The Best Shows to Watch on Amazon Prime Right Now (November 2020)


Here’s the thing about the Golden Age of television. How do you have time to do anything else? There are so many downright excellent series out there, and even more that are just great, you could stream, stream, stream all day long and still have more good television to burn through. With that in mind, I hope you weren’t planning on doing anything productive with the rest of your day, because we’ve put together a list of the best TV on Amazon prime. And in case you’re wondering, that includes the massive update after HBO Max pulled the entire back catalogue off of Amazon’ streamers. But not to worry, even without those cable credentials, there’s still lots worth tuning into.

For more streaming recommendations, check out the Best TV Shows on Netflix Right Now and Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now and Best Horror Movies on Netflix Right Now and Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Right Now.

House, M.D.

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Image via Fox

Creator: David Shore

Cast: Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard, Jennifer Morrison, Jesse Spencer, Peter Jacobson, Kal Penn, Olivia Wilde, Amber Tamblyn, Odette Annable, Charlyne Yi

Look, it’s not lupus. Unless it is. You never know. But Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) does. The long-running medical drama convinced millions of Americans for years that a) Laurie was American and b) that that weird symptom they might have could be the beginning of a intricate medical mystery. While the show’s episodic structure gives it the comforting feel of a classic procedural, what makes House an enduring property is Laurie’s stunning performance as the titular disabled grumpypants, as well as his relationships with his co-workers, especially dean of medicine Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) and Dr. Watson-esque best friend Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) — yes, there are Sherlock Holmes parallels to be made here. But did Sherlock Holmes ever rap with special guest star Lin-Manuel Miranda? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would never dare. – Liz Shannon Miller

Watch House on Amazon Here

Burn Notice

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Image via USA Network

Creator: Matt Nix

Cast: Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless, Coby Bell

Like all of USA Network’s famous “blue sky” dramas, Burn Notice is a low-key delight, perfect for a lazy afternoon binge. Set in Miami (which does mean a lot of random shots of girls in bikinis), the series tracks career spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) after he gets fired from the spying life. The chemistry between Donovan and co-stars Gabrielle Anwar (as Fiona, his off-again/on-again ex-girlfriend), Bruce Campbell (as his best friend Sam), and Sharon Gless (as Michael’s chain-smoking mother) is electric, and every episode contains important helpful tips about the spy life, as narrated by Michael. What could be better than a twisty spy drama that will also teach you what household items make for the homemade explosives? – Liz Shannon Miller

Watch Burn Notice on Amazon Here

Upload

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Image via Amazon

Created by: Greg Daniels

Cast: Robbie Amell, Andy Allo, Allegra Edwards, Zainab Johnson, and Kevin Bigley

Imagine a sci-fi version of The Good Place, and you have Upload. But what makes this Amazon original series special is its creator Greg Daniels, who you might also know as the guy who created and ran the American version of The Office and co-created Parks and Recreation. Daniels’ penchant for blending comedy with romance is alive and well in Upload, which takes place in a near-future in which humans have the ability to have their consciousness uploaded into a digital afterlife—provided they can afford it. When a programmer (Robbie Amell) dies and uploads, he has trouble adjusting to his swanky new afterlife while also dealing with his shallow (and still living) girlfriend and romantic feelings for his customer service representative. Oh, and he may or may not be trying to figure out if he was murdered. Comedy, romance, and a mystery, Upload has it all, and since the show has been renewed for a second season, you can rest assured the finale cliffhanger will be resolved. – Adam Chitwood

Watch Upload on Amazon Here

Counterpart

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Image via Starz

Created by: Justin Marks

Cast: J.K. Simmons, Olivia Williams, Harry Lloyd, Nazanin Boniadi, Betty Gabriel, and James Cromwell

If you’re in the mood for a hard sci-fi spy series with the dramatic maturity of something like The Americans, you simply must watch Counterpart. The Starz show takes place in Berlin and follows a man named Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons, delivering a phenomenal performance), a lowly cog in the bureaucracy of a secretive Berlin-based UN spy agency. But he discovers in the show’s first episode that his workplace harbors a secret: 30 years ago, a rip opened up in Berlin revealing a parallel dimension. At first, both dimensions were exactly the same, but shortly after the rip, small differences turned into significant alterations, and now both sides view one another with extreme caution. The only mode of travel between the two dimensions is underneath Howard’s building, and the existence of this second dimension is the world’s best-kept secret.

Howard’s life is turned upside down when his “counterpart” arrives in his dimension, and he’s almost nothing like him—self-assured, aggressive, and hardened. The show is more in the vein of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy than something like Bourne, and while it was cancelled after two seasons, the Season 2 finale puts a perfect button on the show’s biggest mysteries so while there’s certainly desire to see more, Counterpart stands as a compelling, wildly engrossing, and satisfying little two-season miniseries. – Adam Chitwood

Watch Counterpart on Amazon Here

The Expanse

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Image via Syfy

Created By: Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby

Cast: Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Cas Anvar, Wes Chatham, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dominique Tipper

At its new home on Amazon Prime Video, the former Syfy series The Expanse continues its impressive run as one of the most challenging, rewarding, and complex sci-fi shows on the air, now with more resources and creative freedom than ever. Adapted from James S.A. Corey’s award-winning, ongoing series of sci-fi novels, The Expanse is set 200 years in the future in a colonized solar system where the citizens of Earth, Mars and the asteroid belt wage constant conflict over territories, freedoms, and the future of mankind, while nefarious government secrets and conspiracies threaten the galaxy in the background.

It’s dense and rich material, attuned to the real-world realities of politicking and pandering while building an immersive and intricately nuanced science fiction world. And the latest batch of episodes doesn’t just bring The Expanse to its new streaming home, it brings the characters to a new world, where the series gets to craft its colonialist examination with more real-time fallout than ever. And it all remains utterly fascinating; a complex autopsy of political systems and the manipulation of warring beliefs that never skimps on meaty character drama or good, old-fashioned space spectacle. — Haleigh Foutch

Watch The Expanse on Amazon Here

Dead Like Me

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Image via Showtime

Watch with ads via IMDb TV

Creator: Bryan Fuller

Cast: Ellen Muth, Mandy Patinkin, Laura Harris, Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy, Cynthia Stevenson,

Bryan Fuller‘s production company is called Living Dead Guy, and the inspiration for that might be, in part, the first show he ever created. Originally running on Showtime, Dead Like Me stars Ellen Muth as George, who has a really bad day that ends with her getting killed by a falling toilet seat. However, death is not the end for her — instead, she joins Rube (Mandy Patinkin) and his team of reapers, who help souls transition to the afterlife. For fans of Fuller’s other shows, including Hannibal and American Gods, the first season is a must-see, especially thanks to the tender father-daughter bond that develops between George and Rube. Dead Like Me, like so many shows about mortality, is really about the beauty of life. – Liz Shannon Miller

Watch Dead Like Me on Amazon Here

The Boys

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Image via Amazon Studios

Created By: Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

Cast: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Anthony Starr, Elisabeth Shue, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligot, Tomer Capon, Chace Crawford, Jesse T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Simon Pegg, Karen Fukuhara, Jennifer Esposito

There’s no shortage of superhero content in 2019, but you won’t find anything more insightful, incisive and downright entertaining as The Boys, the latest Garth Ennis adaptation from Preacher dup Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, with the polished TV hand of co-creator Eric Kripke. A scathing takedown of corporate greed, celebrity worship, political perversion, and all the horrible ways thought cultural ills can co-mingle, The Boys never lets its politics get ahead of its payoff, drenching the “realistic” take on superheroes in exploitation levels of sex and violence, ensuring that you’ll be gasping and guffawing, even as the deeper implications nibble at your comfort. For my money, you won’t find a more complex or chilling villain on TV this year than Anthony Starr‘s gleaming portrayal of Homelander, and he’s well-matched in the best use of Elisabeth Shue‘s talents in years. Urban is delightfully unhinged, Capon is the secret weapon of the series, and it’s all delivered in the most binge-worthy style, as entertaining as it is enlightening through and through. — Haleigh Foutch

Watch The Boys on Amazon Here

Fleabag

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Image via Amazon

Created By: Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Cast: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sian Clifford, Olivia Colman, Bill Patterson, Brett Gelman

Fleabag is one of the best pieces of art of the 21st century. That’s just the simple truth. You maybe have heard the buzz or saw the Emmys wins, but you’re truly not prepared for just how great this series is. It’s short too! Each of the two seasons is comprised of six half-hour episodes that follow a woman known only as Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) as she seeks some kind of happiness. It’s a raw, honest portrayal of identity and femininity and loneliness, digging into the self-loathing and insecurity that so many of us mask with strained charisma or comedy. Each season is its own complete thing, and while Season 1 is phenomenal, Season 2 is one of the best and most emotionally affecting love stories I’ve ever seen in my entire life. — Adam Chitwood

Watch Fleabag on Amazon Here

RuPaul’s Drag Race

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Image via VH1

Creator/Cast: RuPaul Charles

Binge-watching seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race at home isn’t quite the same experience as watching it live every week at your local gay bar, but on the plus side you don’t have to wait to find out which queens ultimately win the crown. Hosted by the iconic RuPaul Charles, both in and out of drag, Drag Race has been at times controversial in the gay community. But the competition reality series ultimately seeks to honor the Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent of its contestants, while also preaching, as Ru says at the end of every episode, “if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?” – Liz Shannon Miller

Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race on Amazon Here

Friday Night Lights

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Image via NBC

Watch with ads via IMDb TV

Created by: Peter Berg

Cast: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Gaius Charles, Zach Gilford, Minka Kelly, Adrianne Palicki, Taylor Kitsch, Jesse Plemons, Scott Porter, Aimee Teegarden, Michael B. Jordan, Jurnee Smollett, Matt Lauria, Madison Burge

Before Orange Is the New BlackHouse of Cards, and other Netflix-made series seemingly designed to binge-watch, there was Friday Night Lights. The show kicked off on NBC back in 2006, but now it’s almost as if it were made to watch over and over again from start to finish, and I’ve done so more times than I care to admit. It’s a brilliant and addictive mix of football, romance, and drama that rocks a roster of conflicted yet especially charming characters you come to know and love. Soon after starting the show, Dillon, Texas quickly starts to feel like a cozy home, making the show extremely tough to turn off after each episode.  – Perri Nemiroff

Watch Friday Night Lights on Amazon Here

Carnival Row

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Image via Amazon

Created by:  Travis Beacham and René Echevarria

Cast: Orlando Bloom, Cara Delevingne, Tazmin Merchant, Simon McBurney, David Gyasi, Indira Varma, Jared Harris, Karla Crome, Andrew Gower

Be it the cast, the plot, or the world it has rendered, Carnival Row is taking some big leaps — and they pay off beautifully. Carnival Row is a wholly original fantasy series where magical folk you’ve only read about cohabitate (albeit rather uneasily) with humans in the rich and gloomily rendered steampunk world of The Burgue. Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne lead the series as star-crossed lovers Rycroft “Philo” Philostrate and Vignette Stonemess. He’s a soldier-turned-inspector in The Burgue and she’s a fae (read: fairy) seeking refuge after being driven out of her homeland, Tirnanoc. As Philo and Vignette’s paths cross after seven years apart, they find themselves drawn into uncovering the truth about a series of murders targeting the magical creatures who have immigrated to The Burgue.

Carnival Row has plenty on its mind when it comes to its allegorical approach to contemporary issues around race and immigration which make this series all the more interesting to watch — even when it gets a little shaky on that front. It’s a bold series that is confident in its vision, which deserves a big tip of the cap as far as I’m concerned. It also doesn’t hurt that Bloom and Delevingne have decent chemistry while performances turned in from supporting cast members Jared HarrisIndira VarmaTamzin MerchantKarla Crome, and David Gyasi really bring the story Carnival Row is telling in this inviting series to life. — Allie Gemmill

Watch Carnival Row on Amazon Here

The Night Manager

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Image via AMC

Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander, Elizabeth Debicki

The Night Manager was a John le Carré novel turned into a miniseries by way of a Vogue spread, or so it seemed thanks to Susanne Bier’s direction. A dashingly handsome cast, obscenely beautiful locations, and one blazingly unforgettable demonstration of sound and fury in the desert that reminded us — in case we forgot — that Richard Ropert (Laurie) is the most dangerous arms dealer in the world. But it was easy to forget at times, after experiencing the seduction of wealth and power through the experience of spy Jonathan Pine (Hiddleston), whose motivations were a little thin, but who never lost sight of his mission. The Night Manager was a tightly crafted and breathtakingly produced miniseries with a well-earned and triumphant finale that made ultimately for a very satisfying adventure. And did I mention how gorgeous it was? — Allison Keene

Watch The Night Manager on Amazon Here

30 Rock

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Image via NBC

Creators: Tina Fey and Robert Carlock

Cast: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jack McBrayer, Jane Krakowski

If weird-happy humor is your style, you can’t go wrong with 30 Rock. Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s seven-season sitcom chronicles the ridiculous happenings behind the scenes of a Saturday Night Live-style comedy show, with Fey playing the head writer and Alec Baldwin filling the role of the uber-conservative network executive. The series moves forward with an air of positivity, even as Liz Lemon’s life continues to spiral downward. It’s a show about finding family in the strangest places, and rolling with the punches when life can’t seem to give you a break. – Adam Chitwood

Watch 30 Rock on Amazon Here

Good Omens

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Image via Amazon

Created By: Neil Gaiman

Cast: David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm, Sam Taylor Buck, Frances McDormand, Adria Arjona, Francis Whitehall, Sian Brooke, Daniel Mays, Michael McKean, Miranda Richardson

Good Omens is a passion project for Neil Gaiman, inspired by the beloved novel he co-wrote with fellow fantasy great Terry Pratchett, and the result is a giddy, silly, sometimes messy love letter to their shared creative project. Starring a knockout cast led by David Tennant and Michael Sheen as a demon and angel, brought together in an unlikely friendship by eons of shared experience and allied in a fight to stop the apocalypse. Good Omens doesn’t capture all the magic of its literary counterpart, but there’s enough there to make the series a bit of a joyride for fans. Best of all, it’s relentlessly heartfelt and shamelessly silly, even when Gaiman and Pratchett’s witty words don’t land with the same snap they had on the page. — Haleigh Foutch

Watch Good Omens on Amazon Here

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

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Image via Amazon

Created by: Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland

Cast: John Krasinski, Abbie Cornish, and Wendell Pierce

While Jack Ryan may not be on the level of prestige TV like Breaking Bad or Mad Men or even The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, it’s a very solid throwback series for fans of mid-budget thrillers. Indeed, each episode of Jack Ryan is almost like a mini Jack Ryan movie of sorts, with the location and setting varying wildly throughout the series. The ever-affable John Krasinski proves to be a formidable fit for the title character, and Wendell Pierce brings some welcome complexity to the role of James Greer, Ryan’s boss at the CIA. The Season 1 storyline is a mix between Homeland and 24 as Ryan tracks an Islamic terrorist, and while your mileage may vary, it’s a pretty compelling season-long arc with tremendous production value. And did I mention John Krasinski? – Adam Chitwood

Watch Jack Ryan on Amazon Here

Bones

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Image via Fox

Creator: Hart Hanson

Cast: Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin, Eric Millegan, T. J. Thyne, Jonathan Adams, Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley, John Boyd

In our modern age of autonomous media cultivation, where plugged-in folks tend to eschew things like “channel surfing” and “leaving network TV on in the background” in favor of “carefully crafting a self-created programming schedule where one deliberately decides what to watch actively,” where does that leave charming pieces of comfort food TV like Bones? Thank goodness the delightful, lightly comedic procedural crime series is available on Amazon Prime Video and thank goodness — and trust that this’ll be the only time I ever say this — for the autoplay feature. I typically loathe this feature, as it doesn’t give a viewer any chance to digest what they just watched. But for something like Bones, a delightful summer mocktail in a TV world of bitter old fashioneds, it gives you those perfect throwback feelings of letting fleet, entertaining, and unchallenging (in the best way!) programming just wash over you.

Emily Deschanel stars as Dr. Brennan Temperance, an overly intellectual forensic anthropologist who’s ironically gifted the titular nickname of “Bones” by FBI agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz). The two solve criminal cases together, taking advantage of their crackerjack, familiar “bickering co-workers/love interests” chemistry we’ve seen in shows like Moonlighting and even The X-Files. But as you keep swimming through the series, the rest of the ensemble cast gets their opportunity to shine, clown, and affect your dang heart. With so many contemporary crime TV shows practically daring you to keep watching with their cynical misanthropy, it’s nice to take a dip in one warmer waters for a change. — Gregory Lawrence

Watch Bones on Amazon Here

Farscape

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Image via The Jim Henson Company

Creator: Rockne S. O’Bannon

Cast: Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Virginia Hey, Anthony Simcoe, Gigi Edgley, Paul Goddard, Lani Tupu, Wayne Pygram, Jonathan Hardy, Tammy MacIntosh, Raelee Hill, Melissa Jaffer, David Franklin, Rebecca Riggs

This your first time aboard the good ship Farscape? Brace yourself for a wild ride. The bonkers sci-fi drama produced by the Jim Henson Company starts off with a relatively simple premise: American astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) gets sucked into a wormhole and stranded in a far-away corner of the universe, one filled with unfamiliar aliens and plenty of danger. What ensues is one of television’s most weird, wacky, horny, heartfelt adventures, as this “crew” (a gang of oddballs including a former stormtrooper, a sexy plant lady, and a former emperor who farts helium, the latter of whom is played by a Henson-quality puppet) struggle for survival, and Crichton looks for a way home. Farscape goes a bit off the rails by the end, but the journey remains a delight. – Liz Shannon Miller

Watch Farscape on Amazon Here

The Mentalist

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Image via Warner Bros. Television

Creator: Bruno Heller

Cast: Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang, Owain Yeoman, Amanda Righetti

Procedurals are the comfort food of primetime TV. Before Bruno Heller went off to create the wildest dang Batman show ever with Gotham, he created the extra-watchable The Mentalist. Simon Baker stars in an outrageously magnetic and charismatic performance as Patrick Jane, an ex-conman made righteous by the horrific and tragic murder of his family. Hell-bent on catching Red John, the twisted and unusually powerful serial killer behind their murder, Jane is ever-charming, stylish and whip-smart — a total delight. Ultimately, The Mentalist isn’t about murder (OK, it’s definitely partly about murder), but about picking yourself up, righting your wrongs, and learning to live and love again in the face of unthinkable tragedy. And the Red John mystery is a real cracker… right up until it’s not. But even if The Mentalist didn’t quite stick the landing, that’s still five good seasons of intrigue, drama, and some of the most creative murder-of-the-week cases in the wide world of procedurals. — Haleigh Foutch

Watch The Mentalist on Amazon Here

Star Trek: The Next Generation

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Image via CBS

Created by: Gene Roddenberry

Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Denise Crosby, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Wil Wheaton

The first season of The Next Generation isn’t its best, but it pulled off a seemingly impossible challenge: proving that it was possible to tell stories in the world of Star Trek that didn’t involve Kirk or Spock. And once Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart in a career-defining role) and his crew got a chance to stand on their own two feet, The Next Generation became an equally fascinating show on its own merits, with jaw-dropping episodes like “The Best of Both Worlds,” “The Inner Light,” “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” and “Cause and Effect” thrilling a new era of fans. TNG also delivered not just the best series finale in Trek history, but one of the greatest series finales of all time — it’s a show that holds up beautifully, decades later. – Liz Shannon Miller

Watch Star Trek: The Next Generation on Amazon Here

Alias

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Image via ABC

Creator: J.J. Abrams

Cast: Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Michael Vartan, Bradley Cooper, Merrin Dungey, Carl Lumbly, Kevin Weisman, Victor Garber, David Anders, Lena Olin, Greg Grunberg

A high-octane action drama literally inspired by J.J. Abrams pitching “What if Felicity was a spy?”, Alias introduced the world to the incredible physical abilities of Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner), a grad student also working as a secret agent. Sometimes cheesy, sometimes silly (the Rambaldi mythology does not exactly hold up), Alias was from the jump committed to delivering wild action sequences, an incredibly shippable romance, and — like all great spy stories — countless wigs. The first two seasons are nonstop fun, if you can overlook the camera’s occasional leer at Garner in various forms of undress; they’re so good, in fact, that Abrams has said that Tom Cruise tapped him to direct Mission: Impossible III after binge-watching the first two seasons. After that point, the series is a little uneven. But the wigs remain awesome. — Liz Shannon Miller

Watch Alias on Amazon Here

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Josh O’Connor on Playing Prince Charles on ‘The Crown’ Season 4 and Doing ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with Jessie Buckley

Plus, O’Connor talks about filming the fight scenes with Emma Corrin as Princess Diana.


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