While Amazon works to perfect its new system of implanting the sensations of being entertained directly into your brain while you’re sleeping, it continues to make do with the primitive technology of streaming original TV shows. Ten new pilots went up today, in the service’s second round of allowing its users to vote on what it would like to see more of—a process that last time yielded full series orders for Alpha House and Betas, and lots of bitter drinking around here after the rejection of Onion News Empire.
Once again, the new series are evenly split between kids’ shows and adult comedies and dramas, with lots of impressive talent behind them, including new efforts from The X-Files’ Chris Carter and The Wire’s Eric Overmeyer, and stars like Titus Welliver and Jeffrey Tambor (who’s determined get an Amazon series one of these years). Here’s a quick rundown of the grown-up shows:
The After: Chris Carter’s return to supernatural thrillers is an apocalyptic tale concerning eight strangers “thrown together by mysterious forces and who must help each other survive in a violent world that defies explanation.” (Said explanation may or may not be “aliens.”)
Bosch: Titus Welliver stars in the adaptation of Michael Connelly’s detective series, playing the titular character as he investigates the killing of a 13-year-old boy, while also standing trial in federal court on charges of killing a suspect in a different investigation. It comes from The Wire’s Eric Overmyer, so add an extra layer of corruption and heartbreak to all that.
Mozart In The Jungle: A comedy-drama written and produced by the Coppola-Wes Anderson nexus of Roman Coppola and his cousin Jason Schwartzman, directed by About A Boy’s Paul Weitz, and starring Malcolm McDowell, Bernadette Peters, Saffron Burrows, and Gael Garcia Bernal. While plot details seem superfluous, considering, Mozart concerns the behind-the-scenes goings-on of a symphony orchestra, and early reviews say it’s bizarre and amazing.
The Rebels: Justified and The Following star Natalie Zea escapes to yet another TV show by getting into what sounds like an update of HBO’s 1st & Ten, playing a widow who inherits her husband’s professional football team—even though she doesn’t really know anything about football and is a woman!, etc. etc., shenanigans and misunderstandings, etc. Ice Cube co-produced with former Giants player/Live With Kelly And Michael co-host Michael Strahan, The Break-Up writer Jeremy Garelick handled the screenplay, and Billy Dee Williams got an acting job, at least.
Transparent: A dark comedy from Six Feet Under writer Jill Soloway, this show concerns another L.A. family whose members each have their own deep, emotional issues. If that’s not reason enough to check it out, the parents are played by Jeffrey Tambor and Judith Light. Welcome back, Judith Light! Who’s the boss? Existential angst, that’s who.
We’ll have our own takes on these pilots eventually, but in the meantime you can watch them and share your thoughts. And if you don’t like any of them, well, Amazon already has new pilots in development with Marc Forster, Ron Perlman, Whit Stillman, Shaun Cassidy, and Lie To Me’s Sam Baum, so—like a package drone-delivered to your doorstep before you even ordered it—you won’t have long to wait for Amazon to bring you something else.
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