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Amazon Prime: TV series and specials you should be streaming

Come for the free two-day shipping, stay for the excellent streaming TV options.

The TV offerings on Amazon Prime have grown tremendously, so much so that it can be tough to know what to stream next.

From the Prime originals, like "Transparent" and "The Grand Tour," to the hidden gems, here are some recommendations for what to watch.

‘Good Girls Revolt’

If you miss
Photo Credit: Amazon Studio / Jessica Miglio

If you miss "Mad Men" and always wanted more of its rebellious, pushing-against-the-system women, "Good Girls Revolt" takes the Peggy/Joan sprit and sets it in the realm of NYC journalism in the late 1960s. Just don't fall too in love: It was canceled after one season.

'The Newsroom'

An Aaron Sorkin creation, the HBO series
Photo Credit: HBO / Melissa Moseley

An Aaron Sorkin creation, the HBO series "The Newsroom" looks at the drama kicked up when brilliant TV journalists are put in the pressure cooker of a politically minded nightly news program. It lasted just three seasons, but that seemed about right for telling this particular tale. The sharp writing, passion for the news industry and great cast including Jeff Daniels (left), Sam Waterston (right) and Emily Mortimer make it worth your time. Full series available.

'Downton Abbey'

Now that
Photo Credit: Carnival Film & Television Limit / Nick Briggs

Now that "Downton Abbey" is all over, watch the class-centric period drama again or for the first time. Set in England in the first quarter of the 20th century and aired stateside on PBS, the critically lauded show featured an ensemble cast with Maggie Smith and Elizabeth McGovern. All seasons available.

'The Grand Tour'

The new
Photo Credit: Amazon

The new "Top Gear" just doesn't have the cast chemistry of its last incarnation. For that, you need to head to Amazon, which got the core "Gear" band -- co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May -- back together for "The Grand Tour." The cars are as gorgeous, the stunts are as cleverly goofy and the budget is as oversized as Clarkson's personality -- the pilot's introduction alone has been reported at $3.1 million. New episodes are being released every Friday through February.

'The Man in the High Castle'

It's as dark as you might except of
Photo Credit: Amazon Studios / David Berg

It's as dark as you might except of an alternate history that takes as its starting point an Axis victory in World War II, and based on a Philip K. Dick novel to boot. But history buffs will have plenty of intellectual fun off of a premise wound up very much in a premise of technological superiority. Seasons 1 and 2 available.


If you can't decide whether you want to
Photo Credit: FX

If you can't decide whether you want to laugh or cry at life, well, neither can the title character of FX's "Louie." Louis CK plays a loose version of himself, living as a comedian in New York. But this definitely isn't "Seinfeld." First five seasons available.


This Amazon series follows a three siblings as
Photo Credit: Amazon Studios / Beth Dubber

This Amazon series follows a three siblings as they learn that their father Mort, played by Jeffrey Tambor, is transgender. Tambor won an Emmy for his role in "Transparent" in 2015 and 2016. You can binge on all three seasons on Prime now, before the fourth season is released.

'Doctor Who'

If you don't know what the TARDIS is,
Photo Credit: BBC / Adrian Rogers

If you don't know what the TARDIS is, well, it's time to learn. Time travel alongside the coolest alien with a British accent, who is cleverly portrayed by a series of actors including a favorite, David Tennant (pictured). Amazon has the first nine seasons of the most recent incarnation of the "Doctor Who" series (not the 1963-1989 run).

'Mr. Robot'

If you love Stanley Kubrick (especially
Photo Credit: USA Network / David Giesbrecht

If you love Stanley Kubrick (especially "A Clockwork Orange"), conspiracy theories and shows seeped in NYC, then you are in lock step with "Mr. Robot" creator Sam Esmail. Christian Slater was the name brand when the USA series started, but lead Rami Malek gives the highly stylized show humanity with his nuanced portrayal of a hacker grappling with a huge intellect and severe mental illness. Season one available.


Ah, the short-term binge. It's easy to finish
Photo Credit: Amazon Prime / Colleen E. Hayes

Ah, the short-term binge. It's easy to finish off the eight-episode "Goliath" in one weekend, especially with Billy Bob Thornton leading the David E. Kelley ("Ally McBeal," "The Practice") series. Thornton plays an on-the-skids lawyer in the legal drama that ticks off plenty of film noir boxes, including the anti-hero (Thornton), high-contrast cinematography and plenty of rain (in L.A.'s Chinatown, no less). William Hurt and Maria Bello co-star. Season one available.


Based an Elmore Leonard book -- the author
Photo Credit: FX

Based an Elmore Leonard book -- the author called it a "terrific show" and said he's "amazed sometimes that they've got the characters better than I put them on paper" at a Television Critics Association press tour in early 2012 -- the FX series about a Kentucky U.S. Marshal wrapped its sixth and final season in 2015. And no wonder the author loved it: "Justified" was notable for its strong writing, as well a strong cast led by Timothy Olyphant as the old-school lawman. Six seasons available.

'Veronica Mars'

Any series that can be pitched with
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures / Robert Voets

Any series that can be pitched with "high school student by day, private investigator by night" is worth a look, right? Right. You can also see the crowd-funded "Veronica Mars" movie on Prime, but we'd start with the series, a charming show centered around a plucky junior investigator played by Kristen Bell. It only lasted three seasons (all are streaming), but it smartly offered up a complete story arc each season, making it perfect for binging. The supporting cast includes a solid Enrico Colantoni as Pa Mars and Francis Capra as an intense friend/frenemy.

'Sons of Anarchy'

A drama full of adrenaline,
Photo Credit: Fox / FX Entertainment TV

A drama full of adrenaline, "Sons of Anarchy" explores a notorious outlaw motorcycle club's desire to protect its livelihood while ensuring that its simple, sheltered town of Charming, California, remains exactly that -- charming. All seven seasons are available to stream.

'Curb Your Enthusiasm'

HBO announced June 14 that
Photo Credit: HBO / John P. Johnson

HBO announced June 14 that "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will, indeed, return for a ninth season. When exactly, we haven't been told yet, but you should have time to visit the first eight seasons. Larry David puts a mirror to "Seinfeld," which he co-created, for "Curb," on which he plays a Los Angeles-based TV writer and producer. Let the neuroses begin. Eight seasons available.

'True Blood'

Photo Credit: HBO / Tony Rivetti

As "Twilight" was reaching fever pitch among tweens, adults (and those of us who really miss "Dynasty") got a treat in "True Blood." A supernatural super-soap opera set in the Gothic South, the Alan Ball ("Six Feet Under") show has a solid core in stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgard, who get the campy tone just right. Available: seasons 1-6.

'America's Next Top Model'

Photo Credit: NextTopModel0505 via Youtube

"America's Next Top Model" began in 2003 during the salad days of reality TV. From the makeovers to the Ty-raids of host Tyra Banks, this is perfect stuff for binge watching, especially when you're home sick. First 14 seasons available.

Worricker trilogy

Leave it to the BBC to cast the
Photo Credit: BBC / Carnival Films

Leave it to the BBC to cast the always solid Bill Nighy as a charming spy who uses his brain above all else. Sure, he's suave, and the ladies (including Helena Bonham Carter, Winona Ryder) love his perfectly tailored suits, but he's a brilliant ethicist struggling within (and without) M15 to find his way in an era of terrorism where the targets aren't clear. Ralph Fiennes plays England's prime minster. All three installments -- "Page Eight," "Turks & Caicos" and "Salting the Battlefield" -- are available.

'Orphan Black'

The sci-fi series has a strong coterie of
Photo Credit: BBC America

The sci-fi series has a strong coterie of females at its center, clones that allow the writers to investigate issues from biological imperatives to choice, motherhood to how we define family. With a strong, malleable Tatiana Maslany as several versions of the Orphan, the BBC series is perfect for those who still miss "Fringe." First three seasons available.


This NBC horror series doesn't get a lot
Photo Credit: NBC / Scott Green

This NBC horror series doesn't get a lot of ink, but it keeps plugging along -- and with good reason. It's a cop procedural crossed with a monster-of-the-week, and those monsters are good, really good. The "Grimm" writers and special effects team have created a rich mythology that's staffed with critters that are as clever as they are creepy. The early episodes are particularly fun as Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers his monster-maiming skills while balancing being a detective paid to track them down. First five seasons available.

'The Americans'

A period drama with highly efficient writing and
Photo Credit: FX / Michael Parmelee

A period drama with highly efficient writing and an excellent cast, "The Americans" stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as Russian spies living deep undercover in Washington, D.C., during the Cold War. Posing as a married couple, they intersect with a cast including a chilly Margo Martindale as their Soviet handler. First three seasons available.

'The Royals'

The main reason to put this one in
Photo Credit: E! / Tim Whitby

The main reason to put this one in the queue is simple: the return of TV's original bad girl, the perfectly on-camp Joan Collins. She plays the Grand Duchess of Oxford to Elizabeth Hurley's Queen of England, and the royal fun just spirals from there. If you want some mindless trash, get your monarchy on with the first two seasons.

'The Sopranos'

This series was both huge for establishing HBO
Photo Credit: HBO

This series was both huge for establishing HBO as a major player in scripted TV as well as a notable get for Amazon Prime -- a big sign that the streaming service wasn't playing around. And the late James Gandolfini is all business in the role that defined his career: Tony Soprano. Gandolfini landed three lead actor Emmys for his portrayal of the mobster with a heart. See why: All six seasons are available.


A perfect show, it is not. An annoying
Photo Credit: HBO / Jessica Miglio

A perfect show, it is not. An annoying show, it absolutely is. But that's part of its charm, the way "Girls" has managed to put a mirror to the millennial me-generation while simultaneously stoking those self-centered fires through its exhibitionist star and creator Lena Dunham. At the least, it's essential viewing for TV lovers, and you'll have a time limit: First two seasons available.

'The Good Wife'

This CBS procedural gets right what so few
Photo Credit: CBS

This CBS procedural gets right what so few do: It remains a procedural. Sure, it's a standard serial in that the wife of the title, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) is allowed to grow (and regress), as are those in her orbit, but it also sticks with the kinds of ripped-from-the-headlines cases that made the original "Law & Order" such a powerhouse. And the supporting cast is super supported by an always complex, sometimes cheeky Alan Cumming. It wrapped in spring 2016, and you can take in all seven seasons on Prime.

‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’

You followed Sabrina for seven seasons as she

You followed Sabrina for seven seasons as she learned about her magical powers, fell in love with Harvey and did it all with her spunky cat Salem by her side. Tune in and watch a few episodes (or seasons) of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" when you're feeling nostalgic. All seven seasons are available.

'The Wire'

It's the show that critics loved -- sorry,
Photo Credit: HBO

It's the show that critics loved -- sorry, Loved, capital L, they felt That Strongly -- that you just haven't gotten around to seeing. Notable both for its creative reworking of the TV drama format and an ensemble cast -- including Dominic West, Wendell Pierce and Lance Reddick -- that is up there with the best, you can watch all five seasons on Amazon Prime.


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