It’s that time again! Amazon’s latest choose-your-own-adventure-style “pilot season” begins today: The first episodes of five new shows are now available to stream on Amazon Prime, and you can vote for your favorites in the hopes that they get a full series order. This season’s batch includes a new comedy from Transparent writers Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster called The Legend of Master Legend; Amazon’s first adult animated comedy; and, most exciting, if I do say so myself, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, an hour-long drama/comedy from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino about an Upper West Side housewife circa 1958 who decides to become a stand-up comedian.
Now: Marvel’s Iron Fist
Alright, now I can’t exactly endorse Marvel’s Iron Fist, which has been almost universally panned. The latest entry in Marvel’s colonization of Netflix stars Finn Jones as Danny Rand, the (white) son of a billionaire who is presumed dead in a plane crash until he returns to Manhattan a martial-arts expert. Turns out Danny had been hiding out with a group of monks in Asia who taught him to use his body as a weapon to fight crime. Jones has been on the defensive due to a healthy amount of eyebrow-raising over the show’s white-savior plot, which only seems to be digging this hole deeper. But hey, if you want to kick back with 13 hours of this nonsense, who am I to judge?
Sunday: The Circus
Throughout the presidential campaign, journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (the authors of Game Change, about the 2008 election, and Double Down: Game Change 2012) documented the madness on their Showtime series The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth. On Sunday, they’re reviving the docu-series for a second season, this time taking a closer look at the first three months of Trump’s presidency “both inside and outside the Beltway.” If you can’t seem to stop refreshing the Washington Post‘s homepage these days, this one’s for you. Watch the first episode Sunday at 8 p.m. on Showtime.
Tuesday: Dave Chappelle on Netflix
On Tuesday, Netflix drops not one, but two new standup specials from his holiness Dave Chappelle, the first new standup material he’s released since 2004’s For What It’s Worth. The new specials were taped in 2015 and 2016, and come from Chappelle’s “personal comedy vault,” whatever that means. The trailer teases some typically provocative material, with jokes about ISIS and O.J. Simpson.
Wednesday: Shots Fired
Shots Fired is a surprising series for Fox, the home of Lethal Weapon, Rosewood, and 24: Legacy. This new drama from filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights, Love & Basketball) and her husband, Reggie Rock Bythewood, is a ten-hour “event series” that examines the fallout from two racially-charged police shootings in a small town in the South. The show aims to take a Wire-like approach, using its story to demonstrate the complex interplay between police, the media, and the public. Shots Fired premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Fox.