Whatie Looks at Amazon Studios (PART 1)

by Whatie

Have you heard about Amazon Studios yet? They’re the newest thing in television production. Yes, you heard me: television production. Sure, they started as a movie studio, but now they’re doing television, too. So far, they’re only interested in half-hour sitcoms and children’s programming, but don’t be surprised if they keep growing and start asking for a wider variety of formats. After all, they’re Amazon, and they want their fingers in everything.

What is this monster television studio that Amazon is creating? It certainly isn’t your traditional production studio. It only takes a quick glance to figure out that they’re doing just about everything differently from the traditional old-school (American) studios. But what exactly are they doing? And, more importantly, is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Or, to phrase the question as you’re probably really thinking it: Should I jump in or run away screaming?

I did a lot of research to figure out that answer, and I’m here today to tell you all about what I found and what conclusions I drew for myself.

Amazon Studios is based on the idea that, instead of letting network and studio execs examine potential series ideas in secret, the selection process can be a public one. A potential series creator offers a series idea on the Amazon Studios website, and anyone who wants to can read the offering, rate it, and comment on it. Although the Amazon Studios executives still make the production decisions, they (supposedly) rely primarily on the comments and ratings offered by the general public to guide their choices.

If it stopped there, I would be inclined to like this idea very much. Network execs and studio heads are often horribly out of touch with what people actually want. There’s no harm and a lot of potential good in asking people what they think BEFORE the studio spends lots of money on the concept. Plus, of course, critique is always good for the writer. You never know what comment might contain that nugget of gold that pushes the writer to the next level, or just helps the writer see the script in a new light.

Furthermore, Amazon Studios doesn’t require an agent or any credentials at all. Anyone who has created a series and put the necessary words on paper can play.

As a writer, I can only love that part, too. Someone has to leave the door open for the newcomers!

Unfortunately, there’s also a dark side.


Nikita Pilot – Recap and Review

(Playing Catch-Up With The CW Dept:)


**This episode originally aired in September 2010. If you are unfamiliar with the series, be aware this review contains spoilers.**

“Three years ago I escaped, and have been hunted ever since. I was the first recruit to get out. I’m going to make certain I’m not the last.” – Nikita

Sexy women, rogue assassins AND an interesting story?

Count me in.

We open on Nikita (Maggie Q.), a highly trained assassin, typing away at her computer. The voiceover informs us that she has spent the last three years in hiding but is now resurfacing to wage all-out war against Division, a covert government organization that recruits its agents through kidnapping and extortion. This means fighting and killing many of her former colleagues and friends, including the Head of Division, Percy (Xander Berkeley), his second in command and Nikita’s former trainer, Michael (Shane West), and Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford) Division’s resident computer genius.

We then drop in on two masked bandits robbing a drugstore. When the owner resists, he is killed. One of the thieves escapes. The other, a teen junkie named Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca), is arrested. Soon afterward, Division comes calling, taking her to a training center where Michael explains that as far as the rest of the world knows she is now dead. She must give herself over to the agency, and in return they will give her a new life as an elite secret agent. Sounds great, but there’s one little catch. Alex later discovers that if she fails the training or in her missions she’ll be killed.

As the episode continues, we intercut between Nikita and Alex, seeing the process of shaping a new recruit and the challenge of eliminating a veteran agent. Through Nikita, we learn more about the reasons for her crusade. Through Alex, we see the various levels of training that shape a young assassin. More than combat skills are involved. There’s also a charm and beauty school run by Amanda (Melinda Clarke), a master manipulator, interrogator, and psychologist who has the potential to be the most interesting yet terrifying character in the series.

The episode ends with a twist: The discovery that Alex, the young new recruit, is Nikita’s inside operative. And that Nikita was the second masked bandit that shot the drug store owner.

Okay, so this show is awesome. Yes, the sexy secret agent thing has been done. But the pilot provides a nice balance of cool action, engaging characters and enough story depth to provide a solid foundation for the future. This is the CW, so there’s the occasional cheesy line and overacted scene, but if you’re in the mood for sexy women with guns AND an interesting story, do yourself a favor and check this show out.

Thinking Man Rating: 11 Thumbs Up

**Be aware the Thinking Man rating system is based on awesomeness and should be disregarded if you are not now, or have never been, awesome.**


Everyone’s Favorite Zip Code – Well…

And now, TVWriter™ proudly presents another edition of the Better Late Than Never Dept. as Guest Contributor The Hudsonian turns back the clock to:

Original cast photo for this very episode!

90210 – Season 4 Episode 1
A Review 

**This episode originally aired in September 2011. If you are unfamiliar with the series, turn away to avoid spoilers, or bleeding corneas.**

Everyone’s favorite zip code is back!  Are we happy about this? Should we be?

The gang from West Beverly High takes its talents, er, baggage, to college. Some of them anyway.  We ended season 3 with the news that Naomi was preggers with Max’s love child. As this ep begins, turns out, she’s not. (You didn’t see THAT coming? Shame on you for not knowing how predictable this show is.) Max is overjoyed and Naomi is upset he feels this way. She’s then awakened by a stewardess on the way back to California.

Upon return to the sunshine and hopes of immense popularity at CU, Naomi realizes life in college isn’t like high school. Shocker. She then buys a big house and throws a big party – which gets shut down – to overcompensate.

Liam returns from a summer of deep-sea fishing, one in which he never called Annie. (Can you blame him? He’s knee deep in fish guts and Krakken attacks. Oh, right. That’s only in the movies. This is TV. ) Annie’s clearly not happy about it but still loves the bastard. So he proposes. She says no. (Again, you’re shocked?) So Liam gets drunk and buys a bar with his fishing trip money.

Dixon is homeless because Navid pranked him by switching his residency status to female, and he ends up fighting over a 2 bedroom beach house with Austin, the sexy cowboy that becomes the object of Naomi’s affection – but for now, the cramp in her menstruating side – as the season progresses. Dixon and Austin compromise and become roommates. Aw.

Silver and Navid are looking forward to living together alone, but they get an unexpected surprise when Navid’s younger sister refuses to move to Switzerland with their parents. (Why’d they move? Navid’s dad is shamed as a porn tycoon who hired underage chicas for talent, of  course. Leila becomes a nuisance (what teenager ISN’T?) and really gets under their skin when she lets Adrianna into Silver’s house. Silver is piiiiiiiiiiiissed.

Oh, and Ivy and Raj got married at the end of Season 3 because he’s dying of cancer, and now he’s too sick to do anything. Another shocker. Sure.

Naomi is easily the best character in this show. Her blend of entitlement and arrogance fits well with her constant need for love and affection and her mother hen demeanor towards her friends. (She has all the money, so of course she’s going to take care of them.) When she’s introduced to Austin, she hates him because he’s just like her: a spoiled brat who suddenly finds himself not getting what he wants.

Let’s face it; this series is designed for young adolescents who are oblivious to what good television is. Written by adult writers who try to make sure there’s a little something for all of us to enjoy here in the target demo everyone’s favorite zip code.

Sometimes they even succeed.

Chriss Anglin Signing In

Got your attention, hey?
by Chriss Anglin

Hi TVWriter fans.  Since my very good friend Larry Brody asked me to become a contributor here, I thought it was about time I got off my ass and did so.

So, I’ll begin with a little introduction and brief bio of who I am and how I got here.

My name’s Chriss Anglin, and as much as I know it will annoy all you genius writers, I am an actor first and foremost.  About 15 years ago, I was a small town deputy sheriff in New Mexico.  When I was offered the opportunity to work undercover narcotics, I thought that taking a theater class might help me with the job.  It did, but I also got hooked on acting, being the natural ham I am.  About 12 years ago, a buddy I had done theater with, came back from LA after attempting to make in movies and talked me into his “Acting for Film” class.  It sounded fun, so I did it.  That was it.  I fell in love with making movies.

I met Larry on my first feature film “Get Goosed” and he has been a great friend and mentor ever since.

Now, here I am in LA going on my 11th year.  I’ve had some really fun roles, but I’m far from making a living as an actor.  So, I started writing as another way to stay creative.  Am I good at it?  Well, that depends on who you ask.  I think I’m okay.  My friends think I’m great. Literary Agents and Studios think I suck.  C’est La Vie.

My plan in my future posts is to share with you some of my rejection letters from the studios and what I learned from them.  Hopefully this will help all of you and be cathartic for me.

Have a great day 😉


The DOCTOR WHO Puppet is Still Irresistible

by Larry Brody

Maybe even more so:

BOOM! Brooklyn put on a great fireworks show.

See it all

Big image file…sorry.