Amazon Pilots April 2017 First Look Review

Chad White

It’s Amazon Pilot Season again and the streaming service has released four comedy pilots for the month of April. Here is a comprehensive review of three of those four.

 

The New VIPs

Shoot and shit. It's pretty much a career ender.

Starring: Matt Braunger, Ben Schwartz, Missi Pyle, and Jonathan Adams

Ever since Archer became a big hit in recent years, several networks have tried to cash in on the smart, conversational, limited animation formula. Netflix has Pacific Heat and F Is For Family; HBO has Animals.; Fox had ADHD; and Adult Swim has whatever comes on past midnight. But of all of those shows, only HBO’s offering has proved to be a bonefied hit. Even then, not many people can say that they have watched and enjoyed every episode ( I am proudly a big fan of the show). Now it’s Amazon’s turn to try to find a crudely animated adult series of their own. Somehow they wound up with The New VIPs – a show destined to make viewers reach to turn off their televisions.

Let’s come out and say it up front: this show is not good. It’s the bottom of the barrel in terms animation and in general. Casting aside, there’s nothing positive to say about this show. Scripting is worse off as each voice actor delivers horribly written jokes with so much energy that other gigs would die for. Schwartz in particular is great but his unexpressive character is not. On top of that, those against bodily fluid jokes (like the reviewer) should prepare to be triggered. Pee, fart and poop jokes flow like sickly excrement as they spew from the mouth of these shitty characters.

To add to that, this show is unabashedly trying so hard to be like its recent contemporaries in the conversational aspect that was perfected by Dr. Katz and Home Movies and furthered by Bob’s Burgers and Archer only to be over thought here. The story – if you still care for it this far into the review – has the main characters trying to cover up their boss’s murder (that involves a lot of bodily fluid). Stay away from this show and pray Amazon doesn’t give it a full season.

Should you watch The New VIPs?

God no. Stay far, far away. Don’t waste the half hour (a full half hour!) that the pilot asks for. You might as well drive a nail through your temple.

 

The Legend of Master Legend

Robbing an ATM is like robbing a tiny bank.

Starring: John Hawkes, Shea Whigham, Dawnn Lewis, and Eugene Cordero

This show is hard to describe. It’s a comedy with dramatic elements about a guy who goes around Las Vegas dressed as a superhero. He tries to do heroic things like stopping an argument between a cabbie and a bridal shower only to get beat up by the latter. He takes his job very seriously whereas not many civilians do. He also has a daughter with a woman who left him because he wants to fight crime. She lives in a house with their teenager while he lives in a storage unit.

There’s a lot about Master Legend to like from the main character’s naivety to the setting. But there’s also a persistent annoyance for me in the show. There aren’t many laughs to be had. No single person is interesting enough to want to continue their story. And this show is very anti…well everything. Look at Master Legend’s soundtrack; it’s absurd and metal heavy like it’s main character’s flowing hair. It feels more like an elongated web series as opposed to a full-fledged show. But there’s nothing wrong with any of that.

The Legend of Master Legend is an odd choice to pick up. It’s ability to be an outlier may be what makes it the next solid hit for streaming. Should it be picked up? That’s only if viewers are willing to let it in. Who wouldn’t want to see more training montages consisting of drinking tons of beer, throwing stars, and other random stuff? Plus, the introduction of the other retired members of the Justice Alliance (consisting of Frog, Shaky James, Brimstone, and Peanut Head) would be a fun little episode.

Should you watch The Legend of Master Legend?

This ugly duck should get a chance to fly. It’s different enough to warrant a full season. It just might be the most metal show streaming right now.

 

Budding Prospects

Reganomics, baby, it be hurting us all.

Starring: Adam Rose, Joel David Moore, Will Sasso, Natalie Morales, and Brett Gelman

Budding Prospects is probably the least memorable out of the four (considering The New VIPs this is either a good thing or a bad thing). The cast is alright and the story is nothing exciting. A struggling bartender enlists a welder and dishwasher to help him man a marijuana farm. They’re promised big money from a drug dealer played by Brett Gelman. Natalie Morales plays his girlfriend who will probably hook up with the bartender should the show be picked up.

In terms of originality, Budding Prospects does speak to a sect of the internet in that it’s a show about weed. And it could be a nice period replacement for Amazon’s other 80’s set show, Red Oaks, that is set to end this year. All in all, this show is forgettable but – like Master Legend – harmless. Give it a watch if Mary Jane is your thing.

Should you watch Budding Prospects?

The leading guys are alright and the story is kind of cool. It’s a tossup, really.

 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Starring: Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub, and Gilbert Gottfried

Should you watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?

No matter what I say about this show, it’s already gotten picked up for two seasons. Good job, Gilmore Girls lady.