9 Best Shows on Amazon Prime You’re Missing Out

UPDATED July 15, 2019

At this point, Amazon Prime is becoming less of a crappy alternative to Netflix more of a wide and extensive catalog. However, not many people have been paying attention to this shift. 

Take Homecoming for example. It’s an amazing show starring Julia Roberts and directed by Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot). If it was a Netflix Original it would have been one of the most talked about shows right now. 

But because it is on Amazon Prime, very few people have seen it. This list is a quick guide to similar titles. Below are the best shows on Amazon Prime you’re probably missing out on.

Long Strange Trip was originally a four-hour movie before Amazon cut it to a six-part TV show.

Produced by Martin Scorcese, it tells the full story of the band The Grateful Dead. It’s an account so detailed that it will satisfy the biggest Deadheads, but it also can be appreciated by anyone. The focus is the band, but it’s also the band’s significant impact on Rock history, and by extension, on American culture.

I didn’t know much about the band and I couldn’t stop watching.

User rating: 0/100. Staff rating: 80/100.

This is an HBO dark comedy that was intensely loved by anyone who knew about it before it was inexplicably canceled.

Laura Dern plays a corporate executive who has a full-blown meltdown. I’m talking mascara streaming down her cheeks and screaming “I’m going to destroy you” to a coworker.

When she comes back from a retreat in Hawaii she is forced to take, Den’s character is no longer filled with corporate rage but with inexplicable and almost obnoxious positivity. She tries to spread her new outlook around by giving people books like “Flow Through Your Rage” and telling them about sea turtles. Things get more real when she decides to take on her old company’s abuses.

I think the reason this show has such hard-core fans is that they fell in love with Laura Dern’s character. Watching this show is like letting in a flawed, dependent, but extremely determined and well-meaning person into your life.

Enlightened is funny, engaging, and all-around near-perfect TV.

User rating: 0/100. Staff rating: 80/100.

Bosch returned recently for a fifth season, with a sixth one confirmed. It’s a sleeper hit that you may not have heard of, but with time should get the coverage it deserves.

Titus Welliver (Lost, Sons of Anarchy, Argo) plays an L.A.P.D. homicide detective who is on trial for using questionable methods during a fatal shootout. At the same time, he is trying to solve an open murder case.

Bosch is carried by almost entirely by Welliver, who delivers such a good multi-layered performance that it’s hard to think anyone else could have played this character.

User rating: 0/100. Staff rating: 80/100.

A TV show by David E. Kelley, the mogul that was also behind Boston Legal, Picket Fences, and recently the amazing HBO show Big Little Lies.

You’d think a name that big is enough to carry Goliath. But in comes Billy Bob Thornton in one of the best performances of his career.

He plays a big-time lawyer who fell down on his luck for unknown circumstances. A big case randomly comes his way that allows him to go against his former big law firm. With an escort as his legal aid, he embarks on a David and Goliath journey to find justice for the victims and redemption for himself.

A great supporting cast. Great writing. Old-school premise brought back to life. Goliath is the perfect binge.

User rating: 0/100. Staff rating: 82/100.

Created by Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Sneaky Pete is a perfect thriller TV Show. 

A con man learns that a violent gang awaits his release from prison, so he decides to take his cell-mate’s identity and hide with his family. He immediately faces an array of threats that make the first season of Sneaky Pete so cut-throat gripping: the gang getting to him, his new identity being exposed, the police, and it doesn’t help that the only member left of his family, his brother, is also in all sorts of trouble.

Sneaky Pete is probably the Amazon Prime Original that suffers the most from the platform’s awkward branding. Had it been on Netflix, your coworkers wouldn’t be able to stop talking about it for years. 

Giovanni Ribisi who plays the main character is out-of-this-world amazing. 

User rating: 0/100. Staff rating: 83/100.

Something happens in Forever episode three that I can’t tell you about. If I did it, I would spoil the show up for you. I don’t want to do this. So I will try very hard to sell you on the first two episodes, just remember, the show gets very different afterward. Both in premise, general vibe, and humor.

Here’s my best pitch: Fred Armisen. That face, that tone, that voice. How can you resist a TV show that doesn’t have many characters and yet he’s the main one.

Pitch No. 2: Maya Rudolph. She is funny, expressive, and whenever she looks at something, that thing instantly gains a lot of interest. This is the best performance of her career so far, I would wager.

User rating: 0/100. Staff rating: 86/100.

This is the perfect dark TV show.

It’s no surprise that Julia Roberts’ performance is amazing here. She is the former director of a mysterious program for rehabilitating war veterans.

She perfectly blends into her first ever TV show and the world created by the show’s director Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot). That is a world of dark colors and seemingly twisted motivations.

Her supporting cast is nothing short of amazing. Shea Whigham is BRILLIANT as the sad but honest detective trying to get to the bottom of things. Bobby Cannavale is also great as Julia Roberts’s old boss, a busy and eager man. This show’s surprise star is newcomer Stephan James, who plays one of the war veterans.

At around 30 minutes per episode, time goes by quickly and your hunger to figure out what’s happening increases with every episode.

User rating: 0/100. Staff rating: 90/100.

Refreshing, classy, and absolutely hilarious — The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a real triumph. 

Set in the 1950s, this is the story of a housewife and mother who, to everyone but herself, seems to fit very well into the patriarchal ideas of a woman of that era. In reality, she is a witty, funny, and strong woman — and someone who is willing to act on those attributes. After a series of events involving her mediocre cheating husband, she decides to become a stand-up comedian.

The costumes and the mastery with which 50s New York is portrayed are what really did it for me. Everything is so beautiful, so much fun, yet so gim. It’s the most satisfying to watch Ms. Maisel navigate all of it, with a few serious laughs here and there, and riveting dialogue.

User rating: 0/100. Staff rating: 90/100.

Patriot is about a secret agent who is assigned meddling with the Iranian elections to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Sounds serious? It is and it is not. What Patriot is really about are the bureaucratic pitfalls that involve such work. The secret agent’s team parks on the wrong street and he ends up killing the wrong guy. The bag of money he wants to use to meddle with the elections gets stolen by an airport worker in Luxembourg. Etc, etc.

For all of this, Patriot is a funny and clever show. the best part is that the secret agent in question is also a folk singer – and sometimes sings awfully honest and descriptive songs of his missions in open mics.

Patriot is a mix between real-life thrills and real-life laughs, and it’s a near-perfect TV show.

User rating: 90/100. Staff rating: 90/100.