30 Best Shows Of 2023 On Amazon Prime

30 Best Shows Of 2023 On Amazon Prime

June 15, 2024

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As Netflix’s biggest competitor, Amazon Prime has been steadily ramping up its productions. The streaming service has new TV shows released almost every week not just in the States but all around the world as well. There are different languages, genres, and formats, some as big-budgeted as Daisy Jones and the Six and Dead Ringers, others serving as hidden gems in the platform, like Class of ’07 and Deadloch.

Below you will find our recommendations for the best shows of 2023 on Amazon Prime. These recommendations are all highly rated by viewers and acclaimed by critics. They were also watched and vouched for by one of our writers.

21. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

7.2

Country

United States of America

Actors

Alycia Debnam-Carey, Charlie Vickers, Frankie Adams, Leah Purcell

Moods

Dramatic, Emotional, Intense

Domestic abuse is a delicate matter, and onscreen depictions always run the risk of being either too sensational or mopey. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, thankfully, is neither. It sensitively and creatively tells the story of Alice and all the other survivors who June shelters on her flower farm. More than just decor, these flowers serve as a lifeline to the girls: not only do they grow and sell them to earn a living, but they’ve also made a special secret language out of them. Different blooms mean different things, and when you live in a world where your pain is systematically ignored, it makes sense to communicate in hiding. Granted, the Lost Flowers of Alice Hart can get overly dramatic at times. Some plotlines include hiding who the child’s real father is and fighting to get custody of said child. But it’s unfair to dismiss the series as mere melodrama. It’s doing important work by shedding light on the manifold ways women are mistreated, and it does so in a commendably original and artful way.

22. Harlan Coben’s Shelter

7.2

Country

United States of America

Actors

Abby Corrigan, Adrian Greensmith, Constance Zimmer, Jaden Michael

Moods

Thrilling

Amazon Prime’s Harlan Coben’s Shelter is the latest addition to the slew of supernatural teen-led mysteries that have come out in recent years. Like Netflix’s Lockwood & Co., Paramount’s School Spirits, and even Showtime’s Yellowjackets, Shelter is genuinely intriguing and surprisingly mature, making it watchable regardless of how old you are. The show’s TV-14 rating lets the teens in the series act their age (that is, both crude and childlike), which adds to the show’s authentic feel. It verges on being self-serious at times, which is funny when you hear them say things like “Octo Face got her” with a straight face, but those slips are forgivable. It doesn’t detract from the show’s compelling mystery and enjoyable performances.

23. F#Ck1Ng Social Media

7.2

Country

Mexico, United States of America

Actors

Azul Guaita, Bárbara Torres, Hernán Mendoza, Hugo Catalán

There is no shortage of TV shows that dive deep into the weird wired world of social media, but F#Ck1Ng Social Media deserves credit for doing it effortlessly. You can tell the writers have an intimate knowledge of internet fame by how it contrasts has-been influencer Amanda with rising content star Vicky (Azul Guaita). Amanda’s realm is YouTube (a millennial staple) while Vicky’s is TikTok (a Gen Z haven). Amanda rose to fame because of her sincerity, while it was Vicky’s sleekness that first caught people’s eyes. Through their rivalry, the series shows us how swiftly social media evolves and how contradictory it can be—online, we’re both vulnerable and artificial, progressive and regressive. It’s a hefty message, but the show delivers it with an impressively light touch. Intense rivalry and fame commentary aside, F#Ck1Ng Social Media is also a quirky comedy and a touching family drama. There’s just as much to like here as there is to learn.

24. Sanctuary

7.0

Country

Japan

Actors

Koyuki, Pierre Taki, Shioli Kutsuna, Shota Sometani

Moods

Action-packed, Challenging, Dark

There’s not a lot of good sumo representation out there. The ancient Japanese sport is often caricatured for laughs; in fact, it has a rich and complex history spanning centuries. It’s cultural but questionably brutal, revered but unable to compete against newer combat sports. And while sumo negotiates its role in an increasingly modern world, its participants continue to rely on it for a living, making it at once outdated and necessary.  

Enter Sanctuary, a Japanese Netflix original that captures all this nuance to the best of its ability. The drama is a gritty and realistic behind-the-scenes look at the sport, a raw portrait of all the literal blood, sweat, and tears that go into it. If you can stomach a fair amount of violence and gore, then you’ll appreciate what Sanctuary tries to do, which is smartly reintroduce sumo to a new generation.

25. With Love

7.0

Country

United States of America

Actors

Emeraude Toubia, Rome Flynn

Moods

Easy, Feel-Good, Grown-up Comedy

It’s easy to see With Love and mistake it for a Hallmark special; both are filled with pretty people who spend the holidays looking for love. But where Hallmark tends to be simple and sappy, With Love is refreshingly complex and earnest. The characters, mostly Latino and queer, rarely sugarcoat their problems and desires, even though each episode ends on a relatively sweet note. 

In a joyous move, every one of them takes place during a different holiday too—Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s, Día de los Muertos. And every time, we delve deeper into the lives of our leads and witness the ways they take on universal problems with modern and diverse approaches. It’s breezy and at times raunchy, making it a fun companion for any holiday.

26. Misfortune

7.0

Country

Mexico

Actors

Antonia Zegers, Fátima Molina, Jorge López, Macarena Achaga

Moods

Lighthearted, Romantic

Misfortune (Mala fortuna) is a telenovela that doesn’t shy away from the genre’s goofy qualities. It’s predictable and a little bit ridiculous, but like most enjoyable soap operas, it knows how to draw you in and keep you invested in all the drama. Our protagonists are two peas in a pod: Julio and Victoria, ordinary people who seduce their way into scamming the ultra-rich family known as the Urquizas. Of course, their feelings (both for the family and for each other) get in the way of their schemes, but the resulting entanglement makes for a sexy and hilarious watch. 

27. Killer Coaster

7.0

Country

France

Actors

Alex Lutz, Alexandra Lamy, Audrey Lamy, Chloé Jouannet

Moods

Quirky, Thrilling

A murder mystery with an absurdist comedic bent, Killer Coaster initially comes off as too much. It struggles to juggle different genres and poses many questions it doesn’t immediately answer. There are also too many elements—including warring families, star-crossed lovers, secret identities, and complicated pasts—that make the mystery of the Ghost Train Killer seem incidental, even though it is the show’s throughline, the main event that kickstarts the entire thing. But it’s easy to forgive all this whenever Alexandra Lamy does her magic onscreen. As the well-meaning but clumsy police officer Sandrine, Lamy is likable and hilarious, a clown with just enough heart to pull you into her antics. She soars even more when paired with real-life sister Audrey Lamy, who plays the carnival owner Yvanne—also good-hearted but even slower (and at times funnier) than Sandrine. Together, their amusing weirdness saves the show from loose ends and uneven tones. 

28. Wilderness

6.9

Country

United Kingdom

Actors

Ashley Benson, Claire Rushbrook, Eric Balfour, Jenna Coleman

Moods

Emotional, Suspenseful, Well-acted

 As the drama’s dysfunctionally in-love leads, Coleman and Jackson-Cohen are compelling. Whether the scene demands rage or romance, they’re able to effectively dial it from a subtle one to an all-out ten. Sadly, the material they’re working with fails to match their energy. Lackluster direction makes their arguments more of a weak tug than an intense push and pull, while scant introspection and backstory fail to justify the murderous urges that Liv all of a sudden has. In fact, it’s this aspect of Wilderness that remains the weakest. It’s watchable as an infidelity drama, but not nearly as believable as a crime thriller. The violent scenes come out corny, if not unintentionally funny. There is a version of Wilderness that could’ve made it a spiritual successor to the much wilder and brasher Doctor Foster, but this, unfortunately, isn’t it. 

29. Provoke

6.9

Country

China

Actors

Daisy Li, Elaine Yi, Min Xing Han, Wang Ruolin

Moods

Action-packed, Dark, Dramatic

Art Deco, opium dealings, and cutting off tongues… China then is different from China now, but that short period of time before World War II still fascinates people with how different the country could have been. Tencent Picture took advantage of that fascination through their microdrama Provoke, mixing in a revenge plot that comes straight from the film noir popular at the time. Of course, there’s only so much plot points one can fit into less than 15-minute episodes, and because of this, the camera lingers a bit too long on the cast’s gorgeous faces in order to stretch out the story for 25 episodes. That being said, the whole production is so stunning to watch that fans of the genre might be willing to forgive that the story is spread too thin. Provoke might have been more cohesive as a movie, but it’s intriguing enough to binge as is after the end of a long work day.

30. Alphonse

6.8

Country

France

Actors

Charlotte Gainsbourg, Claire Romain, Jean Dujardin, Laura Morante

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Dramatic, Romantic

The selling point of the series Alphonse, apart from raunch and romance, is that it gets its talented lead Jean Dujardin to transform into a different character each time he meets with a different client. Sometimes, he’s a World War II soldier, other times, he’s part of the academic elite. Always, he’s the object of fantasy of Parisian women. His real self, however, the titular Alphonse, is a sad sack going through a midlife crisis. On paper, this sounds like a recipe for pure fun: a lost guy tries out different masks and costumes until he discovers his true self in the process. The execution, however, feels wonky and uneven, as if the series is unable to balance all the things it tries to be. To be clear, Dujardin is excellent as the chameleonic Alphonse and Charlotte Gainsbourg is arresting as his mercurial wife Margot. But there’s a murkiness and vagueness to the overall style, tone, and direction of the series that leaves you wanting more. It’s okay, but there’s a sense that it could’ve been great if it tighten its screws a bit more.

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