Amazon’s Upcoming Series: The Tick, I Love Dick, Last Tycoon, and Jean Claude Van Johnson

By | March 30, 2017

While I reviewed this current crop of Amazon’s pilots yesterday, it might be time to take a look at the series they greenlit from last year’s pilot season…

The Tick…A dedicated group will love this update of “The Tick” but I wasn’t encouraged by the pilot. The lead character/actor (Griffin Newman playing an accountant with no powers but a sharp mind) didn’t involve me at all and Peter Serafinowicz’s take on the title character won’t please anyone lucky enough to remember Patrick Warburton’s superb portrayal in the Fox cult classic. The most memorable thing in the pilot turned out to be Jackie Earle Haley’s truly frightening villain The Terror. Grade: C

I Love Dick…The best of the bunch, and an exciting liberation of Kevin Bacon after the grim Fox series “The Following.” Here he plays a Texas professor captivating the wife of a new hire who’s moved with her husband from NYC. Kathryn Hahn has been inching towards stardom for a long time, and this is the role that will probably do it. In various scenes she’s sad, funny, vulnerable, seductive, and longing to be seduced. And the pilot is filmed with real visual flair, from the blood-red, love-letter style title characters to the final shot of a nude Kevin Bacon disappearing into a hot tub overlooking a mountain range. Grade: A-

The Last Tycoon…Yikes. The pilot for this Old Hollywood set series is drowning in so many cliches and dead scenes, I can’t believe it made it got greenlit into a series. How bad could the discarded “The Interestings” have possibly been that this drama was picked instead? Grade: D+

Jean Claude Van Johnson…A solid pilot that may or may not work stretched into a full-length series. It seems a little one-joke—Jean Claude Van Damme the actor uses terrible movies as fronts for high-end assassin or detective work—but the jabs against Hollywood (at one point he’s pitched an action-fantasy version of “P.F. Chang’s the movie”) are hilarious, and Van Damme is the one 80’s relic that actually could make a real comeback. And since he’s from Belgium, he’ll never be able to run for President, so we don’t have to worry about rooting for him. Grade: B+

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