Amazon Studios keeps ramping up its video content. In 2018, it continued releasing thought-provoking content. Despite monitoring our every moves, Jeff Bezos and co still seem to be testing the waters, never committing more than a dozen or so episodes in an ever-changing lineup. Both Hollywood legends like Woody Allen and upcoming stars have taken a swing so far, with mixed results.
The Amazon originals that survive in this environment need to be better than great, and the show at the top of this list accomplishes that in spades.
From a dismissed add-on to Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping to one of the best TV shows ever created, these are the ten best TV shows Amazon Studios released in 2018.
Release Date: November 5, 2015
Cast: Michael Dorman, Kurtwood Smith, Michael Chernus
Iran is going nuclear, and intelligence officer John Tavner needs to stop it. Unfortunately the only way is life-threatening.
9. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
Release Date: August 31, 2018
Cast: John Krasinski, Abbie Cornish, Wendell Pierce
CIA analyst Jack Ryan reluctantly trades his desk job for the field after stumbling upon a string of bank transfers from an up-and-coming Islamic terrorist. A new threat appears every season after.
Release Date: February 6, 2014
Cast: Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino
This police procedural drama follows detective Bosch as he navigates the dangerous world of Hollywood murder investigations.
7. Sneaky Pete
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Cast: Giovanni Ribisi, Marin Ireland, Shane McRae
When con man Marius Josipovic is released from prison, he takes over his old cellmate’s identity to hide from the mob.
6. The Romanoffs
Release Date: October 12, 2018
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Amanda Peet, Chrstina Hendricks
This anthology series features eight separate stories surrounding families who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family.
Release Date: October 13, 2016
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, William Hurt, Maria Bello
Billy McBride was once one of the most successful lawyers in town, until a murder suspect got out on a technicality and killed an entire family.
4. The Man in the High Castle
Release Date: January 15, 2015
Cast: Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, DJ Qualls
Dystopian alternate realities seem almost Utopian these days. This look at an alternate 1960s following an Axis victory in World War II is one of the best political dramas anywhere. It was the first big hit to come out of Amazon Studios.
Release Date: October 13, 2017
Cast: Aaron Mahnke, Robert Patrick, Holland Roden
Turning a podcast into a television series sounds like a stretch, but it works with Lore, which combines documentary footage with reenactments to tell some of the scariest tales of horror from human history.
Release Date: September 14, 2018
Cast: Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Catherine Keener
Be careful who you pledge yourself to forever, because you never know what’s waiting on the other side. A more serious (and less funny) version of The Good Place, Forever is still worth watching for the various awkward perspectives on love, life, and the beyond.
1. The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
Release Date: March 17, 2017
Cast: Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub
After two seasons, it’s clear Miriam “Midge” Maisel is a comedic force to be reckoned with. Marvelous Mrs. Masiel is not only the best show on Amazon Prime, it’s one of the best shows to ever air on TV. It’s a period piece that uses a pretty housewife to tell the story of Lenny Bruce, and it just works. The comedic hits keep coming in every episode, both on- and offstage, and episode 4 of season 1 has the hands-down best ventriloquist act you’ll ever see in your entire life. Do not sleep on this modern classic hit show.