I love Amazon’s supply of free videos that you can watch if you’ve signed up for their Prime shipping service. You can watch them through the web, or on a Kindle Fire tablet, or even on an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3. Even if you’re not a Prime subscriber, you can still watch them if you’re willing to pay a small fee — usually $1.99 per video. (And Amazon gives you a free one-month trial when you register your Kindle Fire tablet.) But I was fighting a cold on Monday, so I spent a whole day exploring which videos are available for free in the Prime section of Amazon’s “Instant Video” library — and there’s a lot of interesting things to choose from!
Last week Amazon even announced a licensing agreement with NBC, so now there’s an even bigger selection. (“We’re excited to be working with NBCUniversal to add their award-winning lineup of TV shows such as Parks and Recreation and Friday Night Lights to Prime Instant Video,” Amazon announced in a statement.) But Amazon’s Prime video library already had a pretty good selection of new and classic TV shows to choose from. Yesterday Amazon announced that their most watched TV show is Downton Abbey — but you’ll see many more familiar names on Amazon’s list of their most-popular TV shows.
My Name is Earl
The West Wing
Doctor Who (Season 1)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Star Trek (the original series, Enterprise, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager)
Avatar: The Last Airbender
The Twilight Zone
King of the Hill
Hot in Cleveland
Party of Five
21 Jump Street
Beverly Hills 90210
PBS / BBC
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
The Civil War by Ken Burns
The Office (the original British version)
The French Chef with Julia Child
There’s also a surprisingly good selection of shows for children, including Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants, but also Jim Henson’s forgotten HBO show from the 1980s, Fraggle Rock. And I discovered that you can even delve back into the vault for classic children’s shows, including every single season of Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, and the original Electric Company with Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby, and Rita Moreno.
I was amazed that I my Kindle Fire pulled up TV shows that I hadn’t seen in more than 40 years, since I was a kid — including Archie cartoons from the 1960s! I used to come home from grade school to watch Gilligan’s Island or the original Star Trek — and now here were the same shows, being transmitted to my tiny handheld tablet! There’s even a selection of I Love Lucy episodes, plus “guilty pleasures” like Alf.
Of course, there’s also a pretty good selection of movies in Amazon’s Instant Video library, including some that are free to Prime subscribers.
The Matrix Revolutions
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and Team America
Mission: Impossible (I and III)
Beverly Hills Cop
The Addams Family
Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the original Swedish version)
What Just Happened
The Return of the Pink Panther
Bullitt starring Steve McQueen
Basic Instinct 2
Just like in the TV section, I also saw some movie titles here that I haven’t seen in decades – so it’s a lot of fun seeing just what Amazon has available. I recommend browsing the video section – especially if you have some time to kill!
point your web browser to tinyurl.com/PrimeInstantVideo