Quick refresher: For the past couple years Amazon has been doing a more democratic version of the typical television pilot season. Instead of having executives watch all the shows and select the ones that get ordered to series, they select a handful of produced pilots and make them available to the audience to stream and then provide feedback, which is then used to help decide which of the shows will get picked up. It’s a cool idea, if only because it means you can pretend to be a big shot producer and walk around your apartment saying things like “Baby, you’ll never make it in this town unless you play the game” to your dog while you chomp on a pretzel rod you’re pretending is a giant cigar. It’s the little things.
This year Amazon has selected two hour-long dramas and three half-hour comedies, all of which will be uploaded to Amazon Instant Video on Thursday, August 28. The titles and descriptions are listed below. For my money, the most exciting one on paper has got to be Red Oaks, a country club comedy from David Gordon Green (Eastbound & Down) and Steven Soderbergh, although the other comedies look intriguing, too. I don’t know if The Cosmopolitans will be any good, but if you think I haven’t mentally re-titled that show Seth Cohen in Paris, then you obviously don’t know me at all.
Title: Hand of God
Notable cast and crew: Ron Perlman, Dana Delany
Description: Powerful Judge Harris Pernell is a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the side who has a religious awakening and starts having visions and hearing voices through his ventilator-bound son that could be God speaking to him.
Notable cast and crew: Mena Suvari
Description: A doctor travels to her hometown of Houston to investigate an epidemic among high school girls that might be spreading through technology.
Title: The Cosmopolitans
Notable cast and crew: Adam Brody, Chloë Sevigny
Description: Chronicles the loves and adventures of a group of young expatriates in Paris.
Notable cast and crew: Jay Chandrasekhar (who also wrote and directed the pilot), Sarah Chalke, Selma Blair, Rob Delaney
Description: Happily, messily married neurologist Jed and lawyer/mom Lori are part of a social and opinionated group of thirtysomething friends in Chicago that includes spouses Fred and Joanna, spouses Mike and Margaret, and Hayes and his significant other Alison. The dynamic in the group changes forever when Jed accidentally catches Mike and Joanna having a sexual liaison.
Title: Red Oaks
Notable cast and crew: Craig Roberts, Jennifer Grey, Paul Reiser, David Gordon Green (director), Steven Soderbergh (producer)
Description: An upstairs/downstairs set at a country club that focuses on the employees and their high-end clientele.