In a year where most of us spent a large portion of our time indoors, streaming services provided a vital service to keep us entertained, Amazon Prime has earned its place as a staple service, with its own array of hit original series, and a large collection of other film and television content.
Here we will be looking at the shows that Amazon Prime audiences have most enjoyed watching this year. I have put them in the order of my personal preferences, but you might think differently:
No1 – The Boys:
With Marvel and DC setting box office records, media involving superheroes is an almost guaranteed audience pleaser. But this show explores a darker side of heroes, answering the question of: What happens if our heroes no longer use their power for good? They are popular, powerful and influential, and The Boys want to expose all their secrets.
As well as the obvious twist of the show’s premise, audiences have raved about the intricate, unpredictable twists within the story. It is described as dark with a sense of humour and the often-critical fans of the original comic books are more than satisfied.
Photo Credit (Featured Photo): James Minchin
No 2 – Hanna:
This Amazon Prime original is sculpted around the 2011 movie, with the same title, starring Saoirse Ronan. The main character, Hanna, (played by 20-year-old Esme Creed-Miles) spends her life running from the pursuit of Marissa, a CIA agent, while simultaneously trying to discover the truth behind who she really is. The world created allows for the thriller genre to thrive within this series, but also stays human in a ‘coming-of-age’ way, as she goes on her journey of finding out the reality of her past.
Some Amazon audience members have made links to the Bourne films and younger audiences have drawn similarities to the Maze Runner trilogy. Others acknowledge the in-depth plot lines, clever writing and well-acted characters. Reviewers have also made note of the perhaps cliché but thrilling action sequences. With the second series released in July 2020 and a third on the way, it is clearly a show that Amazon will be holding onto for some time.
No 3 – Vikings
All six seasons of the historical drama Vikings has been beloved by fans. Viewers are transported in the Viking world. We follow Ragnar Lothbrok, as he becomes a legendary Norse hero through the expansive world created.
Audiences have been enthralled and hooked from episode one at the immersive world. Despite the usual historical inaccuracies, its praised for not being too far-fetched with gritty, ruthless battle scenes and binge-worthy plotlines. Some viewers have also been impressed with the female characters, that can often be overlooked in other shows of this genre. Fans assure newcomers that if you liked Game of Thrones, you will love this.
No 4 – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
After being left by her husband for his secretary, Miriam Maisel discovers her hidden talent of stand-up comedy. Her previous picturesque lifestyle is turned upside down as she takes on New York’s comedy scene. Mrs Maisel breaks boundaries in both the traditional family and comedy world in this 1950s period comedy.
Fans of this show are sourced in many ways. From followers of the creator, Amy Sherman Palladino, who created the iconic TV show ‘Gilmore Girls’, to people who are in love with the costume designs that a show set in the 50s brings. The comedy of the show is widely praised, with its witty dialogue and comedic plot lines, while also retaining enough personal story to create in depth characters. The show was picked up by Amazon Prime after the first season, and it was clearly the right decision as it has been renewed for a fourth.
No 5 – The Expanse
It is hundreds of years into the future, humans have finally colonised the rest of the Solar System, but of course, we cannot just live alongside each other in peace. Between the two large military superpowers, Earth and Mars, tensions are rising, leading them ever closer to war. All while a rogue team work together to unveil the largest conspiracy mankind has ever seen.
Sci-fi fans have come together to give this show their stamp of approval. Amazon viewers have made note of the smart, believable plotlines, that feel much like the political tensions we currently face on Earth. Many fans believe that this show is the epitome of what a sci-fi show should be and are grateful that Amazon picked up this show for its fourth season.
No 6 – Little Fires Everywhere
This show, as the title suggests has a fire, but quickly becomes about so much more. Reese Witherspoon plays the mother of the picture-perfect Richardson family in a suburban city in Ohio, opposed by Kerry Washington’s character who is a single mother, and a newcomer in town. As the families begin to intertwine, it is uncovered how even though they, on the surface greatly differ, the foundation of their realties is full of secrets and regrets.
Audiences have rated the 8 episodes very highly, many impressed with Witherspoon’s acting, proof that she has come a long way since 2001 film ‘Legally Blonde’. Fans of the original book were very impressed with the adaptation onto the silver screen. It has been praised for its both relatable characters and layers of intriguing drama.
No 7 – The Fall (available on Netflix, as well as Amazon)
This classic plot of cat and mouse, stars Gillian Anderson who plays sexually liberal, cunning and dominating Detective Superintendent, Stella Gibson. She becomes obsessed with catching a serial killer that terrorises Belfast, played by Jamie Dornan. His family provides a beard of normality, while also being a manipulative, sexually motivated killer.
Audiences have applauded the spine-chilling, captivating nature of this show, many admitting to binge watching the show. The commendable acting is not only seen by the leads but by the rest of the supporting cast, who all play out the gripping storylines wonderfully.
No 8 – New Amsterdam
Ryan Eggold stars as rebellious main character Dr Max Goodwin, who is hired as the new Medical Director of New Amsterdam Medical Centre. Immediately he implements controversial change and new policies, and now has six months to prove his changes are effective, to refrain from getting fired.
Audiences have been hooked by both seasons of the show, applauding in depth characters that have lives outside of the hospital. While some say that the show is not always plausible, it is redeemed with the dealing with hard-hitting plotlines like cancer and sexual abuse. New Amsterdam has most certainly been regarded as a binge-worthy show.
No 9 – Alex Rider
This British spy thriller follows Alex Rider, a London teenager who after his Uncle’s death is recruited to join a secret strand of MI6. Many fans are impressed with the adaptation of the show into a TV series, after the film ‘Stormbreaker’ in 2006 was collectively recognised as a flop.
The TV series is praised by fans for finally being what they had imagined growing up, reading the books, with much more fleshed out, well-acted characters. Many viewers have also acknowledged the often-darker tone that the series took, while still have the occasional sprinkling of classic British humour. With a second season confirmed, fans are looking forward to more adventures of their teenage spy appearing onto their screens.
No 10 – The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale is one of those shows that seems like everyone is telling you to watch, and Amazon audiences are no exception. Its blueprint is the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood and has since been extended into three seasons. Set in a totalitarian society, women are treated as property of the state, forced, if fertile, to repopulate the environmentally torn apart world.
Audiences are divided on the idea of whether this could become a reality, or if it reflects todays current society. However, most agree that the acting is impeccable and the dark and disturbing plot lines are captivating. This bleak show has captured Amazon audiences from across the globe, suggesting that The Handmaid’s Tale really is worth the hype it receives.