'Red Oaks' and 'The Cosmopolitans' debut on Amazon
The VOD platform has launched its third pilot season with five new episodes, which are now available online. As in the past, Amazon's subscribers will vote to determine which series will be greenlighted for a full season.
Netflix is a formidable opponent, between its international reach and its Emmy-nominated original series, but Amazon is up to the challenge. The online retail giant plans to steal some of Netflix's thunder by launching its own quality productions.
And its third wave of pilots is the most ambitious yet, between the dramas "Hand of God" and "Hysteria" and the comedies "The Cosmopolitans," "Really" and "Red Oaks."
Produced by Steven Soderbergh, "Red Oaks" was created by Gregory Jacobs, who regularly collaborates with the filmmaker in the role of assistant director. David Gordon Green ("Eastbound & Down") helmed the pilot. Set in suburban New Jersey in 1985, the story follows David Myers, a college student who spends his summer working as an assistant tennis pro at Red Oaks Country Club.
Craig Roberts, the young actor seen in "Skins," "22 Jump Street" and "Submarine," plays the protagonist. "Mad About You" stars Paul Reiser and Richard Kind are also featured, along with Jennifer Grey ("Dirty Dancing"), Oliver Cooper ("Californication"), Gage Golightly and Ennis Esmer.
Developed by Whit Stillman ("Damsels in Distress"), this comedy starring Chloë Sevigny and Adam Brody follows a group of Americans and other foreigners living in Paris. The narrative revolves around the expatriates' search for love and the meaning of life in the French capital.
"Hand of God"
Harris Pernell, played by Ron Perlman, is a morally corrupt yet influential judge who juggles relationships with a high-end call girl and a wife named Crystal, who is played by Dana Delany ("Desperate Housewives," "Body of Proof"). But his life changes dramatically following a religious awakening, as he becomes convinced God is talking to him through his ventilator-bound son.
Written by Ben Watkins, the pilot is directed by Marc Forster ("World War Z").
In this medical thriller, Mena Suvari plays Dr. Logan Harlow, a brilliant and charming yet socially awkward neurologist/psychiatrist. Already plagued by her own problems, including a brother who is on death row, the character is forced to return to her hometown of Austin, Texas to investigate a mysterious illness that has stricken a girls' competitive dance team and is possibly transmitted through technology.
The cast also includes James McDaniel, Josh Stewart, Adan Canto, Laura San Giacomo and T.R. Knight.
Created by Jay Chandrasekhar, who also plays one of the main characters, and by Jamie Tarses, this dramatic comedy centers on a Chicago couple and their group of friends as they live out their adult lives while attempting to hold on to their fleeting youth. Sarah Chalke, Selma Blair, Travis Schuldt, Hayes MacArthur, Collette Wolfe, Luka Jones, Lindsay Sloane and Rob Delaney make up the cast.
All of the pilots are available at www.amazon.com.
Watch a preview of the new Amazon series: youtu.be/phyEY_mBea4