Tag Archives: TV

Roku Original Sci-Fi Comedy: WE ARE NOT ALONE

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, seemingly modest, that proves there’s still some gas in the tank for Roku, which is still struggling to be known as a leader in providing content, beyond its original purpose of making streaming devices. A weird and wacky show like this, a mashup of Alf and The Office, is another easy test run leading up to Roku’s own Puffy Chair climb out of relative obscurity as an emerging content maker, much as it was for Netflix.

We Are Not Alone
Picture shows: Joe Thomas as Greggs, Declan Baxter as Stewart, Mike Wozniak as Gordan

Come on, you remember The Puffy Chair, don’t you? This was way back in 2005, but still. It was, correct me if I’m wrong, the first foray into original content for Netflix. Well, I’m technically wrong. Netflix only bought that film, but that was a significant sign that Netflix was on the right track in its transformation. My point is that Roku needs something, like The Puffy Chair, that it can call its own: uneven, strange, and definitely quirky, right in step with all the mumblecore comedy of that era, just as the Duplass brothers were beginning to be taken seriously. This is simply another test run moment for Roku since this is not an original show directly created by Roku. This is like PBS, back in the day, importing the latest strange British comedy. Not a great feat in and of itself, right? Well, it’s not exactly a small feat for Roku either. It is a step in the right direction and it is a gem of a show as this review from Den of Geek can attest.

At some point, Roku will do something bigger, like produce it’s own version of a top-rated show. Roku just needs to keep pushing itself and asking that question, If not now, then when? What is at stake is Roku making good on its promise of breaking out beyond being a company that provides devices to stream content to becoming a leader in content. It even took Apple a while to establish itself in that content making department. I’m rooting for Roku!

Vicki Pepperdine as Trater

We Are Not Alone is, as the press kit states: “set six weeks after the Gu’un aliens have invaded and completely conquered Earth. We Are Not Alone explores the culture clash between humankind and its new masters, who are trying to make sense of a planet so confusing and idiotic that its inhabitants can’t even agree which side of the road to drive on.”

Ben Willbond as Darrenth, Larry Rickard as Cirsh

So, yeah, I recommend that you check it out. I know that all of us Roku followers keep waiting for some worthwhile free content and this is a good-sized bone, maybe even more, as this comedy comes with some credentials, originally from UKTV’s award-winning entertainment channel, Dave. For those of you on the other side of the pond, I’d love to get your take on this! All in all, I have a good feeling about it. Roku will premiere this show as a Roku Original, which debuts this Friday, January 27th on, you guessed it, The Roku Channel.

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Amazon TV Lineup Reviews: MOZART IN THE JUNGLE Is Set To Be A Hit

Lola Kirke as Hailey in "Mozart in the Jungle"

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.

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Filed under Amazon, Amazon Originals, Amazon Studios, Comedy, drama, Reviews, Sci-Fi, science fiction, Television, TV Reviews

COMIC-CON 2011 Memo # 4: J.J. Abrams

TV is king at Comic-Con and who better to lead the way than Mr. J. J. Abrams and his latest project. This is another helpful memo for myself, and hopefully for you as well.

“ALCATRAZ” will star Sarah Jones and Jorge GarciaBad Robot Productions produced the pilot episode, which is based on a screenplay by Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt. The series was officially picked up by Fox on May 10, 2011. It is currently planned as a midseason replacement to air on Mondays at 9 pm in 2012.

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COMIC-CON 2011 Memo #2: Sarah Michelle Gellar

What better way to enjoy Comic-Con than to know that Sarah Michelle Gellar is in the house.

The CW’s “Ringer” has all the quality and spooky goodness that will serve Sarah Michelle Gellar fans very well. The story of two sisters, both with secrets to hide, both in danger of losing everything, one can easily consume the other. You can see the trailer here.

“Ringer” premieres Tuesday, September 13, 9/8c on the CW y’all.

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Filed under Comic-Con 2011, Sarah Michelle Gellar