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. 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 video games. 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

2. 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

3. 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.

4. 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

5. 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

6. A League of Their Own

Release Date: August 12, 2022
Creators: Will Graham, Abbi Jacobson
Stars: Abbi Jacobson, Chanté Adams, D’Arcy Carden, Roberta Colindrez, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Kelly McCormack, Molly Ephraim, Melanie Field, Priscilla Delgado
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Paste Review Rating: 9.0

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While there are numerous excellent films centered around America’s pastime, there aren’t many TV shows set in the world of baseball. Luckily, with the debut of Prime Video’s A League of Their Own, we’ve got a new one to add to the list. But Abbi Jacobson and Will Graham’s take on the classic Penny Marshall film of the same name is more than just a show about women playing baseball in the 1940s while men are at war. Told through parallel storylines following Carson Shaw (Jacobson), an indecisive white catcher-turned-manager for the Rockford Peaches, and Max Chapman (Chanté Adams), a talented Black pitcher barred from even trying out for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the show tackles head-on the prejudices of the day, from racism and sexism to homophobia (many of the women in the league are queer), as women attempt to make their baseball dreams come true. With a major focus on the Black experience and the ways in which Max must work around and outside the paths open to white women (and even Black men, to an extent), the show is able to tell a story that was only hinted at in the film. So while the actual baseball itself could be better, and the games could probably be more central to the show, A League of Their Own swings for the fences in its attempt to tell a powerful, timely story. While not every at-bat results in a home run, every step into the batter’s box allows the characters (and the viewers) to learn something new about themselves… and about the game of life. —Kaitlin Thomas

7. Paper Girls

Release Date: July 29, 2022
Creator: Stephany Folsom
Stars: Camryn Jones, Riley Lai Nelet, Sofia Rosinsky, Fina Strazza, Adina Porter
Genre: Science-fiction
Paste Review Rating: 6.0

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Prime Video’s eight-episode Paper Girls is based on the comic of the same name by Brian K. Vaughn, with art by Cliff Chiang. It was published by Image Comics from 2015 to 2019, and while it isn’t a sprawling epic like Vaughn’s best known work, Saga, it has two Eisner Awards for a reason. The story follows four 12-year-old girls—Erin (Riley Lai Nelet), Mac (Sofia Rosinsky), Tiffany (Camryn Jones), and KJ (Fina Strazza)—as they are sucked into a Time War between two factions that want different things for the future of humanity. The comic is fun and weird and emotionally driven, but unfortunately the show is missing most of the things that made the comic so wonderful. The Paper Girls Prime Video gives us is almost unrecognizable from the comic apart from the names of the characters and the basic premise of “four paper delivery girls time travel.” Instead of taking the space available to expand upon the themes and worldbuilding that Vaughn created, Paper Girls instead strips everything down to the bones and does a sloppy paper-mache job in covering things back up. It’s not completely without merit—Sekai Abenì’s performance as the adult version of Tiffany is one of the best in the show, and her and Camryn Jones build up a really great dynamic when they’re together. But the fun of the comic is lost, the pacing goes from a thousand miles an hour to a slow crawl and back again in inconsistent waves, and there are times where the show seems like it’s meant for an audience around the age of its main characters. More than anything, it’s clear that almost everyone working on this show—from the actors to the production crew—deserved better. —Kathryn Porter

8. The Terminal List

Release Date: July 1, 2022
Creators: David DiGilio
Stars: Chris Pratt, Constance Wu, Taylor Kitsch, Riley Keough, Arlo Mertz, Jeanne Tripplehorn
Genre: Action thriller
Paste Review Rating: 7.0

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The ambitious and exciting, yet at times head scratching, series is executive produced by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Shooter) and based on a novel by former Navy SEAL Jack Carr. Not surprisingly, the lead of this new military drama is an actor many men have come to associate with this quickly growing genre—Chris Pratt. An easy-to-root-for, determined hero is exactly what viewers can expect from Pratt as Lt. Commander James Reece in The Terminal List. The gung-ho drama flowing with military jargon focuses on a Navy SEAL unraveling the mystery of how a subversive tech company murdered his family and killed off his platoon to cover up a complex conspiracy. It’s a bona fide buffet of dad programming. Action forward and loaded with intrigue yet with significant flaws, the series remains enjoyable due to its star. While primarily made for the couch-surfing dad, if you accept this TV series for what it is, The Terminal List is an entertaining, adrenalin-fueled adventure. —Terry Terrones

9. Chloe

Release Date: June 24, 2022
Creator: Alice Seabright
Stars: Erin Doherty, Poppy Gilbert, Billy Howle, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Jack Farthing, and Brandon Micheal Hall
Genre: Thriller

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This six-episode BBC drama premiered in England in February and now makes its way stateside. Becky (Erin Doherty) is obsessed with her childhood friend Chloe’s (Poppy Gilbert) seemingly perfect life—or at least a life that looks perfect according to Chloe’s social media accounts. But when Chloe dies, Becky soon realizes that perhaps things weren’t as perfect as Instagram made them seem. Becky takes on the persona of Sasha to try to discover what really was going on in Chloe’s life and how she ended up dead. What could possibly go wrong with that plan? —Amy Amatangelo

10. The Summer I Turned Pretty

Release Date: June 17, 2022
Creator: Jenny Han
Stars: Lola Tung, Jackie Chung, Rachel Blanchard, Christopher Briney, Gavin Casalegno
Genre: Romance, Drama
Paste Review Rating: 5.8

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Watching The Summer I Turned Pretty gave me a bit of an identity crisis. Have I, the woman who loves Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson’s Creek, and The O.C. outgrown the genre? The seven-episode series about 15-year-old Belly (Lola Tung) and her love for two brothers should have been perfect for me. I positively adore a good TV love triangle. And TV bad boys with a heart of gold (your Dylan McKays, Ryan Atwoods, and Tim Riggins) are my TV kryptonite. I’m usually powerless against them. But dear lord watching the seven episode Prime Video series was tedious. Based on the 2009 book of the same name by Jenny Han, who also serves as showrunner, the series follows Belly, who every summer comes to Cousin’s Beach with her mom Laurel (Jackie Chung) and her older brother Steven (Sean Kaufman). They stay at the gorgeous beach house of her mom’s best friend, Susannah (Rachel Blanchard). Belly has grown up with Susannah’s two sons: the easygoing Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) and the brooding Conrad (Christopher Briney). And she has pined for Conrad ever since she can remember. This summer, as the title of the series suggests, the brothers are starting to see Belly as more than just a little kid. Suffice to say that The Summer I Turned Pretty fails the Bechdel test spectacularly. Belly spends all seven episodes only discussing Jeremiah and Conrad. The crux of the problem is that in the best TV love triangles, viewers ricochet back and forth on who to root for. The Summer I Turned Pretty is a trilogy of books and the series has already been picked up for a second season. How much longer can Belly bounce between the two brothers? Should Belly instead download a dating app? Maybe she’ll meet someone new at the summer job I’m going to find for her. —Amy Amatangelo