A Quick Guide to Amazon's Latest Streaming Video Pilots

By Adam Clark Estes on at

From today, Amazon Studios are rolling out a series of brand new pilots in the UK through LOVEFiLM Instant – and there are surprising number of stars in the mix. From a drug-laced drama about classical music with Gael Garcia-Bernal to a dysfunctional family comedy with Jeffrey Tambor – there's something for everybody.

Oh, and they're all free to watch, whether you're a Prime subscriber or not. Amazon is looking for feedback (read: customer reviews) so that they can decide which pilots to launch into full-blown series, as they did with last year's Alpha House and Betas. Out of the five shows for kids and five for grown ups, there's got to be a hit.

Here's a quick breakdown of the shows for grown-ups. All that's left for you to do is stock up on snacks; a weekend of TV-bingeing awaits.

A Quick Guide to Amazon's Latest Streaming Video Pilots


The After

What it's about: This highly anticipated (and much-advertised) science fiction show comes straight from the brain of Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files. It's one of those suspenseful, sort of apocalyptic, will-they-survive adventures that puts eight strangers together to battle violent forces of the unknown. In the words of one Amazon reviewer: "Thrilling!"

Why you should watch: Did I mention the part about how this show is the brainchild of the guy who created The X-Files?

A Quick Guide to Amazon's Latest Streaming Video Pilots



What it's about: This one's for you murder mystery fanatics out there. Titus Welliver plays an LAPD homicide detective who's trying to solve the murder of a 13-year-old boy, but—but!—he's on trial himself for the murder of a serial killer. If I were in that position, I'd be smoking cigarettes all the time, too.

Why you should watch: Variations on film noir never get old, especially when they're sort of twisted.

A Quick Guide to Amazon's Latest Streaming Video Pilots


Mozart in the Jungle

What it's about: With producers like Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman, it's no surprise this New York-based comedy is as star-studded as it is. Gael Garcia Bernal plays an eccentric conductor and takes you backstage in the sexy, drug-addled world of classical music. (I know: "sexy" and "drug-addled" are not usually the words you'd use to describe Mozart.) It's funnier than it sounds!

Why you should watch: Che Guevara doing drugs and leading a symphony. What's not to love?

A Quick Guide to Amazon's Latest Streaming Video Pilots


The Rebels

What it's about: If you saw Moneyball and actually wished it were about American football, you'll probably like this show starring soap opera star Natalie Zea. Her character is the wife of a professional American football team owner who dies suddenly, leaving her in charge.

Why you should watch: Hayes MacArthur, the weed dealer from The Wackness, plays the savvy lieutenant who saves the day, and its fun to watch him yell at people who are bigger than him.

A Quick Guide to Amazon's Latest Streaming Video Pilots



What it's about: Look, it's Oscar from Arrested Development! In this dysfunctional family comedy, Jeffrey Tambor plays the patriarch of a crazy Los Angeles family. Without giving away too many details, a confession leads everybody to spill their secrets, and hilarity ensues. Kind of sounds like an episode of Arrested Development, doesn't it?

Why you should watch: Everybody loves finding out that their own family isn't as messed up as it could be. Plus, Jeffrey Tambor's so good at playing an exasperated dad.