Sink or swim time at Amazon
Love this business model!
This Thursday, Amazon is once again putting a batch of pilot episodes for potential original series online for the public to view. The viewers’ response will determine which ones go forward to a full first season and which ones die a brutal, agonizing death.
- At the top of the list is Hand of God, which features Ron Perlman as an asshole husband and an asshole dad and an asshole judge, because rooting for the asshole is kind of a thing now on television. When Ron develops schizophrenia and starts receiving visions from the all-powerful creator, he recruits his own personal Dexter in the form of Deadwood’s Garret Dillahunt, a born-again sociopath, and starts a vigilante crusade to find the rapist who fucked everything up for Ron and his family. Wow, that’s a lot of horrible things happening to horrible people. Sounds like it’s trying WAY too hard to be gritty and grim and dark and miserable. But with Marc Forester (director of Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace, Stranger than Fiction, and World War Z) executive producing and directing the pilot, the anticipation alone is probably more than enough to push Hand of God to series. With Dana Delany as the long-suffering wife. Written by Burn Notice exec producer Ben Watkins.
- Next is Hysteria with poor, poor Mena Suvari. You couldn’t hold out for another American Pie or American Beauty or American Horror Story? In this show, not only is violent schizophrenia contagious but it’s spread over the internet through social media. Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me.
- There’s also a sitcom called The Cosmopolitans starring Adam Brody and Chloë Sevigny, whom I’ve always associated with a light-hearted comedy romp. Written and directed by The Last Days of Disco writer and director Whit Stillman, everything about this filmed-on-location-in-Paris show screams SOPHISTICATED, which is not something that needs to be screamed. Seems like a show people will want to say they like but they never actually watch.
- Yea, Sarah Chalke! Yea, Selma Blair! That’s all it takes to get me excited about Really, a sitcom written, directed by, and starring Jay Chandrasekhar, whoever the hell that is. Oh, shit. IMDB says he’s the writer of Super Troopers, Club Dread, and Beerfest. Really is the story of four Chicago married couples trying not to admit to themselves they’re getting older.
- Red Oaks is a “coming-of-age comedy” about some college-aged misfits having “a last hurrah before the summer comes to an end.” Okaaaaaay, how long is this summer going to be if they expect this sitcom to go to series? Craig Roberts, who you don’t remember as the star of failed Being Human spinoff Becoming Human, is our lead misfit, an assistant tennis pro at the “predominantly Jewish Red Oaks country club” in New Jersey. Mad About You fans might be happy to see Paul Reiser and Richard Kind reunite as guest stars.
This will be the third batch of pilots Amazon has premiered. Last go-round, four of them were picked up as series.