Maybe, like me, you are a Roku person. And maybe you noticed this new offering, a sci-fi comedy, We Are Not Alone. I’m intrigued. I’m intrigued on two main tracks: first, I genuinely think I’ll like watching this; next, I have a feeling this could be one of those turning points which adds to Roku’s profile as an original content provider, as it moves beyond its original purpose of just making streaming devices. Last year’s Weird: The Al Yankovic Story was a significant step forward for Roku as a serious original content provider.
Desperado Miller (Abby McEnany) rallies the troops.
I love quirky stuff and this hits the spot: a comedy about inept ghost hunters. Ghost Squad is a new project by Andy Kushnir, a staff writer for the popular game, Cards Against Humanity. Kushnir recently directed and co-wrote with his writing partner, Carley Moseley, this mockumentary pilot which releases to the public on October 1st.
Our story begins with a lead-in narration by head paranormal investigator, Desperado Miller (Abby McEnany). You can think of her as Michael Scott, the manager from The Office, played by Steve Carell. McEnany is hilarious as the ill-tempered and insecure psychic detective. Her ragtag team of misfits are either out for themselves or too self-absorbed to be of much help.
Zorba Dinkel (Jo Feldman) in search of chips and salsa.
One scene, to give you a taste, has one of our misfit investigators, Zorba Dinkel, (Jo Feldman) entranced by a vibe that leads her to a cupboard. She is transfixed by a pulsing energy that leads her to a bag of chips and, ultimately, to a jar of salsa! She has made quite a tasty connection with the other side. Very funny stuff.
This series gets to juggle a variety of tropes: office sitcom, reality-tv, and a touch of horror. The results are pleasing. Ghost Squad is definitely something to watch this October which, of course, is the kickoff to our cavalcade of holiday season entertainment.
Ghost Squad is the creation of Andy Kushnir and Carley Moseley. I look forward to more of their collaborative work.
Lola Kirke as Hailey in “Mozart in the Jungle”
MOZART IN THE JUNGLE
If I could only pick one of the current crop of Amazon TV pilots, amid comedies and dramas, it would have to be “Mozart in the Jungle.” After having given it a try, along with the four other pilots, it stays with me the most. That’s not to say the other shows aren’t quality items. In fact, this whole roster has a lot to offer and I’ll say a little about them too. What I find to be most appealing about this particular show is that you have compelling conflict evenly distributed amongst compelling characters. You have the main character, Hailey, who is likable and someone to root for. Lola Kirke brings something of the appeal of “Girls” to the show and that’s not just because she’s the sister of one of its stars, Jemima Kirke. She does not seem to be an especially strong character but you get the sense that she’s growing and will strike when she needs to. Other characters already know how to strike all too well and it will be fun to see just how far they will go. This is the world of classical music but it’s a jungle too.