Amazon Prime has long lived in Netflix’s sizeable shadow. Let’s face it, when it comes to the aptly named ‘streaming wars’ Amazon Prime is rarely mentioned as a force to be reckoned with. I’m sure many people only have Amazon Prime for the shipping, and I don’t blame you. However, this does mean that the standout shows it produces are sometimes overlooked. Whilst it has a plethora of acquired shows (Seinfeld, The Americans, Fleabag and Mad Men to name a few) it’s original content rarely receives any acknowledgement or recognition. What it lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality.
Don’t underestimate Amazon Prime, they have some truly underrated gems
One series to mention is perhaps the most well-known, The Boys – the antithesis of wholesome family superhero content. Filled with vulgarity, gore, nudity and absurd superhero antics, the show is truly one of a kind. Particularly when you throw in an evil corporation – a Jeff Bezos-esque villain.
Absurd, audacious, and crazed, The Boys manages to pull of the impossible
Whilst the whole cast is pitch perfect, the standouts are Karl Urban as Billy Butcher and Anthony Starr as Homelander as they’re truly different sides of the same coin. Butcher is a cool Aussie with nothing to lose and Homelander is Superman, just with a bigger ego and less of a care for human life. The fights come just as fast as the ‘f’ word in this superhero world.
The joy of the show is the fact it can balance the absurd with reality. Even the silliest and most laughable elements are made plausible. The superhero market shows no signs of slowing down, so if you’re growing tired of the formulaic, family friendly comic book fare, why not check out a show where the traditional heroes are horrible people, who believe that they can do what they want due to their powers, all whilst they are marketed to the public as all-American victors. Absurd, audacious, and crazed, The Boys manages to pull off the impossible. Juggling bloody violence, comedic perfection and character dynamics, it’s not subtle, but it is ludicrously good time.
Boasting truly unique animation and insightful writing, Undone is an intriguing genre blend
Undone is a terrific, animated show from the creators of Bojack Horseman (a Netflix original which if you haven’t seen, you are definitely missing out on) which follows the character of Alma after a near fatal car accident. After her near-death experience, she discovers a new ability and hold over time. With her newfound ability she sets out to discover the truth about her father’s death. Boasting truly unique animation and insightful writing, Undone is an intriguing genre blend exploring existentialism, the flow of time and the human existence. It marks another successful entry into the adult animation genre which is both intriguing and perceptive, challenging sensitive subject matter with wit and warmth.
Between Tuca and Bertie, Big Mouth and Bojack Horseman, clearly the shows that are truly daring when pushing the envelope and exploring tender subjects with humour and empathy, are animated. A profound study of grief and trauma, it is brought to animated life by stellar voicework from Rosa Salazar and Bob Odenkirk, and sensitive writing and direction from Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg. This overflow of talent comes together to create a time-bending masterpiece that will leave you both scratching your head and marvelling in awe.
This adaption truly manages to retain the classic elements of its source material whilst adding newfound depth and humour
I presume the pitch for Good Omens went something like this. An adaption of the Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman of the same name. Good so far. Cast Michael Sheen as an angel. David Tennant as a demon. Getting better. To top it all of, Frances McDormand plays God, as she should. Also, they’re working together to stop the Antichrist. Bonkers, wild and oh so strange this adaption truly manages to retain the classic elements of its source material whilst adding newfound depth and humour.
Michael Sheen and David Tennant riff of one another perfectly with brilliant performances, and, set against the backdrop of uncanny religious visuals, this creates small screen magic. Tennant oozes swagger and cool as the titular demon and Sheen shines as the polite, awkward angel. Modern updates allow the show an air of relevance – the four horseman as bikers is a particularly strong choice – and Frances McDormand as the voice of God is about as inspired as you can get. At only six episodes, it sadly ends too soon but don’t worry, the apocalypse has never been so enjoyable.
Those are my top three recommendations. All wildly entertaining whilst all being wildly different. Don’t underestimate Amazon Prime, they have some truly underrated gems.
In article trailers courtesy of Amazon Prime Video via YouTube.
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