So, last week Amazon released a new batch of television show pilots. The idea behind this is to give viewers the chance to rate the shows to help determine which one(s) become continuing series. Last year, they only did comedies & kid shows, but this time they’ve thrown in a couple of dramas. I haven’t watched the kid programming (despite the fact that I have 4 kids, it’s not my thing), but I will give my analysis of the adult shows.
First of all, they’re all rated “mature,” and each one has foul language. Several have brief nudity, as well. Why? Just because they can, it seems. Most of it isn’t too offensive, though I’ll mention the instances where it is.
Let’s start with the best first. "Bosch" is a gritty detective series based on the books of Michael Connelly (which I’ve never read). It is very well acted, with intelligent storylines and enjoyable characters. I think the F-word is thrown around a little too often here, but other than that it is an excellent show. I would recommend it, and I really hope Amazon chooses to continue this series.
The other “drama” series is “The After,” created by Chris Carter, best known as the creator of the X-Files. This series is much like his other work, dark, enigmatic, and suspenseful. While I liked the idea of the world reaching some kind of apocalypse, I found the characters a bit unlikeable. The main character is a wannabe French actress from New York who is in LA for a job she doesn’t get when the world falls apart. She ends up with a group of people, most of whom are assholes (pardon the expression, but they are). There’s the sleazy lawyer played by Adrian Pasdar, a drunken foul-mouthed Brit, a gay clown (literally, a party clown who is homosexual), a high class hooker who starts talking about the bible and divine justice (because we all know every prostitute is a bible thumper at heart, pffff), an uber-rich old lady, a black escaped convict who was “wrongly accused,” and a lady cop. Overall, I thought the acting was good, but the writing needs a little refinement, so the characters are a little more appealing. It’s worth watching, but not as good as Bosch.
Now, for the comedies, none of which is stellar.
"The Rebels" is probably the best of the comedy attempts, with Natalie Zea of Justified fame in the role of a rich widow who inherits her husband’s floundering NFL team. There are some humorous moments, but overall the show seemed a bit too low brow in some respects. Example, they have a cocaine snorting monkey that starts shooting people. The players also act stupidly, and sometimes it is funny, sometimes not. Overall, it has potential, but it needs refinement.
"Mozart in the Jungle" is a very dry comedy about classical musicians in NYC, who are apparently a bunch of horny, dope smoking, alcoholic party kids. They have one older lady (maybe mid-thirties) who has flashbacks of getting screwed, as she’s apparently “tried out” every kind of male musician there is. This could be a good show if they tried to do more of a “Frasier” thing with it, but at present it’s too sleazy and dull. I would not recommend it.
Last and very least is “Transparent,” which I found utterly boring. The whole premise of the show is summed up in the title; the elderly father in this show discovers he wants to be a woman (transsexual+parent=Trans-parent, get it?). But beyond that, this show has nothing of interest. The characters are very unpleasant. The son is a music producer who likes to sleep around with teenagers, one of the daughters is a gold digger who used to be a lesbian in college, and the other daughter is depressed and out of work, relying on daddy’s money to get by. Overall, I would never want to see these characters again. I think this is the worst of the Amazon pilots, which of course means there’s a good chance that it will be the one they pick up.
Well, there you have my off the cuff analysis of the shows. Bosch is the only one I would definitely enjoy on a regular basis in its current form, and at present it has very good reviews from Amazon customers, but so do all of the shows, oddly enough.
Now, how the hell do I get the West of the Warlock pilot made for this contest? Maybe someday...