Trying to find the best shows on Amazon Prime Video is tough. Especially considering the sheer volume of series that are now available on the streaming platform. It’s funny to look back when Amazon Prime Video first launched because there was but one question on everyone's lips: Could an online retailer that started out selling textbooks really survive stiff competition from the likes of Netflix?
As it turns out, yes. The best shows on Amazon Prime are, in many areas, even more extensive than its big name rival. As well as the overwhelming amount of exclusive content with Amazon Originals (yes, I’m obviously going to mention The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) its huge database packs in a bunch of HBO shows, that no other streaming service offers. Between those two categories, there’s plenty for you to tuck into - and that’s not even considering all the other cracking stuff that doesn’t slot into those. I know. But fear not - I’ve brought it down to the top 25. So go, get stuck in.
The show: Being a first-time parent isn’t a picnic. Especially when your partner is from another country. And you don’t really know them that well... or have indeed only met them once. Throw these factors into the pot and you get the beginnings of one of Amazon’s most seriously underseen comedies. Sharon Horgan stars as an Irish schoolteacher in London who embarks on a week-long affair with Rob Delaney’s Boston ad exec. Their efforts to stay together after they discover they’re pregnant are what drive the series into hilarity and, at times, heartache.
Why it’s worth a watch: Funny as hell, do it for ya? Horgan and Delaney, who also wrote the entire show together, make their experience relatable and humourous without resorting to silly gags. Plus, Carrie Fisher’s ongoing cameo as Delaney’s mom is divine. Her little dog Gary even cameos with her!
The show: Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail takes a well-loved podcast and turns it into a TV series. Homecoming is technically created by its podcast authors, Micah Bloomberg and Eli Horowitz, yet its got Esmail’s stamp all over it; no surprise as he directs every episode. Julia Roberts stars as Heidi Bergman, a counsellor at a facility called Homecoming who helps veterans transition back into civilian life. Or so she thinks. The show flits back and forth between Heidi’s first day on the job, to an unknown point in the future, where she’s back home with her mom, working as a waitress with a foggy memory of her time at Homecoming. But don't worry, the show's ten episodes come together like drawstrings, until the truth is finally revealed.
Why it’s worth a watch: Nabbing an A-list star like Roberts might be what draws your attention to a series like Homecoming. While this is her first dip into "event television", and she is excellent, she’s not the only element that deserves acclaim. Esmail and co. have delivered one of 2018’s best shows, that ropes in film scores from the 1970s and 1980s to add that era’s level of paranoia to Bergman’s suspenseful journey. It’s masterful. You will be on the edge of your seat the entire time.
23. Sons of Anarchy
The show: Imagine Goodfellas on bikes crossed with the drama of a soap opera and you're somewhere in the vicinity of Sons of Anarchy. Set in the dusty, fictional, California town of Charming, the show follows Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam). Vice president of notorious biker gang the Sons of Anarchy, AKA SAMCRO, the series charts his rise through the ranks, while he and his club face off against rival gangs, the cold arm of the law, and each other. Super brutal at times and with some shocking twists, you’ve seen a lot of series go to dark places, but none with such savagery as this.
Why it's worth a watch: Much like Game of Thrones there's no-one safe in this show. Absolutely love one of the main crew? Don’t get too attached, they’re likely to turn on the gang and get horrifically sliced up. In the world of SAMCRO, characters are brutally offed and their killers swiftly murdered as vengeance. What makes this such a blast to watch is to see how many characters from the pilot episode make it through to the series finale.
Read more: The 30 best Sons of Anarchy moments that will scar you for life
22. American Gods
The show: Neil Gaiman's mystical writings spring to life in FX's superb take on American Gods. The series mixes normal everyday with a big dose of the supernatural, as we follow the coolest-sounding person ever, Shadow Moon. An ex-convict struggling to cope with his wife's death, he soon meets the mysterious and charismatic Mr. Wednesday - an absolutely brilliant Ian McShane - who hires him as his bodyguard. Against what? Well, you'll have to watch. Keep an eye out for a superb cameo from GLOW’s Betty Gilpin.
Why it's worth a watch: As Stephen King fans can attest, not every adaptation of a beloved book works. But in the case of Gaiman's modern classic? It absolutely works. The mythical aspects, the character backstories, the look and feel... well, let's just say we love it. It's magic realism at its finest.
Read more: American Gods season 1 ending explained - everything you need to know after watching
21. Sneaky Pete
Region: UK, US
The show: After his release from prison Marius (Giovanni Ribisi) decides to get creative with his new-found freedom. Instead of picking up where he left off, which is at the mercy of gangster Vince (Bryan Cranston) for the $100,000 he owes, Marius opts to take over the life of his cellmate Pete who remains behind bars. Pete’s estranged family welcome “Pete” back into the fold as if nothing’s happened, and Marius starts to discover that his new clan might be a source of further strife.
Why it’s worth a watch: Its well-written scripts and fantastic performances are what have turned Sneaky Pete into one of those sneaky shows that wheedles its way into your mind and refuses to let go until you’ve watched just one more episode. This is top-notch viewing that’s a relentlessly bingeable mix of crime, comedy and drama.
The show: Another killer small-screen series featuring Timothy Olyphant, who diversifies his skill set by playing Raylan Givens. A U.S. Marshal, Givens is forced to return to his backwater Kentucky hometown after his quickdraw antics attract the attention of his superiors. Upon his arrival, things get worse when he gets embroiled with the dealings of the Crowder family, in particular his old pal, Boyd (Walton Goggins).
Why it's worth a watch: If old-school westerns and their outlaw-knows-best type of morality are your thing, then Justified is a must-see. Hell, even if they’re not, this is riveting telly! Givens has a particularly special brand of justice that makes for great viewing: doing whatever he decides at any given moment. Saddle up folks, and leave your judgement at the door.
19. Doctor Who
The show: This is the Time Lord reboot that kicked off ten-plus years ago. Throughout its run, the basic premise has remained: a new Doctor is drafted in to take over the Time Lord’s physical body, but it’s essentially the same character. Since its noughties reinvention the adventures of Doctor Who have taken on a new lease of life, with a range of new docs stepping into the TARDIS and a new wave of American fans getting in on the action. More recently, the series has broadened its horizons by ushering in Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor.
Why it's worth a watch: The brand of storytelling the show uses is no longer camp like Doc v.1, it’s tough, gritty, genre telly. This change has made it a worthy competitor for bigger sci-fi staples like Star Trek. And they use nifty techniques to explain the changing Doctors.
18. Six Feet Under
The show: One of HBO's finest achievements (it’s their best show, ever) attempts to make sense of death by chronicling the lives of a family who own and run a Pasadena funeral parlor. Just because The Fishers are forced to contemplate mortality on a daily basis, doesn't mean they're any better at coping with it. They struggle to derive meaning from death and choose to instead celebrate the joy of life. Each episode opens with a different person’s moment of death, which inspires the Fisher family’s individual journeys.
Why it's worth a watch: Aside from the fact that its last ever episode will make you BAWL, it’s a simple drama that brings to light the troubles with all struggle with, through the lens of those closest to death. The Fishers aren’t perfect, either, making them all the more relatable. Eldest son Nate (Peter Krause)'s acerbic wit is an intoxicating blend of self-affirming mantras. He'll make you laugh and break your heart.
17. American Horror Story
The show: Dark and torrid are two adjectives that could describe any season of FX's anthology series. And it's rather bleak too. Still, that's the allure of Ryan Murphy, who has a way of hooking you into the corroded corners of humanity by crafting tales of unbelievable madness. Each season begins anew, with a fresh story, location, and characters; although many of the same actors return. The most recent season - Apocalypse - unites several of the previous, and still maintains its own sense of WTF-ery.
Why it's worth a watch: Mixing up each of its seasons by throwing out new scenarios with the same cast brings a unique feeling to American Horror Story. You sense a familiarity to proceedings, as you recognise the actors, yet things are off as their new characters are likely vastly different. Simply put, it’s unlike any other horror series. It’s weird, it’s black as night, it’s baffling. This won't just give you sleepless nights, it will make your days pretty jarring too.
16. The Tick
Region: UK, US
The show: The world of do-gooders in tights gets a much-needed boost of chuckles and heart. From one-time Supernatural showrunner Bed Edlund, this fun remake of the '90s animated show stars Peter Serafinowicz as The Tick, a superhero who arrives in The City with a plan to tackle crime. He soon meets Arthur Newman, a regular joe whose own experiences with superheroes make their friendship crackle with humour.
Why it's worth a watch: Superhero saturation getting you down? The Tick knows this all too well, making fun of the caped crusader boom while still managing to make you really care about its own buffoonish, good-hearted hero. That's not to say it's all kittens and rainbows; this is a much darker show than the original.