When people think of Gary Trudeau, they probably think of the politically-themed comic strip “Doonesbury.” What they don’t think of is a sitcom about Republicans. During a recent press day for Trudeau’s new Amazon series “Alpha House” (premieres Nov. 15), I talked to stars John Goodman and Matt Malloy about why they wanted to get involved and what they thought of their oddball characters.
While people may not associate Amazon with original programming, “Alpha House” and the new series “Betas” hopes to change all that. The shows feature recognizable talent and clearly aim to horn in on the prestige audience Netflix has built.
“Alpha House” is about a group of Republican Senators sharing a house in Washington D.C. and dealing with problems both at work and at home. Goodman is Senator Gil John Biggs, a Republican from North Carolina whose fame in the world of sports has earned him name recognition and statewide good will. He’s so comfortable in his Senate seat he doesn’t bother to campaign — until he faces unexpected competition.
Malloy’s role is a little trickier. As Senator Louis Laffer, he’s taken a firmly anti-gay marriage position even as everyone around him questions his sexuality. I asked Malloy about playing the part, which makes for some of the funniest scenes in the pilot but also demands a balance to keep Laffer from being a caricature.
Also cast are Mark Consuelos as Andy Guzman, sexy Republican Senator from Florida who isn’t afraid to use the communal house for trysts with a sexy lobbyist, and Clark Johnson as Robert Bettencourt, a charismatic Senator who might be in trouble with the law.
While some may assume Trudeau is gunning for Republicans, the stars pointed out that Democratic characters will also be joining the mix and will be pilloried just as much as everyone else. It’s equal opportunity comedy — now people just need to find it.
Will you be watching “Alpha House” when it premieres Nov. 15? Are you excited about watching original content on Amazon?