Netflix no longer holds the monopoly on original series, Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service has come a long way since it first started offering free movies and TV shows to Prime members just over six years ago. Now following an Oscar win, the once scant catalogue has grown into an offering formidable enough to take on the likes of Hulu and Netflix. With the relatively recent inclusion of popular HBO and BBC programs, Amazon now has something to offer nearly every viewer, whether you enjoy classic horrors or offbeat comedies. So if you’re looking for a new show to binge on but aren’t quite sure which is right for you, we’ve compiled a list of favorites available now.
Starring Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a cyber security engineer, and hacker who suffers from social anxiety disorder and clinical depression. The show follows Elliot Rami as he works for a massive corporation, engages in acts of vigilante hacking. When Elliot is courted by a mysterious activist-hacker known as “Mr Robot,” he has a chance to use his skills for more than acts of petty justice. Played by Christian Slater Mr Robot has a grand plan to topple society, and Alderson could play a key role. Mr Robot is a cyber-thriller with a keen grasp of the technology it represents, but don’t mistake technical accuracy for realism; the show dives headfirst down a discovery of paranoia and espionage, with a plot that constantly challenges the viewer’s perceptions of modern life.
An original from Amazon “Transparent” is a darkly comedic story about an LA family with serious boundary issues. In this exploration of sex, memory, gender and legacy, the past and future unravel when a dramatic admission causes everyone’s secrets to spill out. Transparent follows Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor,) a transgender woman who comes out to her family. Not content to merely present a novel premise, the show explores the relationships and neuroses of Maura and her children. Transparent is the first show from a streaming service to win a Golden Globe for Best Series, which bodes well for the future of the streaming series.
American Gods is an American fantasy series based on the novel of the same name, written by Neil Gaiman and originally published in 2001. Plot-wise, the TV version, which is now streaming on Amazon Prime, stays true to the original source material. It’s a sprawling synthesis of human storytelling in the form of American folklore. When translated to television, it’s a lush, colorful, and expensive adaptation—a telling of the same story that fits the medium. Most importantly, it fits the time as well thanks to cosmetic updates that thankfully came from Gaiman himself, who worked with the show as executive producer.
Fleabag, written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, is a delightful new entry to the Amazon catalogue, and perhaps the filthiest yet. The show follows a woman known only as “Fleabag” (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), a neurotic woman juggling a failing business and disastrous personal life. Fleabag immediately conjures images of filth, and the protagonist’s problems run deeper than her name. Selfish, wanton, and a compulsive liar, she fits in with the various antiheroes that have become popular in television, often breaking the third wall to speak directly to the audience.