Whether you’re stuck at home in quarantine or just looking to spice up those weekday evenings, there’s plenty coming to Amazon Prime over the autumn.
Here’s our round-up of the shows and films you don’t want to miss:
The Boys (Season Two), 4 September
Set in a parallel universe in which superheroes are real – and form a crucial part of America’s police industrial complex – The Boys is a smart and timely satire that packs a serious punch.
Don’t let the familiar capes and claws aesthetic fool you: this is no Marvel rip-off. For all their YouTube-friendly stunts, this is a series about how latex-clad ‘supes’ aren’t always as wonderful as they make out – a fact hidden by their shadowy corporate backers.
The titular Boys on the other hand are a squad of loveable outcasts looking to expose the worst offenders for exactly what they are: a bunch of self-serving hypocrites intent on strong-arming politicians into hiring their services. And it’s great stuff.
Utopia (TBD Autumn)
British viewers may remember the original version of Utopia, which ran for two series on Channel 4 back in 2011 and 2013.
With its technicolour visuals, Aphex Twin-style soundtrack, and audacious plot (involving, incidentally, an engineered pandemic and a dodgy Kremlin-backed vaccine), the show quickly built a cult following – before a surprise cancellation left fans reeling.
Judging by the trailer for the American reboot, Amazon Prime has likely toned down the surrealness – and almost certainly the violence too. Though with Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn in charge, we should be in good hands when it comes to plot twists.
The Walking Dead: The World Beyond (TBD Autumn)
Is The Walking Dead the most successful drama series of the modern era? Beginning back in 2010 – when Breaking Bad and Mad Men were in their third and fourth seasons respectively – the zombie blockbuster is still topping ratings tables after ten series.
Now the show gets its second spin-off series. With the inevitable prequel already done, The World Beyond instead focuses on the first generation of teenagers to come of age in the apocalypse area – knowing nothing of the pre-zombie world.
As if existing fans needed another reason to watch it, its creators say that The World Beyond will delve further into mysteries from the original show – such as the truth behind the mysterious organisation which airlifted Andrew Lincolns’s Rick Grimes to safety in series nine.
The Gentlemen, 18 September
Mockney-king Guy Ritchie has historically taken a bit of stick for his attempts to hide his semi-aristocratic background. But in his most recent film, the Lock Stock pioneer answers the charge head on: by giving his usual gangster shtick a more affluent scrub-up.
This time around, Ritchie’s antihero is a well-heeled cannabis mogul who bribes skint aristocratic landowners to let him use their crumbling country estates to grow his illicit bounty.
Narrated in Ritchie’s trademark flash-backs by Hugh Grant – visibly enjoying himself in his role as a morally-bankrupt tabloid fixer – much of The Gentlemen is as cartoonish and silly as you’d expect. None of which, of course, makes it any less enjoyable a watch – provided you like that sort of thing.
All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur, 31 August
Amazon Prime’s All or Nothing docuseries have rallied sports fans on both sides of the Atlantic having previously offered a fly-on-the-wall view into the campaigns of several NFL teams – as well as Manchester City’s triumphant 2017 title win.
This year’s English offering follows the pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur. Picking up from the team’s Champions League final defeat in Madrid, it goes on to cover the arrival of Jose Mourinho, followed by the emergence of something even more disruptive: the novel coronavirus.
Will the biggest ever threat to top flight football in living memory provide the drama lacking from Spurs’ eventual sixth place finish? We can but hope.
Bombshell, 12 September
When former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the network’s longstanding CEO Roger Ailes, it led to one of the most compelling media psychodramas of the 21st century – with Ailes pitted against his former backers, the Murdochs.
Starring Nicole Kidman as Carlson – and with Charlize Theron giving an excellent turn as Megyn Kelly – Bombshell is a suitably ‘girl boss’ retelling of how Ailes eventually came to fall: warts and all.
Like most Hollywood adaptations, the film veers ever-so-slightly into the saccharine at times – lacking the more nihilistic vibe of, say, Succession. But it’s still an entertaining watch. Not least when the ever-compelling Malcolm MacDowell shows up as old Rupert himself.
Truth Seekers, TBD (Autumn)
Comedy kings Simon Pegg and Nick Frost become the first big British names to sign on for their own Amazon Prime original series with their new horror comedy outing Truth Seekers.
This time it’s Frost who takes the front-foot as he stars as Gus, a bored broadband engineer who leads a team of paranormal investigators streaming their adventures to their army of nerdy followers.
In a nod to the duo’s big breakthrough movie Shaun of the Dead, things get more surreal when it turns out that the hapless Gus might have just stumbled across an other-worldly force threatening to overturn life as we know it. Sounds intriguing indeed.