I have always been interested in samurai. There is something about being able to wield a sword that is so satisfying to see. Of course, in today’s world carrying a sword looks more foolish than anything, but in feudal Japan, not only were swords a part of everyday life but they were taken seriously and a skillful sword-wielder was highly valued and for a time was looked up to.
Series like Rurouni Kenshin and Samurai Champloo show us the fascinating tales that samurai could have. Sure, it is not realistic, but it was fascinating to see the world and people interacting with each other in that era. A good samurai show has not come along in a while, so when I started watching Onihei, I thought about the possibilities of a series on the level of Rurouni Kenshin making a comeback. So is Onihei that show?
Amazon has done an excellent job building up their original programming catalog over the last few years, bringing us fantastic titles such as Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, and Red Oaks to name a few. And while I don’t think the voting is taken into account by any means, I do really enjoy the Amazon Pilot Season as a means to establish hype for their upcoming programming.
Seeing as Fleabag was an acquired series from the UK’s BBC Three, I didn’t feel that initial connection to the series. That connection that I have in the past, for the originals that I had spent months anticipating from pilot to full season order. What I did find after giving Fleabag a chance was something both enjoyable and confusing.
I’ve been struggling to write this review for quite some time.
If you pay careful enough attention to which shows are being green-lit each season, you see patterns. Mary + Jane and High Maintenance both deal with dealing weed; The Exorcist, Lethal Weapon, Frequency, and MacGyver are reuniting from a generation past; and Frequency (a double whammy on this list) and Timeless travel the route of time travel. One Mississippi and Better Things have more in common than the week they were released, but a producer: Louis C.K.
Louie is just the tip of the iceberg. Academy Award-winning writer Diablo Cody produces alongside the star and creator of One Mississippi—Tig Notaro. This trio sounds like a dream team of comedy creators, however unlikely it is they found themselves working on a singular project. Was this an act of fate, a drawing of the three? Or was this an experiment gone wrong, a human centipede of humor? Let’s take a look.
While Netflix (and to a lesser extent, Hulu) Originals have successfully broken into the television discussion in the last couple of years, it seems like Amazon is still struggling to get a word in about their Amazon Originals. At the tail end of August, Amazon kicked off its third “Pilot Season” with three new comedies and two new dramas (the same mix as last year) for viewers to check out and vote on. Last year, four of the five series were picked up for season orders—one of which we will be reviewing when the series officially premieres later this month—and that is great sign of what is to come.
Despite Amazon’s originals not generating anywhere near as much steam as Netflix’s House of Cards (or even the more recent Bojack Horseman), Amazon doesn’t seem eager to throw in the towel. Amazon is willing to give the viewer the power to say whether or not a show should air, something that the outdated Nielsen ratings of standard television programming took away by not evolving with the times. This practice, along with Netflix and other online services saving shows from the dead, are the first steps towards a better tomorrow for television.
Without further ado, let’s dive into Amazon’s third Pilot Season: