Best Amazon Prime TV shows (October 2018): great series to watch today

Comedy

Fresh Off the Boat

The critically acclaimed series based on the memoirs of chef and food personality Eddie Huang is back for a third series. The show follows the hip-hop obsessed Eddie and his family as they reconcile their Taiwanese roots with their new life in Florida, where they have moved to open a cowboy-themed restaurant. 

Funny and heartwarming, Fresh Off the Boat is not only totally binge-able, but it also represents an important milestone in the portrayal of Asian-American families on the small screen. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 3

Black-ish

Black-ish is brilliant. Not brilliant-ish, but brilliant. It's made by two Nightly Show writers and is about adman Andre, who thinks his kids aren't, er, black enough because they've lived in the very white suburbs all their life. This means a (car)crach course in black culture ensues. Two seasons of the show are on Amazon Prime and it's well worth a watch, filled with the warm humour ABC has brought to the world with the likes of Modern Family and The Goldbergs.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 2

a shot from the tv show casual

(Image: © amazon prime)

Casual: 

The final eight episode season of Casual has arrived on Amazon Prime. It's about a newly divorced single mother who lives with her brother and daughter. The comedy drama is about dating, romance, families and all kinds of other modern dramas with a funny, and sometimes dark, twist. It's received a fair bit of critical acclaim over the years, but won't be returning for a fifth season. So enjoy it while you can!

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 4

Jean-Claude Van Johnson

Okay, we'll admit this show isn't quite as good as its teaser promised us. But it is still a fun, meta look at the man, the myth Jean-Claude Van Damme who plays, well, Jean-Claude Van Damme. It's only six episodes long but it's a lot of fun, showing Jean as a black-ops spy who has been covering as an actor all along. Yeah, right. This means that he's still an ass-kicking action hero but a real life one. Well, an actor playing an actor playing a black-ops operative who pretends to be an actor. If that sounds like your thing, then Jean-Claude Van Johnson is for you. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

Catastrophe

From the minds of Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney comes one of the funniest, most well-written sitcom in years. The plot is slight: a one-night stand turns into a relationship once Sharon announces she is pregnant. But the series contains some of the most cut-to-the-bone humour seen on TV. Combine this with a nice slab of pathos - nestled among many a sex joke - and what you have is a modern classic.

The third series, which recently aired on Channel 4, is now available on Amazon Prime Video - it features the last ever performance from the imitable Carrie Fisher.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 3

Comrade Detective

Comrade Detective is a weird gem on Amazon. Starring Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the show is a parody of gritty American buddy cop shows and Communist Propaganda from the Cold War.

It's an unusual combination, but it works. Each episode is presented as though it's a remastered real episode of a lost Romanian Communist Propaganda series from the 80s which was used to entertain and promote Communist ideals. The entire show was filmed in Romania with Romanian actors and then dubbed over by Tatum and Gordon-Levitt.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

The Tick

We like a dark twist on the superhero genre as much as the next person, and The Tick delivers it: it's about an accountant with mental health issues, who may or may not be a superhero - it could all be in his head. Peter Serafinowicz is the eponymous Tick, and despite that rather sombre-sounding plot outline, this is a black and surreal comedy worth seeking out.

The first half of the first season of The Tick has been on Amazon Prime since 2017, but as of March 2018 the second half is here and it manages to be even more baffling, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny than the first.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

The Grand Tour

Clarkson, Hammond and the other one are back for Grand Tour: Season 2. Well, we kind of knew that they would be as they all have massive contracts that mean we will be seeing quite a few seasons of the Definitely Not Top Gear But Quite A Bit Like Top Gear show. This season sees Clarkson drive a fast car, Hammond drive a faster car and nearly die, and the other one drive a fast car considerably slower than the rest. If you enjoy watching middle aged men burn rubber in the middle of the desert, like a scene out of Mad Max: Fury Road, then this is for you. And if we haven't quite convinced you yet - Gizmodo offered up this quote about the show: "Some men doing stuff for no clearly defined reason." Lovely stuff. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 2 (new episodes weekly)

I Love Dick

Recently graduating from Amazon Originals pilot to fully fledged TV show, I Love Dick is a great subversive watch. The show stars Kevin Bacon and is based on the celebrated book that looks at a married couple who are having marriage issues and their relationship with college professor, Dick. Bacon is on top form as the charismatic Dick and the show's multiple POV storytelling (Rashomon style) works well.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video TV: 1

The Last Man On Earth

Not many people can find the funny in the post-apocalypse, but Will Forte has managed it with The Last Man On Earth. He writes and stars in this comedy where he is the only survivor on earth after a virus kills everyone else. The cast is brilliant, with the likes of January Jones and Kristen Wiig join him on his adventures and there’s a smattering of decent cameos to - including Will Ferrell and Jon Hamm in season 3. Unfortunately, Amazon Prime Video only has the first two seasons, so you’ll have to hold your breath for Mad Men’s Hamm to come aboard.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 2

The League

Created by Jeff and Jackie Schaffer and starring Mark Duplass, The League is very much a US focused comedy - based around a group of friends in an American Fantasy Football league - but don’t let that put you off as it’s nearly always hilarious. The lengths the group go to to win The Shiva - the league trophy - is great to watch, as is there balancing of trying to win week in week out with their normal lives. All seven seasons of the show are available on Prime Video. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 7

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

A new series from Gilmore Girls creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel tells the story of 1950s Jewish housewife Miriam Maisel. After her husband confesses he's been having an affair, Midge drunkenly gets on stage at a comedy club and discovers that she's utterly hilarious. In a time when women aren't encouraged to be publicly funny, Midge pursues her new-found comedic talent in the male-dominated stand up comedy world. 

Season one is on Amazon now, but a second has already been ordered.

Seasons to watch on Amazon Prime: 1

Mad Dogs

The UK version of Mad Dogs was a breath of fresh air when it first aired. Well, the first season was then it all went a little too strange. This remake - green-lit from Amazon's burgeoning Originals series - takes the best from the UK version and mixes it with a plot that's a little easier to follow and humour that's more laugh out loud than pitch black.

The premise is the same: a bunch of mates go and visit one friend at his luxury villa to celebrate his early retirement, only for murder, mayhem and mind-boggling plot developments to ensue. A touch of genius is the recasting of Ben Chaplin. While he played the rich, retiring Alvo in the UK version here he gets to try his luck in a bigger and better role.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

Mozart in the Jungle

Now into its fourth series, Mozart in the Jungle was this surprise winner at the 2015 Golden Globes, where it won Best Comedy Series. The show is a comedy set in the strange world of classical music. Gael García Bernal plays young conductor Rodrigo who replaces a retiring conductor played by Malcolm McDowell. Based loosely on a true story and created by the likes of Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola, it's well worth a watch.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 4

Parks and Recreation

Parks and Rec is a joy of a show. Originally seen as a quasi spin-off of the Office - using the same documentary style camerawork, awkward pauses, asides to camera - it soon grew from an amusing first season, about the goings on in the parks department of Pawnee, to a comedy phenomenon that spanned a fantastic seven seasons. It's not just the script that makes it great, it's also the characters - headed up by the ever-brilliant Amy Poehler.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 7

Red Oaks

The '80s is the en vogue decade when it comes to nostalgia. Not only are Seth Gordon and Adam Goldberg mining the era for their superb prime-time sitcom The Goldbergs, Red Oaks has appeared to prove that it is respectable to set shows in the '80s. Amazon-exclusive Red Oaks - made by another Green, this time David Gordon - focuses on David, a tennis player at the Red Oaks country club and his summer shenanigans. Great casting - Jennifer Grey! - some brilliant nods to '80s films, a short run time means this is a series you can eat up in one neon-fuelled sitting.

The third and final season is now available to stream in its entirety on Amazon Prime and is a fitting end to one of the best shows around at the moment. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 3

Seinfeld

Seinfeld is comedy gold. It’s the sitcom that was self reflexive and knowing. It was about Jerry Seinfeld who was played by Jerry Seinfeld but was playing a version of himself. It’s a similar trick Larry David used when spinning off his character for the show Curb Your Enthusiasm. He even took it a step further to make a whole season of Curb dedicated to bringing back Seinfeld. Over nine seasons this show, which is essentially about nothing, will captivate you, make you laugh and think. It’s fantastic.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 9