Review: Amazon’s New Pilots, the End of an Era?

The Climb


Diarra Kilpatrick, left, and Alysha Umphress in “The Climb” on Amazon. Credit Elizabeth Morris/Amazon Studios

The most jumbled but also most distinctive of the three pilots is this piece about an office drone who dreams of being a social-media star. Set and filmed in Detroit, “The Climb” is like a more profane but also more buttoned-up, and no less cerebral, companion to Issa Rae’s HBO comedy “Insecure.”

Nia, played by the show’s creator, Diarra Kilpatrick, appreciates the “genius” of a rival influencer — that she’s “figured out how to be Barbie, how to be sexy for a living” — but what Nia really wants is to be fulfilled. When she’s told that’s a white-girl problem, she replies, “Isn’t that why Martin Luther King died, so that I could someday have white-girl problems?”

Love You More


Bridget Everett in “Love You More.” Credit Sabrina Lantos/Amazon Studios

It’s easy to see how this collaboration of the comedian and cabaret star Bridget Everett and the showrunner Michael Patrick King (“Sex and the City”) could translate into a fairly conventional series, even though some of its elements — like an enthusiastic sex scene with the Amazonian Ms. Everett and a diminutive, chatty, very well-endowed man she picks up in a bar — push boundaries.

The bulk of the half-hour, in which Ms. Everett’s character, Karen, works with the young residents of a home for people with Down syndrome, is standard sitcom stuff (even with an A plot that involves a teenager with a propensity for touching Karen’s breasts). It’s the biggest showcase so far for Ms. Everett’s knowing, tough but vulnerable persona, and it gives her occasions to sing, including a production number about buying a bra (which is, once again, focused on her body).

Stealing attention from Ms. Everett is a tall order, but Loni Anderson manages it in a supporting role as Karen’s guileless older roommate.

Continue reading the main story

Leave a Response