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 will be most apparent come this September when Amazon Prime Video launches The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, but it can already be seen in its recent releases. Here we’ll keep track of every new series available for Prime members to stream for free. In the last few months, that’s meant action-adventure, animation, comedy, fantasy and drama. Here are the eight newest TV shows on Amazon Prime.

1. Night Sky

Amazon Prime Release Date: May 20, 2022
Creators: Holden Miller, Daniel C. Connolly
Stars: Sissy Spacek, J. K. Simmons, Chai Hansen, Adam Bartley, Julieta Zylberberg, Sonya Walger
Genre: Drama, Sci-fi

Watch on Amazon Prime

Franklin (J.K. Simmons) and Irene (Sissy Spacek) York are your classic good-hearted old folks from the heartland, or at least close to the heartland (whatever small-town Illinois counts for these days). He was a carpenter, she was a school teacher, and now they’re retired on the rustic old homestead; they treat each other tenderly and with folksy humor. The central tragedy of their lives is the death of their son 20 years earlier, and the emotional scars are still evident. But as with many seemingly plain-at-first-sight families in dramas such as these, there’s something profound and scary and awe-inspiring beneath the surface, and that something is a portal in the basement of their shed that leads to outer space. More specifically, a glassed-in room in outer space where you can take in the panorama. They’re as mystified as we are, taking in the sights for years, more than 800 times total. But all they’ve ever seen is the gorgeous landscape. No aliens, no buildings, no sign of intelligent life at all. Until one day a stranger appears. Night Sky is a show that draws you in with narrative and performative subtleties. It’s tempting to sigh when confronted with another in a long line of “deliberate” dramas, but this is one that works. It’s a tribute to the synchronicity between the depth of the unsolved mystery and the similar depth of the two principal actors. They embody multitudes, and happily, those multitudes are a match—or near enough—for the indescribable universe they’ve been blessed to glimpse, but never fully understand. —Shane Ryan


2. The Kids in the Hall

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Amazon Prime Release Date: May 13, 2022
Creators: Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, Scott Thompson
Stars: Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, Scott Thompson
Genre: Sketch Comedy

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The list of sketch revivals isn’t deep, but the track record is more successful than with sitcoms or dramas, and the latest example just launched on Amazon Prime. The Kids in the Hall are back with a direct continuation of their beloved sketch show, which ran on the CBC and HBO from 1988 to 1995, and aired in repeats for years on Comedy Central; based on the five episodes we’ve seen, it lives up to the legacy of the original. Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, Scott Thompson, and Dave Foley have often worked together on live tours and other projects over the years, and in 2010 created the narrative-driven miniseries The Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town, but this is their first time they’ve made new episodes of their original sketch show since 1995. And they aren’t shy about explicitly tying the revival to that original series; the credits are an updated version of those from the ’90s, with the same theme song from surf rock band Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, only with the band and the Kids themselves all clearly a few decades older. Familiar characters from the past pop up throughout the run, although not as nostalgia; when the boss and secretaries from AT & Love appear, it’s to comment on how corporate culture has changed since the mid ‘90s, and not just for the cheap pop of recognition from the viewer. The Kids in the Hall have produced a model of how to revive a cult favorite, and the comedy world is better for it. —Garrett Martin


3. Outer Range

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Amazon Prime Release Date: April 15, 2022
Creator: Brian Watkins
Stars: Josh Brolin, Lili Taylor, Tamara Podemski, Tom Pelphrey, Imogen Poots, Lewis Pullman, Noah Reid, Shaun Sipos
Genre: Mystery, Western

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Created and executive produced by Ben Watkins and starring Josh Brolin, Imogen Poots, Lili Taylor, Tamara Podemski, Lewis Pullman, Tom Pelphrey, Noah Reid, Shaun Sipos, Will Patton, and The Haunting of Hill House’s Olive Abercrombie, Prime Video’s eerie, Wyoming-set speculative mystery series is so damn unhurried it’s easy, half the time, to forget you’re watching a mystery at all. Hell, it’s easy, half the time, to forget you’re watching anything. Just stretched-wide vistas, a vast, open sky, and a giant, supernatural hole whose secrets no one—or at least, no one with any meaningful narrative power—has the slightest interest in plumbing. In short: If an entire landscape could be laconic, that’s how I’d describe the fictional Amelia County of Watkins’ Outer Range. This isn’t a failing. An economy of dialogue and a protraction of plot serve Outer Range well, as the mystery of the big spooky hole in the Abbotts’ west pasture isn’t the point of the series so much as its psychological fulcrum. That is to say, what the hole is is far less important than what it represents—to Royal (Brolin), who seems to see it as proof God has abandoned humanity to a great void; to Autumn (Poots), who seems to see it as a portal to a world whose bones she might better fit; to Wayne Tillerson (Patton), who seems to see it as the next frontier that’s rightfully his to conquer; to whoever else might stumble across it, they might see in it their darkest inner truth. It’s the ultimate blank space against which any broken person can project their deepest fears; the ultimate well into which they can cast their most shameful secrets. It is both a precursor to and object of a kind of frontier-born religious ecstasy, a divine madness, a theia mania that overtakes every major player by season’s end. —Alexis Gunderson


4. The Outlaws

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Amazon Prime Release Date: April 1, 2022
Creators: Stephen Merchant, Elgin James
Stars: Rhianne Barreto, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Walken, Darren Boyd, Gamba Cole, Jessica Gunning, Clare Perkins, Eleanor Tomlinson, Charles Babalola
Genre: Thriller, Comedy

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One of the best things about The Outlaws is that it knows exactly what it is, and tells us so right off the bat. Essentially: a heartwarming heist. The six episode UK comedy-crime series from Stephen Merchant (The Office) and Elgin James (Mayans M.C.) has a fairly simple setup—a motley crew of petty criminals doing community service end up embroiled with a dangerous drug gang after a bag of cash is found—but despite its familiar framework, it manages to make its story unique in small yet important ways. Playing with types and tropes (from flashback cold opens to the self-aware stereotyping of the gang to begin with) that both reinforce and subvert viewer expectations, the series is a quick and strangely comforting watch. To give any more specifics is really to ruin the delightful show, but suffice it to say that many of the reveals along the way come as genuine, gentle surprises. Most importantly, as the oddball gang come together and forge real friendships—and make real mistakes—there’s something genuinely heartwarming about it that leaves you with a smile. —Allison Keene


5. Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls

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Amazon Prime Release Date: March 25, 2022
Creator: Lizzo
Genre: Reality Competition

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If you’ve seen Lizzo in concert—well, first off, you’ve had a good time, but you also know that her back-up dancers are a big part of the show. Her new reality competition show for Amazon is a search for plus-sized dancers to join her on her next world tour. As she wrote on her Instagram when announcing the show last month, “This is the greatest moment of my career yet. Y’all know how hard it’s been finding dancers that look like me. But if I gotta get a TV show to get the world to see the value in us big grrrls BITCH IMMA DO IT.”


6. The Boys Presents: Diabolical

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Amazon Prime Release Date: March 4, 2022
Creator: Garth Ennis
Stars: Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, Jason Isaacs, Simon Pegg
Genre: Superhero, Animation

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This anthology spin-off of Amazon’s hit superhero series features eight episodes each in their own animation style, ranging from Justin Roiland’s Rick and Morty drawings to Naz Ghodrati-Azadi’s French comics-inspired animation. A product of Covid-19 restrictions that delayed a new season of the live-action series, Diabolical looks like it was as fun to create as it is to watch. Producers enlisted a wide array of writers, including Seth Rogen, Ilana Glazer, Awkwafina, Aisha Tyler, Andy Samberg and series creator Garth Ennis.


7. Reacher

Amazon Prime Release Date: Feb. 4, 2022
Creator: Nick Santora
Stars: Alan Ritchson, Malcolm Goodwin, Willa Fitzgerald, Chris Webster, Bruce McGill, Maria Sten
Genre: Action, Thriller
Paste Review Score: 8.0

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Tom Cruise may have played Jack Reacher in two separate films, but when it comes to the embodiment of the character from the popular Lee Child novels, the actor doesn’t quite match the description. In the long-running book series, Jack Reacher is described as being 6’ 5,” around 250 pounds, with dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. That’s a far cry from the 5’7” star of Mission Impossible and Top Gun. The height of a lead actor for a television series may seem unimportant, but not in this case. Reacher’s imposing size is part of the character’s identity, something more appropriately personified in the brawny 6’2” Alan Ritchson (Titans, Smallville), who takes over the role in the TV series. Thankfully for viewers, there’s a lot more to Reacher than looking like an intimidating NFL defensive lineman; all of his unique character traits from the Lee Child novels have made their way into the series, as well as his compelling backstory. -Terry Terrones


8. The Legend of Vox Machina

Amazon Prime Release Date: Jan. 28, 2022
Creator: Matthew Mercer
Stars: Laura Bailey, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson, Matthew Mercer
Genre: Animation, Fantasy
Paste Review Score: 8.0

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Amazon Prime Video’s The Legend of Vox Machina arrives just as D&D’s corporate owners are also making moves to bring the property back to the big screen. While the show doesn’t have any official connection with the game, Critical Role—the web show the characters and world are based on—is transparently grounded in the storytelling of the tabletop roleplaying game that game master Matt Mercer is running, and the characters his group of professional voice actor pals are portraying. If, like me, you believe adapting something like D&D should be less about overblown lore and more about the feeling of getting together with a bunch of your pals to mainline pizza and crack jokes while you collaborate on how to best the monsters in a friend’s bespoke adventure (that is peppered with references to whatever books or movies they’ve just watched), then The Legend of Vox Machina could serve as a proof of concept for that approach. The Legend of Vox Machina takes the setting and characters from the Critical Role show, removes the inconvenience of dice, movement restrictions, and spell slot limitations, and turns it into a proudly R-rated cartoon. Vox Machina is the name of the eponymous group of mercs at the center of the show’s story, a down-on-their-luck crew of murder hobos whose immediate concerns include an astronomical bar tab and poor local reputation. And while the series won’t net Hasbro any royalties, it unquestionably moves the phenomenon of adapting role-playing games to the screen one step deeper into the mainstream. —Kenneth Lowe


9. As We See It

Amazon Prime Release Date: Jan. 21, 2022
Created by: Jason Katims
Stars: Rick Glassman, Albert Rutecki, Sue Ann Pien, Sosie Bacon, Chris Pang, Joe Mantegna
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Paste Review Score: 9.2

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As We See It, executive producer Jason Katims’ Prime Video dramedy, is a refreshing take on both the coming-of-age story and on TV’s depictions of people on the Autism spectrum. Led by a cast of actors who have ASD, the series doesn’t sugar-coat the disorder or coddle the three main characters. It shows them falling in love, making mistakes and learning how to navigate careers and friendships. And while these characters may struggle to find their places in a neuro-typical world, viewers without ASD may find that the challenges the trio face aren’t that different from theirs. —Whitney Friedlander