Fresh off of winning two Golden Globes last week, Amazon Prime has a second batch of new original pilots. The seven new comedy, drama and docu-series pilots from the online streaming studio are definitely not the next “Transparent,” but there are a few with promising potential. HuffPost Entertainment watched each one to ascertain which are worth your time:
What’s It About? Earl J. Hickey is officially done with his good deeds. “Cocked” finds actor Jason Lee as a drug user whose missteps have landed his family’s gun business in trouble. Now, his estranged brother (Sam Trammell) is forced to return home to save the company from being bought by their uncle.
Who’s In It? Sam Trammell (“True Blood”), Jason Lee (“My Name is Earl”) and Brian Dennehy (“Ratatouille”).
Should You Stream It? You can pull the trigger on this one. Though it’s not perfect bulls-eye, “Cocked” has a special mix of drama and comedy that just about hits the mark. –Bill Bradley
“The Man in the High Castle”
What’s It About? Adapted from Philip K. Dick’s Hugo award-winning alternative history novel of the same name, this drama imagines a post-WWII era in which the Allies lost the war. The pilot follows a variety of characters living in the former United States where the Japanese control the West and Nazi Germany governs the East.
Who’s In It? Alexa Davalos (“Mob City”), Luke Kleintank (“Pretty Little Liars”), Joel de la Fuente (“Hemlock Grove”) and Rufus Sewell. Ridley Scott executive produced the pilot, which was written by Frank Spotnitz (“The X-Files”) and directed by David Semel (“Madam Secretary”).
Should You Stream It? Yes! The storyline itself is enough to keep any viewer intrigued, especially fans of Dick’s work and dystopian fiction. The dialogue and performances could be stronger, but the show definitely has potential if it’s picked up to series. –Erin Whitney
What’s It About? Based on a hit U.K. series of the same name, “Mad Dogs” follows a group of childhood friends who reunite in middle age to celebrate one friend’s early retirement in Belize. When they arrive, the story behind his newfound life of luxury begins to unravel, and the group gets caught up in a less than ideal situation.
Who’s In It? Steve Zahn (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Billy Zane (“Titanic”), Romany Malco (“Weeds”), Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”) and Ben Chaplin.
Should You Stream It? Sure, maybe, if you want to see a show whose tone fuses “Hangover” dude-friend vibes with elements of a murder-thriller. The characters aren’t much more than sketches right now, but could potentially grow into more interesting people. (Chaplin’s Joel particularly comes to mind.) There are some gorgeous shots of a beachside villa that are pleasant to watch even if you, like me, don’t find the relationships or developing mystery all that compelling. –Lily…