You are at home. You may be stuck there due to the coronavirus outbreak or some other reason. You want to stream and binge-watch some good TV series to past the time. However, you may not have any extra money to pay for a streaming subscription. What can you do? Watch some IMDb TV shows for free, of course.
Here are our choices for the best IMDb TV shows you can stream and watch right now.
What is IMDb TV?
IMDb TV is a relatively new service from Amazon. It launched in January 2019 and was previously called IMDb Freedive before it was thankfully rebranded later that year. It offers a number of older and more recent TV shows and movies which you can watch completely for free, with some video ad breaks.
Where is it available?
IMDb TV is only available in the US, but Amazon has plans to expand it to Europe later this year.
What platforms support IMDb TV?
PC owners can just go to Amazon’s web site and watch what’s available on the service. You can also watch shows on the IMDb app for iOS and Android. If you own an Amazon Fire TV stick, set-top box or smart TV, you can also watch IMDb TV shows.
Best IMDb TV shows
The UK may have Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple for great fictional detectives. For our money, however, neither one holds a candle to Lt. Columbo. As played to perfection by Peter Falk, the disheveled and often distracted LAPD detective might not look like he’s the right man to solve a murder. However, as the many rich and/or famous murderers soon find out in each episode, there’s a lot more to Columbo. He picks up on details most folks would miss, and always gets his suspect to finally confess.
This show from the 1970s is also unique in that, for the most part, we know who the murderer is at the start, and how he or she did the deed. The pleasure of watching a Columbo episode is seeing how he figures it all out, while also being very entertaining.
This sci-fi series from 2008 has a few similarities to some older shows. However, it managed to become different and even more ambitious as the years and seasons moved forward. Originally it was more of an X-Files clone, as members of an FBI “Fringe Division” team looked into unexplained cases. Near the end of the first season, we got our first glimpse of what Fringe would become. We don’t want to spoil anything else; just watch.
This ABC sitcom may have not received too many award nominations. That’s ok; it was still a very funny look at a working family’s life in middle America. It lasted for nine seasons, and that’s largely due to the show’s cast. It’s lead by Patricia Heaton as the hard-working mother “Frankie” Heck. She’s backed up well by Neil Flynn, who plays her husband Mike with a great sense of dry humor. The actors cast as the family’s kids are also excellent, but Eden Sher is a standout as the always optimistic daughter Sue.
4. The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.
For one glorious season in 1993 and 1994 we got to see this series on FOX. The show that aired after it on Friday nights, The X-Files, got all of the media acclaim and most of the fan devotion. However, this pulp-fiction style Western (with some sci-fi elements) remains a cult favorite. Bruce Campbell was born to play this role. Brisco County Jr may be a gunfighter, but he always looks towards the future for the next “coming thing.” With Saturday afternoon serial-style action and humor, this show was unlike anything that was on TV at the time.
Oh, we can’t forget its theme song. It’s one of the best ever made for a TV show. It’s so good, NBC lifted it and uses it a lot for its Olympics sports coverage.
5. Friday Night Lights
This show never reached a wide enough audience when it made new episodes. However, much like HBO’s The Wire, the people that have watched Friday Night Lights loved it and tried to tell their friends to watch it as well. Now you can too as this is one of the best IMDb TV shows. It’s just the trials of a high school football team in a small Texas town. No action shootouts or end-of-the-world scenarios here. It’s just life, but depicted with all of joys and heartbreaks without a filter.
6. The Rockford Files
Like Columbo, this 1970s TV series focused on a different type of crime fighter. Jim Rockford, as played excellently by James Garner, was sent to jail for five years for a crime he didn’t commit. The series showed Rockford now trying to make a living as a private eye, living in a mobile home in Malibu, California. He will only take on “closed cases” because he doesn’t want to get involved in any open police investigations. However, it wouldn’t be a good TV show without some conflict, and Rockford manages to get involved in a ton of trouble every episode. Like Brisco County Jr, The Rockford Files also has a terrific theme song.
7. Warehouse 13
This Syfy series could be described as a fantasy-sci-fi version of National Treasure. Basically, the show is all about finding lost artifacts that have certain powers and abilities that could get into the wrong hands. It’s up to two agents to track down those items, shut them down, and bring them to Warehouse 13, where they should be safely stored forever. Naturally, it never goes that smoothly for the Warehouse agents. This is a family-friendly show that, while it has its dark sides, is still a ton of fun to watch.
Yes, it’s another detective show, but this one really has a huge twist. James Roday plays Shawn Spencer, who has been trained by his law enforcement father to be highly observant. However, Shawn doesn’t want to be a cop. Instead, he just offers tips to the police via phone. When the police think Shawn is actually part of the crimes he is solving, he has to pretend he has psychic abilities. With the aid of his friend Gus, played by Dulé Hill, Shawn helps to solve crimes for the police.
This show is just a riot to watch, especially as Roday and Hill bounce off each other, almost literally, with their performances.
Before Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg teamed up to make classic comedy films like Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End, they made this UK series. Pegg and Jessica Stevenson (who also co-wrote the series) play two strangers who encounter each other while looking for an apartment. They pose as a romantic couple so they can rent a flat that requires the tenants to be a couple. The series is full of pop culture references and sequences, and definitely was the staging point for Wright and Pegg to create the famed “Cornetto trilogy” of movies.
10. The Incredible Hulk
Well before the current superhero trend in movies and TV shows, The Incredible Hulk led the way by taking the subject seriously. Bill Bixby plays David Bruce Banner, who is looking into how some people can manifest great amounts of strength at odd times. He believes that gamma radiation from the sun is to blame, and decides to hit himself with an artificial gamma burst. Unfortunately, he accidentally gave himself a huge amount, and when he gets angry, he turns into a massive green-skinned monster. Lou Ferrigno was always believable, and even touching at times, as The Hulk.
This was not the campy Batman show from the 60s. This was a serious drama that happened to have a monster in it. It still holds up after over 40 years.
That’s our list of the best IMDb TV shows. Which one of these is your favorite?