With the success of Alpha House and Transparent, Amazon is making a name for itself in the original content game, one show at a time, which is why as a TV fan their pilot season is something worth getting excited about.
For the uninitiated, Amazon posts the pilot episodes online for each of their potential new series. All are free to watch, and after viewing you have the ability to take a survey to rate each show and leave feedback if you feel so inclined.
While the Amazon model of rating things after consuming them is nothing new, having a say in which shows receive a green light is. The traditional pilot season for TV fans is mostly just an exercise in restrained excitement as shows can be reworked, parts can be recast, and even after all of that many projects never even see the light of day.
While not every Amazon pilot will become a full-fledged TV show, their pilot season at least offers fans agency in the process, so start watching.
Thirteen new shows are fighting for a pick-up this go-around. Six are geared towards kids or tweens and seeing as how they’re not exactly my cup of tea I’ll be glossing over them. But without further ado, here’s the remaining seven ready for your viewing pleasure:
A group of 40-something slacker-type friends reunite in Belize; however it’s not all The Hangover, apparently some crazy things happen, secrets are revealed, and there may even be murder.
Cast: Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line), Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Billy Zane (Twin Peaks), Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club) and Romany Malco (Weeds)
Executive Producers: Cris Cole & Shawn Ryan (The Shield)
A half hour comedy about a former supermodel trying to reclaim her glory after spending a decade in rehab.
Cast: Leslie Bibb (About a Boy) & Rachel Dratch (SNL)
Director: Mark Waters (Mean Girls)
Described as a satirical look at LA’s yoga culture, Down Dog is about a yoga instructor and studio owner who breaks up with his girlfriend. Only she’s also his business partner.
Cast: Josh Casaubon (I Just Want My Pants Back), Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds), and Kris Kristofferson (Lone Star).
A docu-series from America’s most award-winning magazine.
Producer: Alex Gibney (Oscar & Emmy winner)
Shot on location in Virginia, Point of Honor is about a family caught up in Civil War; however, not everyone is seeing eye to eye on defending the South and freeing the slaves.
Writers: Carlton Cuse (Lost) & Randall Wallace (Braveheart)
Director: Randall Wallace (Braveheart)
Based on the Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name, The Man in the High Castle paints a dystopian future of what the world and United States could have looked like if the Axis Powers had won WWII.
Cast: Rufus Sewell (John Adams), Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars) & Alexa Davalos (Mob City)
The successful son must return home to Colorado to help save his family’s failing gun business. As expected lots of hilarity and family drama ensue
Cast: Sam Trammell (True Blood), Jason Lee (My Name is Earl) & Tony-winner Brian Dennehy (Death of a Salesman)
Creator & Executive Producer: Samuel Baum (Lie to Me)
Executive Producer: Erwin Stoff