ShortList is now ad free and supported by you, the users. When you buy through the links on our site we may earn a commission. Learn more

The best Amazon Prime series (January 2021): best Prime Video TV shows, ranked

UPDATED: The best shows on Amazon Prime to watch.

The best Amazon Prime series (January 2021): best Prime Video TV shows, ranked
Marc Chacksfield
01 January 2021

This best Amazon Prime series list is a snapshot of what is available on Prime right now. Choosing favourites has been tough but the following shows are gilded in our eyes - gold standard television that needs to be binge-watched without delay.

The following shows prove that an Amazon Prime subscription is really worth the expense. It gets you a lot more than a fast delivery service, but arguably the best benefit of your Prime subscription is access to Prime Video. We would get one just to access the great library of movies and TV shows.

UPDATE: It's good news for those in the UK that have Amazon Prime and Sky - the streaming service is now available through Sky Q and NOW TV, as well as the NOW TV app now available on FireTV devices. To celebrate we now have 30 of the best Amazon Prime series in this list.

In the following best Amazon Prime shows guide, we've picked our favourites and now it’s your job to rank them. If there is a particular Amazon Prime show you are fond of, give it an upvote. If we’ve chosen something you hate, then click the downvote button.

Oh, and if we’ve somehow forgotten something you loved, let us know below and we’ll make sure it’s added.

If you are looking at what the rival has to offer, then head to our best Netflix shows guide.

These are the best movies on Prime Video, ranked

Best Amazon Prime Series

The beauty of Amazon Prime - and Netflix - is that these platforms breathe life into previously dead shows, like The Expanse. It's a show about what happens when humans colonise the solar system (spoiler: it ain’t great). Syfy cancelled it after three seasons but Amazon gave The Expanse a new home. Why? Well, for one thing CEO Jeff Bezos is a big fan. We’re glad he did - this is stunning sci-fi and universe-building at its best.

Season 5 is currently streaming weekly on Prime Video, with new episodes launching every Wednesday.

411
128
Thanks for voting

Amazon announced it has cancelled The Tick, and that can only be because Amazon doesn’t know how to have fun. It is a superhero parody with heart, and a brilliant cast. ‎Peter Serafinowicz is superb as the titular Tick, the superhero without superpowers, playing it without any knowing wink that he is in on the joke. And that’s the brilliance of the show, which really stepped up in the second season. Unfortunately, Season 2 will now be its last, unless it can find another home - which fans are trying to make happen with the #SaveTheTick hashtag

303
75
Thanks for voting

The Boys is one of the most original takes on the superhero genre we have seen. The concept (based on Garth Ennis' great comic) is that the world is filled with superheroes but they are all, well, dicks. Underneath their shiny, hero image they actually abuse their power and cause havoc in the world. The good news is that there's a team of anti-heroes that can put a stop to them, lead by Karl Urban. This is one gory, violent, hilarious show that's not for the faint hearted.

The second season is darker with the arrival of Stormfront to shake up the superheroes and features an ending of, well, gratuitous portions.

273
105
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

4. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

Stream now (Prime Video)

The Jack Ryan series of movies, those starring Harrison Ford at least, were a lot of fun. While a prequel movie with Chris Pine stumbled, this alternate TV take is well worth a watch. John Krasinski is effortless as Ryan, a CIA analyst forced into the field. As is The Wire’s Wendell Pierce as Jack Greer, Ryan’s mentor - a role that once belonged to James Earl Jones. Big shoes to fill, then, but he manages it. It’s a little Mission: Impossible lite in places but well worth a watch, especially in 4K.

296
128
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

5. The Marvelous Miss Maisel

Stream now (Prime Video)

It was about time a show gave Rachel Brosnahan a chance to shine. After bit parts in movies and a stint on House of Cards, The Marvelous Miss Maisel sees her in fantastic form as a 1950s housewife who decides one day to become a stand-up comic. There’s a lot to love about the show, but Brosnahan’s main performance as ‘Midge’ Maisel steals it - her transformation when she eventually gets on the stage is brilliant to watch.

246
113
Thanks for voting

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s fantastic book Good Omens gets the TV treatment, thanks to a joint production between the BBC and Amazon Studios. The result is a superb six-part series with one of the best acting pairing seen on TV in recent years. David Tennant and Michael Sheen shine as angels Aziraphale and Crowley, and their job is to stave off the impending apocalypse. Fans of Gaiman will love Good Omens. He was deeply involved, as Terry Pratchett asked Gaiman to write the TV show's script before he passed away. A request we are very glad was fulfilled.

237
108
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

7. The Americans

Stream now (Prime Video)

The Americans is stunning TV. It would be in everyone’s top 10 list, if they had only seen it. Set around the Cold War, the show follows a seemingly normal apple pie-loving American couple who turn out to be Russian spies. Both Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are sublime as the spy duo, while the show slowly ratchets up the tension season after season.

214
86
Thanks for voting

Bosch is a brilliant, easy watch, and is now in its fifth season. It stars Titus Welliver as the titular Harry Bosch, whose acting raises this show above your average police procedural. As does the writing. Overseen by Eric Overmyer, whose credits include The Wire, Treme and Boardwalk Empire, this is a top-quality show.

221
94
Thanks for voting

It seems a little trite to heap more praise on a show that it is pretty much universally loved but the thing is (looks to camera, with a wry smile), they’re right. Phoebe Waller-Bridge's adaptation of her own one-woman stage show manages to be stunningly crass, utterly hilarious and tear-inducing all at the same time. Yes, Waller-Bridges is perfect as Fleabag but the rest of the cast are just as good, characters rounded with surgical precision.

232
112
Thanks for voting

On the face of it, Vikings seems a little one dimensional: a whole show based on the pillaging, conquering and brutal world of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok. But this is definitely not Game of Thrones on a budget. The character development over the first three seasons is beautifully handled, and Vikings tells what is a simple story really well.

205
93
Thanks for voting

Sam Esmail created something special in Mr Robot. Its tale of hackers looking to overturn the might of corporate America has never been so pertinent. It doesn’t help, either, that he cast Oscar-winner Rami Malek in the role of Elliot, an anti-social hacker with his fair share of tics. The supporting cast are great too. BD Wong and Christian Slater are brilliant in their roles.

The fourth season of Mr Robot is now here and it picks up where the last season left off and is as hard-hitting and edge-of-your-seat tense as it's always been. Some critics have slammed the idea of a fourth season, but we think there's still a lot of story to tell here and can't wait to see where series creator Sam Esmail takes it.

188
106
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

12. Carnival Row

Stream now (Prime Video)

Carnival Row is one of our hottest new picks on Amazon Prime this Autumn. It's a dark fantasy story with some crime thrown in. It follows the story of a faerie refugee (played by Cara Delevingne) and an investigator (played by Orlando Bloom) whose paths cross during the hunt for a serial killer. It's already proved to be such a hit that it's been renewed for a second season.

161
85
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

13. Star Trek: Picard

Stream now (Prime Video)

Many Star Trek fans approached Picard with caution, after Discovery failed to satisfy many long-term Trekkers. But Patrick Stewart's return to the universe seems, so far, to be a real success. The series takes a slower approach to storytelling, with numerous story threads set to unravel slowly over the first season's 10-episode arc.

141
77
Thanks for voting

Over six seasons Justified proved itself to be one of the best shows of all time. This is all down to its two sparring partners: Raylan Givens, a brilliant Timothy Olyphant, and Boyd Crowder, played by the fantastic Walter Goggins. The show centres on Givens coming back to his home town as a deputy - what ensues is just brilliant.

112
50
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

15. American Gods

Stream now (Prime Video)

If you're a fan of Neil Gaiman's work, you're in for a real treat with an Amazon Prime subscription. Now not only can you enjoy American Gods, but Good Omens too. Both TV shows make our list because they're prime examples of deliciously addictive storytelling, rich characters and mind-bending fantasy. Neil Gaiman played a bigger part in the development of Good Omens, but that doesn't mean American Gods isn't a dark and binge-worthy series with some trulyexcellent performances.

142
96
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

16. The Man in the High Castle

Stream now (Prime Video)

The Man in the High Castle was one of the first Prime Video Originals and it ran for four seasons, concluding at the end of 2019. It's a fantastic-looking show that is based on Philip K. Dick's novel where in a parallel universe the Nazis won and the changes this makes to the world. By the end of the show it deviates from the book but it's well worth going the distance.

111
67
Thanks for voting

When Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen announced they were creating a Preacher show, we thought they would turn Garth Ennis’s superb graphic novel into some sort of stoner comedy. How wrong we were. Preacher has its fair share of mayhem, bloody violence and acerbic comedy, but it also has a strong message about religion and asks some serious questions about, and to, god.

126
97
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

18. Truth Seekers

Stream now (Prime Video)

You can't go wrong withe seeing Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on the small screen together. It's been some 20 years (since Spaced!) and they are a lot of fun in this funny and pretty damn scary look at some part time paranormal investigators who start seeing actual ghosts. Pegg's not in it much but when he does turn up it's welcomed and Frost is fantastic as the main thrust of the show

29
13
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

19. The Night Manager

Stream now (Prime Video)

If you’ve been enjoying Susan Bier’s The Undoing, then her earlier work The Night Manager is well worth a watch. Based on late writer John Le Carre’s spy novel of the same name, here we see Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine, a night manager who is enlisted to find a way into the inner circle of a notorious arms dealer. This is a mini series and plays out like a sumptuous Bond movie.

26
13
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

20. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Stream now (Prime Video)

Six seasons of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are available to watch on Prime Video and it's a huge amount of fun. While it takes a few seasons to find its feet, the tale of the those behind the bigger superheroes is well worth a watch. The seventh and final season is currently airing elsewhere.

62
52
Thanks for voting

What started off as a spin-off of the successful child assassin movie has mutated into something far better. This is a great show that reveals just what you can do when you allow a premise and characters time to breath. Esme Creed-Miles (daughter of Samantha Morton) is the titular teenage assassin. The show has been commissioned for a third season which is good news, given how much the scope changes in the second season.

22
14
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

22. Tales From The Loop

Stream now (Prime Video)

It's pretty rare that a show has been inspired by something other than a book, but this one is based on the paintings of Simon Stålenhag. It's a great premise - each painting is like a jumping off point for an episode, a glimpse into a bigger narrative. It's a lot of fun - a time-travelling series that has hints of Twin Peaks and its big streaming rival's hit show Stranger Things.

66
58
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

23. Little Fires Everywhere

Stream now (Prime Video)

The sumptuous show stars Reece Witherspoon as a housewife in the 90s who has swapped her career as a journalist. On the surface everything looks perfect but the addition of a new mother and daughter to the neighbourhood shifts this narrative. Witherspoon is fantastic, as is Kerry Washington and Joshua Jackson. This feels like a show that will end after the first season and it's all the better for it

66
59
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

24. The Patriot

Stream Now (Prime Video)

No, it’s not a show about Mel Gibson’s big-screen vehicle but a darkly comic show about a spy who needs to stop Iran from going nuclear. Unfortunately there are only two seasons as it was cancelled by Amazon but they are a refreshing watch, balancing fun and frenetic action and, to be honest, we’ll watch RoboCop’s Kurtwood Smith in anything.

10
17
Thanks for voting

After the brilliance of Bojack Horseman for Netflix, creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg headed to Amazon for Undone, an animated show that uses rotoscoping to create its unique look. Undone tackles some of the same themes of Bojack, albeit in a much more dramatic way - its trippy visuals give the whole thing an unreal feel and the likes of Bob Odenkirk, Daveed Diggs and Rosa Salazar star.

8
16
Thanks for voting

Those craving a Twin Peaks sized hole will love Homecoming. Now in its second season (with singer Janelle Monáe taking over from Julia Roberts in the first season). The show centres on the Geist Group, a wellness company that has rather unorthodox methods of making people better. And, as you can imagine, all is not what it seems.

40
51
Thanks for voting

There is a lot of fun to be had in this James Bond-lite tale of a teenager who joins MI6. There are some 14 novels to take material from and this series is focused on the second book - it's a lot of fun, with star turns from Otto Farrant. It's a little gadget lite compared to the books but there's a huge amount of action and boys' own adventure.

31
48
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

28. All of Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur

Stream now (Prime Video)

Amazon couldn't have chosen a better season to document with its latest iteration of All or Nothing. While the first one was based on Man City and saw them win the title, this one is about Spurs. They didn't win anything this year, but that's not the point: this was a season hit by Covid-19, a season where Mourinho was given the manager's job. In short: it was a season like no other and this is a riveting behind-the-scenes look at everything that went on.

16
37
Thanks for voting

The 80s is a TV gold mine. Stranger Things used the era of Walkmans and shell suits as a backdrop for some crazy stuff. Red Oaks tempers the craziness but ramps up the warmth and fun, creating a wonderful coming-of-age story that needs to be seen. It is a show that doesn’t shirk big issues, but they are wrapped in a lot of affection for the era and its characters.

102
127
Thanks for voting
Best Amazon Prime Series

30. Too Old To Die Young

Stream now (Prime Video)

Known more for his ultraviolent movies, such as Drive and Only God Forgives, his foray into television is superb as it is brutal. Although Refn prefers to think of Too Old To Die Young as an extended movie, it's been broken down into 12 manageable 'episodes', following a cop played by Miles Teller who goes on something of a revenge spree, ridding the world of some very unsavoury characters. This is uncompromising, unflinching entertainment - and all the better for it.

84
174
Thanks for voting

SOMETHING MISSING FROM OUR SHORTLIST?

Tell us about it, and if enough people agree we'll add it in.

Essential Streaming Deals, FREE TRIALS

1. Disney+ 7 days free
1. Disney+ 7 days free
£5.99 p/m after trial
2. Three months Amazon Music Unlimited for free
2. Three months Amazon Music Unlimited for free
DON'T MISS OUT
3. Prime Video 30 day Free Trial
3. Prime Video 30 day Free Trial
£7.99 p/m after 30 day trial
4. NOW TV Entertainment, 7 Days free
4. NOW TV Entertainment, 7 Days free
£8.99 p/m after trial (£20.98 Inc. Cinema)
5. NOW TV Sky Cinema, 7 Days free
5. NOW TV Sky Cinema, 7 Days free
£11.99 p/m after trail
6. NOW TV Kids, 7 Days free
6. NOW TV Kids, 7 Days free
£3.99 p/m after 7 day trail
7. NOW TV Hayu, 7 Days free
7. NOW TV Hayu, 7 Days free
£3.99 p/m after 7 day trail
8. Sky Sports, NOW TV
8. Sky Sports, NOW TV
£11.99 p/w after trail
9. Apple TV 7 day trial
9. Apple TV 7 day trial
£4.99 p/m after 7 day trial
10. Britbox 30 day Free Trial
10. Britbox 30 day Free Trial
£5.99 p/m after 30 day trail