×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Amazon Debuts Mixed Bag of Original Comedy Pilots

timothy posted 1 year,18 hours | from the if-you-can-watch-them dept.

Television 67

itwbennett writes "Amazon sent out a press release over the weekend announcing that the pilots for their original shows 'held 8 spots on the list of 10 most streamed Amazon VOD episodes.' So blogger and entertainment junkie Peter Smith decided to spend a couple of hours seeing if they were worth watching. He managed to sit through 4 of the 8 comedy shows and found a mixed bag — one a clear miss, two meh, and one he'd like to see turned into a series. Have you watched any of the pilots? What did you think?" The quality of these the pilots is not the only way they're a mixed bag: for many Linux users, they're simply not watchable. Watch soon for unknown_lamer's screed on the fat lot of good(will) Amazon is generating by making it harder to legally get these shows.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

67 comments

Futurama! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 hours | (#43525947)

Amazon should pick up Futurama, now that Comedy Central has dropped it.

Re:Futurama! (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526031)

It would be better than most of this crap. But still, animation is very expensive (especially on an established show where the voice cast and animators ain't gonna work for cheap). Even if they wanted to pick up a show that's already been cancelled twice, I doubt they could afford it.

Re:Futurama! (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526039)

Amazon should pick up Futurama, now that Comedy Central has dropped it.

Let it die with what dignity it has left. The last season shows that the magic it once had is dead or dying.

Sitcoms??? (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43525961)

Please no more sitcoms.................

Re:Sitcoms??? (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526071)

no more sitcoms

Like it or not, people love them. They're the TV equivalent of the RomCom [wikipedia.org] --predictable pleasure food that makes you feel good, and never challenges or surprises.

Re:Sitcoms??? (2)

sycodon (149926) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526093)

"...predictable junk food..."

Fixed.

Re:Sitcoms??? (1)

AlamedaStone (114462) | 1 year,14 hours | (#43529543)

Supanatural is hilarious. It's like a Venture Brothers take on the show Supernatural (and the like), but with female leads. It's a little rough around the edges, but I would absolutely tune in to that every week.

FWIW, it's produced by comedian Kristen Schaal, of 30 Rock, The Daily Show, Bob's Burgers. If you like any of those shows, you should give it a shot.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CBNPHDO [amazon.com]

It's crystal skull o'clock.

You forgot Gravity Falls (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,11 hours | (#43531157)

Kristen Schaal is my god (and her last name rhymes with Baal so that kind of works)

Re:Sitcoms??? (1)

GTRacer (234395) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526197)

obFuturama: [FRY] But that's not why people watch TV. Clever things make people feel stupid, and unexpected things make them feel scared.

See? Even Fry knew why we're stuck with these things, and he's a thousand years in the future!

Re:Sitcoms??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526087)

Would you rather more "reality" tv?

Re:Sitcoms??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 hours | (#43527205)

Let me fix that for you:

Would you rather *watch* more "reality" tv?

There we go, we use english sentence structure here.

Re:Sitcoms??? (1)

camperdave (969942) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526113)

Please no more sitcoms.................

I agree. No more reality shows. What we need is sitcoms!

Actually, what we need is a halfway decent SF series. Whatever happened to that Star Trek reboot that was all hyped up a few years back? One flop wonder?

Re:Sitcoms??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526385)

Syfy started Defiance last week. I liked the pilot and will watch the second episode this evening.

Re:Sitcoms??? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526133)

Some of my favorite shows are sitcoms. I actually would like to see them replace the reality TV filler. I liked "The Office", "Modern Family", and "30 Rock" most recently. I understand "Parks and Recreation" is good, but I haven't seen it yet.

Re:Sitcoms??? (1)

prelelat (201821) | 1 year,17 hours | (#43526921)

I agree, I love smart intelligent television but sometimes you just kind of want to sit back and have a laugh sometimes without having to think about it.

Re:Sitcoms??? (2)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | 1 year,17 hours | (#43526733)

Agreed, while people may love them, lets leave them on Network television which has become a vapid wasteland of derivative narratives for simple people

There is no point for Netflix to duplicate network garbage. If Netflix can't rise above the average POS sitcom and crime scene show on networks then there is absolutely no point for Netflix to do original programming..

Netflix should set the integrity of their original programming to not just be about ratings or top 10 lists, the way the network television has corrupted content. Shows on Netflix do not make money, the money has already been made. Reward subscribers with content that you can't see anywhere else, or at least drop a little nudity and a few f-bombs in them to avoid the over Disneyfied family crap found everywhere else. I want a story that spans multiple episodes, not telling me the same friggen' plot over and over and over again. Simple people can't follow a plot that spans two episodes which is why shows like CSI have boomed. I don't want Netflix to become a wasteland or more simple serialized garbage.

I don't need Netflix to become NBC or ABC 2.0. I want "original" content that is edgy and different than the crap on regular TV.

Netflix should set themselves to compete with HBO or Showtime, not to compete with whatever garbage is currently scheduled for the the 8pm primetime slot on Wednesday nights.

Re:Sitcoms??? (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | 1 year,15 hours | (#43528737)

You are of course aware that sitcoms are not limited to network television, many people find various examples quite enjoyable, and your taste, which I'm sure in your own head seems totally logical and objectively correct, doesn't mean shit to any of the rest of us at all, right?

Re:Sitcoms??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,16 hours | (#43528203)

No more Big Bang Theory? No more My Name is Earl? No more South park?

I suppose you want more cop shows and doctor shows and "reality" shows and such drivel? Fuck you, sourpuss, I like laughing.

Re:Sitcoms??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 hours | (#43529345)

No more My Name Is Earl? No more Big Bang Theory? Hell, Steven Hawking and George Smoot are fans of that show. No South Park or Simpsons? What made you such an anti-humor grouch? What, you want more cop shows and game shows and reality shows? I feel sorry for you.

Dupe? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43525969)

I beleive this is a duplicate story, done on last Saturday... http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/13/04/20/2039245/amazon-nears-debut-of-original-tv-shows [slashdot.org]

This is a follow-up (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526115)

This is a follow-up. In the summary, "their original shows" cites the same Slashdot story you mention. You may have a valid complaint about how too many follow-ups makes a story look like a Slashvertisement, but a follow-up is not exactly a dupe.

Is Amazon becoming MTV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526007)

When MTV - that's Music Television - first started, they played music videos. Then they started airing a bunch of other shit.

Amazon started out as a book seller. Now they sell just about everything - and I'm not including the others who sell stuff via their site. Amazon is one of my top picks for car parts - yes, you read that correctly: car parts. Many times the parts they sell are 50% LESS than the local stores and I can get the part quicker than ordering it from the local stores - without sales tax as of today. I have an old car so I usually have to special order parts.

Anyway, Amazon has got so many fingers in so many businesses that I don't see how they can stay competitive.

Unless .. this is a hedge against the imminent online sales tax. When - not if - when is happens, their business model is almost toast. They still don't have the overhead of retails stores and they'll be able to offer 30% discounts. BUt ...

As they lose focus - and I've seen this happen many times with many companies - they tank.

That was my Chewbaca business analysis. What does MTV have to with Amazon? Nothing.

Re:Is Amazon becoming MTV? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526285)

Amazon is one of my top picks for car parts - yes, you read that correctly: car parts.

No, I didn't! I read that as "cat farts".

Re:Is Amazon becoming MTV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,16 hours | (#43527957)

Cat farts are no laughing matter.

Re:Is Amazon becoming MTV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526411)

FYI amazon supports the proposed online sales tax law.

Re:Is Amazon becoming MTV? (1)

ranton (36917) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526599)

Unless .. this is a hedge against the imminent online sales tax. When - not if - when is happens, their business model is almost toast. They still don't have the overhead of retails stores and they'll be able to offer 30% discounts. BUt ...

Amazon is so much cheaper and more convenient than in-store alternatives that an extra 6.25% (IL tax rate) is not going to stop people from saving 25-40% on their purchases online. It will certainly cut into their sales, just like anything that would raise their prices for most people by a small percentage. But their business model is certainly not toast.

Re:Is Amazon becoming MTV? (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | 1 year,17 hours | (#43526755)

33+% less on most books (and therefore 33+% less sales tax) than your local brick and mortar is still a hell of good deal. As long as Amazon's prices are significantly lower, sales taxes are lower since you pay tax based on the price you pay, not the MSRP. Still a better deal than regular stores.

Re:Is Amazon becoming MTV? (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | 1 year,13 hours | (#43530045)

33+% less on most books (and therefore 33+% less sales tax) than your local brick and mortar is still a hell of good deal. As long as Amazon's prices are significantly lower, sales taxes are lower since you pay tax based on the price you pay, not the MSRP. Still a better deal than regular stores.

In addition, it only takes about a month after first release for a book to have quite a few high quality used copies available from Amazon sellers, often at even better prices.

Amazon proper plus all the sellers makes it much better than any B&M bookstore for selection and price. Add in the fact that it's not just books, and it's hard to beat, regardless of sales tax.

Re:Is Amazon becoming MTV? (1)

chromas (1085949) | 1 year,14 hours | (#43529613)

When MTV had too many other shows, they invented M2/MTV2 to shove all the music-related stuff onto. But then that got full and they started more channels... I think History did similar with H2.

Amazon still sells books.

Not watchable for many Linux users? (3, Informative)

00Monkey (264977) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526021)

Here's what I did in Ubuntu 12.04 to watch them:

1. Use Firefox.
2. Make sure Firefox is closed.
3. Run: sudo apt-get install libhal1 hal
4. Run: rm -rf ~/.adobe/Flash_Player/NativeCache ~/.adobe/Flash_Player/AssetCache ~/.adobe/Flash_Player/APSPrivateData2
5. Launch Firefox and enjoy.

After I did this in Firefox, I was able to watch them in Chromium too but ran into problems trying to get it working in the first place in Chromium. I've read that Google Chrome simply won't play them on Linux because of some recent changes Google made. So, yea... not as easy as it should be but it should be watchable unless I've missed a different reason why they're not watchable for so many users.

Re:Not watchable for many Linux users? (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526151)

Well damn. If Ubuntu was a real Linux distribution then you would have at least needed to edit some configuration file by hand.

World's going to hell in a handbasket, it is.

Re:Not watchable for many Linux users? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526177)

This didn't work on Damn Small Linux running on a Raspberry Pi, and I'M GOING TO YELL ON THE INTERNET ABOUT IT until someone fixes it!!!!!!

Re:Not watchable for many Linux users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526335)

This didn't work on Damn Small Linux running on a Raspberry Pi, and I'M GOING TO YELL ON THE INTERNET ABOUT IT until someone fixes it!!!!!!

You got the source. Are you ready to be "someone"?

Re:Not watchable for many Linux users? (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526219)

Let's talk about all the cargo-cult Flash "programmers" who just have to check if you're using the very latest version of Flash before you can look at their content - even though it doesn't use any new features...

Re:Not watchable for many Linux users? (1)

Insightfill (554828) | about a year ago | (#43535495)

I've read that Google Chrome simply won't play them on Linux because of some recent changes Google made.

Yeah, Ubuntu 13.04 has a weird dependency problem - I think it's Ubuntu's fault because it worked fine in 12.10. Looks like someone found a workaround [handytutorial.com] by downloading a .deb package from 12.10 and dropping it on 13.04.

Awww... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526027)

Let's have a pity party for the three people that can't watch these shows.

Onion News Empire (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 hours | (#43526237)

How did the reviewer pass on watching Onion News Empire? Jeffrey Tambor and William Sadler are absolutely hilarious. It'd be criminal to let that show fall by the wayside, it was easily the best of the bunch.

blogger? Entertainment Junkie? (4, Insightful)

Thornburg (264444) | 1 year,17 hours | (#43526731)

So, this guy is trying to be at least semi-pro about this, and we're supposed to care what he thinks and says, but he can't be bothered to watch one episode each of eight different shows before writing an article about it?

How long are these? I'm guessing an hour. You can't spend eight hours WATCHING TV before writing an article you're being paid for?

And then it gets put up on Slashdot?

Has online journalism/tech news fallen so low that this qualifies as worth a front-page mention?

Re:blogger? Entertainment Junkie? (1)

mattyj (18900) | 1 year,16 hours | (#43527849)

It's even worse. They're all half hour pilots, sans commercials, so 21-22 minutes long each. You can blow through them all in about 2.5 hours, though I only made it a few minutes into a couple of them before I had to turn it off. Some of these things were beyond terrible. One or two gems, though.

Re:blogger? Entertainment Junkie? (1)

libtek (902569) | 1 year,16 hours | (#43527993)

What a foo! Why would he skip Onion News Empire?! This is the FIRST one I clicked, because it was the most attractive summary, and plus: IT'S TEH EFFIN ONIONZ!

Re:blogger? Entertainment Junkie? (1)

mythosaz (572040) | 1 year,14 hours | (#43529357)

I'm glad this got commented on. I'm a lazy bastard and I plan on watching more than 4x22 minutes of TV tonight.

The front-page worthy news *IS* that this is what passes for news: "Journalists" are half-assed at best.

This just in, you can get just as many page views (or more!) from an ill-informed opinion on half the story than you can for actually putting in the work. ...and by work, I mean watching fucking TV.

Re:blogger? Entertainment Junkie? (1)

sootman (158191) | 1 year,14 hours | (#43529525)

> Has online journalism/tech news fallen so low that
> this qualifies as worth a front-page mention?

"Coming up next: Which work better -- springy clothes pins, or the other kind?"

-- Kent Brockman

Re:blogger? Entertainment Junkie? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,12 hours | (#43530619)

Has online journalism/tech news fallen so low that this qualifies as worth a front-page mention?

The editors on Slashdot were outsourced to 7 line perl scripts. This story had all of the right keywords, so it was posted. It's your fault, really. If you'd thrown more money at the site before this had happened, the site's editors could have been replaced by a 12 line perl script...

XBMC (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 hours | (#43526771)

They also managed to break it for all versions/platforms of XBMC as well.

Stop complaining about DRM (2)

Vrtigo1 (1303147) | 1 year,17 hours | (#43527005)

Until linux has something resembling a decent marketshare on the desktop, stop expecting publishers to care about or support it. It's simply not worth their time to devote the time of their engineering teams to support Linux when they're not likely to see a huge return on that investment.

Most folks running Linux are smart enough to run a Windows VM if they want to watch Amazon videos, and if they don't want to because of pride or some other "belief", then that's THEIR decision.

Also, I don't have any statistics, but I've got to believe that a large portion of Amazon clients are STBs, not computers.

So, buy a STB that supports Amazon, or buy an OEM Windows license and spin up a VM.

Now, if only Amazon would release an iOS app. That's a huge market segment that they're alienating by not having their content available. I want to be able to watch Amazon video on my phone just like I can watch Netflix and Hulu on my phone.

Re:Stop complaining about DRM (1)

Dan667 (564390) | 1 year,17 hours | (#43527371)

that is why Steam has come to Linux. It has no future, right?

Re:Stop complaining about DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,17 hours | (#43527547)

Great I can buy half-life 1 and tux racer ...

Re:Stop complaining about DRM (1)

Vrtigo1 (1303147) | about a year ago | (#43539039)

Steam has come to Linux because Valve has become very openly dissatisfied with Windows 8 and the direction DirectX is taking. I suspect that the SteamBox project played a large part in the decision to make a linux port, and I further suspect that that decision wasn't about enabling folks running linux to run steam nearly as much as it was about making sure linux was supported so when the SteamBoxes start rolling off the assembly line they can actually run Steam.

Re:Stop complaining about DRM (1)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | 1 year,14 hours | (#43529563)

Um, you do realize you posted this to Slashdot, right? Linux support always matters here.

The last time I posted something from my own website to slashdot, my webserver logs showed a solid 40% representation of Linux-based browsers.

If you post article here that says "you can view this for free in your browser!", then linux support most definitely matters.

Re:Stop complaining about DRM (1)

Vrtigo1 (1303147) | 1 year,14 hours | (#43529695)

Linux support always matters here.

Right, exactly. Hit the nail on the head. Linux support matters HERE. Not out in the rest of the world where it's about making money from a product instead of embracing open standards. I stand by my original statement. If it were financially advantageous for Amazon to invest the effort in creating a linux solution for their video platform, they would.

Sure, they could probably make some money from folks running linux than would subscribe to Prime for the videos, but in the grand scheme of things, projects get prioritized in the order in which they impact the company's bottom line, and I don't see this being a huge revenue generator for them, especially when there are already the workarounds I listed in my original post that linux users can make use of.

Amazon isn't exactly a company that is against Linux, I mean they built their own Linux distro for AWS. It's just that there's no compelling business case for them to bring linux support to VOD. It makes no sense to complain and think that they'll somehow prioritize this when there's no reason for them to do so.

Re:Stop complaining about DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 hours | (#43533539)

Well, DRM is the only reason it wouldn't already work.

Streaming services fronting original content (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,16 hours | (#43528205)

First Hulu did original content and got people interested in a daily recap show of entertainment and licence TV series from elsewhere to get us watching them
Then Netflix did a "oiginal series" of House of Cards that turned out to be a big win for Netflix,
Now Amazon's doing a scatter shot of all sorts of comedies to figure out what their subscriber base will want.

What's next in the digital arms race? Truman Show/EdTV style reality programs that never break from the participants?

I will say that Alpha House (at least from it's pilot) looks like it could be good.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...