ryan has been played by a glut of Hollywood A-listers: Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine, and Ben Affleck. Here, John Krasinski (“Hey it’s that guy from the American version of The Office!“) gives the character a fresh, likeable, everyman feel. He might seem like an unusual choice on paper, but he’s clearly comfortable in the role and carries the show through its explosions and sometimes-questionable ruminations on the War on Terror.

It’s not brilliant by any means, but if you let it get its hooks in you’ll want to see how it all unravels.

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