Amazon has had it’s VOD platform going for a while now and has consistently produced good shows. Their strategy is very interesting: every year they have a pilot season, when all pilots are made available to the audience who then chooses the ones they like best and that will get a chance to turn into shows. A player on the entertainment industry putting the audience’s power of choice upfront? Interesting stuff, no?
It’s working – so far they have 9 originals available so I thought we should talk a bit about some of the best ones and hopefully you’ll give them a try sometime soon. All the first episodes are available for free on Amazon Instant Video and you’ll find the links below.
In ‘Transparent’, a L.A. based Jewish family see their lives turned upside down thanks to a flux of family secrets coming to surface. Somewhere in between a drama and a comedy, these characters are all very real, flawed people and it’s a delight to watch them in a show that is at the same time heartwarming and heartbreaking. “Arrested Development’s’ Jeffrey Tambor does exquisite work as a father who comes out as a transgender to his family and takes us through the tough challenges that doing so involve. This show has been getting extensive critical recognition and snatched a Golden Globe earlier this year for Best Comedy and Best Actor in a Comedy. Transparent is a show no network would have touched and Amazon turned it into something truly outstanding.
‘Bosch’ is a crime drama where Titus Welliver (from ‘Lost’ and ‘The Good Wife’) plays a mildly corrupt LAPD detective who consistently bends the rules to achieve his goals. The show is based on Michael Connelly’s Bosch book series, which is wildly successful. Think of ‘House’ meets ‘Law and Order: S.V.U.’
(I have to admit I’m still on episode 6 so I might change my mind about this show eventually, but so far, so good.)
This show was created by Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola, need I say more? ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ is a comedy starred by the wonderful Gael Garcia Bernal who plays a young conductor shaking up the backstages of the New York Symphony. Malcom McDowell (‘A Clockwork Orange’) and Broadway star Bernadette Peters also star in this great show. A big plus here is the amount of amazing music featured on this show – a must watch for music lovers.
‘Alpha House’ is a funny, more down to earth (and still worth watching) ‘House of Cards’. John Goodman plays a U.S. Senator who shares a house in D.C. with fellow politicians, all of them completely immature. Together they expose huge amounts of unpreparedness, backfired shots and lack of ethics to make this a very interesting show.
There’s much more and you’re sure to find something that will appeal to you. HBO Now will likely cause a big stir on the VOD world but Amazon is quickly becoming a heavy-weight contender.
What are your Amazon Instant Video favorites?