As announced on our show last week, Craig has given us all an assignment. Amazon Prime picked up six of their pilot season shows to become full seasons! Seeing as we happen to have six hosts of Take Too Podcast, we each took a show to watch and review. Should you bother getting into any of these new Amazon Prime shows? Read below and our hosts will let you know!
I Love Dick
I Love Dick is a new half hour comedy that premiered it’s pilot episode in August 2016. It was picked up for a full season with new episodes in May on Amazon Prime Video. It is based on a 20 year old book, and brought to series by Jill Solloway who is better known for her success with Transparent for Amazon. It stars Kathyrn Hahn(Bad Moms) and Kevin Bacon as the title character. It has a darker tone,and awkward style of humor. The main idea is Kathryn Hahn’s character, Chris becomes obsessed with Dick when she meets him. Essentially the entire pilot is about her writing these letters to Dick and fantasizing about cheating on her husband with him.
Making a judgement on a series based on 30 minutes is tough. Kathryn Hahn is usually very funny in anything I’ve seen her in. Here, she’s more subtle, due to the style of show. It’s not your typical network comedy full of laugh out loud moments. Kevin Bacon seems to do well with the character and gives a good performance, as expected. It’s just tough to really get a read on all the characters so soon. Hopefully, given the time, this will develop into a funny show worth checking out.
In the newly picked up Amazon series “The Tick” superheroes have been real for years now. We follow non-super powered star Arthur Everest as he learns that a feared super villain is still loose on the world. He comes in contact with and starts to work with a giant man in a big blue costume who goes by the name The Tick. He’s bulletproof, amazingly strong, and has an urge to help the needy. He only lack’s general intelligence and planning. So our star Arthur teams up with him.
If this comic book adaptation sounds familiar, it should. “The Tick” was a short lived show on FOX in 2001 starring Peter Warburton (Seinfeld’s Puddy) as our giant blue hero. I personally enjoyed the show back then and thought that over it’s 9 episode run that it was improving with each show. The problem is that because I remember this earlier attempt, it’s hard to see anyone else as The Tick besides Warburton. He was perfect for the role. In the Amazon revival The Tick is played by Peter Serafinowicz, probably best known for playing Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode 1. Serafinowicz is good but not great as our dumb blue hero. It may sound weird but he actually sounds too smart when he talks to be playing someone so dumb. The costumes and special effects were very good, especially for a pilot episode. But I just feel that the show didn’t take enough of a humorous tone to really make it stand out. I will admit that with all the superhero shows on television now which are much better, I’m surprised that “The Tick” got picked up for a full season by Amazon. It’s watchable but nothing that really grabs my attention.
3 evil doers beware out of 10
starring: Richard Coyle, Mamie Gummer and Tom Riley
1947 Paris. Its post World War II and the once titan of the world that was the city of Paris is now in a rebuilding mode. Not just the poor have felt the scourge of war but the rich as well. In comes renowned fashion designer Paul Sabine, played by Richard Coyle. He has plans to put Paris, and himself, back on top of the world.
“Nothing new or magnificent is built from fear” says Sabine and he intends to prove it. What the world doesn’t know is just how much we should fear him.
In this 90-minute pilot episode we learn that Sabine is quite good at hiding many secrets. His brothers homosexuality and alcoholism, abusive fathers, abandoning babies to orphanages and…..murder! What’s better is knowing that his mother might be an even larger puppet master than he.
When I saw the trailer for this my interest was at a 1. But quickly do you learn this isn’t a Project Runway style program. It is a mystery thriller that by shows end had me anxious for the next episode. Beautiful set design of 1940’s Paris, solid acting for the most part and a ‘need to know more’ plot line all work well on this show. It did its job and I am ready for more!
7.5 outta 10
Jean Claude Van Johnson
Starring: Jean Claude Van Damme
This pilot episode originally was released in August of 2016. The plot is that an 80’s action star we all know and love is really a secret Black Ops agent aka – Jean Claude Van Johnson. The writing and acting are decent and the humor is pretty good. Jean Claude does a good job making fun of himself with this role and his acting is pretty solid overall.
If this show is made into a series I think it would go over well.
Patriot is written and directed by Steve Conrad. John Tavner, played by Michael Dorman, is a special intelligence operative sent to Iran to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons. The show is a dram mixed with dark humor that doesn’t follow the normal spy formula for an espionage story.
I really liked this show. The story was current and on topic while the acting is great! The main character seems depressed and disconnected. His way to cope with his job is to write and sing songs in small clubs. The lyrics are then basically detailed events about the jobs he has done. His father is high up in the agency and his brother is a Congressman with his own crazy side story.
I am looking forward to the release of the rest of season 1.
9 out of 10 for me!
The Last Tycoon
The glitz, the glamour and the never ending talent trying to make it on the movie screen. It is an old American dream and one that continues today.
Amazons new series, The Last Tycoon transports the audience to the start of it all when color pictures were in their infancy. It is 1936 Germany and the Nazi party is influencing everything it can, including American film. The pilot shows us a young visionary filmmaker Monroe Stahr, played by Matt Bomer, who is in the works of making his masterpiece. Unfortunately his vision clashes with the Nazi party and he is forced to rethink such vision. Studio Head Pat Brady, played by Kelsey Grammer is trying to keep his struggling studio above water and must entertain the wealthy German influence.
The portrayal of ‘old Hollywood’ in this show is amazing. The pilot episode shows the audience the poverty and struggle during the time of American history. “Hoovervilles” can be seen and how they influenced the workforce in the movie industry. You also catch a glimpse of how immigrants influenced Hollywood by writing, acting and producing films.
The pilot episode grabs the audience and does not let go. I can not wait to be transported back to see how Monroe deals with the pressures placed on him and whether or not his masterpiece will ever come to the big screen.
For me – 8/10 stars!