BY CHARLIE FERN
Amazon is currently streaming three pilot episodes of new comedy programs and one of the pilots will become Amazon’s next original series.
“Love You More” focuses on Karen Best, an overweight single woman who has troubles with men and also works as a counselor in a home for young adults with Down syndrome. She lives with her roommate Jean, an attractive older woman.
Bridget Everett’s performance as Karen is both hilarious and heartfelt for she makes bawdy comments, but her heart shines through when she is shown working with the adults with Down syndrome.
She still gets herself into awkward situations, but they are undeniably amusing to watch.
Anderson’s comedic instincts are sharp as Jean and the character fits her like a glove. Jean’s attempts to be social could be played as pathetic, but Anderson brings a real underlying warmth to her portrayal.
The biggest issue with the pilot is that there is a random musical number during it that comes out of nowhere and is not particularly funny. The characters and their interactions are strong enough that there is no need for such a segment.
“Love You More” has a lot of potential as a series, with the only real flaw of the pilot being the musical number. Hopefully that concept will be done away with if the series is picked up.
Based on a short story by George Saunders, “Sea Oak” stars Glenn Close as Aunt Bernie, a working-class woman who dies suddenly but comes back from the dead. Bernie is determined to live her life to the fullest when she returns.
The pilot spends a lot of time setting up Bernie’s life as a woman taking care of her nieces and nephew before her sudden death.
The episode picks up steam when Bernie returns from the dead and turns everyone’s world upside down.
Glenn Close gives a poignant performance initially, but becomes full of comedic rage in the final act when she announces her plans for the life she wants to live.
Close switches between the two Bernies rather seamlessly. Unfortunately, the other characters are rather one-dimensional and uninteresting.
“Sea Oak” is certainly unique, but it will likely confuse many viewers. Glenn Close’s star power could help this one get a series order. The other characters will need to become more interesting if this series is picked to have further episodes.
“The Climb” tells the story of Nia, an office assistant in Detroit who wants social media fame. She wants to have all of this with her best friend in town.
The pilot does have some funny moments, but it has one major problem. Nia comes off as being very shallow. This does not allow for her to be a relatable or engaging protagonist. This greatly hurts the appeal of the pilot.
“The Climb” also lacks a solid premise for the idea of a girl being bored with her job has been done multiple times, and the pilot does not bring anything new to this concept. It is trying to be relatable, but it does not quite stick the landing.
Out of the three pilots, “Love You More” would make for the best series.
In addition to being very funny, the fact that it features actors with down syndrome makes it stand out from other programs.
Hopefully, Amazon will give it a chance as a series and it will be successful.