Best Shows to Watch on Amazon Prime Instant Video Now
Fall TV is back in action, and Amazon Prime is there to guide you through it. But Amazon's also got a slew of films, new and old, hitting the platform come October. You can play catch up with some old favorites, or indulge in a film you've been meaning to watch for ages but just never got around to checking out.
Alpha House, Season 2 (Oct. 24)
John Goodman (Roseanne) returns at the end of the month for the second season of this political comedy. Created by Garry Trudeau (author of the comic strip "Doonesbury"), it tells the story of four Senators who actually share a house together. Although the conceit sounds improbable, it's based on the true story of four Democratic legislators who share a home in Washington, D.C., including Senator Chuck Schumer, who cameos on the show. Get caught up on season 1, which is available in its entirety now, so you're ready for season 2 at the end of the month.
Nathan for You, Season 2 (available now)
If you haven't seen Nathan Fielder's hilarious reality show on Comedy Central, check it out now on Amazon Prime. The idea is simple and perfect. Nathan, a comedian, works with real struggling small businesses to help bring them back to life using the skills he learned when studying business. In one episode, he tries to save a coffee shop by rebranding the establishment as "Dumb Starbucks." He transforms the place to look just like Starbucks, only he adds the word "dumb" in front of everything. His absurd, over-the-top schemes will have you squirming at the awkwardness but also unable to look away.
Sons of Anarchy, Season 6 (Oct. 25)
This drama from FX and show creator Kurt Sutter deals with some tough questions in season 6. Most of them are asked by Charlie Hunnam's Jax Teller, the leader of the eponymous motorcycle club. Though a natural leader, Jax has begun to doubt himself — as well as the justification for his gang of outlaws. This season doesn't back away from heavier issues, either. The finale features a young boy bringing a machine gun into a high school, with the motorcycle gang taking the blame for supplying the kid with the weapon.
Transparent, Season 1 (available now)
Every episode from the first season of this smart family dramedy is available now. Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) stars as a father whose long-held personal secret causes tremendous upheaval in his already offbeat family. Jay Duplass (The Mindy Project), Judith Light (Ugly Betty) and Gaby Hoffmann (Girls) star as his grownup children, who have plenty of their own personal issues.
An Affair to Remember (Oct. 1)
If you've ever watched a romantic movie and rolled your eyes wondering where they come up with this stuff, you have An Affair to Remember to blame. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr star in what is actually a remake of an earlier film from the '20s. The duo must fight against the odds and several obstacles (other lovers, pride, getting hit by a car) in order to wind up with each other in the end. I guess that counts a spoiler — as if you couldn't already see it coming. If you're looking for a good, solid romantic classic that will leave you with just good tears, this is it. (It also inspired the 1993 hit, Sleepless in Seattle, which is new on Netflix this month.)
Good Will Hunting (Oct. 30)
This movie, if you haven't seen it lately, redefines the coming of age story. Matt Damon's Will Hunting, a gifted but uneducated math prodigy, eventually comes to discover himself through (court-mandated) therapy, a passion for high mathematics and a relationship with a woman (played by the glorious Minnie Driver). Written by Damon and Ben Affleck, who shared an Oscar for Best Screenplay, the movie has the poignancy, specificity (no other film captures Boston so well) and heart to make it a winner.
Hours (Oct. 10)
This flick is one of the late Paul Walker's final film roles, and it's a doozy. Walker plays a father who is struggling to keep his sick and ailing newborn alive in the hours immediately following the worst of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This movie is intensely different from much of Walker's other projects. While it will have you, as they say, on the edge of your seat, the story it attempts to tell is ultimately very, very small. Much of the film is spent with Walker in the neonatal unit with his daughter. It's a totally gripping tale.
In a World... (Oct. 7)
You might have overlooked this comedy written by and starring actress Lake Bell. If you did, now's your chance to go back and revisit the show in all its splendor. Lake stars as the daughter of a voice-over legend. She's intent on making it on her own, but conflict arises when she and her father are up for the same job. At once a hilarious satire and great story in its own right, this one is definitely worth checking out.
Romeo + Juliet (Oct. 1)
Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet was beloved by a veritable army of high school girls, not because of their passion for Shakespeare, but because of their passion for a young and floppy-haired Leonardo DiCaprio. He starred in one of the titular roles, opposite Claire Danes as the other star-crossed lover. This production is pure Luhrmann — grandiose scenic design, contemporary music used to propel the story forward and the vaguest hint of magic about it. Along with Moulin Rouge and Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet helps make up Luhrmann's "Velvet Curtain" trilogy.
Scream (Oct. 1)
This 1996 comedic-horror film is a rare gem — though I can't say as much for its successors (Scream II and Scream III). It was written by '90s teenage mind-reader Kevin Williamson (creator of Dawson's Creek) and directed by horror master Wes Craven. Scream fuses all the tropes of horror with a cunning self-awareness that manages to be both funny and frightening. Drew Barrymore's opening cameo still holds up.