Amazon has a new pilot season up, with a few that looked kinda interesting:
The Man in the High Castle is an alternate history based on a Philip K. Dick novel. It takes place in the former US in 1962, after we lost World War II. We lost to both Germany and Japan, so the country is like split at the Rockies into German territory to the East and Japanese to the West.
The redneck squintern from Bones, DJ Qualls, Alexa Davalos, Grama from Rounders, and Rufus Sewell star. The storylines are largely concerned with resistance cells, using people new to the resistance (in NY against the Nazis, and San Francisco against the Japanese) as our POV characters (Squintern and Alexa Davalos, respectively).
This is probably the best of the bunch, for my tastes anyway. It’s a bit slow moving, but I think it has a lot of potential. Probably not very likely to get picked up, though. I don’t think alternate history is a money-making genre.
Mad Dogs is a dark comedy thing with Steve Zahn, Michael Imperioli, Romany Malco, some guy I don’t recognize, and Billy Zane, as 40-something Americans in Belize who get involved in some crazy stuff. Zane is a newly retired rich asshole with mysterious goings on in Belize, he invites his old friends to celebrate his retirement in his fancy house, and that gets them wrapped up in his shenanigans.
It could be interesting, but it wasn’t put together very well as a pilot. Most of the plot is in the last 10 minutes. Everything up to that point was kind of slowly introducing the characters, and then a whole bunch of stuff happens at the end that throws the whole thing on its head. Future episodes won’t resemble the pilot at all, so I’m not sure what the series will eventually be like.
Cocked stars Jason Lee, some guy from >True Blood, the Irish girl from A Knights Tale/whatshername from Breaking Bad, and the blonde not-B roommate from Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, Diora Baird, and Brian Dennehy. It’s sort of an Arrested Development-ish setup, plot-wise. Dennehy’s family gun company, which Jason Lee helps run, is in trouble, and the son who wanted nothing to do with them is dragged into coming back home to help out, even though his family is a bunch of dicks. His plan is to save the company by being the first gun maker to market to LGBTs, hence the double entendre title.
It’s kind of a dark comedy/drama, but the plot similarities to Arrested Development don’t extend to being similarly funny. Jason Lee is well cast as the asshole brother, but doesn’t have a lot to work with. It’s not the worst thing ever, but not that good.
Down Dog is a comedy about a handsome but not-so-bright yoga instructor dude who has breezed through life by being good-looking. It co-stars Paget Brewster, which is the main reason I bothered to check it out. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get to be funny, she’s stuck in the wet blanket no-fun girlfriend role. Lyndsey Fonseca, Kris Kristofferson, and the evil warden lady from OitNB are also in it, I have no idea who the main guy is.
This is not very good at all.