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Big big names on the small small screen
August 28, 2014 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Some pretty big names are wading into the Amazon waters with a group of new instant video pilots debuting today. Marc Forster ("World War Z") directed Hand of God, "a psychological drama about a morally corrupt judge who suffers a breakdown and believes God is compelling him onto a path of vigilante justice"; David Gordon Green ("George Washington," "Pineapple Express") helmed Red Oaks, "a coming-of-age comedy set in the 'go-go' 80s about a college student enjoying a last hurrah before summer comes to an end--and the future begins"; Whit Stillman ("Metropolitan") turns in The Cosmopolitans, "a dramatic comedy about a group of young American expats in Paris searching for love and friendship and an ocean of distance from their past"; and Jay Chandrasekhar ("Super Troopers") is responsible for Really, "a funny, honest, behind-the-curtain look at the psychological and emotional complexities of marriage and the charged dynamics of a tight-knit group of friends grasping on to what's left of their youth." There's also Otto Bathurst's Hysteria, "an investigative thriller about a haunted young doctor who is summoned back to her hometown to investigate an epidemic that may be linked to social media - and her own tragic past." User reviews determine which pilots get picked up for series.
posted by Clustercuss (28 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
"an investigative thriller about a haunted young doctor who is summoned back to her hometown to investigate an epidemic that may be linked to social media - and her own tragic past."

So they took Top of the Lake and swapped out the crime parts for medicine.
posted by bleep at 1:43 PM on August 28


Looking forward to Top of the Lake With Lawyers.
posted by bleep at 1:43 PM on August 28


....Whit Stillman ("Metropolitan") turns in The Cosmopolitans, "a dramatic comedy about a group of young American expats in Paris searching for love and friendship and an ocean of distance from their past"....

Good to see Whit Stillman branching out. /s
posted by spacely_sprocket at 1:46 PM on August 28 [11 favorites]


I just want to know when the new H+ web series will (finally) be coming out.
posted by Nevin at 1:48 PM on August 28


Good to see Whit Stillman branching out.

Didn't you see how this one is in Paris?!? It's totally different from Barcelona or the '70s.
posted by Etrigan at 1:50 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


I like me some classic Whit Stillman. I'm excited.
posted by Area Man at 1:52 PM on August 28


I am sad that Marc Forster is best known for World War Z.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:56 PM on August 28


There are also release dates now for the series that got greenlit from the last batch of Amazon pilots.

Transparent was marvelous--and all I'll say is that it's surprising. 10 episodes of that come out September 26th. And The After and Bosch had some flaws, but showed promise. Those come out early next year.

The After had an interesting sci-fi/horror premise and a not bad tv ensemble cast (including an unrecognizable Jamie Kennedy and the lovely Sharon Lawrence playing an elderly woman for some damned reason), though the dialogue sounded like Chris Carter wanted to use up all nine seasons worth of swears he'd been refused on The X-Files. Bosch was a little plodding and pedestrian, but Titus Welliver was great as the titular hero from Michael Connelly's beloved crime novels. It could fizzle out or get better in a hurry.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:59 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Hand of God, a psychological drama about a morally corrupt judge who suffers a breakdown and believes God is compelling him onto a path of vigilante justice

Sounds kind of like a small-scale take on 1935's Gabriel Over the White House.
posted by Iridic at 2:03 PM on August 28


I'm still not forgiving David Gordon Green for 'Your Highness.' Yikes.
posted by Dmenet at 2:03 PM on August 28


Dmenet: "I'm still not forgiving David Gordon Green for 'Your Highness.' Yikes."

Prince Avalanche from last year was terrific and while I haven't seen it yet, this years Joe got very good reviews.
posted by octothorpe at 2:12 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Oooh... Red Oaks has Craig Roberts from Submarine and the UK version of Being Human. He's terrific.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:13 PM on August 28


Have we moved into a period where we can like the characters in dramas again? It seems like it's been years of unlikeable protagonists.
posted by clvrmnky at 2:30 PM on August 28 [2 favorites]


The advantage of these shows is that they will not ditch you in mid-season. Sure they might get cancelled at the end of a season but they will at least deliver the whole current season. I've been burned by too many smart tv series that turned out to be too smart for the audiences or broadcast network execs to trust anything new.
posted by srboisvert at 2:56 PM on August 28 [4 favorites]


Telling that there are a couple of names here that would get critics to watch with an open mind, but wouldn't immediately spring open wallets in Hollywood as it has been the last few years

This is only the start of internet money bankrolling more and more of what Hollywood studios/networks used to, in search of prestige and cultural cred as well as profit.
posted by C.A.S. at 4:20 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


"Hand of God, a psychological drama about a morally corrupt judge who suffers a breakdown and believes God is compelling him onto a path of vigilante justice"

Also sounds like an episode of Criminal Minds.
posted by harrietthespy at 4:31 PM on August 28


The advantage of these shows is that they will not ditch you in mid-season.

And presumably the entire season will be available at once. If a show is good, I want to watch it over a couple of weeks as time allows, not spread over months on the network's schedule.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:30 PM on August 28


Well, I don't have to worry about being dumped mid-season 'This video isn't available due to geographical licensing restrictions.'
posted by unliteral at 5:40 PM on August 28


Man, Hand of God was just about as horrible as it could possibly be. I wish they had the final scene first, so I could have turned it off in disgust after 2 minutes. Felt more than a little like a retread of John From Cincinnati.

Cosmopolitans? I'd watch another episode, hoping for a degree of naturalness to emerge. Or just to watch the scenery of Paris.
posted by sutt at 5:59 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


WAIT DOES THIS SAY WHIT STILLMAN *dies*
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:14 PM on August 28 [3 favorites]


Red Oaks is pretty good. gets my vote.
posted by Bwithh at 8:13 PM on August 28


The Cosmopolitans is fantastic. Has Chloe Sevigny too
posted by Bwithh at 12:17 AM on August 29 [1 favorite]


Wait, was that the ... Sambola ?

Really dunno about Red Oaks though.
posted by zbsachs at 7:22 AM on August 29


Red Oaks is a bit navel-gazy and myopic in its naked autobiographical bits--you know who'd be interesting to watch...an upper middle class Jewish kid from the 80s who's into film!--but it is compelling and funny, so I can get behind it. Craig Roberts is, as expected, perfect.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:23 AM on August 29


Yeah I liked Red Oaks except for the extremely predictable plot points - oh really, the hard-to-get irresistible mysterious higher class love interest is ALSO the big boss's daughter, no way.

Also I don;t understand why is the hero is so successful with women. but maybe that's just me.

I didn't mind the the air of artificiality/detachment in Cosmopolitans - this is a dramedy about the young offspring of the global overclass after all. Chloe's Civil War small talk was weird though - the one off-note I felt.
posted by Bwithh at 4:09 PM on August 29


Hand of God is a lumpy, misbegotten mess.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:50 PM on August 31


Okay, based on this thread, I put the pilots on our watchlist, and last night we watched two of them.

Cosmopolitans: Meh, I don't know why I should care about any of these people in the slightest. The flashback story of how he met what'sername was okay, I guess, but this was like the first 30 minutes of an indie movie that I would be disappointed by. Thumbs up for beautiful Paris in the background, but I won't be watching.

Really: Seems like it had more potential, mostly due to Chandrasekhar's presence, but the wife (Sarah Chalke, apparently? Amazon refuses to let me know on the About screen) had very little personality. And none of the drunk smoking cheating crowd was very endearing. Not thrilled by it, but I can see how it might have potential.

Should I bother with Red Oaks at this point? That and Transparent are still on my list.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:45 AM on September 1


We saw Really last night, too. Many of the conversations were funny, but it didn't really develop much as a story. It could be that Chandrasekhar was trying to set things up and that it will get better. I kind of anticipate it becoming much like a network couples/relationship comedy, only with dirtier jokes, drugs, and nudity.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:23 AM on September 1


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