Amazon Prime Video: 31 of the best TV shows to watch tonight – CNET

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Walter Presents

Transparent’s unique story follows the Pfefferman siblings who discover their dad is transitioning into a woman named Maura. Other aspects of the Pfeffermans’ lives, including a sour marriage and a disappointing child, give this tightly scripted comedy-drama a relatable side. Poignant and ambitious, Transparent is a show to look out for.
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Grab your blanket and a cup of tea for this sweet, cosy viewing. Modern Love is based on real-life personal essays about love from the New York Times column of the same name. These stories are delicately brought to life for the screen by a starry cast, including Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel and, in season 2, Minnie Driver and Kit Harington, among many more. Some stories won’t be tied up with a neat bow, and some will take you to unexpected places. The overall tone is feel good without being overly saccharine, and it might just stir your belief in the magic of true love.

Amazon’s first original young adult offering is an intriguing combination of Lost and the Breakfast Club — and it works. Crucially, the cast of characters who find themselves stranded on a deserted island are all teenage girls. To them, that makes life even more excruciating. Each has a very different background — from spoiled rich girl to Native American — but they have to put aside their differences to survive, learning a thing or two about themselves on the way. Things get even more dark and thrilling when Rachel Griffiths’ Gretchen Klein comes into the picture as the head of the secretive Dawn of Eve program.

Best Amazon Prime Video Original series

Romance

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Drama

The Man in the High Castle imagines an alternate history where the Axis powers (Rome-Berlin-Tokyo) win World War II. Based on a Philip K. Dick novel, the series follows characters in the ’60s who live in a parallel universe, where Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan control the US. But there’s impossible newsreel footage surfacing of a world where Germany and Japan lose the war, causing some to rebel. To really hammer home its dystopia credentials, The Man in the High Castle is steered by producer Ridley Scott. Fully realized and with a focused plot, this is gripping TV.

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Con man Marius walks free from jail, only to be hunted by the gangster he once robbed. So he assumes the identity of his cell mate Pete and walks back into the lives of Pete’s estranged family, who are none the wiser. Bryan Cranston brings all the gravitas to gangster Vince in this part-drama, party-comedy. The twists and dicey situations will carry you through the addictive episodes as quickly as Pete pulls his cons.

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A sex scandal in the UK Parliament? Starring Hugh Grant and Ben Wishaw? You can thank Russell T. Davies for dramatizing this slice of late-’70s British politics. Jeremy Thorpe, a Liberal member of Parliament, wants to silence unhappy ex-lover Norman before his career ends up in tatters. Watch the murder conspiracy, big trial and media scrutiny through A Very English Scandal’s darkly funny lens.

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A coming-of-age story. College. ’80s movie references. ’80s music. Endearing characters. This gem of a show from a few years back is easy viewing in the best way possible. David Myers (Craig Roberts) is a college student who gets a gig at Red Oaks, a Jewish country club, in the summer of 1985. As he figures out where he’s going in love and life, David meets eccentric, chaotic characters who provide plentiful laughs along with warranting your emotional investment. Put Red Oaks on your list of ultimate comfort viewing.

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While The Tick was sadly canceled after two seasons, the superhero comedy will still give you a hit of fast-paced, colorful action with its tongue firmly in its cheek. Based on the comic book character, The Tick is a bulletproof hero who wears a, yep, blue tick suit. His sidekick? The meek Arthur who wears a … moth suit. Their nemesis is The Terror, a supervillain in their city’s underworld. If you want to sit back and watch pure superhero entertainment, you’ve found the right show.

Read more: The 20 best movies to watch on Amazon Prime Video | Everything you need to know to sign up to Amazon Prime Video

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If somehow the Fleabag train passed you by, it’s time to let it hit you at its full, incredible force. Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes and stars in the play-turned extraordinary comedy series. A 30-something woman who runs a cafe lives a sex-filled life with a sense of humor that hides the tragedies she hasn’t yet come to terms with. Just about word-for-word perfect, with a fourth-wall breaking device, Fleabag frequently does its best to both shock and devastate you, while being ridiculously funny.

A comedy-drama set in New York’s classical music scene, Mozart in the Jungle is as whimsical as its title suggests. Upcoming oboist Hailey meets eccentric conductor Rodrigo, who’s tasked with revitalizing the New York Symphony. Never losing you with jargon, Mozart in the Jungle charmingly reveals an edgier side to the world of strings, playing its own symphony of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.

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If you like your fashion and historical drama, The Collection aptly brings the two together. Set in a post World War II Paris, the eight-part series follows two entrepreneurial brothers who clash as they build their fashion empire. Rivalry, betrayal and Nazi occupation are the provocative elements that light a fire under this handsomely shot family drama. Note of warning, once you become hooked on the deftly layered intrigue, you’ll have to face the disappointment of no second season.

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Sublime filmmaker Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) takes on adapting Colson Whitehead’s novel The Underground Railroad into a powerful 10-episode series. Set in the southern US during the 1800s, the fictional story follows African-Americans attempting to escape from slavery via a network of hidden tracks and tunnels. Tapping magical realism and a superb cast including Thuso Mbedu and William Jackson Harper, The Underground Railroad is an emotional and chilling triumph.

Sci-fi

Not only does this horror anthology series feature Japanese folklore and explorers heading into uncharted territory, but its first chapter stars pre-Chernobyl Jared Harris. He plays the captain of Arctic explorer ships that end up stuck in the ice. On top of the harsh conditions and cabin fever, an unknown presence in the mist stalks the crew. Strung with atmospheric dread, The Terror is thrilling, prestige horror. The Terror is available on Prime Video in Australia and AMC in the US (here’s a VPN guide).

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This dark and gritty series is set in the late 1800s on the streets of Whitechapel, a place once terrorized by Jack the Ripper. Detective Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) and the police have to deal with the aftermath of the Ripper murders, which have left the area of London in an anarchic state. Fine acting, strong characters and, importantly, strong dialogue make the episodic mysteries all the more suspenseful and immersive. Five superb seasons await you (consisting of six to eight episodes each).

The Feed (2019)

Amazon Studios

The Last Tycoon (2016-2017)

Amazon Studios

The Underground Railroad (2021—)

Fantasy

Chris Raphael
The premise of Hanna, a Joe Wright action thriller from 2011, is so good Amazon fleshed it out for a TV series. Starring Esme Creed-Miles as the skilled young assassin living in the Romanian wilderness, Hanna the TV show expands the teen’s backstory and explains why the CIA’s Marissa Wiegler has an obsession with capturing her.

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Thriller

Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018)

Amazon Prime

Ripper Street (2012-2016)

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The beginning of September brings a couple of choice TV shows to Amazon Prime Video. The first is The Killing, aka Nordic Noir defined. Detective Sarah Lund becomes obsessed with a series of complex murder cases, each with political implications, in this lauded procedural. Season 1 of The Killing arrived on Wednesday.

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Comedy

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Modern Love (2019—)

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Amazon Studios

Good Omens (2019)

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Then you could try another crime drama in The Blood Pact. This Dutch series follows a man whose daughter becomes best friends with the daughter of a dangerous criminal. Oops. But then Hugo, who inconveniently works for the tax authorities, ends up befriending the criminal himself. Season 1 of The Blood Pact also arrived on Wednesday.

This gripping British series is about, yes, an informer, and the murky territory involved in coercing someone to take on the dangerous gig. Paddy Considine (who now has a gig on the Game of Thrones prequel) stars as DS Gabe Waters, a counterterrorism officer tasked with infiltrating a far-right movement in West Yorkshire. Partnered with an excellent Bel Powley (The Morning Show, The King of Staten Island) as the young and inquisitive DC Holly Morten, he attempts to bring British Pakistani Raza (Nabhaan Rizwan) on board to uncover information about a possible terrorist attack. A provocative thriller that will keep you on your toes.

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Going on a Katheryn Hahn binge after WandaVision? Marvel’s new favorite witch starred in one season of this 2016 comedy with a memorable title. Her character’s name is just as memorable: Chris Kraus, an artist and filmmaker who moves to Texas with her husband. She quickly falls in love with his fellowship sponsor, played by Kevin Bacon. Yes, Kevin Bacon is in this. The dynamic of her marriage shifts as her infatuation challenges everything in smart and provocative and adult ways. Sadly, I Love Dick didn’t score a second season, but the first is well worth your time.

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While season 2 of Homecoming didn’t quite find its feet, season 1 hit the ground running. Julia Roberts stars in this psychological thriller about an army rehabilitation facility run by questionable owners. Using an effective, mystery-building narrative that covers two timelines, Homecoming is high on tension and paranoia as it reveals what the facility’s true purpose is. Fun fact: The series uses the actual scores of movies from Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and more.

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I Love Dick (2016-2017)

Amazon Studios

Forever (2018)

Amazon rescued The Expanse from the realm of canceled TV, bringing us a fifth season with a sixth (and final season) to come. Thank goodness it did, because The Expanse is smart sci-fi with realistic characters, high production values and a dash of detective noir. Set in a future where humanity has colonized the Solar System, a conspiracy threatens to start a cold war between the largest powers. A band of antiheroes find themselves at the center. Look forward to more space western themes in the consistently excellent later seasons.

Amazon Studios
A ’50s housewife who becomes a standup comic? This brilliant series from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, is filled with sparkling performances from Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein, with dialogue to match. Set in a vibrant and changing New York, our delightful heroine moonlights as a comedian, while doing her duties as an upper class Jewish American housewife. With impressive visuals, warmth and zingers, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the full package.

Superhero

The Black Mirror vibes are strong in this British series about technology gone wrong. The Feed is set in a futuristic London where a family develops an implant that lets people livestream their lives without needing to press a button on a phone. No, absolutely nothing can go wrong with that! Some pretty impressive actors stack out the cast, including David Thewlis and Michelle Fairley. While it’s not as polished or deep-cutting as Black Mirror, it’s still worth a look — just grab your phone during the less gripping parts.

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Dutch series The Blood Pact.

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This seven-season police procedural, inspired by Michael Connelly novels, gets everything right for old-fashioned detective drama. We follow Los Angeles police detective Harry Bosch, who’s haunted by the death of his mother. While catching serial killers and keeping his family safe, he investigates her murder. Functional and no-nonsense, Bosch provides steady mystery with an equally steady lead.

Horror

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The Boys stormed Amazon last year with its ultra-violent tale of antihero vigilantes seeking revenge against the world’s most beloved superheroes. But these heroes aren’t what they seem: Their corporate overlords cover up their shady personal lives, including sexual harassment and the odd assassination. With social commentary, black comedy and pops of gore, The Boys takes a thrilling and unapologetic step away from the family-friendly genre.

Crime

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For those who aren’t a fan of cartoons, Invincible could be your converter, up there with other adult cartoons like BoJack Horseman and Rick and Morty. Based on a comic book from Robert Kirkman, the creator of the Walking Dead, Invincible follows 17-year-old Mark Grayson and his training to become a superhero just like his father, who happens to be the most powerful superhero on the planet. Episodes run long at nearly 50 minutes, connected into one big, blood-spattered story. A subversive series with a huge cast featuring Steven Yeun, Sandra Oh and J.K. Simmons, Invincible will engross you in its smart animated world.

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Red Oaks (2014-2017)