We're just going to come right out and say it. Amazon Prime Video is a mammoth vault of epic TV series you won't be able to stop watching. From murder mysteries to killer comedies and new sci-fi plots to cult favourites, there are so many brilliant shows worth binging your way through.
Here are the best shows to watch on Amazon Prime Video NZ right now.
Nine Perfect Strangers
Based on the bestselling book from Australian author Liane Moriarty (who also penned Big Little Lies), Nine Perfect Strangers follows the drama at a boutique health-and-wellness resort, where nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living. Watching over them during the ten-day retreat is the resort’s director Masha (Nicole Kidman), a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies. However, these nine strangers have no idea what is about to hit them. Aside from an epic storyline, the series also boasts an all-star cast including Luke Evans, Bobby Cannavale, Regina Hall and Michael Shannon.
If you dig a good crime series that keeps you guessing right until the credits roll then you’ll want to stream Cruel Summer stat! The series takes place over three summers in the 90s when a beautiful and popular teen goes missing, and a seemingly unrelated girl transforms from a sweet and awkward outlier to the most popular girl in town, eventually becoming the most despised person in America. Giving the show a unique twist, each episode is told from alternating points of view. It stars Olivia Holt, Jessica Biel and Chiara Aurelia.
The Pursuit Of Love
An adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s celebrated novel and set in Europe between the two World Wars, The Pursuit Of Love follows the adventures and misadventures of the charismatic and fearless Linda Radlett (Lily James) and her best friend and cousin Fanny Logan. Consumed by a desire for love and marriage, the two women are on the hunt for the ideal husband. Their friendship is put to the test as Fanny settles for a steady life and Linda decides to follow her heart, to increasingly wild and outrageous places.
Based on Lauren Oliver’s bestselling novel, Panic is one of the best shows on Amazon Prime Video right now. It takes place in a small Texas town, where every summer the graduating seniors compete in a series of challenges, which they believe is their one and only chance to escape their circumstances and make their lives better. But this year, the rules have changed—the pot of money is larger than ever and the game has become even more dangerous. The players will come face to face with their deepest, darkest fears and be forced to decide how much they are willing to risk in order to win.
Starring Academy Award-winning actors Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway and Helen Mirren, as well as Uzo Aduba, Anthony Mackie and Constance Wu, this anthology series is a must-watch. Over seven episodes, Solos explores the strange, beautiful, heartbreaking, hilarious, wondrous truths of what it means to be human. The series spans our present and future and illuminates that even during our most isolated moments we are all connected through the human experience—which after the year we’ve all had, is something we can absolutely relate to.
Since hitting the streaming service late last year, The Boys has been a runaway hit and absolutely deserves its top billing as one of the best shows you need to watch on Amazon Prime. One of the most gripping, disturbing and exciting takes on the often tired old superhero trope, every single episode will leave you gasping for breath and skipping on to the next. In this world, a team of lauded superheroes (led by the utterly fucked up Homelander and played by our very own Antony Starr) ostensibly keep the human population safe but are in fact so far from the clean-cut reputation they portray you'll be gobsmacked. Enter the human vigilantes (led by another Kiwi star Karl Urban rocking an at times dubious, yet always entertaining, British accent) that decide to take them on, and let the madness ensue. Definitely one of the best shows on Amazon Prime Video worth your time.
Part survival drama, part dystopic slumber party, The Wilds follows a group of teen girls from different backgrounds who must fight for survival after a plane crash strands them on a deserted island. The castaways both clash and bond as they learn more about each other, the secrets they keep, and the traumas they've all endured. There’s just one twist to this thrilling drama… these girls did not end up on this island by accident.
If you haven’t watched The Expanse yet, you need to get on it ASAP. This show is a must-watch regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of sci-fi—it’s just good TV. Based on the series of novels of the same name by James S. A. Corey, the series is set in a future where humanity has colonised the Solar System and follows a band of antiheroes as they unravel and place themselves at the centre of a conspiracy that threatens the system's fragile state of cold war. It’s kinda like Game Of Thrones in space (but also not really—you’ll have to watch it yourself to see what we mean).
Little Fires Everywhere
There’s few things we love more than an epic book to TV series adaption and this beauty, produced by Reese Witherspoon, ticks every box. Little Fires Everywhere takes place in the 90s in the placid town of Shaker Heights, Ohio where Elena Richardson (Witherspoon) thrives in her organised, predictable life. But everything changes when mysterious Mia Warren (Kerry Washington) arrives in town with her teenage daughter Pearl and rents a house from Elena. Soon the Warrens become so much more than just tenants and their lives become irrevocably entwined with Elena and her kids. If you’re looking for one of the best shows on Amazon—actually make that one of the best on any streaming service—this is it.
If you’re keen for some David Tennant action, Good Omens is the show for you—the show is a miniseries based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Set in 2018, the series follows the demon Crowley (Tennant) and the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen), longtime acquaintances who, having grown accustomed to life on Earth as representatives of Heaven and Hell, seek to prevent the coming of the Antichrist and with it, Armageddon.
There are two glorious seasons of Homecoming to binge your way through so sit yourself down, kick your feet up and get comfy. This guy is basically set around a “homecoming transition facility” to help soldiers who have returned from war get back to everyday life. It falls into the “psychological thriller” side of TV and each season so far has been a gripping on-screen journey filled with much tension so don’t expect this one to be a cruisey watch. Season one starred Julia Roberts and season two stars Janelle Monae and if that’s not enough of an incentive to binge this bad boy, we don’t know what is.
Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne star in the steampunk, neo-noir fantasy that is Carnival Row. The show follows mythical creatures who have fled their war-torn homeland and who gather in the city as tensions simmer between citizens and the growing immigrant population. At the centre of the drama is the investigation into a string of unsolved murders, madness of power and unresolved love.
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) co-created Sneaky Pete, which aired in 2015. The crime series follows Marius Josipović (Giovanni Ribisi), a released convict who adopts the identity of his cellmate, Pete Murphy, to avoid his past life. The show has flown under many people’s radar but has garnered pretty good reviews, so if you’re looking for a new crime show to binge, this might be it.
We love this new Amazon Prime Video series for its epic storyline and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t wish we could actually live it out. Upload is set in the future and when you’re about to die, you get the option of “uploading” yourself into a very Sims-like virtual world to live forever. It’s sci-fi meets comedy and we know you’re going to love it.
Making The Cut
Netflix’s Next in Fashion is no competition when it comes to the tried and true Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn method. Making The Cut sees your favourite mentors jump the Project Runway ship in this revamped fashion competition/reality show, stepping up the competition and pushing its 12 designers to the limit. If you’ve felt Project Runway has been a bit drab since Tim and Heidi left the workroom, you’ll find Making The Cut has all the bones of the show you know and love but trades amateur designers for creatives with street-cred and egos from all around the world. With $1 million in prize money up for grabs, it’s time to get to work with all episodes available now.
Name a show when you’ve both laughed hysterically and ugly-cried in the same episode? A workout for your heart and soul, everyone can’t stop harking on about Phoebe Waller-Bridge and the things that are birthed from her wonderful brain. Tackling being a 20-something year old and screwing it up is all too familiar, but Fleabag brings a sense of relief in the knowledge that everything will turn out OK. A pervy, angry, dry-witted, grief-riddled and unfiltered woman is trying to heal whilst taking everything that life and London can throw at her. Experience it in all its glory here.
The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel
The perfect 1950s housewife, native New Yorker Midge Maisel is living the American dream. Brash, bold, witty and cheeky, Midge could be using these qualities for something bigger, yet she's completely loyal to her husband who moonlights as a stand up comic—with questionable material. Her perfect life is suddenly derailed in a night, and a drunk, unhinged Midge gets on stage and delivers a hilarious set about her predicament. With the show in real life taking home Emmys and Golden Globes, Midge’s own comedy career is about to hit the big time. Make sure you’re one of the people who can say you knew her before she was famous, with seasons one to three here.
Amazon’s first foray into an animated original, it uses an exciting animation technique called ‘rotoscoping’. Scenes are filmed IRL, and then a digital artist draws over film creating a hyper-realistic-hybrid-animation. Starring Rosa Salazar as Alma, who, after a horror car crash, begins to be able to manipulate time and space. Acting alongside Bob Odenkirk (of Breaking Bad fame) who plays her dead father, she needs to learn to control her newfound abilities if she’s going to get to the truth behind his death. Binge it all here.
Could something as ridiculous as The Purge work in real life? Probably not. If you haven’t seen the horror film starring Lena Headey, the TV show follows the same format—in bloody, gory fashion. In the not too distant future, crime numbers have dropped drastically when the USA allows everyone to let off a bit of steam with The Purge—for 12 hours once a year, no laws apply, meaning you can get everything out of your system and run amuck with zero consequences. In this series reboot, a group of people question the morality of The Purge, because, on purge night, anything goes. Watch it here.
The format of this show is music to the ears of people who write blogs. The New York Times’ ‘Modern Love’ column is a space for writers to share stories of love, loss, happiness and heartbreak, so we can empathise, judge or just feel something, damn it. Eight essays from writers have been used as the basis to explore Modern Love in a Love Actually style anthology series, minus the Christmas (thank god). With an all-star cast including Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel, Julia Garner, Andrew Scott and more, believe in love again when you binge it all in one go here.
Same shit, different day. Famed for their hilarious, spot-on impressions of Prince and Beyoncé during their beloved tenure at Saturday Night Live, Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph return to the screen in their own right to deliver belly-roaring laughs amidst dreary, everyday normalcy. With a twist. Oscar and June have seen 12 years of marriage turn into a mundane coexistence. Their life is ground-hog day as they follow the same routine, have the same conversations and eat the same food, day in/day out, for the rest of their lives. June tries her best to liven things up in a bid to save her marriage until things take a turn for the worst. Till death do them part. Take the step towards the first day of the rest of your life here.
Parks And Recreation
Calling all beautiful, tropical fish (Parks and Rec fans will get this reference): who knew local body politics could be such a riveting affair? Surrounded by her crew of wholesome co-workers, Leslie Knope is the deputy director of Pawnee’s Parks and Recreation department. Working to make the public spaces in her town wonderful for all the weirdos who live there, she has a goal in mind to turn an abandoned lot into a beautiful park for everyone to enjoy. Met with bureaucracy and hilarious predicaments at every turn, the way these things play out could only ever happen in the fictitious Indiana town of Pawnee. Even though we’ve seen this show from start to finish, we’re unsure if they ever actually manage to build a park. Find out and let us know? Drop by Pawnee with all seven seasons here.
If you know anything about Saturday Night Live, you’ll know the weekly sketch comedy show is stressfully pulled together in five sleepless days. Based on her experiences as head writer at SNL, Tina Fey offers us, mere mortals, a satirical glimpse into the hectic world of late-night variety shows as Liz Lemon, show-runner of fictitious The Girlie Show. Named after NBC’s New York studios, 30 Rockerfella Plaza, where SNL (and The Girlie Show) is filmed, Liz supervises the cast and crew to bring the show to air. Competing with high-brow shows such as ‘MILF Island’ and ‘America’s Kids Got Singing’ ratings are steadily going down the toilet and she’s forced to hire controversial actor Tracy Jordan in a bid to bring the show back on the strait and narrow. Make like SNL and consume all seven seasons in five days here.
The Office (US) might not be on Netflix but all seasons are available on Amazon Prime. We probably don’t have to give you the full summary because you’ve probably already seen it, but just in case you haven’t: it’s a mockumentary sitcom television series that depicts the everyday work lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. This show is one of the best shows of all time and we’re ready to fight anyone who says otherwise.
And here's everything you should be watching on all other streaming services in NZ.
Image credit: Amazon Prime Video