New Shows on Amazon Prime

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New Shows on Amazon Prime

While Amazon might not have the quantity of new TV series of its competitor Netflix, the online retail giant has invested heavily in its narrower band of original programming. That’s nowhere more apparent than with last month’s launch of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, but it can also be seen in its whole slate of recent releases. Here we’ll keep track of every new series available for Prime members to stream for free, including through partners like Freevee. In the last few months, that’s meant action-adventure, animation, comedy, fantasy and drama. Here are 10 of the biggest new TV shows on Amazon Prime.

1. Three Pines

Release Date: December 2, 2022
Creator: Emilia di Girolamo
Stars: Alfred Molina, Rossif Sutherland, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Tantoo Cardinal, Clare Coulter
Genre: Mystery

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How many detective novel series are there, really? Hundreds? Thousands? Are there infinite men in coats skulking around crime scenes; do there exist unlimited pairs of world-wearied eyes that see things others can’t? Are these detectives all meant to be ill-defined and same-ish, with vague suggestions at psychological issues and personality disorders, so any cultural and sociological landscape can be imprinted on them to suggest that this character, these stories, are unique and independent from the deluge of others? Enter Inspector Armand Gamache (Alfred Molina), who finds himself in the sleepy, charming Quebecois village of Three Pines to solve a perplexing mystery that soon unfolds into another, and another, until crime and secrecy has eventually stained every member of the populace. Throughout this, the legacy of violence against Indigenous Canadians—and especially law enforcement’s failure to bring its perpetrators to justice—threads through the story, changing up Three Pines’ structure and attempting to sow psychological distress into the main detective character. There’s nothing flat-out appalling about Three Pines, but its structural peculiarities and thinly spread characters render a lot of its mystery and intrigue inert. Its main problem is even more simple: it is nigh-impossible to care about a show you’ve seen millions of times before. —Rory Doherty

2. Riches

Release Date: December 2, 2022
Creator: Abby Ajayi
Stars: Deborah Ayorinde, Hugh Quarshie, Sarah Niles, Brendan Coyle, Hermione Norris
Genre: Drama

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Heavy is the head that wears the crown. For a drama that calls back to that quote in equal parts from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1 and Stormzy’s second studio album, Abby Ajayi’s Riches on Prime Video explores a power struggles within both the Richards family and Richards’ family company after the unexpected death of its patriarch and CEO, Stephan Richards (Hugh Quarshie). With his surviving family already bitterly divided by a literal ocean of differences—two of his estranged children from a previous relationship hail from America; his second family resided with him in England—the new struggle to secure control over the business brings the Richards to an explosive flashpoint. Flaring tensions further, Stephan Richards’ will holds surprises, precipitating an avalanche of personal and professional reveals that change the course of the entire family’s future. Over six episodes, Riches largely operates as a fizzy workplace drama that spills outside the boardroom, centering high stakes Black capitalism at the core of its identity. Riches gives a little bit of everything. A little soap, a little seriousness, a little serial investigation: The show offers the viewer different things depending on mood. It gives sexy romps next to flashes back to challenging childhood memories. There are galas and nightclub bathrooms. If the characters’ journeys mirror the show, life full of wealth is well worth a fight. Riches may make you even question the value in fighting fair. But like the money earned from Flare and Glory, crowns can be a flawless head of hair, or even the head upon your shoulders. The women who win have the smarts. And the flare and glory of winning that crown give Riches’ leading ladies their best accessory yet. —Katherine Smith

3. Mammals

Release Date: November 11, 2022
Creators: Jez Butterworth, James Richardson
Stars: James Corden, Melia Kreiling, Colin Morgan, Sally Hawkins
Genre: Comedy, Drama

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Every Redditor’s favorite punching bag James Corden stars as a renowned chef whose pregnant wife (Melia Kreiling) has been keeping secrets. With music by Blur’s Graham Coxon and a supporting cast that includes Sally Hawkins, Colin Morgan and Tom Jones playing himself, the six-episode first season got mixed reviews.

4. The English

Release Date: November 11, 2022
Creator: Hugo Blick
Stars: Emily Blunt, Chaske Spencer, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, Tom Hughes, Stephen Rea, Valerie Pachner, Ciarán Hinds
Genre: Western

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In the new Hugo Blick-directed Prime Video series The English, Emily Blunt plays Lady Cornelia Locke—competent, self-assured character, tougher by far than your average man or woman, who finds herself thrust into the almost unreal hostility and violence of the old American west. She’s on a mission to avenge her dead son, but though she’s greeted by almost constant bloodshed and the darkest sides of humanity, she seems almost unaffected. She’ll shoot, she’ll kill, and a moment later she’ll be laughing as she has a picnic in an impossibly elegant dress. Blunt stars alongside Chaske Spencer as Eli Whipp, an American Indian who has just finished work as an army scout. They cross paths under horrendous circumstances, and Lady Cornelia convinces him to start with her toward Wyoming territory. He just wants a piece of land—which everyone likes to remind he’ll never have, due to his skin—while she’s out for vengeance, the circumstances of which are cloudy at the start. This is a show of gorgeous western vistas, with the shot of a lone rider framed from the side against a sunset horizon a particular favorite (so much so that it almost becomes a mannerism). There’s a hint of Terrence Malick poetry in here, although far more literal and less committed, and at its best, it’s visually appealing. There are great acting turns, too, particularly by Toby Jones—who in a very short, one-episode arc steals every scene he’s in. Spencer, as Whipp, is laconic to the point of cliche, the American Indian version of every quiet-tough-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold you’ve seen in westerns since they first started making westerns. But within that context he’s a solid presence, and Blunt is her usual capable self. In both cases, though, there’s something naggingly shallow about the characters—entirely due to the writing—that puts a ceiling on the show’s quality. This is not a superficial shoot-em-up, but it also never captures the aching melancholy of seminal western TV series like Lonesome Dove. —Shane Ryan

5. The Devil’s Hour

Release Date: October 28, 2022
Creators: Tom Moran
Stars: Jessica Raine, Peter Capaldi, Nikesh Patel, Alex Ferns
Genre: Thriller

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Jessica Raine (Becoming Elizabeth) stars opposite Peter Capaldi as a social worker with insomnia who gets caught up in the hunt for a serial killer. The psychological thriller has already been picked up for two more seasons.

6. The Peripheral

Release Date: October 21, 2022
Creators: Scott Smith
Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, Gary Carr, Jack Reynor, Eli Goree, Charlotte Riley
Genre: Sci-fi
Paste Review Rating: 7.1

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Prime Video’s new science fiction series The Peripheral is based on the 2014 novel of the same name by William Gibson. Considered one of the founders of the cyberpunk genre, Gibson’s writing has influenced countless other books, movies and TV shows, but has rarely been directly adapted to the screen. The Peripheral takes place primarily in two different settings: 2032 North Carolina and 2099 London. The former is a recognizable extrapolation of present-day America, with virtual reality and 3D printing advancing—and poverty, the cost of healthcare, and the drug crisis worsening. Protagonist Flynne Fisher (Chloë Grace Moretz, in the biggest role of her adult career) is living with her terminally ill mother Ella (Melinda Page Hamilton) and her brother Burton (Jack Reynor), a veteran who was subjected to technological experiments and now makes money doing jobs in hyper-realistic videogames. It’s through filling in for Burton on one of these jobs that Flynne finds herself in the further future. The world-building in The Peripheral is brilliant. The show itself, which has been adapted by screenwriter Scott B. Smith and executive produced by Westworld’s Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, is merely pretty good. Despite solid production design and a few attention-grabbing moments of action and body horror, the visuals and direction are never are stunning as those in Westworld, and while the story is not as frustratingly confusing as the latter seasons of Westworld got, it is still convoluted enough that one’s interest can often drift in the season’s middle episodes. I’m still waiting for the moment when the series itself becomes as compelling as its central sci-fi concepts are. —Reuben Baron

7. High School

Release Date: October 14, 2022
Creators: Clea DuVall, Sara Quin, Tegan Quin
Stars: Railey Gilliland, Seazynn Gilliland, Esther McGregor, Cobie Smulders, Kyle Bornheimer
Genre: Comedy
Paste Review Rating: 8.4

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Based on the memoir High School and accompanying album Hey, I’m Just Like You by Canadian trailblazers Tegan and Sara Quinn, this series is Amazon Freevee’s latest offering in their burgeoning library of originals. Taking place during Tegan and Sara’s tumultuous high school years, the show follows the twin sisters as they navigate life, sexuality, and music—all while trying to simply get along. Coming from showrunner Clea Duvall (Happiest Season), the series stars TikTokers and actual twin sisters Railey and Seazynn Gilliland as the musicians. High School is perfect for any fan of Tegan and Sara’s decades-long music career, as well as those simply intrigued by an introspective examination of two queer sisters trying to find connection over guitar strings, all while they attempt to survive high school in the mid ’90s. —Anna Govert

8. Jungle

Release Date: September 29, 2022
Creators: Junior Okoli, Chas Appeti
Stars: Ra, Ezra Elliott, Amaria BB, M24, Matdel Seyi
Genre: Drama

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Set in the near future, this British Amazon original crime drama is set in inner-city London among its grime and drill music scene. All six episodes were released on September 29. Co-creators Junior Okoli and Chas Appeti came up as music video directors and bring their aesthetic to the story of a young criminal who wants out of the gang life before he becomes a father.

9. The Rings of Power

Release Date: September 2, 2022
Creators: J. D. Payne, Patrick McKay
Stars: Morfydd Clark, Markella Kavenagh, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Lenny Henry, Maxim Baldry, Ismael Cruz Córdova
Genre: Action thriller
Paste Review Rating: 8.6

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Prime Video’s lavishly expensive Lord of the Rings prequel series has been something of an industry cautionary tale for months, from its hefty price tag to the inevitable comparisons to Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning trilogy of films. After all, if you’re going to come at the king—or, in this case, The Return of the King—you best not miss. Thankfully, The Rings of Power doesn’t miss. A gorgeous and welcome return to Middle-earth, the series not only looks amazing with epic and impressive visuals, more importantly feels right emotionally. Grand in scale but intimate in its story, this is a series that’s as grounded in relationships as it is prophecy, as concerned with what the threat of Sauron means to the everyday lives of the races of Middle-earth as it is the larger battle of good and evil written across ages. Set during the Second Age, The Rings of Power takes place thousands of years before the events of Jackson’s movies, the series weaves together at least half a dozen major plots and twice that many main characters with a confidence that makes its slow, deliberate pace feel as though it’s organically building toward the potentially world-ending stakes that are in all their futures. I’m looking forward to finding out whether that confidence is truly warranted, but thus far, this series certainly makes me want to believe in magic, enough that I’ll be very happy to see this road go (ever on and) on for several more seasons to come. —Lacy Baugher-Milas

10. Sprung

Release Date: August 19, 2022
Creator: Greg Garcia
Stars: Garret Dillahunt, Martha Plimpton, Phillip Garcia, James Earl, Clare Gillies, Shakire Barrera
Genre: Crime Comedy
Paste Review Rating: 7.9

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After finding themselves released early from their sentences in the first few weeks of pandemic for “health and safety” reasons—an official action which amounts to more or less shoving half of the (conveniently co-ed) prison’s population through the front gates with nothing more than a “good luck!” and the clothes they came in with—a trio of non-violent offenders (Garret Dillahunt, Shakira Barrera, and Phillip Garcia) in rural Western Maryland end up banding together. First it’s to find a safe spot to “shelter in place” during lockdown, then it’s to take advantage of COVID chaos by doing enough crime that they can support themselves in a job market hostile to anyone with a criminal record. If this sounds like a tough nut to crack jokes from, well, you’re not wrong! But with Greg Garcia—the mind behind My Name is Earl, Raising Hope and The Guest Book—leading Sprung’s creative vision as creator, director, and primary writer, the fact that the limited Freevee comedy series ends up threading the absurdly dark/warmly funny needle isn’t surprising. —Alexis Gunderson