Last year, Amazon attempted to outdo Netflix by launching their own original content, but with a key difference. Netflix make shows based on interrogating their subscriber's data (House of Cards was famously made because lots of people watched Kevin Spacey and David Fincher movies), while Amazon create pilots and, unlike broadcast networks, commission whatever's the most popular. And here's what they have for us this year:
Bosch. An adaptation of Michael Connelly's novels about an LAPD cop pursuing the killer of a 13-year-old boy, while simultaneously standing trial for allegedly murdering a serial killer. Bosch will be played by Titus Welliver (The Good Wife), alongside Annie Wersching (24), Amy Price-Francis and Jamie Hector. It's written by Eric Overmyer & Michael Connelly, with the pilot directed by Jim McKay.
The After. Chris Carter (X Files, Millennium) returns to "television" with drama following the lives of eight strangers who must band together when a mysterious force upends the world. It stars Aldris Hodge, Andrew Howard, Jamie Kennedy, Arielle Kebbel, Sharon Lawrence, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Adrian Pasdar & Louise Manot.
Mozart in the Jungle. Dramedy based on a memoir by Blair Tindall that goes behind the scenes of a symphony orchestra. Starring Gael García Bernal, Malcolm McDowell, Saffron Burrows, Bernadette Peters & Lola Kirke. Written by Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore), Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom) & Alex Timbers, with a pilot directed by Paul Weitz (About a Boy).
Transparent. Black comedy about an L.A family with "boundary issues". Written and directed by Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under), starring Jeffrey Tambor (Larry Sanders), Judith Light, Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker & Jay Duplass.
The Rebels. Sports comedy about a woman whose husband died, leaving her the sole owner of a pro-football team. Written by Jeremy Garelick & Jon Weinbach.
There are also some children's pilots I don't think anyone here will care about. So do any of the above take your interest? The one with the most potential to create internet buzz is definitely going to be The After, if only because X Philes will rally around it. I actually like the sound of Bosch the most, as the others sound a little too vague to judge in any meaningful way.
You can watch these pilot right now, if you're an Amazon Prime user in the US, or subscribe to LOVEFiLM in the UK. I will try and review some of these very soon.