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Best Amazon Prime series: TV shows you need to watch from The Boys to Picard

(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Amazon Prime Video UK may not be the most popular streaming service in the UK (according to Statista, that title is still held by Netflix), but its library is getting much stronger all the time. Not only does it boast heavy hitters like The Grand Tour (it's Madagascar episode now finally has a December release date and trailer) it also offers shiny new offerings like Tales from the Loop and Utopia.

Don’t have Amazon Prime Video UK? It’s part of the Amazon Prime membership, which brings you all kinds of perks, including fast deliveries, access to Prime Music, Audible freebies, the Kindle Lending Library, photo storage and, last but certainly not least, the chance to stream great movies and TV shows through Prime Video UK, which is Amazon’s answer to an on-demand streaming service. 

So as Amazon's fantastic back catalogue of movies and TV shows is growing all the time, we're hear to break down the cream of the streaming crop. Here are the best Amazon Prime TV shows that you can start watching today. 

Vikings

vikings

(Image credit: Amazon)

If you've spent your time tearing across 9th century Norway and England in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Vikings is essentially the TV version of that. It's that, crossed with Game of Thrones, just with a touch less rumpy pumpy. You've got six series of this bloody and addictive Norse adventure to plunder as you watch a simple farmer transform into a fearsome fighter ransacking European countries for treasure. It's a perfect balm for the post-Game of Thrones season 8 blues.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 6

Utopia

best amazon prime shows uk - utopia

(Image credit: Elizabeth Morris/Amazon Prime Video)

What was once a small-scale cult classic on Channel 4 has now being given the big-money Amazon treatment. While many existing fans would have preferred a third series rather than a glossy American remake, at least the Gillian Flynn-scripted (Gone Girl) Utopia should enjoy a larger audience.

Now with John Cusack and Rainn Wilson (The Office), Utopia follows a group of youngsters who happen upon a mysterious graphic novel only to find the conspiracy at its centre is very much real. As they find themselves the target of a shadowy deep state organisation, plenty of violence, colour, and expensive thrills ensue.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

Tales from the Loop

(Image credit: Jan Thijs/Amazon Studios)

Inspired by the extraordinary paintings of Simon Stålenhag, Tales from the Loop is a thoughtful sci-fi anthology about a town living atop The Loop, a mysterious machine that materialises the impossible. The first season takes a tour of the town's citizens, gradually giving us a sense of what life is like in this strange environment.

It's certainly approaches the genre differently, so check out our interview with showrunner Nathaniel Halpern for more on what to expect. Most importantly, it's exactly the kind of hopeful television we need right now.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

The Office

(Image credit: Deedle-Dee Productions / Reveille Productions / Universal Television)

The American version of The Office is a very different beast – less dramatic and less realistic than its UK cousin, and 187 episodes longer. Starring Steve Carrell and a memorable ensemble cast of comedy actors, The Office is one of those shows you can just stick on in the background while you accidentally burn through 10 episodes in a row. It's one of the best modern sitcoms around, even if it's well over a decade old at this point. 

While later seasons are a bit of a chore, especially after Carrell leaves the show, it's well worth seeing through to the eventful finale. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 9

Homecoming

(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

Based on a popular podcast, Homecoming is a drama set in a mysterious facility where soldiers are counselled after serving a tour of duty. But what is the facility actually trying to do to these men? That's the question at the heart of the show. 

Told in two timeframes and starring Julia Roberts, this tense drama from the creator of Mr Robot (also on Amazon Prime UK) feels like it's building up to a huge twist but never really delivers one. Nonetheless, at 30 minutes an episode, it really respects your time, and the interplay of Roberts' Heidi Bergman and young soldier Walter Cruz (Stephan James) makes this compelling viewing. 

A second season starring Janelle Monáe started an excellent new mystery earlier this year full of surprises in just as tight a format.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 2

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

In the UK, Amazon has the streaming rights to most of the great Fox TV that wouldn't have a place on Disney Plus, and that includes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of the best teen dramas ever made. This supernatural show is about Buffy Summers, the chosen one, whose role is to stop the forces of evil and prevent the apocalypse. 

The monsters of the week are frequently used as metaphors for whatever is going on in the characters' lives – and it's the relationships between Buffy and her friends that really brings the show to life. The first three seasons, set in high school, represent Buffy at its peak, while later years are unnecessarily dour. Still, it always has its moments, and Sarah Michelle Gellar is a fantastic lead who makes you forget about the show's ageing special effects. 

Its spin-off, Angel, is less consistent, but also well worth watching. That's on Amazon Prime UK too. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 7

Futurama

(Image credit: Fox)

Evidently deemed too adult for Disney Plus UK – Futurama's year 3000 introduces itself with the existence of suicide booths – you can instead watch Matt Groening's animated favourite on Amazon Prime in the UK. It's one of the best adult animated comedies ever made.

Well, it is for its first five seasons, anyway. After the show came back with a series of movies and four new seasons on Comedy Central, it never quite found its early 2000s form again. At its peak, though, Futurama is easily a match for The Simpsons, and an obvious precursor to Rick and Morty. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 10

Star Trek: Picard

(Image credit: CBS/Amazon Prime Video)

It's uneven at times, but the latest Star Trek series is an interesting contemporary take on that universe, where Jean-Luc Picard finds himself working outside of Starfleet, and at odds with what it's become. This is more than just expensive fan service for TNG diehards, though – it's a sci-fi epic that's loosely about the legacy of Data, who died back in Star Trek: Nemesis.

Picard is oddly paced in places, and spends a little too much time on redundant storylines. Not all of its new characters are winners, either, but like Discovery, it's well worth checking out for both fans and newbies. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

Hunters

Hunters Amazon Prime Video

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Hunters is the latest big Amazon Prime original, with the big draw of having Al Pacino in his first TV series role. It's about a dedicated group of Nazi hunters, who seek out conspirators intending to bring about a Fourth Reich in America. It's a tonally strange show, alternating between sombre depictions of the Holocaust and Tarantino-esque violence, but well worth checking out just for how expensive it looks. 

We're not sure if there'll be a Hunters season 2, but the ending of this series will sure get your mind buzzing about where the show could go next. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

The Expanse

The Expanse

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Amazon Prime)

Arguably the best science-fiction show since Battlestar Galatica, The Expanse is based on the series of novels by James S. A. Corey, the pen name of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. 

It's set in a future where humans have colonised most of the solar system, but there are big divisions between the occupants of Earth, Mars and 'Belters', who reside on space stations beyond the asteroid belt. It's full of politics, heart-wrenching emotional stories and some of the most breath-taking scenes of outer space we've ever seen. If you're a fan of sci-fi, you'll love this.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 4

The Tick

A press shot for the second season of The Tick

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

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.

Unfortunately, Season 2 of The Tick was its last at least on Amazon Prime, but it's still well worth checking out. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 2

Good Omens

Good Omens

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Amazon)

Before he passed away in 2015, Terry Pratchett allegedly made Neil Gaiman promise he'd adapt Good Omens into a TV series, which is what Gaiman has been working on for the past four years. 

The result is an addictive, bonkers yet heart-warming tale about good and evil, friendship, demons, angels and a future-gazing witch. 

It's brilliantly British, has one of the most stellar casts imaginable and can be binged in one weekend – or one sitting if you can't face waiting a whole night for the final few episodes. 

It brings a few fresh characters and twists to the story, but is also faithful enough to the book to give those who have been fans for nearly thirty years a real treat. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 1

The Boys

The Boys

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Amazon)

The Boys is based on a simple premise: What if superheroes sucked? Like, really, really sucked? What if they were egotistical, selfish, corrupt and downright, well, unheroic? That's the crux of The Boys. Now sure, many of those questions have been explored in other media, but Amazon's over-the-top series does it with a visual panache and a bit of humor. The first season showed plenty of promise, and the second delivered on it. The Boys season 3 is on the way, and it could be even better.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 2

The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

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. 

The next episode of The Grand Tour season 4 should be imminent, but you might have a longer wait after that one.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 4

American Gods

American Gods

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and brought to the screen by the ever-excellent Bryan Fuller (before he left the show ahead of season 2), American Gods is an existential look at what would happen if gods were to walk the earth. 

Starring Ricky Whittle (who has made the transition from Hollyoaks to Hollywood with ease) and Ian McShane, the show is both bizarre and brazen, cultish and controversial. It may take a while to figure out just what the hell is going on and its second season isn't as strong as its first, but this is one smart, celestial slice of entertainment that's got us hooked. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 2

Last Man On Earth

Last Man on Earth

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

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 too – including Will Ferrell and Jon Hamm in season 3. 

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 4

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Amazon)

The 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. 

Seasons to watch on Amazon Prime: 3

Parks and Recreation

The cast of Parks and Recreation

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Parks & Recreation / NBC)

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

The Americans

The Americans

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: FX/Amazon Prime Video)

The Americans was cruelly mishandled when it originally came to UK TV, so we are glad it has finally found a decent place to reside. The show is a cracking crime period thriller that follows the exploits of a couple of KGB agents posing as US citizens around the time Ronald Reagan became US president.

It may occasionally flit between the ridiculous and the sublime but you would expect nothing more from a show with a main conceit that comprises characters duelling with duality. The '80s setting is fantastic, too, though there aren't enough shell suits for our liking.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 6

Mr Robot

Mr Robot

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: USA Network)

It was an agonising wait for Mr Robot in the UK – the first season had all-but ended in the US before we even got a sniff of it. But its popularity meant that there was something of a bidding war to see who would show it in the UK. Amazon, Netflix and other more traditional broadcasters fought for it, proving that even bean counters can see the worth in counter-culture.

Amazon won in the end and is the perfect place for a show that focuses on the exploits of hacker Elliot (a superb Rami Malek). Mr Robot is Fight Club for the Tor generation, lifting a lid on a world where what Linux kernel you use is not just a badge of honour but a way of life.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 4

The X-Files

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson

Image Credit: Fox / Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: The X-Files / Fox)

The X-Files was one of the first shows that embraced event TV. Yes, it had many 'monster of the week' storylines but creator Chris Carter managed to produce a nine-season long mythology arc that kept viewers coming back for more. That and the brilliant casting of David Duchovny as Fox Mulder and the ever-excellent Gillian Anderson and Dana Scully. With a new 10th season on the horizon, Amazon has put all nine previous seasons on to Prime – all remastered in widescreen. Lovely stuff.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 9

All or Nothing: Manchester City

A promo shot for the all or nothing manchster city tv show

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Amazon Prime)

We definitely recommend you get stuck into All or Nothing, a football documentary that follows Manchester City behind-the-scenes during the Premier League winning and record-breaking 2017/2018 season. It's an 8-part series that features all kinds of exclusive footage, from locker room pep talks with coach Pep Guardiola, and a look at the players' lives off and on the pitch. It's a must-watch for everyone from die-hard Man City fans to even those with a vague interested in footy.

Seasons on Amazon Prime Video: 1

Catastrophe

Catastrophe

Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

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 fourth and final series is now available on Amazon Prime Video.

Seasons on Amazon Prime: 4