Over the last few years, Amazon has been quietly establishing themselves as a growing force in original programming. They’ve put out a number of good shows, but Transparent has been their only real breakout hit, the only thing putting them anywhere near the same playing field as Netflix, let alone network or cable TV. But over the next few months, that all may change. Amazon Video has just released its fall slate of pilots, which, like always, will be available for free and they’ll ask for audience feedback to decide which will go to series for Prime members. Of the six new shows, there are a couple that sound like potential snoozefests, yes, but most of them sound at the very least intriguing, and at best our new favorite shows.
Set in the post-Civil War American West and based on George G. Gilman’s book series of the same name, which has been called “the most violent western in print,” Edge follows a “Union officer turned cowboy, who prowls the post-Civil War American West doling out his own peculiar (and savage) brand of justice.” I only hope the show is as over-the-top as this actual description of our anti-hero: “his mission is personal and his vengeance hath no fury.” [Cue Clint Eastwood punching things.]
Good Girls Revolt
In 1969, while a cultural revolution with a soundtrack to match swept through the free world, there was still one place that refused to change with the times: newsrooms. Good Girls Revolt follows a group of young female researchers at “News of the Week,” who simply ask to be treated fairly. Their revolutionary request will spark convulsive changes and upend marriages, careers, sex lives, love lives, and friendships.
The pilot is inspired by the landmark sexual discrimination cases chronicled in Lynn Povich’s book, The Good Girls Revolt.
This sounds like Norma Rae meets Mary Tyler Moore and I don’t know if it can possibly live up to that expectation, but I cannot wait to watch it try.
Highston Liggetts is a 19-year-old with a wide circle of celebrity friends—that only he can see. His parents, Jean (Mary Lynn Rajskub, 24), and Wilbur (Chris Parnell, Saturday Night Live) force him to get psychiatric help, but his Uncle Billy (Curtis Armstrong, American Dad!) thinks he’s just fine. Highston is a comedy about what it means to be normal in a world that’s anything but. The pilot guest stars Shaquille O’Neal (Thunderstruck) and Flea (The Big Lewbowski).
Bling Ring meets Sixth Sense meets Rick and Morty?
This sounds to pretty much be Tig’s incredible documentary (Tig), serialized, and executive produced by herself, Diablo Cody, and Louis CK.
A dark comedy, loosely inspired by Tig Notaro’s (Boyish Girl Interrupted) life, One Mississippi follows Tig as she deals with the complex reentry into her childhood hometown of Bay Saint Lucille, Mississippi, to deal with the unexpected death of her mother, the interminable life of the party, Caroline. Reeling from her own recently declining health, Tig struggles to find her footing with the loss of the one person who actually understood her, with help from her older but not always wiser brother, Remy, played by Noah Harpster (Transparent), and her emotionally distant stepfather, Bill, played by John Rothman (The Devil Wears Prada). A surprise visit from Tig’s girlfriend, Brooke, played by Casey Wilson (Gone Girl) only compounds the reality of how out of place Tig is in a world without her mother.
This one has the least impressive synopsis— a general political thriller, sort of generic Jason Bourne-ish about a US government spy who has to take a “perilous ‘non-official cover’ — that of a mid-level employee at a Midwestern industrial piping firm.” We’ll watch him balance PTSD, the US government, & a mild-mannered day job as he tries to keep Iran from going nuclear. At best, that wounds like an epic shitshow worthy of drinking games.
And hold onto your butts for this last one:
Z is a bio-series pilot based on the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the brilliant, beautiful and talented Southern Belle who becomes the original flapper and icon of the wild, flamboyant Jazz Age in the 20s. Starring Christina Ricci as Zelda Sayre, Z starts before she meets the unpublished writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (Gavin Stenhouse, Allegiance), and moves through their passionate, turbulent love affair and their marriage—made in heaven, lived out in hell as the celebrity couple of their time. The series travels through the wild parties, the wicked jazz, the dissolute artists of the era, as well as the alcoholism, adultery and struggle with dashed dreams and mental illness that characterizes their later years. Z dives into the fascinating life of a woman ahead of her time, an artist determined to establish her own identity in the tempestuous wake of a world-famous husband. The show pulls back the curtain on her triumphs and dark secrets. It’s a modern take on one of the most notorious love stories of all time, played out in salons and speak-easies from Montgomery, Alabama to the Cote D’Azur.
PRE-FITZGERALD ZELDA STARRING CHRISTINA RICCI? GET ON MY TELEVISION NOW, PLEASE.