Is it too soon for a show that pokes fun at the dysfunction taking place in Washington, DC? Amazon thinks not.
Starting today (Friday) the first three episodes of its first-ever original series Alpha House will be available online for free.
I had the opportunity to view the first three episodes on the big screen at an event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York earlier in the week and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them.
Alpha House is a political satire that revolves around four senators who share a house together in Washington. How wrong could that go?
John Goodman stars as a conservative Republican from North Carolina, with cameos from Cynthia Nixon, Wanda Sykes and one so fabulous in the beginning I don’t want to spoil it for you.
What makes this so wonderful is the fact it was created by Garry Trudeau, the guy who gave us Doonesbury, the Pulitzer-prize winning comic strip. It’s funny, witty satire and it made me laugh. At the event Trudeau said the “nation’s misfortunes are our future scripts” and much of this is taken right from the sometimes ridiculous happenings going in the capital.
In one scene Goodman’s character, Senator Gil-John Biggs finds out he is about to be opposed in an upcoming election and declares in his southern drawl that he is about to evolve. Mark Consuelos plays a Marco Rubio who brings his girlfriend along on a trip to Afghanistan. Yes, it’s a satire, and it takes jabs at today’s politics, but I found it entertaining.
Of course they go nowhere without their trusty Blackberrys, though I think Goodman’s character does have an iPhone he hurls against a wall. He also refers to “The YouTube” which is not too far removed from his knowledge of how Amazon video even works. He recently told Jon Stewart, when asked how to watch the videos, “I don’t know…I’m selling their product…I’m just a cog in their machine of world domination.”
The first three episodes are available for free to all Amazon customers via Amazon Instant Video on Kindle Fire, iPad, iPhone, Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and just about any other connected device. After the first three, which Amazon hopes will get you hooked, the next 8 will be available on Prime Instant Video.
Can the series (and upcoming series Betas launching later this month) do as well as Netflix’s House of Cards? That remains to be seen, especially since Amazon is launching the new episodes weekly, not all at once for binge-watching like Netflix has done.
Between free shipping, the possibility of Sunday shipping and now these new original series, Amazon Prime for $79 a year is shaping up to be a deal worth doing.