7 Amazon Prime Shows You Need to Stream Right Now, According to an Entertainment Editor
Deciding what to watch on Amazon Prime can be such a complicated process. Do I sift through the platform's top recommendations and randomly click on the first thing that grabs my attention? Do I opt for a deep-dive into lengthy critic reviews about each series? Or do I scroll endlessly through a number of options before I finally settle for yet another rerun of my favorite show?
I'll be honest, on several occasions, I've taken the easy way out by making a beeline for classic '90s content. But fortunately, my curiosity has driven me to step out of my nostalgic bubble and discover some amazing gems that I'd been missing out on, from Sneaky Pete to Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan.
Whether you're confused about which show to binge or you're simply looking to add something new to your queue, here are seven of the best shows you should stream on Amazon Prime ASAP.
At first glance, it looks like your typical, run-of-the-mill crime drama, featuring at least one detective with a mysteriously dark past. But guys, Bosch is so much more than that. Though I'm only on the first season, I'm seriously impressed with the compelling storyline and Titus Welliver's portrayal of the central character, Detective Harry Bosch.
Based on a few crime novels by Michael Connelly, the series follows Bosch, a skilled detective who works with the L.A.P.D. and doesn't play well with authority figures. Aside from solving crimes, his top priorities include raising his daughter, solving his own mother's murder and...well, doing this his way. While Welliver shines as Bosch, it's hard to ignore the talent of the rest of the cast, including Jamie Hector (Detective Jerry Edgar), Lance Reddick (Chief of Police Irvin Irving) and Amy Aquino (Lieutenant Grace Billets). Did I mention that the writing is also brilliant?
2. ‘Sneaky Pete’
If you're obsessed with shows like Imposters and Good Behavior, then Sneaky Pete will be right up your alley. Loosely based on the real life of Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston (who co-created the show), the series follows Marius Josipović, a released criminal who manages to pull off the ultimate con. After getting out of prison, Marius assumes the identity of his former cell mate (Pete Murphy) to avoid a gangster who's out for revenge. Meanwhile, Pete's real family has no idea that their relative is still behind bars.
The series puts a refreshing new twist on con artist plotlines, avoiding common cliches and balancing crime with humor. But perhaps one of the show's biggest strengths is its stellar cast, which includes Marin Ireland, Margo Martindale, Shane McRae, Libe Barer and Michael Drayer.
3. ‘Red Oaks’
Red Oaks is light-hearted, it's laugh-out-loud funny and it makes you feel like you've stepped to another decade—complete with retro clothing and '80s music. Set in New Jersey during the 1980s, the coming-of-age comedy follows the everyday life of a college student and tennis player named David Meyers, who works at a Jewish country club during his summer break. With a new romance, a stoner BFF and parents who are constantly at odds, his life is anything but simple.
It's worth noting that the series has quite a few big names in its cast, from Richard Kind and Paul Reiser to Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey. '80s babies might also appreciate the nostalgic element, but I really love that it's a feel-good story that doesn't require a lot of thinking. Give it a chance if you need to unwind.
4. ‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’
Jean-Claude Van Damme has no shame in poking fun at his own career and I absolutely love it.
In the comedy drama series, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself—the Belgian actor best known for his martial arts films. However, it's revealed that Van Damme is actually a secret agent named Jean-Claude Van Johnson, which means his entire career was actually a front for secret missions.
I know it sounds far-fetched and a bit cheesy, but guys, it is so unique and genuinely entertaining. Plus, the acting is superb and it has quite a few clever movie references.
5. ‘Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan’
I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that Jim Halpert John Krasinski is the only reason why I started to watch this show. Simply because it's actually really good.
Based on the fictional "Ryanverse" created by author Tom Clancy, this action thriller follows Dr. Jack Ryan (Krasinski), a Marine veteran and CIA analyst who basically transforms into an action hero. Expect to see all the fights, shootouts and explosions—but these are just the icing on the cake. Jack Ryan is filled with strong and engaging characters, and it actually challenges common stereotypes when it comes to terrorist groups.
Clancy fan or not, you simply have to watch.
6. ‘The Wilds’
Imagine Lost or Survivor, but with a younger cast and way more teen angst. The Wilds follows the aftermath of a devastating plane crash, where a group of teenage girls are left stranded on a deserted island. However, it turns out they didn't end up on the island by accident.
Surprisingly, it's not the mystery aspect that makes this show so addicting, but rather, it's the growth of each character and how these events shape their perspectives. Are some parts predictable? Well, yes, but not so much that it causes you to completely lose interest.
7. ‘The Expanse’
Based on the novel series of the same name by James S. A. Corey, this gripping sci-fi thriller is set in the 23rd century, where the Solar System has been colonized by humanity and split into three factions: the United Nations of Earth and Luna, the Martian Congressional Republic on Mars, and the Outer Planets Alliance. It begins with a police detective who works to find a missing woman, and by season five, the drama basically multiplies tenfold, with Earth facing a deadly conspiracy.
Even if you're not the biggest sci-fi fan, you'll definitely be impressed with the storylines, character development and stunning visuals.
Get hot takes on the latest movies and shows by subscribing here.