The 15 Best Shows on Amazon Prime Right Now (December 2020)

Don't sleep on these great shows you can watch for free with Prime

Amazon Prime Video has more great shows than you might realize, and we've assembled the best of the best right here for your convenience. Whether you're looking for a thrilling drama, alternate history, science fiction, or hilarious comedy, Amazon Prime has a show for you.

01
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The Expanse (2015): Best Noir Sci-Fi Rescued From Syfy

Wes Chatham in 'The Expanse.'

Amazon Studios

IMDb rating: 8.5/10

Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Mystery

Starring: Steven Strait, Cas Anvar, Dominique Tipper, Wes Chatham

Created By: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 5

The Expanse is science fiction at its most pure, painting a solar system colonized by humanity in gritty, realistic detail, and saddled with a murder mystery that grabs you and won't let go. Amazon pulled this sci-fi noir masterpiece off the trash heap when Syfy canned it after three seasons, so it doesn't end unceremoniously halfway through the story either.

Season 5, which debuts on December 16th, splits the crew of the Rocinante. Some of them hunt for the terrorist Marcos Inaros, while Amos (Wes Chatham) returns to Earth and confronts his past.

02
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The Wilds (2020): Lord of the Flies Meets Lost

Reign Edwards in 'The Wilds'

Amazon Studios

IMDb rating: n/a

Genre: Drama

Starring: Rachel Griffiths, Sophia Ali, Sarah Pidgeon 

Created By: Sarah Streicher

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 1

Fans of the mysterious drama series Lost might want to give The Wilds a try when it debuts on Amazon Prime December 11th. The show focuses on a group of teen girls from various backgrounds who survive a plane crash and clash and bond as they wait for rescue on a deserted island. Along the way, they discover that the events aren't as random as they seem. Twist!

03
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The Bernie Mac Show (2001): The Comedy Icon's Peabody Award-Winning Series

Bernie Mac in 'The Bernie Mac Show'

Starz

IMDb rating: 7.0/10

Genre: Comedy, Family

Starring: Bernie Mac, Kelllita Smith, Jeremy Suarez 

Created By: Larry Wilmore

TV Rating: TV-PG

Number of Seasons: 5

The late comedian Bernie Mac was one of the breakout stars of the 2000 film The Original Kings of Comedy. He also had memorable roles in movies like Bad Santa and Ocean's 11. But it's his eponymous sitcom fans likely remember best, and all five seasons are coming to Amazon Prime in December.

The Bernie Mac Show portrayed a fictionalized version of Mac as a standup comedian who gains custody of his sister's three children after she enters rehab. It won numerous awards during its run, including a Peabody, and it received two Emmy nominations.

04
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The Man in the High Castle (2015): Best Dystopian Alternative History

The Man in the High Castle

 Amazon

IMDb rating: 8.0/10

Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller

Starring: Alexa Davalos, Luke Kleintank, Rufus Sewell 

Created By: Frank Spotnitz

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 4

This dystopian, alternate-history thriller features a very different United States that has fallen to Nazi and Imperial Japanese influence following World War II. Based on a novel by Philip K. Dick and developed for television by X-Files alum Frank Spotnitz, The Man in the High Castle revolves around mysterious film footage that shows the Axis powers losing the war.

05
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Bosch (2014): Best Seasonal Procedural With Room to Breath

Titus Welliver in Bosch

 Amazon

IMDb rating: 8.4/10

Genre: Crime, Drama, Procedural

Starring: Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino 

Created By: Eric Ellis Overmyer

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 7

This police procedural follows LA homicide detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver), who is trying to solve one murder while being dragged into court over another as the series opens. Unlike most modern procedurals, each season focuses on a single case, allowing time for the story to breathe without the need to tie everything up with a neat bow at the end of each episode.

06
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Sneaky Pete (2015): Best Con Man With a Heart of Gold

Giovanni Ribisi in Sneaky Pete

 Amazon

IMDb rating: 8.1/10

Genre: TV-MA

Starring: Giovanni Ribisi, Marin Ireland, Shane McRae 

Created By: Bryan Cranston, David Shore

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 3

Sneaky Pete is about a con man (the always-watchable Giovanni Ribisi) who assumes his old cellmate's identity so he can hide from a vicious gangster (the equally watchable Bryan Cranston) he betrayed. Not having seen "Pete" since he was a child, the family accepts him with more or less open arms, but they end up having more than enough problems of their own, some of which "Pete" might be able to help them with.

07
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Patriot (2015): Best Folk Song Singing Secret Agent

Michael Dorman in Patriot

 Amazon

IMDb rating: 8.3/10

Genre: Dark Comedy, Spy Thriller

Starring: Michael Dorman, Aliette Opheim, Kurtwood Smith

Created By: Steve Conrad

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

Intelligence officer John Tavner (Michael Dorman) is coming apart at the seams. Tasked with preventing Iran from going nuclear, you're more likely to find him on a park bench with his guitar, singing highly personal folk songs that literally recount the top secret details of past and present missions.

Tavner is undeniably skilled at what he does, but the toll on his psyche has been real, and it often manifests in strange fugue states, dreamlike observances, and events so strange that the audience is often left to wonder what, exactly, is real.

08
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The Boys (2019): A Hero Story Where All the Superheroes Aren't Heroes

Antony Starr in The Boys

 Amazon

IMDb rating: 8.7/10

Genre: Action, Superhero, Dark Comedy

Starring: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr

Created By: Eric Kripke

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

The Boys is a darkly comedic take on what the world might look like if superheroes were actually real. Backed by a multinational megacorporation and imbued with powers like flight, laser vision, invisibility, super speed, and other old standards, the superheroes in this world are anything but heroic.

Loveable loser Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) falls in with a shadowy group known as The Boys after his girlfriend is obliterated in a superhero-related incident. Led by ultraviolent Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), the motley group takes on rogue superheroes in often inventive and bloody ways.

09
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Transparent (2014): Best Reminder That It's Never Too Late to Be Yourself

Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent

 Amazon

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Jeffrey Tambor, Amy Landecker, Gaby Hoffmann 

Created By: Joey Soloway

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 5

This Golden Globe-winning series tells the story of the Pfefferman family as erstwhile patriarch Morton (Jeffrey Tambor) comes out as transgender woman Maura. Maura struggles to navigate life as a woman, facing discrimination even in places she expected to find acceptance, while her ex-wife and children slowly learn to embrace the new normal.

10
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Red Oaks (2014): Best Impression of an ’80s Coming of Age Comedy

Red Oaks

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.9/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Craig Roberts, Ennis Esmer, Oliver Cooper 

Created By: Joe Gangemi, Gregory Jacobs

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 3

Red Oaks is a pitch perfect rendition of of what classic '80s teen comedies like Porkies and Meatballs might look like if developed for the small screen. Season one sees college student David (Craig Myers) take a summer job as an assistant tennis pro at a fancy country club.

While David's father (Richard Kind) pressures him to be an accountant, he instead focuses on partying, working at the club, and sets his sights on the daughter (Alexandra Socha) of club president Doug Getty (Paul Reiser). Subsequent seasons take a look at what happens after the summer is over and real life gets in the way

11
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The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017): Best 1950s Housewife-Turned-Comedian

Rachel Brosnahan in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

 Amazon

IMDb rating: 8.7/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Michael Zegen

Created By: Amy Sherman-Palladino

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 4

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the story of the titular Mrs. Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) and her journey to reinvent herself as a stand-up comic after her husband (Michael Zegen) decides he doesn't want to be married anymore.

This Golden Globe-winning comedy comes from Amy Sherman-Palladino, and fans of her earlier work will find much of the same here: a cast of quirky characters, rapid-fire dialog, and smart writing.

12
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Good Omens (2019): Best Armageddon Avoidance Comedy

David Tennant and Michael Sheen in Good Omens

 Amazon

IMDb rating: 8.1/10

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy

Starring: David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Frances McDormand

Created By: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

It's the end of the world, but not everyone is exactly on board with the whole thing. Demon Crowley (David Tennant) and angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) have enjoyed their time on Earth, and they aren't quite ready for it all to be over.

Aided by the descendant of a prophetic witch (Adria Arjona) and the last scion of the man responsible for her demise (Jack Whitehall), along with a conveniently-misplaced antichrist (Sam Taylor Buck), angel and demon try to engineer an armageddon that's slightly less apocalyptic than the norm.

13
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The Tick (2016): Best Show About a Blood-Sucking Arachnid

Peter Serafanowics and Griffin Newman in The Tick

 Amazon

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Genre: Comedy, Action, Superhero

Starring: Peter Serafinowicz, Griffin Newman, Valorie Curry 

Created By: Ben Edlund

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

Nervous everyman Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman) watched his father die at the hands of a supervillain as a child, and as an adult he's obsessed with proving that same evildoer is, in fact, still alive and at large. His pursuit of that goal leads him to amnesiac superhero the Tick (Peter Serafinowicz) and his very own super suit that makes him look suspiciously like a moth.

The Tick has been reimagined a bunch of times, but the 2016 Amazon Original gets just about everything right. Serafinowicz does a fine job filling the massive shoes left behind by the star of the previous live action version, Patrick Warburton, who stepped behind the camera to produce this incarnation. Newman is also great as a particularly troubled Arthur Everest, providing a bit of an unreliable narrator that asks us to wonder whether or not this is all in his head.

14
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Fleabag (2016): Best Uncomfortably Self-Aware Comedy Drama

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag.

 Amazon

IMDb rating: 8.7/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sian Clifford, Olivia Colman

Created By: Phoebe Waller-Bridge

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

Fleabag is a hilarious and sometimes uncomfortable look into the life of an acerbic, irreverent, grief-stricken Londoner (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) who goes unnamed throughout the series. She is, clearly, a Fleabag, but we never know if that's actually her name or not, or if it really even matters.

Bridge created, wrote, starred in, and executive produced this fourth-wall-breaking comedy.

15
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Undone (2019): Best Surreal Time-Bending Fantasy Drama

An animated Rosa Salazar in Undone

Amazon 

IMDb rating: 8.2/10

Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy

Starring: Rosa Salazar, Angelique Cabral, Constance Marie

Created By: Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Kate Purdy

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

In Undone, Alma (Rosa Salazar) discovers that she can manipulate time after nearly dying in a car accident. With this newfound power, she teams up with her deceased father (Bob Odenkirk) to find out who killed him.

Rendered in painterly fashion using rotoscoping, Undone has a surreal, dreamlike quality that suffuses Alma's time-bending journey.