Friday, September 5, 2014

Amazon Prime – Really

It will be interesting to see what direction Amazon takes as an entertainment creator.   Alpha House was a show that thought it was more clever than it actually was and Betas was cancelled before I even checked out an episode. 

But will Amazon set it’s sights on becoming the next “next HBO” or will it be content to the next CBS?  I can’t call it. 

Closing out our week long look at Amazon Prime’s latest group of pilots is Really.  

Really doesn’t break any new ground.  It’s a show about a predominately white group of friends in their 30’s in Chicago.  It’s a quartet of couples, Jed and Lori, Fred & Joanna, Matt and Margaret, Charlie and Allison along with their single friend Steve. 

The show focuses on Jed (Jay Chandrasekhar) and Lori (Sarah Chalke) and familiar tropes are trotted out.  Lori takes forever to decide on what she’s drinking at a restaurant.  Jed only gets BJs on his birthday and satisfies himself to internet porn.  And did you know that children will burst into your room while you’re having sex?  They are a typical married tv couple. 

And their friends are equally typical; Steve, the singleton in the group, dates younger women.  Everyone else is married, except for Charlie and Allison, but they’re in a seriously committed relationship. 

At a get together at Fred and Joanna’s house, the women critique Steve’s young date, while his male friends envy him.  Everyone enjoys their alcohol and eventually reefer gets introduced.  Fred gets obnoxiously drunk and passes out on a couch. 

As the party breaks up, Jed goes back inside to retrieve a forgotten item and witnesses Joanna going down on Matt.   There’s a moment of awkwardness before Jed backs out of the room.  Matt tries to explain and asks his friend to keep the secret. 

Of course as everyone knows it’s not the crime but the cover up that gets people caught.  Jed is almost caught in the cover up by his wife, but plays cool.  And at the end of the episode he finally gets that hummer she’s promised him, but at that point can he even enjoy it? 

Really is fine.  It doesn’t impress, but it performs to a satisfactory degree.  The comedy is amusing and the dramatic elements create tension.  While it trades in tropes they don’t really become clichés, expect for maybe Steve, but his screen time is so limited that it can be forgiven. 

The cast does a good job inhabiting the characters they’ve been given.  There is a sense of friendships with the characters.  Let’s just hope that Hayes MacArthur isn’t a jinx, since this is his second straight Amazon pilot (the first being The Rebels, the only show from the last batch that didn’t get picked up.)

Should Really get picked up, I’d probably tune in to see where things went and if things could grow beyond tropes into something that really pushes boundaries.  And honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if this show went to series. 

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