We’re now in what feels like Day 1,347 of coronavirus social distancing. You’ve watched “Tiger King” on Netflix. You’re caught up with “Little Fires Everywhere” on Hulu. You’re coming very close to binge-watching cat videos on YouTube.
With so many of us staying home, people are turning to home delivery, ordering everything from gardening tools to board games. If you’re using one of the most ubiquitous services, Amazon Prime, you also have access to so many movies, vintage TV shows and original series that you can spend hours binge-watching without feeling guilty.
Here’s a look at some of the most notable original TV series streaming on Amazon Prime Video (which you can also watch on your TV if you’re a Comcast subscriber). The first 30 days are free, and you can cancel anytime. Amazon Prime membership costs $12.99 a month, or $119 per year.
“Making the Cut”: A recent premiere, this new fashion competition features “Project Runway” veterans Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, and an international group of designers trying to show that they can establish themselves as a global brand. It’s an entertaining distraction, though images of the carefree Klum and Gunn strolling through Paris streets — the series was filmed before the coronavirus-related lockdowns around the world — will make you wistful. The stakes for the competitors are high, because the winning designer will get $1 million to invest in their brand.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”: Rachel Brosnahan stars as a trailblazing female standup comic in this bubbly concoction from creator Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”). The late ’50s clothes and production design are a treat, as is the cast — Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle and more — that brings this New York-set saga to life over its three seasons.
“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”: If you’re craving action, this globe-trotting adventure stars John Krasinski as the CIA officer who uncovers terrorist plots, illegal arms shipments and more. Two seasons are available.
“Fleabag”: Phoebe Waller-Bridge created and stars in this comedy-drama about a young woman who’s trying to avoid dealing with grief and her own feelings of guilt in a show that’s easy to binge (there are only six episodes each in its two seasons). The show has become a bit of a pop culture phenomenon, for its wit, sexual frankness and a second season that, in my opinion, was an improvement over the first. The capable cast includes Andrew Scott as the Internet-anointed “hot priest” in Season 2.
“Bosch”: The series based on Michael Connelly’s novels about LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) may not get the awards attention of “Fleabag” or “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” but “Bosch” has quietly built up a loyal fan base. Six seasons are available.
“Homecoming”: Julia Roberts, Stephan James and Bobby Cannavale star in a twisty series inspired by the popular podcast, about a mysterious facility that’s supposedly helping soldiers make the transition back to civilian life. Dark, and sometimes darkly amusing (especially in Cannavale’s scenes) this is a well-acted, engrossing drama.
“A Very English Scandal”: A very good three-part miniseries based on the true story of Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant), a British politician whose efforts to hide his homosexuality were thrown into turmoil by an ex-lover named Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw). The ’60s and ’70s period details, superb performances, a clever script by Russell T Davies, and fine direction by Stephen Frears make this one of the best miniseries of recent years.
“Catastrophe”: Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan created and star in an comedy for adults about a Yank and a Brit who have casual sex in London, but when an unexpected pregnancy ensues, the two cautiously move into a relationship. Four seasons are available.
“Undone”: The oddly lifelike-but-not-quite Rotoscope animation technique is used in this unusual series, which tells the story of Alma (Rosa Salazar), who, following a serious car crash, finds she can communicate with her long-dead physicist father, Jacob (Bob Odenkirk), who tells her that she can move around in time. Could Alma have prevented Jacob’s death, years earlier? The series is created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg (“BoJack Horseman”) and Kate Purdy. One season is available.
“Modern Love”: A frequently touching anthology series with episodes inspired by “Modern Love” columns from The New York Times. The talented cast, who bring to life examples of love and affection of different kinds, includes Tina Fey, John Slattery, Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, and Andrew Scott (that “hot priest” from “Fleabag”). One season is available.
“Hunters”: Al Pacino gives a lively performance as the aging leader of a band of Nazi hunters in ’70s New York in this uneven but energetic Quentin Tarantino-esque thriller. One season is available.
“Good Omens”: Michael Sheen and David Tennant play angelic and devilish, respectively, entities who are enjoying Earth so much that the prospect of an impending Armageddon makes them take action. The comedy-fantasy miniseries is based on a novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and the impressive casts includes Jon Hamm, Michael McKean, Miranda Richardson, Adria Ariona, Frances McDorman and Jack Whitehall.
“Forever”: Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen star as a married couple who have gotten stuck in a rut until unexpected developments — very unexpected — make them reexamine everything. The series doesn’t quite work, but it has moments of melancholy humor that seem fitting right now. One season is available.
“The Boys”: Karl Urban and Jack Quaid star in a series inspired by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book, about a group of justice-seeking vigilantes who go up against corrupt superheroes. One season is available.
“Hanna”: A series based on the 2011 movie, this stars Esme Creed-Miles as a girl who possesses deadly abilities. Generally considered a disappointment compared to the original film, the series at least features a good cast, including Joel Kinnaman as the girl’s father, and Mireille Enos, Kinnaman’s costar from “The Killing,” as an equally deadly agent. One season is available.
“ZeroZeroZero”: Andrea Riseborough, Dane DeHaan and Gabriel Byrne star in a crime drama about the international cocaine trade, organized crime in Mexico and Italy, and a cocaine shipment. One season is available.
“Carnival Row”: Orlando Bloom and Cara Delavinge star in a period drama/fantasy about a series of murders, a government that doesn’t care about its powerless citizens, an investigator, and faerie refugees. Reviews have been mixed, but the series definitely aims to offer something different. One season is available.
“Transparent”: When it premiered in 2014, the comedy-drama about the Pfefferman family, and the patriarch’s revelation that Mort would now be Maura, a trans woman, “Transparent” felt groundbreaking. But in late 2017, everything blew up after Jeffrey Tambor, the award-winning lead who played Maura, was accused of sexual misconduct. Tambor left the show, and after four seasons, the series ended in 2019 with “Transparent: Musicale Finale,” a special extended musical farewell to the Pfeffermans. Four seasons and the Season 5 “Transparent: Musicale Finale” are available.
“Goliath”: Billy Bob Thornton stars in a drama as a once-successful lawyer who hit the skids, then comes back to the courtroom to fight against powerful forces who try and use the system to benefit themselves. Three seasons are available.
“Absentia”: Wonder what Stana Katic’s been up to since “Castle” ended? She’s an executive producer and star of this series about Emily Byrne (Katic), an FBI agent who disappeared and was presumed dead while on the trail of a serial killer in Boston. But six years later, Byrne turns up alive, unable to remember what happened to her. As if that isn’t upsetting enough, her husband has remarried, and Emily becomes a suspect in a series of new murders. Two seasons are available.
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— Kristi Turnquist
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