7 Addictive TV Shows That'll Get You Hooked On Amazon Prime If You Aren't Already
Netflix gets all the glory. Hulu grabs its fair share. However, there’s another streaming service that may be more deserving of your attention than either one. For years now, Amazon Studios has been churning out worthy original content, even if you’ve never noticed. Lost among the free deliveries and other benefits of your Prime membership, Amazon has content to rival Netflix and then some. If you’ve been skeptical to try out an Amazon series, or never noticed them before, this article is for you. Don’t miss these great shows:
1. Catastrophe (2015, three seasons)
Starring: Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan
The funniest show on Amazon is this romantic comedy series. Set in London where an American businessman has a one-night stand with an Irish schoolteacher, the series spins into dramatic territory when she winds up pregnant. Subplots involving family members and good friends add to the funny, but the show is all about Delaney and Horgan as they verbally spar to the most explicit and hilarious ends of the spectrum. You’ll cry laughing at the great writing and fall in love with the struggling new couple.
2. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017, one season)
Starring: Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Zegen, Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub
Another exquisitely written series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel centers around a 1950’s housewife who moonlights as a stand-up comic at Greenwich Village’s famous Gaslight Cafe. She follows the trail of her husband, a talentless comic himself, and soon surpasses him. He has an affair, leaves her, and Midge (Brosnahan) is left on her own to figure things out. How she copes by weaving her own life story into her act is a thing of beauty. Plus, Tony Shaloub has a scene-stealing role as Midge’s always-pissed off father.
3. Transparent (2014, four seasons)
Starring: Jeffrey Tambor, Gaby Hoffmann, Jay Duplass, Amy Landecker, Judith Light, Kathryn Hahn
Created by Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under, The United States of Tara), and inspired by her relationship with her own transgender father, Transparent was Amazon’s first marquee TV series. Following the misadventures of the Pfefferman clan, the show begins with family patriarch Mort (Tambor) revealing his wish to become a woman to his traditionally Jewish ex-wife, son, and two daughters. But the show is about much more than modern gender politics. It’s about family, and the authentic detail with which Soloway and her team of fantastic writers (and directors) of all genders craft every episode. It’s wickedly funny, enormously sad, and honest to the point of screaming. And, as good as the writing is, the cast is even better.
4. Fleabag (2016, one season)
Starring: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Technically a BBC series that was co-produced by Amazon, we’re counting Fleabag all the same. Based on her own one-woman play, Fleabag stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the unnamed main character, a young woman who uses the camera for therapy while leading a tragedy-fueled sex romp existence. Often hilarious and sometimes sad, Fleabag is one of the filthiest, funniest shows you’ll ever see —think Ferris Bueller meets Californication.
5. I Love Dick (2017, one season)
Starring: Kathryn Hahn, Griffin Dunne, Kevin Bacon
Based on Chris Kraus’ amazing feminist novel, I Love Dick is much more than an eye-catching title. The great (and tireless) Kathryn Hahn stars as Kraus, a writer who accompanies her older husband (Dunne) to Marfa, Texas. There, she finds a bustling community of artists that includes the legendary Dick (Bacon), a renowned sculptor who becomes her obsession. The show, like the book, flips the time-worn trope of man-chases-woman on its head. On I Love Dick, it’s the women doing the chasing.
6. Sneaky Pete (2017, two seasons)
Starring: Giovanni Ribisi, Marin Ireland, Margo Martindale, Bryan Cranston
Created and produced by Bryan Cranston, Sneaky Pete is a surprisingly effective crime drama full of great performances. It reminds me of Justified in its toned-down vision of a dramatic series (and use of Margo Martindale). It’s a crime show that takes place in the sunlight and boasts some very funny moments to cut the tension. Ribisi plays the main character, an ex-con who assumes the identity of his cellmate and returns to the family he “left behind as a kid.”
7. Red Oaks (2015, three seasons)
Starring: Craig Roberts, Alexandra Socha, Oliver Cooper, Ennis Esmer, Gage Golightly, Jennifer Grey, Paul Reiser, Richard Kind
Set in 1985 at an upscale country club, Red Oaks is a TV version of Caddyshack for a new generation. Starring Roberts as David, a tennis pro trying to find a version of himself he likes, the show is full of rich a-holes and the working class kids who hate them. Pranks, casual sex, and awkward encounters drive the comedy while the main storyline follows David’s romances as he tries to get over his old aerobics instructor girlfriend and move on with the club president’s daughter (very Caddyshack).
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